This year’s Armed Forces Day Crossband Communication Test on Saturday, May 14, will include a significant new wrinkle: Select military stations will be using 60 meter interoperability channels to communicate directly with Amateur Radio stations on the band. Back this year, select military stations will use crossband Automatic Link Establishment (2G ALE) communication as well as MIL-STD Serial PSK to send the Secretary of Defense Armed Forces Day message. Armed Forces Day 2016 is Saturday, May 21, but the radio event is held earlier to avoid conflicting with Dayton Hamvention, May 20-22.
The annual Armed Forces Day Communication Test is an opportunity to exercise two-way communication capability between Amateur Radio and military stations using a variety of modes, including SSB and CW as well as digital modes. The annual event gives participants — including shortwave listeners (SWLs) — an opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills, and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio station.
QSL cards will be provided to all stations that make contact with the military stations. The Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard cosponsor the joint military/Amateur Radio, with military stations transmitting on military frequencies and listening on Amateur Radio bands.
Amateur Radio stations and Short Wave Listeners interested in trying the MIL-STD Serial PSK mode can download the software program, MS-DMT.
Full details about this year’s Armed Forces Day radio activities — including stations, frequencies, times, and modes of operation — will be posted by April 12 as well as on the US Army MARS Facebook page.