Department of Defense to Run National Blackout Drill starting on November 4th

On November 4th, the Department of Defense will run a  “communications interoperability” training exercise across the United States.

According to The National Association for Amateur Radio (ARRL), the test is meant to simulate a massive coronal mass ejection (CME) event which takes down the power grid and all forms of traditional communication, including landline telephone, cellphone, satellite, and Internet connectivity.

Army and Air Force MARS organizations will work in conjunction with the Amateur Radio community to test emergency communications methods which could be deployed after a CME type disaster.

Army MARS is a Department of Defense sponsored program which utilizes Amateur Radio operators to contribute to the mission of the Department of the Army. Army MARS members must have access to HF radio equipment, file a monthly report, and participate a minimum of 12 hours total, including a minimum 6 hours on HF radio each quarter.

The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) Station
The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) is a United States Department of Defense sponsored program that was formed in November 1925

The Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., is responsible for the Army MARS Program. Its main focus is providing contingency communications support to the Army and Department of Defense. The command also provides support to civil authorities, said Paul English, Army MARS program manager.

The military and the rest of the government, as well as the private sector, rely on satellites for much of their communications. MARS does not, English said. He explained that it instead relies on high-frequency radios which bounce their signals off the Earth’s upper atmosphere, known as the ionosphere, to provide long-distance communications.

The majority of MARS stations are manned by volunteers, usually in their homes. But there are also several hundred government-run MARS stations at both the state and federal level. The latter include the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Transportation Security Administration.

Blackout Drill Preparing for CME Style Event

Elements of the US Department of Defense (DOD) will conduct a “communications interoperability” training exercise November 4-6.

“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,” Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, explained in an announcement.

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 the 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 operators putting an HF antenna up at Ft. Meade
MARS operators putting an HF antenna up at Ft. Meade during a Training Exercise

Again this year, a military station on the east coast and the Fort Huachuca, Arizona, HF station will conduct a high-power broadcast on 60-meter channel 1 (5330.5 kHz) on Saturday from 0300 to 0315 UTC. New this year will be an informational broadcast on Sunday, on 13,483.5 kHz USB from 1600 to 1615 UTC. Amateur Radio operators should monitor these broadcasts for more information about the exercise and how they can participate in this communications exercise, English said.

“We want to continue building on the outstanding cooperative working relationship with the ARRL and the Amateur Radio community,” English said. “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.

How likely is an EMP attack or Severe Space Weather Catastrophe

The likelihood of us being attacked by an EMP depends on who you talk to. While a number of nations currently possess the technology that’s required to launch an attack, how likely they are to do it is really up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is the likelihood of being hit by a catastrophic coronal mass ejection (CME) or solar flare; it’s happened in the past and will happen again.

Back in 1859, just as the world started to rely on electricity, the earth was hit by a massive solar flare. What came to be known as the Carrington event, gave us a taste of what could happen should we be hit by one of these massive solar flares today.

The CME that hit back in 1859 was so powerful that it could actually be observed with the naked-eye.  It caused widespread damage to telegraph systems throughout the world. Telegraph operators received shocks, telegraph papers burst into flames, and aurora-induced electric currents sent power through telegraph machines allowing messages to be transmitted even after being disconnected.

If a Carrington size event where to hit the earth today, the consequences would be devastating. Check out our Full Article on Preparing for your EMPs, CMEs and Solar Flares

HAM Radio in Preparedness

In an age where communication is often taken for granted, it’s easy to overlook the importance of Ham Radio. But from a preparedness standpoint, it’s still one of the most reliable forms of communication available, and when all other methods of communication go down, there is a good chance the Ham bands are going to be alive and well.

Mobile Emergency Ham Radio Gear
OFFGRID Survival’s Mobile Emergency Ham Radio Setup


Shirts of Liberty
The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide


  1. While this could be so many things from a false flag distraction to a chance to depopulate I am looking at it as a chance to look at our skills and preps!!

    • I plan on getting as much cash from the bank/ATM ASAP, November 04 is on a Saturday and that would be the time a SHTF event would start.

      • Question here. I have no clue about HAM radio or anything like this. But, can this simulation be carried out without affecting the power grid so the general public has no idea its going on? I mean if they were going to knock out the grid, or flip a breaker lets say that shut it all down for 15 min., what about people in hospitals using breathing machines, someone trying to call 911, freeway crashes, anything….couldn’t the liability for something like this be off the charts? Honestly just looking for honest answers, I’m clueless, but concerned.

    • This shit is stupid as fuck you know how many people across America is going to die without power of any kind until 4-6 of Nov.2017. I guess thats the plan kill of your own country men to make it better thats stupid.

        • Right I agree! Lots of people don’t want to believe it, but if you stay ready you don’t have to get ready. What can happen? You are getting prepared. I have told people to look around. Hurricanes, Tornados, Earthquakes, Fires, Tsunamis, wars are being threating, the water source is fucked up, the food is all messed up. Nothing good is happening.

          • Yes.Its on purpose from the few who own the U.N.Heck,They even display it on the “Georgia Guidestones”.

    • It’s an exercise with Amateur Radio operators. The drill is a simulation to help train military and amateur radio operators in case a CME ever happens. They are not turning off the electrical power grid; it’s only a simulation to prepare for the real event. The people taking part in the event will be running on emergency power, but only for the purposes of training

  2. So these MARS folks are using “skip” as we old CB folks called it, the FCC doesnt like us doing it, but its ok when they do it.

  3. How convenient, same day antifa is calling for the civil war to begin. Of course you now wont be able to contact and warn family or friends about what’s going on in your location. Seems very suspicious to say the least.

      • To tell the truth we don’t need no drills, they experimenting with the world not with drills we don’t need drills we haven’t had them since I’ve been born and I’m 62 they are not God y’all need to remember that

        • Lol… Meanwhile, the government has been doing quarterly drills since before you were born and if you had reading comprehension… It would be obvious they still do them.

    • Exactly!
      Who do you think is “Funding”Antifa?
      Same ones who want to enforce “Martial Law” and this drill.
      I believe the Shit is hitting the fan,slowly but shirley.

  4. I wonder what 2m frequencies or 70 cm frequencies, tones and all or even simplex frequencies Mars will use? just a ham newbe here..

    • They only use HF frequencies from what I’ve heard and read. You’d need something like a Yaesu all band FT875D (not cheap, around $1000 or so plus the MARS/CAP modification. Could possibly get buy with a Yaesu fT8900 for about $500+ the Mars/Cap mods. Of course you would need antenna and antenna matcher to make it all work. But yours and my dual band 2m 70cm just won’t work for that.

  5. Assuming that a CME happens, it could effect all system depending on how far it goes South or wherever it hits, so yes Texas could be hit along with other states. Here is a simple trick, if you hear of a CME is going to hit earth, take your laptop, HT’s, 2/440 mhz radio, and if small enough your HF radio, and put them into a microwave, but unplug it first. Think about it, no microwaves get out so none will get in. This will protect your stuff until after the CME. If you have a broken microwave but the door still locks just doesn’t cook, use that too. The exercise runs from 1200Z 02NOV2017 to 2359Z 06NOV2017. Notification will come down at the beginning and hope to get it out to local ham nets then. Any questions drop me an email.

  6. Verrrrry interesting article about blackouts. However, the first photo is not a MARS member, as even this Polock-American can tell by the American Red Cross patch on his right shoulder. Likewise, the second picture is NOT of “MARS operators” as claimed but of a group of uniformed Army Signal Corps soldiers erecting an antenna. Verify what you print, otherwise you are but another part of the Fake News Cabal.

    • Well seeing as both pictures are taken from Public Domain military images you are wrong on both accounts. First, nothing prevents you from being part of the Red Cross and MARS. The first picture is a working a MARS station at a Marine base in Albany… Second, the second picture is, in fact, MARS Operators putting up an HF antenna at Fort Meade for Grecian Firebolt in 2005.

  7. If you have built your own off grid power system by way of batteries, solar panels and wind turbines, you will not need to worry much at all if you installed your DC to AC power inverter in the center of your battery banks like I have but it would be a good idea to have backup inverters wrapped up in copper or aluminum foil inside a homebrew Faraday Cage, just in case.
    Mainly, the only power grids that will be effected will be those that have power lines and transformers that would allow Gamma ray or radiation to build up on the transmission lines,overload, and allow Gamma to flow back to the power generators.
    A good example is the CME event that hit northeastern Canada and spread to the power grid to the northeastern seaboard of the United States in 1989, that caused a massive blackout.
    That is what this November 4th Blackout Event is geared for and what we can do as first responders during such an event. Prepare today, be ready tomorrow…

    • (In My Opinion); North Korea is trying to have the D.M.Z. Facilities Dismantled; Communist China Is Practicing For Invasion Of Taiwan; Our Government Just Announced Plans To Close The Mexican Border! Ladies And Gentlemen, These Are Just The Known Bits Of Important Developments, Ongoing, at this time! Everyone Will Have To Form Their Own Opinion!

  8. Why isn’t this information on the front page, oh yeah they don’t want people to freak out and say it was on the Internet BS. Fb is how i found out. Lock and Load like previous comments said. Get ready just in case. Every one get prepared our world is turning all types of evil and bad. Pray and love.

  9. How so they not warn people about something like this my son is in the army and will be home on the 3rd or 4th is that why he’s being sent home well all I’m saying is imma be very prepared to protect my 5 children 1 grandbaby and twins on the way how stupid and evil can these people be it sounds like a purge to me why tey tryna say electrical issues and shit I’m pissed off cause this can’t be real and is not a joke playing with people lively hood I don’t own a gun but I’m about to now and I’m finna get me a machine gun to they got me and mines fucked up purge this shit government

  10. I just feel for people thats in the hospital and people that need there breathing medicine have they thought bout that’s whats going to hurt the most people going to die without there breathing medicine or medicine period

  11. Yes the ARRL announcement about this exercise is legitimate. The coronal mass ejection scenario is simulated…notional. Resulting from the CME is the simulated…notional power and communication outages. These events are all notional…simulated. There is no actual power or comms outages that will occur in conjunction with this exercise. – SS, Comm Director NAAD

    • So from what your saying we are flipping out over something that’s going to happen but not affect our power grids? But seriously shouldn’t will still prepare as it will and does affect all of our lives? Should we stock up on can goods,water,batteries etc????Help us!!!

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