I have been one of the biggest critics of the three DoD MARS services in recent years. My advice in MT editorials back in the day was to combine the three MARS services or die. After a high level GAO investigation of the Army MARS program, it was determined that they needed to make changes or else. On paper the Army MARS did what they needed to do to stay alive, but the bottom line is this -- MARS is still is a relict of the Cold War and they aren't really fulfilling their basic missions. Morph them into other things but other things are also competing for the same HS bucks.
I still contend that in the current operational environment there is no real mission that they (MARS) has that warrants supporting three separate MARS services and their waste and abuse of precious radio spectrum frequencies. If I hear one more MARS net taking about their latest ailments or how the tomato plants in their gardens are doing, blood will shoot out my eyeballs. For you fools on these nets who love to ragchew, leave that for the ham bands, not on HF government freqs. You have a job to do and discussing your latest aches and pains is not one of them.
So thanks to NNWC, we finally have some sanity is being exhibited by one of the military services. Of course, the real sad truth is this is all a result of the current administration and their DoD budget cutting axe that has really caused this issue. As a friend of mine says, "hope you are happy with the choices you made last November because elections do have consequences."
My suggestion to the remaining two MARS services -- combine or risk the same end as the Navy-MC MARS program.
Now, if I could only get the Feds to take a look at the biggest waste of the taxpayer dollar in the HF radio spectrum -- the SHARES HF radio program -- then I will really be a happy camper.
DE NNN0ASA 040
R 162200Z MAY 2009
FM CHNAVMARCORMARS WILLIAMSBURG VA
INFO ZEN/CHIEF ARMY MARS FT HUACHUCA AZ
ZEN/CHIEF AIR FORCE MARS SCOTT AFB IL
SUBJ: CHNAVMARCORMARS BCST 03-09
A. DOD DIRECTIVE 4650.2 DTD 26 JAN 1998
B. DOD INSTRUCTION 4650.02 (PROPOSED) NOTAL
1. COMMANDER, NAVAL NETWORK WARFARE COMMAND (NNWC) HAS DECIDED TO 'SUNSET' THE MARS MISSION WITHIN NAVY AS OF 30 SEP 2009. NNWC HAS REQUESTED ALL MILITARY BILLETS AND MY CIVILIAN POSITION BE DELETED AND UNFUNDED AFTER THAT DATE. OPNAV HAS NOT YET APPROVED THIS REQUEST.
2. ALL THREE MARS SERVICES HAVE OPERATED UNDER THE MANDATE OF REF A, WHICH IS STILL VALID. REF B IS A PROPOSED UPDATE TO REF A AND IS IN THE PROCESS OF BEING COORDINATED BETWEEN DOD AND THE THREE SERVICES. REF B INCREASES THE SERVICES REQUIREMENT TO SUPPORT THE MARS PROGRAMS WITHIN THEIR SERVICE. ARMY AND AIR FORCE HAVE AGREED TO THE CHANGES BUT NAVY (OPNAV) HAS ASKED TO BE LET OUT OF THIS REQUIREMENT. THIS NEGOTIATION IS STILL IN PROCESS AND WE DO NOT KNOW WHEN IT WILL BE
3. AS A CONSEQUENCE OF NNWC DECISION TO 'SUNSET' THE MARS MISSION, I AM FORCED TO INITIATE ACTION TO CLOSE DOWN NAVY-MARINE CORPS OPERATIONS AND FACILITIES BY 30 SEP 2009. ACCORDINGLY:
A. AREA DIRECTORS WILL TRANSFER ALL MEMBERSHIP RECORDS TO HQ NLT THAN 31 JUL 2009. WHEN RECORDS HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED, STATE DIRECTORS WILL SEND ALL MEMBERSHIP RELATED MATTERS DIRECTLY TO CHNAVMARCORMARS VICE THE AREA DIRECTOR.
B. AREA DIRECTORS WILL CLOSE DOWN THEIR OFFICES AND TURN IN ALL EQUIPMENT TO DRMO NOT LATER THAN 30 SEP 2009.
C. NONE OF THE EQUIPMENT AT THE AREA DIRECTORS STATIONS WILL BE ALLOWED TO BE TRANSFERRED TO ANY MEMBERS. THE EQUIPMENT MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO OTHER OFFICIAL NAVY ORGANIZATIONS (LIKE MWR OR SPECIAL SERVICES) TO HELP EQUIP OR START UP MILITARY RECREATION STATIONS. THESE TRANSFERS WILL BE APPROVED BY HQ ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS.
4. IF NAVY'S REQUEST TO BE DELETED FROM REF B IS NOT APPROVED, THERE WILL BE A NAVY-MARINE CORPS MARS PROGRAM BUT IT WILL NOT HAVE AREA DIRECTORS (THEY WILL HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED). ALL MEMBERSHIP CORRESPONDENCE WILL BE HANDLED BETWEEN THE STATE DIRECTOR AND CHIEF, NAVMARCORMARS DIRECTLY. AREA DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND AREA STAFF POSITIONS WILL BE RETAINED TO COORDINATE FREQUENCY MATTERS, TRAINING, ETC.. ALL OPERATIONAL MATTERS WILL BE HANDLED BY STATE AND REGION DIRECTORS.
5. I WILL INFORM YOU AS SOON AS I FIND OUT THE FINAL RESOLUTION OF NAVY'S REQUEST TO 'SUNSET' NAVY-MARINE CORPS MARS.
I will have further updates as they are available
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