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Author Topic: Should I join?  (Read 95254 times)
N4ZAW
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Posts: 84


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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2013, 08:49:44 PM »

OK I understand some of this but if we have a solar storm or an EMP happen, the military is a step ahead of any of us unless we have hardened equipment, right?


I would think (without knowing for sure) that ALL of it is fair game, given a high enough direct-whack from a huge flare, even some of the old hybrid classics like the Kenwood 520 and the Yaesu 101 would be rendered scrap metal. I'm sure the gubment has a pallet or two of mil spec, late model communications gear under under Cheyanne Mountian or somewhere. Certainly, one or two of my FT-840's would likely be casualties if the whack is big enough, even tho my shop and my radio room both have the makeshift electrical equivalent to faraday cages around them and my diagnostic gear. And still, this whole scenario may be incomplete.
"Prepare for the worse, and pray for the best". I also stored static-sensitive repair components like schottkey diodes, FET's mosfets and CPU's inside ammo boxes in my grounded metal shed, and THEY may not even totally survive.. But talk about post-apocalyptic "currency", those that do are would be worth more than gold in the right hands --- say, that of AF MARS, or the surviving remnant of "The Resistance". Or In such a scenario, would I no longer be a utility inspector, but a bench tech and radio operator for the resistance? Would I be trading my skills and components for bread? And a massive EMP is but one of many possibilities that have the potential to plunge civilization into dark ages or anarchy.
 Rouge nations, our own rouge regimes, meteors, super volcanoes -- zombies?  Tongue
My point is that we cannot ever prepare for everything, but we can do what we have time and money to, and meet grubby times head-on. I will always do what I can do, and question myself if what I actually accomplished with my prep is adequate, or not... Right now, you're kicking that same question around in your head, i'll wager.

IMHO, in addition to MARS service and traffic handling, every ham should learn CW, packet, and as many other modes as possible, because they are all forms of encryption against untrained reception,while insuring some level of error-correction. The "Codetalkers" of WWII are a prime example. and you know we are not to use "encryption" according the fcc, right?
WHY? Because they need to be able to intercept communications and comprehend them. After all, "We the people" are all potential "terrorists" in their eyes. Given the right doomsday scenario, our own gubment might actually be our nemesis! Are preparation efforts a matter of life-n-death?
Well -- not at the moment.






 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 09:36:02 PM by N4ZAW » Logged
KC8YHN
Member

Posts: 30




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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2013, 05:59:23 PM »

...

My point is that we cannot ever prepare for everything, but we can do what we have time and money to, and meet grubby times head-on. I will always do what I can do, and question myself if what I actually accomplished with my prep is adequate, or not... Right now, you're kicking that same question around in your head, i'll wager.

IMHO, in addition to MARS service and traffic handling, every ham should learn CW, packet, and as many other modes as possible, because they are all forms of encryption against untrained reception,while insuring some level of error-correction. The "Codetalkers" of WWII are a prime example. and you know we are not to use "encryption" according the fcc, right?
WHY? Because they need to be able to intercept communications and comprehend them. After all, "We the people" are all potential "terrorists" in their eyes. Given the right doomsday scenario, our own gubment might actually be our nemesis! Are preparation efforts a matter of life-n-death?
Well -- not at the moment.

OK I got that much, and more Smiley but see here is what I'm sitting here wondering about the time getting involved with MARS is worth the effort to learn message handling or would this lead up to something a bit more say if I would be activated to do more under stressful conditions like a disaster. Don't get me wrong, I am one a few who want to better our skills but wonder if those skills would be limited for use beyond MARS.

I mean that it looks as if there is a diminishing value to the Armed forces, some confusion involved with a stated clear mission or the use of it for what is considered normal communications which didn't exist when it was established.

Maybe I'm reading too much negative information from those who seem to find fault with the program and/or some people within it, or maybe I don't hear what is actually done but I question the use of it at times of disaster like an EMP or solar flare where the military would not even consider the use of a civilian communications strategy unless there is an absolute need for it but more importantly if the capability of the civilian group being able to communicate at all would be a consideration. 
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KF7VXA
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Posts: 460




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« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2013, 07:11:36 PM »

Another thing Mars offers is a great deal of bandwidth should it be needed, much more than the amateur bands.
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NX5MK
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Posts: 65




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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2013, 02:51:03 PM »

KC8YHN,

Please look here for example:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Auxiliary_Radio_System#Missions
for what the MARS mission is. Take your favorite search engine and look for other websites on the topic, they will all give you the same info. Don't see why there can be any confusion about the current mission of the service.

Same goes for the misconception that the MARS service would not be used during civil emergencies. See this text excerpt for example:
http://marsradiowatch.com/army.php
"During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Fort Huachuca MARS Station relayed messages that could not be passed in the affected area because the communications infrastructure was destroyed."

There are so many ways in which you can build a stronger community, be it through MARS, CERT, ARES, Red Cross, Salvation Army, you name it. Search them out, get to know them and join them if they seem receptive to what you have to offer. Yes, I've seen my fair share of those in "leadership" positions in a service who are guided more by their ego than by their will to follow The Amateur Code. I am sure your efforts will support your family, friends and community in general. Don't be put off by naysayers or those who want to stop you doing the right thing, that's just QRM. Illegitimi non carborundum.

Wish you fun in whatever you will choose. I am sure you will find it rewarding.

73 de Marcus
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AB4O
Member

Posts: 34




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« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2013, 04:00:21 PM »

Greg,
I guess the easiest thing for you to do really see how you feel about would be to join. There is a 90 day trial period (at least in Navy Mars) where you can see if it is something you want to do. There are ample training opportunities available to improve your operating skill. If you decide it's not what you want or they decide they do not want your services no harm no foul. At least you gave it a try. Just my two cents.
John
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N9AOP
Member

Posts: 159




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« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2013, 07:55:41 PM »

The easiest way I can 'splain it to you is that MARS members train and exercise on a regular basis for an event that we hope will never happen.  You are more than welcome to join and see how you like it. 
Art--army MARS
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WA1OEZ
Member

Posts: 10




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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2013, 09:41:05 AM »

If you want an idea of how MARS currently relates to the military, this is from
the army.mil website.

http://www.army.mil/article/117034/Army_s_Military_Auxiliary_Radio_System_still_relevant_in_Internet_age/

Bob
Army MARS
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AD7VV
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2014, 11:35:19 AM »

How does one go about joining MARS? I live near an Army base, I am an Army vet, a Chief Warrant Officer ... so this would be my first choice in affiliation .... thanks.
Mike AD7VV
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AFA6MD
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2014, 11:14:51 PM »

http://usamars.us/rgn10/

Please email the Director, link is on above linked webpage. Should the addresses be incorrect, please post back to this forum and I'll make inquiries.

Wish you fun! I'm having the best time ever!

73 de AFA6MD
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NA4IT
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Posts: 893


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« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2014, 04:46:05 AM »

Was in Army MARS, left because of the seemingly non stop politics of the higher ups.

Also, was irritated that they decided to just hand out served agency licenses and allow non trained folks to operate, when the rest of us had to do the basic training and meet the on air requirements.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2014, 04:52:12 AM by NA4IT » Logged
KH6DC
Member

Posts: 666




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« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2014, 02:47:57 PM »

Hurricane Ana was bearing down on Hawaii last weekend, Skywarn Net activated, Civil Defense Net activated and like the previous Hurricane Iselle back in August, MARS nowhere to be found.  Not sure why, does word have to come from the Command to activate or support a net?  So far as it appears, value added? The answer is NO.
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
W1MSG
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Posts: 111


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« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2014, 05:12:57 PM »

I joined Army MARS while I was still on Active Duty. I couldn't meet the on air requirements because it was tailored for the retired folks at times I could never meet. I got all the FEMA Certs and did all the other required training. But it really serves no purpose in todays Military. Anyone who thinks it can fill in for the communication needs of the Army just isn't aware of how advanced the Military communication gear is.  I was sitting in my Truck in Mosul Iraq, 2007, having a text chat with an AH-64 Pilot at Ft Riley Kansas using a BFT ( Blue Force Tracker ). We still had all our secure radio gear as well. I am sure it has gotten even better since I retired in 2011. As far as being activated, well you might be but you probably wont even have to leave the comfort of your shack. Now for all the Katrina Flag Raisers, well I was there. Boots on the ground so to speak, we had no problems communicating with the TOC. They may have been used for reporting occupancy levels at shelters but thats about it.
If a MARS operator ever got on one of our Military nets we wouldn't know what they were talking about thats how antiquated the MARS operating procedures are.

Just my 2 cents worth, not that its even worth that ...
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AFA6MD
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2014, 08:14:38 PM »

Was in Army MARS, left because of the seemingly non stop politics of the higher ups.

Also, was irritated that they decided to just hand out served agency licenses and allow non trained folks to operate, when the rest of us had to do the basic training and meet the on air requirements.

Indeed, it is your right to stop serving MARS for your own personal reasons. I can only attest that I've found the best and most dedicated Elmers in MARS.
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AFA6MD
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2014, 08:21:13 PM »

Hurricane Ana was bearing down on Hawaii last weekend, Skywarn Net activated, Civil Defense Net activated and like the previous Hurricane Iselle back in August, MARS nowhere to be found.  Not sure why, does word have to come from the Command to activate or support a net?  So far as it appears, value added? The answer is NO.

So MARS did not fill the roster of your net. Maybe complains are in order with the 99% of all Hams who don't serve any net?
I've seen a lot of self proclaimed Emcomm guys, but none of them are as dedicated as the MARS members I've met, none of them are as progressive with knowledge abreast of science and operation beyond reproach. Shame we can't clone us to be everywhere Wink
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AFA6MD
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2014, 08:33:54 PM »

I joined Army MARS while I was still on Active Duty. I couldn't meet the on air requirements because it was tailored for the retired folks at times I could never meet. I got all the FEMA Certs and did all the other required training. But it really serves no purpose in todays Military. Anyone who thinks it can fill in for the communication needs of the Army just isn't aware of how advanced the Military communication gear is.  I was sitting in my Truck in Mosul Iraq, 2007, having a text chat with an AH-64 Pilot at Ft Riley Kansas using a BFT ( Blue Force Tracker ). We still had all our secure radio gear as well. I am sure it has gotten even better since I retired in 2011. As far as being activated, well you might be but you probably wont even have to leave the comfort of your shack. Now for all the Katrina Flag Raisers, well I was there. Boots on the ground so to speak, we had no problems communicating with the TOC. They may have been used for reporting occupancy levels at shelters but thats about it.
If a MARS operator ever got on one of our Military nets we wouldn't know what they were talking about thats how antiquated the MARS operating procedures are.

Just my 2 cents worth, not that its even worth that ...

Dear OM, I regret you did not find the time to participate and thank you for the service to our country at a very hostile location. I do not know in which region or which service you tried to serve MARS in, but mine has nets in the AM and PM daily and even though I am decades away from retirement, I am able to carve out the time to have sufficient on air practice, even with my young kids at home.
Thank goodness that MARS members don't have the mission to call in air strikes or similar! For that, I would hope there are dedicated full time soldiers who are trained non stop on their task. We here in MARS naturally have a different mission and fulfil our role with professionalism, in accordance with The Amateur's Code. That more than explains why there are different procedures. You may think they are antiquated, but still light years ahead of the general Amateur Radio community.
Consider it this way: Driving a BMW instead of a Lamborghini is not a shame! When the government is able to afford and run the Lambo, good for them (and us)! But no need to turn a cold shoulder on the BMW Wink

I invite you to reconsider serving in MARS, if you feel you can spare enough time from your job and family requirements.
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