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Author Topic: MARS patches for Active Duty Servicemembers in Afghanistan  (Read 22301 times)
WA2OLZ
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Posts: 64




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« on: April 27, 2012, 08:57:34 AM »

Many moons ago in the early 1960s I belonged to Army MARS and handled some phone patched for deployed military personnel. That, of course, was long before Al Gore invented the Internet and the coming of email, Skype and whatever else is out there today.

My nephew is now on his second deployment to A'stan. I've asked him about MARS access when he gets out of the field and back to the FOB or even a primary site, but just got a blank stare. Does MARS still run patches for deployed military or is that too 'old school'?
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WA1OEZ
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 03:57:39 AM »

Their are only one or two MARS units deployed into SW Asia.  They are passing digital message traffic into and out of the area but they are low powered portable stations that need digital relay through stations in Europe.  The days of the high powered, government sponsored "All Collins" phone patch station are long gone.

Bob Mims
WA1OEZ/AAT1BX
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WA2OLZ
Member

Posts: 64




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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 02:27:42 PM »

Thanks, Bob. I suspected I was past my prime! Too bad - it was a much appreciated service by the GIs
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KB4QAA
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Posts: 2491




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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 12:04:41 AM »

The GI's are able to buy phone cards and have access to phones!  For special occasions they can arrange video conferences via internet.   No need for phone patches!
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WA2OLZ
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Posts: 64




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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 05:09:47 AM »

The GI's are able to buy phone cards and have access to phones!  For special occasions they can arrange video conferences via Internet.   No need for phone patches!

That is truly amazing! It sure wasn't like that is SE Asia in the sixties. I'm glad their life, at least the communications, have improved.  One note, on my nephew's prior tour in the Sandbox (last year) the comms were not so good. He was at two FOBs, neither of which had phone or even email access except for official business. There was nothing at all, of course, when they were deployed from the FOB. We kept hearing stories of "the lines will be up next week" but it never happened. Lines? Really?  Things were much improved when they got back to the 'big base' at Kandahar to resupply. As much as some things in the military have changed, others are just as they were way back when!
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KA1VF
Member

Posts: 39




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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 07:30:32 AM »

I've been a MARS member since the first Gulf War, and all of the traditional
MARS activities (i.e. Phone patches, MARSgrams, Guarding tactical freq's)
came to a screeching halt during the Bosnian War. Why? Because that's
when the US Military switched over the bulk of their comm's from HF radio
links to Satellite radio links.

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