Is MARS dead?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W1SRR, May 16, 2018 at 3:32 PM.

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  1. W1SRR

    W1SRR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    With the hurricane season starting soon and having local troops deploying overseas I have tried to apply for MARS but I get no response at all from the AF or Army MARS coordinators. I am already in my local CERT but wanted to also be able to help troops get in contact with family if at all possible.
     
  2. N2SUB

    N2SUB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's not dead. The MARS mission has changed slightly, and it's primary purpose is moving Government traffic in the event of a Denial of Service attack on the internet. There are plans for response to local disasters, but not like they used to have. Third party traffic is rare, and the year I spent in MARS (after a break of nearly 20 years) was an eye opener. It's all about encryption and proprietary digital modes now. The voice portion is just the check-in. They had allowed over-the-air comments and training but that stopped, and we were not even allowed to say "thank you" during formal conversations. I enjoyed being a part of MARS, and their mission is worthwhile, but staying on top of the advancements in the digital modes and encryption keys, and never really getting to know the boys you're talking became a burden rather than fun, and when my job called on me for extra hours, it was time to retire.

    But to answer your question, MARS is not dead, it's just taken a lower profile. If you've got the time to commit, it is certainly a worthwhie program to get involved in. I would try to reconnect with your state coordinator. Sometimes their inbox is so full they miss things. Good luck.
     
    N9CAV, K9ASE, AG5DB and 1 other person like this.
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's interesting. I hadn't heard that. If you have a link handy to a discussion of the details, I would be interested in reading up. If you don't, I'll go consult Google. :cool:
     
  4. N2SUB

    N2SUB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've probably said too much already. ;) None of their documents are supposed to be online, although it's possible you might find something. OPSEC is extremely important. If you're interested, the best thing to do is to email your state coordinator....I can probably help you find out who that is.
     
  5. W1SRR

    W1SRR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    N2SUB, thank you for the response. I have re-submitted my AMARS application, I will try once more. Thanks again

    Mike
     
    N2SUB likes this.
  6. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I understand.

    That does seem to be inconsistent with recruiting, tho. Maybe they have enough people already? By invitation only?

    Interesting.
     
    W1SRR likes this.
  7. N2SUB

    N2SUB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Really? I'm surprised by that. You are in a different region than I am, but the mission is still the same. How long ago did you talk to a recruiter?
     
  8. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I haven't. It just seemed interesting to me that information about the mission of the service is secret. That doesn't seem to be helpful for recruiting.
     
  9. N2SUB

    N2SUB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, I misspoke. ARMY MARS is very tight-lipped, but AIR FORCE MARS doesn't mind sharing. :)

    http://www.mars.af.mil/

    Imagine that.
     
    AG5DB, W1SRR and KK5JY like this.
  10. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have to say, that's one of the better-written mission statements I have seen in a very long time.
     
    N2SUB likes this.

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