Military experts say radio amateurs "highly knowledgeable asset in HF communication"

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by W0PV, Oct 11, 2020.

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  1. N1IPU

    N1IPU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think the point is we haven't suffered a real global conflict in our lifetimes. We forget. Reliance in satellites and other tech is not a smart move. Even now as I write this there is 2800kg of mass aiming for each other 991 km above us.

    That is the sweet spot for LEO's So a catastrophe is more than possible these days. We cannot disregard x-class solar storms either as we haven't been tested in any meaningful way since the satellite age started. Just think about how easily we will be affected if we lose a small percentage of GPS satellites. The majority of communications, banking and transportation relies on the timing from these satellites. I forgot who said it but it was something to the effect that ww4 would be fought with sticks and stones. So it will be up to us hams to communicate it these these situations. You should have one set of equipment stored in EMP proof enclosures. That would protect it in a Carrington style event also. It will never happen till it does and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
    It's good to see the Military is discussing this.
    K8PG, WQ4G and K0UO like this.
  2. N2HUN

    N2HUN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm ready to re-enlist but not sure they'll take me at age 69 hihi.
    WQ4G, AJ6KZ, KJ7WT and 4 others like this.
  3. WQ2H

    WQ2H QRZ Lifetime Member #214 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Well, strange comment - but I do get it from the software side. The latest encryption and M110A software data modem, used by the MARS bunch anyway, is so complicated and "updated" so frequently these days that if you're even a few months behind in revisions - you may be a 'useless asset' (to them anyway).

    Realistically, on a truly "bad day" - I'm guessing anything to get a message through will suffice, whether the latest encrypted wide band fast transmission or a measly 8-FSK signal in the clear.
  4. AA1PR

    AA1PR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Im sorry but the amateur radio pool is no longer a trained viable option

    most dont know common propagation theory let alone basic operation skills

    when I was in army mars it felt like all we did was copy messages

    only once did someone provide a phone patch

    maybe keeping hams in the ready is a fail safe if SHTF
    WA5VGO and WA6Q like this.
  5. KQ1V

    KQ1V Ham Member QRZ Page

    ... once again, veterans, hams, and MARS... it's a winning combination!

    When you join MARS, do they give you a Hi-Viz Vest?! Or issue a KY-75 Parkhill??
    N2HUN likes this.
  6. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    An example from the observed majority (unfortunately) of current ARS operation - FT8 received today is not compatible with nor will decode in WSJT-X prior to its release 2 :p
    Just to clarify, the first paper of the OP does not describe an event that would include "big EMP", but a very possible regional conflict between opposing superpowers using modern conventional weapons that may likely include sophisticated denial of broadband communications without resorting to WMD (hopefully).
    Precisely. See last comment below.
    The OP second paper specifically describes "The Bandwidth Addiction" trap, and the need to not only provide an alternative fallback communications means like HF, but most importantly also to restore and maintain fallback combat and administrative PROCESSES that need that communication so they still can adequately work if information flow is constricted.
    It looks like past efforts like yours may have finally gained some traction as Majors, Colonels and even Brig Generals are now putting those ideas and their names on papers published at high levels.
    However, IMO, it would foolish to assume the same being true of radio amateurs within potential adversaries.

    I think many reading this thread are not understanding that the biggest role the ARS / MARS can provide to the DoD is assistance in TRAINING as their force constantly churns and turns over. Sure, not all hams are qualified, but the kernel of knowledge about how to do HF is still within our ranks, always was, and will be.

    My purpose for posting this thread was to inform newcomers or members of the radio amateur community feeling stagnant of other opportunities to participate in and contribute. MARS membership is NOT automatic, there are qualfications. It has structure above and beyound Part 97 operation. It's not for everbody either.

    However, I feel there is a under explored natural fit between MARS and many of the growing popular activities today that integrate ham radio, ie, PREPPERS, HF Packers, LandOps off-roaders, POTA/SOTA/IOTA chasers, ARDF Foxhunters, etc.

    Many TECHS with HT's on the shelf might get further involved, upgrade, get HF capability, if properly informed of MARS / CAP opportunities.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
    NW7US and WQ4G like this.
  7. KA1VF

    KA1VF Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. KA1VF

    KA1VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is ancient history now, but still a lingering nightmare for those of us who were U.S. Navy MARS members.
    What was the real reason that U.S. Navy MARS was defunded and disbanded on October 1, 2015?
    Why was it singled out as the only leg of the "Tri-Service" MARS branches to get "Sequestered"?
  9. WQ2H

    WQ2H QRZ Lifetime Member #214 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    With the questionable cooperation between the two groups, and the habitual conversation about merging AF and A - I suspect this is a long morphing process into one organization.
  10. W8SFC

    W8SFC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I believe they are referring to the HF NVIS capability on the battlefield, (military equipment deployed and in use is vulnerable to failure as is the power generation capability - think battle damage and the ever popular EMP). You have to remember what environment they are working in, and in today's battle conditions military radio is a target for all manner of weapons and attacks. With the advent of digital mode popularity, imagine what happens if your computer rolls over and plays dead. It would be somewhat difficult to operate in that scenario, and if all your communications are RF oriented it is even easier to disrupt them by use of an intentional wideband QRM system, so it is not that unimaginable that stations under that kind of circumstance could be considered failing - as in rendered incapable of producing readable signals. Of course, the weapons besides RF can include anything from small arms to directed energy so causing NVIS HF to go offline is the first objective in a military sense. It just isn't how most people in amateur radio think about radio, so I can understand your questioning of his statement, but this is a military source of information. Being formerly associated with ASA and a Vietnam era veteran I think this is what he meant.
    AJ6KZ likes this.

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