The Defense Department is planning to conduct a training exercise based on an electromagnetic pulse created by a solar flare that knocks out the national power grid and all forms of communication in the U.S.
According to the American Radio Relay League, the military is planning a “communications interoperability” training exercise Nov. 4-6, involving both amateur “ham” radio operators and the Military Auxiliary Radio System:
During the exercise, a designated DOD Headquarters entity will request county-by-county status reports for the 3,143 US counties and county equivalents, in order to gain situational awareness and to determine the extent of impact of the scenario. Army and Air Force MARS organizations will work in conjunction with the Amateur Radio community, primarily on the 60-meter interoperability channels as well as on HF NVIS frequencies and local VHF and UHF, non-Internet linked Amateur Radio repeaters.
MARS program administrator, Paul English, said:
"This exercise will begin with a national massive coronal mass ejection event which will impact the national power grid as well as all forms of traditional communication, including landline telephone, cellphone, satellite, and Internet connectivity.
We want to continue building on the outstanding cooperative working relationship with the ARRL and the Amateur Radio community. We want to expand the use of the 60-meter interop channels between the military and amateur community for emergency communications, and we hope the Amateur Radio community will give us some good feedback on the use of both the 5-MHz interop and the new 13-MHz broadcast channels as a means of information dissemination during a very bad day scenario."
The announcement has not been widely reported by mainstream media to avoid sparking public fear. The timing could have perhaps been a little better: Nov. 4 is the day Antifa kicks off its “Day of Rage” campaign against the Trump administration.