Air Force Military Auxiliary Radio System
The United States Air Force Military Auxiliary Radio System provides contingency communications support on behalf of the men and women of the Department of Defense and other U.S. Government users in support of their important and diverse national security missions whenever, however and wherever required.
To support the Department of Defense and U.S. Government in any manner within our capability by providing first-rate, on-demand contingency communications services that rival far more complex and expensive systems’ levels of service and quality, and to do so in peacetime or times of national crisis, on an around-the-clock basis, and at no expense to the US taxpayer. Members will utilize their own resources and time to provide these service
We, the members, view our services as a patriotic duty. We utilize our God given talents and resources to meet this obligation. At all times we strive to provide our communications services in a manner consistent with the finest traditions of the United States Military.
In November of 1925 the Army Signal Corps and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) joined to activate the Army Amateur Radio System (AARS) providing communications during national disasters. The first “gateway” at Fort Monmouth, call sign “2CXL,” activated on 1 November 1925 led by Capt. Thomas C. Rives. When the Air Force and Nave joined later, AARS was renamed to accommodate their membership.
MARS is over 90 years old and a changing mission reflects in its longevity. Today MARS Members are civilian volunteers whose mission is “to assist with DoD or Civilian authorities, operations during, or response to, any major disruption of DoD or other communications network, such as those associated with official national security or emergency preparedness events or activities,” DODI 4650.02 (December 2009).
The US communication network of today is the internet (cyberspace). All communication use cyberspace technology. The threat to cyberspace is from everywhere, nature, individuals, terrorist organizations (state sponsored, or otherwise), and from the cyberspace technology itself. One of MARS strategic missions is providing communications backup in the event of a cyberspace outage, local, state, regional, or nationally.