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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, k7bum.mike@gmail.com.

MARS INVITES ARES/RACES PARTICIPATION IN
CORONAL MASS EJECTION DISASTER EXERCISE: ( Message pdf-icon)

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.

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“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.

Thu, May 23, 2019
Day 4-8 Outlook Image
Day 4-8 Outlook Day 4-8 Convective Outlook NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 0400 AM CDT Thu May 23 2019 Valid 261200Z - 311200Z ...DISCUSSION... Weather pattern should remain active most of the 4-8 period. The general model consensus is that a large synoptic trough will persist over the western [...]
Source: Storm Prediction Center Outlook
Wed, May 22, 2019
Day 1 Outlook Image
SPC 2000Z Day 1 Outlook Day 1 Convective Outlook NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK 0243 PM CDT Wed May 22 2019 Valid 222000Z - 231200Z ...THERE IS A MODERATE RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS FROM NORTHEAST OK INTO CENTRAL MO... ...SUMMARY... Severe thunderstorms are forecast this afternoon into evening from Oklahoma [...]
Source: Storm Prediction Center Outlook
Mon, May 20, 2019
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Donald J. Trump's disaster declaration issued for the state of California.Assistance for State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required: [...]
Source: FEMA Region IX News (includes Arizona)
Mon, May 20, 2019
WASHINGTON – FEMA announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of California to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides on Feb. 24 to March 1, 2019. [...]
Source: FEMA Region IX News (includes Arizona)