MARS, ARES, Team Up in Interoperability Exercise
Two arms of MARS - the Military Auxiliary Radio System - and the ARRL's Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) were involved in a nationwide communications interoperability exercise held last October. The ARRL Letter reports that Army and Air Force MARS merged their normally-separate long-distance radio networks during the course of the 48-hour exercise, which simulated a disruption to the nation's communications infrastructure. In addition, MARS members were tasked with using amateur frequencies and their amateur call signs to make contact with ARES leaders or members in as many U.S. counties as possible. Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, said preliminary results showed that MARS-ARES linkups were successfully made in approximately half of the nation's 3077 counties. The exercise was sponsored by the Department of Defense.