Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bizarre - DoD/Army MARS Exercise? What was this all about?

We certainly had some strange comms late yesterday afternoon and last evening EDT time on some US Army MARS frequencies. Both Jack Metcalfe in Kentucky and my MT colleague Hugh Stegman in California (via his twitter feed @UtilityWorld) reported what appears to be a high level DoD/Army MARS comm exercise.

There were three primary freqs reported:

Freq (Army MARS Designator passed)
14484.0 (KMC)
14487.0 (KME)
20994.0 (KSM)

I'm posting up each of their intercepts so that you can see what was heard.

14484.0 LOOKING GLASS in contact with 9 TANGO FOXTROT. 9TF passed exercise traffic to LOOKING GLASS. 9TF noted LOOKING GLASS would be "off station" in 11 mikes: 1953 USB Voice (29/MAR/2011) (JLM)

14484.0 9 UNIFORM SIERRA ALPHA calling TOP HAND & POKER FACE & raised POKER FACE for AAR8AY. AAR8AY holding traffic for STEP MOTHER. 9TF looking for a new frequency for direct contact with POKER FACE. Moved to 20994.0 USB (KSM) at 2028 UTC: 2019 USB voice (29/MAR/2011) (JLM)

14484.0 USB USAF exercise, unit w/ traffic for STEPMOTHER, others weak. ~2019, ongoing. (Hugh Stegman via Twitter)

14484.0 USB AAN6ELP 2026 clg Stepmother w/traffic. Then wkg ALPHA LIMA JULIET with IMMEDIATE grade msg coded in line format. (Hugh Stegman via Twitter)

14484.0 POKER FACE requesting phone patch, but 9TF not phone patch capable. Placed call & unid station confirmed he would be looking for POKER FACE on RF-17 at station CONCRETE. Also passed UHF MUX frequencies 325.4 & 344.4. 325.4 UHF WBFM just now active here: 2112 USB Voice (29/MAR/2011)(JLM)

14484.0 POKER FACE & 9TF in comms. 9TF passed 4 line message from AAN0BOI & POKER FACE said he would maintain this frequency as primary until he went off station. 325.4 UHF WBFM also still active here at this time.: 2138 USB Voice (29/MAR/2011)(JLM)

14487.0 TOP HAND receiving traffic from 9 TANGO CHARLIE. 9 TANGO FOXTROT suggested a move back to primary frequency KMC (14484.0). At 2325 UTC 9TF relayed traffic through 9USA to TOP HAND: 2336 USB Voice (29/MAR/2011) (JLM)

A very interesting set of comm intercepts indeed and many thanks to Hugh and Jack for sharing them. Now we shall see what pops up to let us determine what this was all about.