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Three MARS Chiefs Push Integration:
Bill Sexton (N1IN)
April 19, 2013
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The three MARS chiefs inaugurated a new series of monthly telephone conferences Thursday to accelerate collaboration in the face of continuing concern for improving homeland defense.
During the session they reported progress on radio-only email, realignment of Army Winlink nodes, joint interoperability networks, and pending national-level joint exercises. Navy-Marine Corps MARS Chief Bo Lindfors and Army MARS Program Officer Paul English will discuss the leaders’ progress during the Military Auxiliary Radio System forum at the Dayton Hamvention Saturday May 18.
On the critical issue of joint operations during actual incidents, the Chiefs held preliminary discussions on improving coordination between the three branches to pool resources and minimize duplication. All agreed that initial coordination is critical at the local level but additional resources and coordination at higher levels should be planned for. A suggestion the Army is developing is to have a central 24-7 watch officer number at the NETCOM headquarters serve as the entry point for calling up additional out of region resources and to activate, if needed, the Army MARS gateway station at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. to provide out of region reach-back and support for the affected area. This concept will continue to be discussed and developed in future meetings.
The Navy Chief presented the radio-only presentation for the email over radio capability. Initial limited use testing indicates this capability is working very effectively. Expanded nation-wide testing including the use of Army RMS's is scheduled for the June-July timeframe. Army MARS Chief of Operations is soliciting Army RMS operators who desire to participate in this testing.
The Army Chief presented an update on the frequency realignment of the Army RMS' with 15 of 17 CONUS RMS now complete. The remaining two RMS' will be worked once new frequency authorizations are received from the Army Frequency Management Office. The Army Chief reaffirmed the fact that the Army RMS frequency reassignment in no way inhibits joint interoperability. Each services' RMS will be able to move to another service frequency to pass traffic just as is done with other net operations. The Chiefs also discussed the Joint Interoperability nets that are occurring and all agreed that they would like to see more of this type of initiative throughout the US.
The Chiefs discussed possible mission support for a theater level and National Agency exercise later this summer. These exercises will require MARS to move simulated humanitarian assistance/disaster relief message traffic from the region to Washington. Preliminary staff discussions for the first exercise will begin next week in theater. These exercises will require the support and coordination among all three branches of MARS. Finally, the Chiefs discussed possible Joint MARS representation at the July 2014 Amateur Radio Relay League centennial celebration. Further coordination will be discussed as the centennial celebration activities are announced.
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Three MARS Chiefs Push Integration:
by KG4RUL on April 20, 2013
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The ONLY way I see MARS surviving is to scrap the three chief concept and have one command structure.
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