A SIGINT Opportunity

H/T NC Renegade:

NC Renegade- DOD Interoperability Exercise 12FEB16

Disclaimer- the guy narrating the embedded vid is a blathering idiot. He has little information, is jumping to ill-informed opinions, and lacks proper annunciation- in other words, your average tin foil moron. Never mind the fact that he did us all a favor through his insightful commentary, he also provided a solution to all of our signal problems. One wonders why we don’t just consult him for all the answers…

Be that as it may, the date and what .gov is doing IS important.

What’s actually happening is a MARS readiness exercise that’s fairly routine. What’s MARS? Military Auxiliary Radio System. In a nutshell, a system by which Amateur Radio Operators integrate with DOD and National Guard Units. They happen fairly often, and serve a small role in the Continuity of Government plan.

Now before anyone dives off into stupid land, understand that this is both voluntary for Amateur Radio operators and a good training opportunity for folks wishing to sharpen their communicator skills. MARS stations serve a variety of unclassified functions, but most often are for training for military communications units on the air. Had anyone with any sense listened or gained information before they shouted the sky was falling, they’d know that this was an exercise centered out west. And there happens to be a lot of military bases out west and desert rat hams.


That being said, it’s free to listen. And you should be listening. With your data book. Things to listen for is the type of traffic, urgency of the senders, and how well it seems to be working over the air(such as, effectiveness and efficiency of relays…)

With a little bit more careful attention paid to the details, we know this is a dual layered exercise- 2M Line of Sight(LOS) and HF. New Mexico has a statewide repeater linking system known as Mega-link. HF operations will be conducted on 40M-7.2365 and 80M-3.939, as per the article. Likely 40 will be active during the day, 80 during the night. Almost all MARS traffic is in USB. Keep an ear out for these as well. They’re in the Upper Side Band too.

 Great training opportunities are happening all around you, everyday. There’s no excuse not to be out there on it, always learning and getting better.

7 thoughts on “A SIGINT Opportunity

  1. mtnforge

    Has MARS evolved into a kind of a SALT Treaty of the Ham bands these days? You get to see mine if I get to see yours?

    1. No it hasn’t.

      It simply is what it is. And voluntary at that. Licensed operators have to first volunteer for it by signing up, then there’s some other steps, as per the usual .gov process.

      It’s not some secret squirril TEOTAWAKI doomsday stuff…it’s simply licensees using their equipment to provide auxillary relays if need be, for routine messages. They used to also provide autopatch functions for servicemen back before the advent of cell phones.

      1. Yeah, very understandable…I am too.

        But that’s why I’m posting this. Instead of folks like the guy in the linked video sounding like an idiot, they could actually get on the air and get some practice.

  2. mtnforge

    Being I’m only just getting into this, it strikes me as peculiar in this day and age of so much suspicion on the part of government, and its posture regarding the potential for “domestic terrorism”, that the .mil is not only broadcasting on 2m and HF bands in co-operation with said potential “DT’s”, but doing so in the open with no encryption.
    Maybe I’m missing something here? Not trying to look at it as a glass half empty thing, I’m truly perplexed about it and think it is somehow germane and very important to understand something here. I can see how in past times it would be a most patriotic act as a civilian ham band operator to be involved in a MARS event. Still should be by rights. Having said that, it seems like a contradiction in terms in todays atmosphere of suspicion and the wonton spying on the part of various intelligence gathering agencies of the federal government upon the civilian populace.
    Or am I reading to much into it and it is just what it is, and like you said, go for it and use it wisely?

    1. “.mil is not only broadcasting on 2m and HF bands”

      That’s NOT what is happening.

      It’s an interoperability exercise. And they happen often.

      The “point” of the post was two-fold.
      1. The chicken-little-sky-is-falling shit has got to stop.
      2. If it’s indeed true that somehow or another the allocated amateur radio bands end up being “militarized”(which it’s not-it can’t happen by international law…aside from the large numbers who simply wouldn’t cooperate) you’ll know it, because you followed wise folks’ advice and developed the capability to listen.

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