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Army and Air Force MARS will be holding a joint training exercise along with the Amateur Radio Service on February 12, 2016. MARS operators will be coming up on Amateur frequencies asking for community related information. The community related information is limited to radio or personal observation; internet and other telecommunication services are not acceptable. Please monitor the standard HF, VHF and UHF frequencies to assist in this effort.

If there are any questions, please contact Mike Boger,




A disastrous coronal mass ejection (CME) will be the focus of a national Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) communication exercise in early November, and MARS is hoping to collaborate with Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) groups. The MARS exercise will get under way on November 8 and continue into November 10. It will be a quarterly contingency HF exercise in support of the US Department of Defense.

“The exercise scenario will simulate a CME event and focus on actions that radio operators should take prior to and following a CME event,” explained Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY. “One thing we want to continue to work on is the interface with the greater Amateur Radio community.”
CMEs are huge explosions of gas, plasma, and electromagnetic radiation from the Sun, which are responsible for geomagnetic storms. Solar flares can accompany CMEs, but they are not the same thing. A CME can take anywhere from 1 day to 3 days to reach Earth. CMEs occur all the time, but most bypass Earth with minor effects. A major CME that hits Earth directly could damage or destroy satellites as well as terrestrial communication and electrical power infrastructure.
English said the November exercise would simulate a radio blackout as well as infrastructure damage. “During the exercise, we will simulate the blackout with a 3 hour pause, and then we will bring stations back on air and begin handling requests for information,” he told ARRL.
Training objectives for this exercise will include understanding what a CME is and how much forecast lead time can be expected; the effects associated with a CME, and what precautions radio operators take to protect their equipment prior to a severe CME.
After the simulated CME, operators will assess its effects and begin reporting that information. This will involve “interoperation with Amateur Radio operators and groups to assist in assessment.”

Individual radio amateurs as well as ARES and RACES teams are encouraged to participate in this exercise. Contact MARS and provide your contact information, if your organization is interested.

From Jim Fisher @ OEM:  Due to the COVID-19 situation, OEM Comm in-person meetings at PECOC on the 4th Thursday of the month at 6:30pm are cancelled but monthly meetings will continue virtually using Teams.  Click the link below labeled “Join Microsoft Teams Meeting” to attend the meeting.

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

602-649-0382 United States, Phoenix (Toll)

213-279-1657 United States, Los Angeles (Toll)

Conference ID: 956 667 16#

NOTE: The Nov/Dec meeting will be held on December 3rd so as not to conflict with Thanksgiving or Christmas.

COVID-19 information for citizens of Pima County can be found at the County Health Department COVID-19 page:

Social distancing, hand washing and large gathering avoidance are critical in slowing the spread of the disease.

Stay safe and healthy.

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Tue, Oct 27, 2020
Day 1 Outlook Image
SPC 1300Z Day 1 Outlook Day 1 Convective Outlook NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 0748 AM CDT Tue Oct 27 2020 Valid 271300Z - 281200Z ...NO SEVERE THUNDERSTORM AREAS FORECAST... ...SUMMARY... Severe thunderstorms are not expected across the contiguous United States through tonight. ...Synopsis... The main upper-air feature influencing this period's [...]
Source: Storm Prediction Center Outlook
Tue, Oct 27, 2020
Day 4-8 Outlook Image
Day 4-8 Outlook Day 4-8 Convective Outlook NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 0332 AM CDT Tue Oct 27 2020 Valid 301200Z - 041200Z ...DISCUSSION... A quiescent period for severe thunderstorms will begin on Friday (day 4) and continue through next Tuesday (day 8) as the large-scale upper-air pattern features [...]
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