Army MARS Chief's 1st Annual Report:
Bill Sexton (N1IN)
March 26, 2013
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Winding up his first
command of Army MARS, Chief Stephen Klinefelter
thanked the members for “your efforts and sacrifice” and cited their
accomplishments including preparedness and response during hurricane Sandy,
establishment of the new National Operations Net, and
a new cross-border
relationship with Canada’s equivalent organization of hams.
Klinefelter reported significant changes in headquarters
personnel, long-range planning for an adding a gateway station on the East Coast
and enlarging the antenna resources at the Fort Huachuca MARS station. He also
outlined the first step in a possible program for establishing MARS club
stations in connection with Junior ROTC units.
message on “The State of Army MARS” is dated March 21, just three weeks short=
of Klinefelter’s first anniversary as Chief.
Excerpts from the 1,500-word message:
It is my pleasure to announce that the overall state of
the Army MARS program is strong. I
to start by offering my heart-felt “thank you” to you - the volunteers who
Army MARS what it is today. Without your
continuing efforts, the Army MARS program would not exist - leaving a
significant gap in the nation’s contingency communications plan.
Your efforts and sacrifice do not go un-noticed. On several occasions, I’ve had the opportunity
to share some of your significant contributions with the NETCOM Commanding
General, Major General [Alan] Lynn including your preparedness and response
during the recent super-storm Sandy as well as the significant participation in
the multi-agency exercise called RADAR-2.
understands the value and benefit of HF radio from his time spent as the Signal
Officer with the United States Pacific Command. Keep up the good work and keep
sending in your lessons learned so we all can benefit from the good work being
done throughout Army MARS.
I am very excited
about the success of the national W0O net This
is spear-headed by Bob Mims, AAA1RD and he has developed a proficient pool =
Relay Stations for the east, central, and west areas.
There is a
happening with Army MARS at headquarters.
We successfully hired a full-time Program Officer, Paul English, who
based out of central Texas. I have
charged Paul with assisting me in handling the day-to-day MARS policy issues
and work in conjunction with David McGinnis who handles the day-to-day
operational issues. We are also in the
process of changing out the MARS Gateway contracting officer
representative. [NETCOM’s] Eddie
Collins, who is a Ham, is assuming this role; Eddie brings extensive background
in RF transmission systems and spectrum management.
We are investigating the possibility of expanding the MARS Gateway antenna farm here
at Fort Huachuca. The current antenna
farm used by the gateway is too small given the number of antenna systems we
have in place and operational.
significant initiative I am pursuing is the re-establishment of an eastern
gateway. Given the new emphasis on our
Defense Support to Civil Authorities, I am looking at possible locations and
organizations that would be willing to establish and operate an eastern
We have been in
discussion with the Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System leadership and with
the outstanding work of both the US and Canadian governments, we now have
approved HF frequencies available to conduct US-Canadian HF radio training =
initiative I am very excited about is our pilot program with the local Buena
High School Junior ROTC program here at Sierra Vista, AZ. I want this pilot
program be the model that we can then implement at other high schools across
renewed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Transportation Security
Administration. TSA understands the
capability Army MARS provides and regularly exercises this capability. We are in the process of reviewing the other
Memorandums of Understanding that are in place with supported agencies.
I have been asked
the question, “Will sequestration have any effect on Army MARS?” The only effect has been that we can’t travel
and that Paul, Eddie, and I will be taking some unpaid time off throughout =
year. We don’t expect any other effects
near-term or long-term.
I am continuing
to hear a number of concerns from the Region and State leadership about the
length of time it is taking to process applications for membership, issuing
licenses and ID cards. My goal is
significantly improve administrative processing time for all actions.
If you have other ideas or recommendations to
strengthen the program, I encourage you to bring those through your state and
region leadership for consideration at national headquarters.
In closing, it is my pleasure to serve
your Chief. I hope this update on
“State of Army MARS” is informative and shows you that we are continuing to
grow and strengthen the overall Army MARS program. Again, I thank you for what you continue to
do through your volunteer efforts. You,
the individual Army MARS member are the strength of the program. We are “Proud, Professional, and Ready”
because of your efforts.
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Army MARS Chief's 1st Annual Report:
by W6EM on March 30, 2013
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Very well said. Chief Klinefelter knows how to be an effective leader.