US Army to conduct exercise that will simulate nationwide power outage scenario

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FORT HUACHUCA, Arizona — The U.S. Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM) will conduct a quarterly interoperability communications exercise from November 4 to 6, calling on Military Auxiliary Radio System operators around the country to participate.

The exercise will simulate a power-outage scenario; it will not impact any public or private communications. There will be no power outages of communications systems. This exercise is designed to improve readiness, build cooperation and public awareness, and better prepare to defend the nation.

The Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS), which is part of NETCOM, conducts interoperability communications exercises on a regular basis and has been doing so since 2013. Interoperability exercises are designed to test communications links between the Army, Department of Defense, and the hundreds of trained volunteers who provide this critical service as MARS members. This community helps provide redundant communications capability in the event of a large-scale power or communications outage, as well as emergency reporting information about local conditions across the country on a rapid scale.

These exercises are scheduled at least a year in advance to maximize training opportunities and enhance the proficiency and readiness of MARS members and organizations they support. MARS operators’ primary mission during these quarterly exercises is to serve as liaisons between supported organizations, emergency responders and the amateur radio community.