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RE: Military on HAM freqs

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org]On
> Behalf Of Jon Ogden
> Sent: Monday, July 30, 2001 3:48 AM
> To: Jim Sanford; kd9kc@elp.rr.com
> Cc: 'Bob Bruninga'; amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org; Chas Richard
> Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Military on HAM freqs
> Jim,
> I can't say that I helped since I wasn't on the air at that 
> time, but it is great how many hams helped out.
> I just had a question and yes this is WAY off topic from 
> satellites, but I wonder if anyone is doing similar traffic 
> for all of our troops stationed in the Balkans, etc. or has 
> the more "modern" and commercial means of communication 
> supplanted the work that hams and MARS have done?

Morning Jon,

	I am a member of MARS, although rather inactive, only
doing the minimum to maintain membership.  I do not represent
any official MARS office.  This is my opinion only.

Many of the older MARS members, the ones that remember what 
the "M" in MARS stands for, are ready to help if called.  Having
said that, here is the real deal as I see it.

The "M" in MARS no longer stands for Military.  The mission of 
MARS is now supporting FEMA, NDMS, DOMS, and a few other federal
agencies.  In fact, there used to be 4 levels of message priority.
Flash, Immediate, Priority, and Routine.  MARS messages supporting
soldiers used Routine, and sometimes Priority if time was an issue.
Just for the support of the soldiers, they made a new level of
message, MARSGRAM.  All soldier traffic will be listed as MARSGRAM
priority.  Oh, BTW, it is LOWER than all the others.  So much for
supporting the soldiers.  We do however have a lot of other jobs
"on paper" in order to justify some paid duty positions, IMHO.

I hesitate to resign, with nearly 25 years of MARS service, virtually
my entire active-duty career.  I worked as a volunteer at the MARS
station in Wurzburg, Germany in my off duty time in 1976-78.  I had to 
hitch-hike to and from.  At the end of my career, I re-assembled and 
ran the MARS station at Ft. Bliss.  After I retired, it ran over two years
in automatic mode before a lightening strike took it out.  I am
currently the state tech coordinator, and the tube bank custodian.
If they ever took the tube bank from me, I would resign.

Bottom line, MARS today is not the system I joined in 1978.  I
hope we can pull it together should we ever be needed again.
It isn't the soldiers fault, they deserve our support.  For now,
they use internet connections and DOD satellite bandwidth.  I
believe that if a real war broke out, there isn't enough bandwidth
to support the need.  Again, just my opinion.  YMMV.

Vy73,  Mike.   KD9KC   

My E-mail address: mailto:kd9kc@elp.rr.com
Ham Radio page: http://www.qsl.net/kd9kc/
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"No law ever written has stopped any robber, rapist 
or killer, like cold blue steel in the hands of their last 
intended victim."  
- W. Emerson Wright.

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