Sir, reference some points in your message # 0927

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xjohnrob...@gmail.com

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Oct 20, 2019, 9:28:28 PM10/20/19
to AR MARS Ask The Chief
Ref: If you were Chief Army MARS for the day, what changes would you make? Please post your recommendations to the "Ask the Chief" link at usarmymars.org

Tonight, Region Eight Army MARS had our weekly director / staff teleconference. R8 Director Steven Carver asked me to put together some questions reference topics that came up tonight from your recent message #0927 and the MGEG this Thursday 24 October 2019.

1. In the new AR 25-6 there is a renewed emphasis on Army MARS members using NTIA compliant transceivers. Some R8 staff believe that in the past Army MARS members have been grandfathered on this because apparently many use non-NTIA compliant commercial transceivers. The R8 Director's query is how many members would we lose if this requirement was enforced? Should we get an exception to operate in writing?

2. On NOV 8th 2018 you kindly provided a PowerPoint slide to members that showed approximately 1200 Army MARS members providing nearly $8 million worth of volunteer support in return for an approximately $450,000 contract for Army MARS. Which I was very impressed with as likely were many others. But, in message #0927 you thank the 370 Army MARS members who acknowledged that message as directed to ALL Army MARS. Which leads to the question: How many many Army MARS do we actually have in September 2019? The excellent Google Drive setup by Mr. McGinnis still has some significant Region reporting shortfalls in data, especially Region Five who apparently has not reported at all in 2019? Maybe no 5R1? Still, the available data does not show 1200 members, maybe not even 500? Do you think this number needs to be confirmed / clarified before the AAR for COMEX 19-4? Also are the hours reported on the Google Drive only "operator at the transceiver hours", or can it include "other hours" like tonight's teleconference etc?

3. The R8 Director remains unsure who our current DOD customer is following a reported realignment? Maybe a STRATCOM Directorate and maybe in fact it is classified. If not, maybe tell the members who we are supporting in DOD?

4. I am sure you have received other queries and hope that the above you find useful and not distracting in continuing our mission in the pending COMEX 19-4.

Thank you sir...

J Finch
AAA8R1

Headquarters Army MARS

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Oct 22, 2019, 11:05:28 AM10/22/19
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Mr Finch

Regarding #1, refer to AM6 Annex C and NTIA manual of regulations chapter 7.  A volunteer owned and operated amateur radio is NTIA compliant for MARS and SHARES service IF it meets Part 97 specifications while operating on the MARS/SHARES assigned government HF frequency.  So in that sense, it complies with NITA and is good to go.  

I sent #928 yesterday in response to your remarks.

You do have to read carefully.  This only applies for HF.  VHF radios are subject to the stricter specifications in Chapter 5 or Part 90 (same specs).  Also, we only apply this to Volunteer Owned and Volunteer Operated equipment.  Government can afford to purchase professional equipment, and we do not believe the intent chapter 7 was to exempt Government Owned/Government Operated stations from the more strict specifications in Chapter 5.

On #2.  The spreadsheet was purposefully vague on what those hours are specifically reporting because we knew a change was in the pipe.  The new regulation states 72 hours per year on air.  No other types of hours are mentioned.  This change will be phased in over the next couple of months.

David



 


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