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Space men from MARS or allies in the war on terrorism? A brief history of the Military Affiliate Radio System.

Realizing the need for advanced technical training and radio research, CPT Thomas C. Rives initiated the Army Amateur Radio System in 1925. Despite a brief suspension of activity during World War II and subsequent reactivation in 1946, the Military Affiliate Radio System, as it is now named, has grown tremendously. The Navy and Air Force have also established their own MARS, ensuring connectivity among the services.

Not many people are aware of the importance of MARS. This unique organization's mission is to provide emergency communication on a national, state and local level during any natural disaster, terrorist attack or simply when there's no electricity and the phone lines don't work. During such events, the MARS staff is able to communicate via high frequency radios networked by volunteers throughout the world. These volunteers dedicate thousands of hours to the cause yearly, and are essential to the MARS mission.

During Grecian Firebolt 2004, some of the MARS simulations helped gauge the efficiency of this volunteer network throughout the United States, as well as in Europe and parts of the Middle East.


AARS--Army Amateur Radio System

CNN--Cable News Network


DNVT--Digital Non-secure Voice Terminal

EEI--Essential Elements of Information

FM--frequency modulation

GIG--Global Information Grid

IP--Internet Protocol

MARS--Military Affiliate Radio

NETCOM--Network Enterprise Technology Command

NETCOM--Network Command

SINCGARS--Single Channel Ground-Air Radio System

SWAN--SINCGARS Wide Area Network project

TSC--Theater Signal Command

VHF--very high frequency

VOIP--Voice-over-Internet Protocol

U.S.--United States

SPC Lira is with the Army Reserve 820th Signal Company out of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. This company provided "cable dog" power at Fort Meade during Grecian Firebolt 2004.
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Author:Lira, Isabel
Publication:Army Communicator
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2004
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