The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) will sponsor the traditional military/amateur radio communication tests to mark the 67th annual Armed Forces Day (AFD) on Saturday, May 12. Armed Forces Day is May 19, but the AFD Crossband Military-Amateur Radio event traditionally takes place 1 week earlier in order to avoid conflicting with Hamvention. Complete information, including military stations, modes, and frequencies, is available on theUS Army MARS website.
The annual celebration is a unique opportunity to test two-way communication between radio amateurs and military stations (authorized under §97.111 of the Amateur Service rules). It features traditional military-to-amateur crossband SSB voice, CW, practice using legacy interoperability waveforms, and the opportunity for participating hams to utilize more modern military modes, such as MIL-STD Serial PSK and Automatic Link Establishment (ALE). Military stations and Amateur Radio stations are authorized to communicate directly on certain 60-meter interoperability channels.
These tests give Amateur Radio operators and shortwave listeners (SWLs) a chance and a challenge to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly-controlled exercise scenario, and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio station. QSL cards will be available for stations successfully contacting participating military stations.
Military stations will transmit (USB, unless otherwise noted on the schedule) on selected military frequencies and will announce the specific amateur frequencies they are monitoring. MARS stressed that frequencies used for the test will not impact any public or private communications and will not stray outside the confines of the exercise.
An Armed Forces Day test message will be transmitted utilizing the Military Standard (MIL-STD) Serial PSK waveform (M110) followed by MIL-STD Wide Shift FSK (850 Hz RTTY), as described in MIL-STD 188-110A/B. Technical informationregarding these waveforms is available. The AFD test message will also be sent at 0300 UTC in CW.
Those who want a QSL should complete the request form on the MARS website.