Amateur Radio and MARS organizations will take part in a “communications interoperability” training exercise November 4-6.

The scenerio: a massive coronal mass ejection event which will impact the national power grid as well as all forms of traditional communication, including landline telephone, cellphone, satellite, and internet connectivity.

During the exercise, a designated DOD Headquarters entity will request county-by-county status reports for the 3,143 US counties and county equivalents, in order to gain situational awareness and to determine the extent of impact of the scenario. Army and Air Force MARS organizations will work in conjunction with the Amateur Radio community, primarily on the 60-meter interoperability channels as well as on HF NVIS frequencies and local VHF and UHF, non-internet linked Amateur Radio repeaters.

Again this year, a military station on the east coast and the Fort Huachuca, Arizona, HF station will conduct a high-power broadcast on 60-meter channel 1 (5,330.5 kHz) on Saturday, 0300 to 0315 UTC.

Amateur Radio operators should monitor an informational broadcast on Sunday, on 13,483.5 kHz USB, 1600 to 1615 UTC.

“We want to continue building on the outstanding cooperative working relationship with ARRL and the Amateur Radio community,” Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY said. “We want to expand the use of the 60-meter interop channels between the military and amateur community for emergency communications, and we hope the Amateur Radio community will give us some good feedback on the use of both the 5-MHz interop and the new 13-MHz broadcast channels as a means of information dissemination during a “very bad day” scenario.

For more information or questions about this exercise, contact Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, englishp@hotmail.com

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