The US Department of Defense (DOD) plans to start making use of a provisional time slot on WWV and WWVH to announce upcoming HF military communication exercises and how the Amateur Radio community can become involved in them. The announcements will occur at 10 minutes past on WWV and at 50 minutes past on WWVH. WWV and WWVH transmit on 2.5, 5, 10, 15, and 20 MHz.
“DOD’s use of the broadcast time slot on WWV/WWVH will benefit the MARS program’s mission of outreach to the Amateur Radio community,” said US Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY. “The actual messages to be broadcast are coordinated by the DOD Headquarters that the MARS program supports.”
The initial announcements are set for the period April 20 – May 3, which coincides with the “Vital Connection” interoperability exercise to be held in Wisconsin. Future time slots will coincide with the Vital Connection exercise Ohio in June; DOD COMEX 19-3 in August, and the DOD COMEX 19-4 in October. Following the proof of concept this year, DOD anticipates making use of the WWV/WWVH broadcast time slot full time, year-round.
At the outset, broadcast messages will likely be static. For future exercises, announcements could be updated throughout an exercise. The messages will direct listeners to a specified website to provide reception reports and feedback.
The reception report will also ask the listener to submit a survey that will be shared among DOD, MARS, and WWV/WWVH personnel. English said that the survey will ask listeners questions about how often they listen to WWV/WWVH signals, how they use them, and what types of messages they would like to hear, but he notes that the survey is still under development.
“We want to provide feedback to WWV/WWVH to improve situational awareness of who is using their service and how it’s being used, as well as future considerations,” English said.
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