Thursday, June 21, 2012

House Committee Calls for Unified Oversight of MARS

(Courtesy Architect of the Capitol)
A committee report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2013 calls on the Pentagon to "clarify and maintain policy oversight of MARS within the Office of the Secretary of Defense" and to appoint one person to coordinate the policies and activities of volunteer group across the Army, Air Force and Navy/Marine Corps. Currently, the Military Auxiliary Radio System operates independently in each service. The ARRL Letter says the report from the House Armed Services Committee recognized MARS as "an important back-up" to government communication systems but noted that oversight is unclear due to a recent Pentagon reorganization and that there is a lack of standardization among the three MARS branches.