Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Army MARS Conducts Nationwide "High-Pressure Test"

Members of Army and Air Force MARS (Military Auxiliary Radio System) took part in a "national crisis exercise" in early August, involving operators in all 50 states and personally supervised by the Army's chief of network communications. NETCOM Commander Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn, launched the six-hour exercise with a voice broadcast. The actual drill, however, consisted of relaying encrypted data between individual members in the 50 states and Army MARS headquarters at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. According to Army MARS, the goal was to measure the performance of the volunteer radio operators under heavy traffic conditions. The drill simulated a near-total breakdown of normal communications channels, including cell phones and the Internet.