Phone Patch Station – Hawaii

AFA9AM antenna

MemberStatesWithPA November 2015: The MARS phone patch net has a new member located in Hawaii.   “Gus” has past experience with phone patching through the Coast Guard, Navy and amateur radio.  His location will greatly improve the phone patch net’s coverage within the pacific.

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To all those who gave their lives for this great nation, we salute and thank you for your sacrifice. #HonorThem #MemorialDay

5510 likes, 64 comments5 hours ago

To all those who gave their lives for this great nation, we salute and thank you for your sacrifice. #HonorThem #MemorialDay

9239 likes, 119 comments6 hours ago

6353 likes, 66 comments21 hours ago

If you have never seen our #AirForce Honor Guard Drill Team perform, you are missing out! This #MemorialDay they are in Florida putting on a display of precision and dedication. As we celebrate our 70th #AFBDay all year long, we also remember those who sacrificed all and #HonorThem.

6306 likes, 186 comments2 days ago

Tag your favorite PORT DAWG!

1151 likes, 39 comments2 days ago

Rescue Operation For Missing Father And Children

Search For Family

@USCGSoutheast via Twitter

ht_missing_family_coast_guard_jc_160622_31x13_1600The MARS Phone Patch Net is supporting rescue operations for a father with two sons and a daughter off the coast of Florida. The missing man was last heard from when he reported 6 foot seas and that he was “attempting to survive with his children.”


Unfortunately it appears that none survived. Our thoughts go out to the family.

King Aircraft Searching For Teens

 CrewLookingForTeens July 2015: The MARS phone patch net has provided support to aircraft searching for the two missing Florida teens.
El Faro Cargo Ship October 2015: The MARS phone patch net provided support to RESCUE and KING aircraft searching for the missing cargo vessel El Faro lost in hurricane Joaquin.

C130s At LRAFB Study

By Sarah D. Wire / Arkansas Gazette
This article was published today at 3:52 a.m. on 16 May 2015.

U.S. Rep. French Hill of Little Rock added the C-130J study to the military spending authorization.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force must explain why it decided to leave 10 C-130J aircraft in Mississippi instead of moving them to Little Rock Air Force Base, under an amendment added to the National Defense Authorization Act before it passed Friday.

The four members of Arkansas’ House delegation, all Republicans, voted in favor of the bill, which passed 269 to 151. The act, which authorizes $612 billion in government funding for Department of Defense programs, next goes to the Senate for consideration.

U.S. Rep. French Hill of Little Rock added the C-130J study to the military spending authorization. It requires the Air Force to examine whether the service can save money by moving the aircraft to Little Rock Air Force Base, and the short- and long-term costs of keeping the planes where they are.

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For years the Air Force has tried to reduce the total number of C-130 transport planes and move those remaining to a handful of bases. It is also phasing out older C-130H models in favor of newer C-130J models.

A March 2015 report by the Air Force to Congress on the program states that the service simply doesn’t need so many C-130s.

“There is no surge scenario associated with the current defense strategy — even one in which a significant homeland defense event occurs concurrently with two warfights — that requires a fleet of 358 C-130s,” it states.

It recommended reducing the fleet to between 248 and 320, saying the savings could go toward modernizing existing planes.

Initially, the Air Force intended to move 10 C-130J aircraft from the Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., to the air base in Jacksonville but dropped the plan under stiff pressure from Mississippi’s congressional delegation. In the March report, the Air Force states that keeping the aircraft where they are means $60 million less in savings under the department’s five-year defense plan but also avoids $24 million in transit costs.

Little Rock Air Force Base is the Air Force’s formal training site for C-130 aircrew and maintenance personnel. Keesler and other bases offer continuation and refresher training. The report suggests increasing the number of the modern C-130J’s at the Jacksonville base while reducing the number of C-130Hs.

Hill said in a statement after the bill passed that the study would assure Americans that the Department of Defense is using taxpayer dollars well.

“Prior to their decision to maintain the aircraft at Keesler, Air Force officials highlighted the importance of LRAFB and the cost savings and efficiencies that would be realized by relocating the ten C-130J aircraft to Little Rock. Our military is facing severe budget limitations, and Congress must ensure that we are effectively utilizing hardworking taxpayer dollars for our national defense priorities,” he said.

Arkansas’ U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro also filed an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that says military explosive ordinance disposal units can legally help local law enforcement remove a bomb from a public place, government facility, public transportation system or infrastructure facility and stipulates that local entities don’t have to reimburse the federal government for the help.

“With the increased activity of terrorist groups like ISIS, the National Defense Authorization ensures the readiness of our military to deal with those threats, while at the same time protecting our servicemen and their families,” he said in a statement.

Crawford is a former U.S. Army bomb-disposal technician.

Arkansas’ U.S. Rep. Steve Womack of Rogers said in a statement that defense must be an issue on which both major political parties agree. Womack retired from the Army National Guard in 2009 as a colonel.

“From ISIL to Boko Haram, our enemies are becoming bolder and more numerous, but defending our nation and defeating terrorist threats is one place where politics should not — and cannot — interfere,” he said.

Arkansas’ U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman of Hot Springs said the bill helps soldiers and veterans.

“For far too long, veterans have had to pay out of pocket for prescriptions [prescribed] during their time in the military since the V.A. did not always cover the same medications. Passage of this bill eliminates the discrepancies in care for those in the military and veterans of the service while continuing to secure the nation,” he said in a statement.

Metro on 05/16/2015

Classroom Phone Patch

USAF Donier

April 2015: The MARS Phone Patch Net handled patches between an aircraft over the Gulf to a grade school classroom in New Mexico. Children in the classroom were able to ask questions and hear general information concerning the aircraft and crew. The PPN was delighted to provide communications for this event.

Smoke In Cabin

April 2015: An aircraft reported strong fumes, cabin, MIL STAR is OFF. Determined they would fly direct to Tinker AFB. If smoke increases then they would need to land immediately.. No communication links were operational except for the AF MARS Phone Patch Net. The net handled several patches over a couple of hours until the aircraft landed safely at Tinker AFB.

A variety of patches are run for the Thunderbirds. The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron (“Thunderbirds”) is the air demonstration squadron of the United States Air Force (USAF). The Thunderbirds are assigned to the 57th Wing, and are based at Nellis AFB, Nevada.The squadron tours the United States and much of the world, performing aerobatic formation and solo flying in specially marked aircraft. The name is taken from the legendary creature that appears in the mythology of several indigenous North American cultures.

B-1 Bomber Crash In Montana

[Several reports after the crash including location on August 19, 2013 was handled through AF/MARS Phone Patch Net]

Jan 2, 2014:  A displaced fold-down baffle in the left fairing of B-1B Lancer led to a fuel leak and a series of explosions prior to it crashing near Broadus, according to a report on the incident from the U.S. Air Force.All four crew members ejected from the plane before it crashed in southeast Montana on August 19th; none of them sustained critical injuries.

The aircraft, valued at about $317.7 million, was destroyed.
There were no injuries to anyone on the ground, and damage to private property was limited to burned pasture land.


Both the aircraft and the crew were assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. When the crash occurred, the pilots were participating in a post-deployment training flight.

According to an Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board report released recently, during the flight the pilot leveled the aircraft off at about 20,000 feet. While descending to about 10,000 feet, he swept the wings from the forward to the aft position. The wings of the B-1B move from a forward position to an aft position to increase the aircraft’s performance at different speeds.

During the sweep, the aircraft developed an undetectable fuel leak in the main fuel line. About 7,000 pounds of fuel leaked into the aircraft.

The fuel eventually contacted exposed portions of a hot duct, ignited, and caused an explosion that separated the left overwing fairing from the aircraft.

Ignited fuel streamed from the exposed left overwing fairing cavity, heated one of the aircraft’s fuel tanks, and ignited the fuel vapors inside the tank. This detonation spread through the fuel venting system that connects the fuel tanks in the aircraft, and resulted in a cascade of detonations that caused a complete loss of power to the crew compartment, the report states.

At some time prior to pilot’s initiation of the wing sweep, the left fold-down baffle became detached at one or more points, preventing it from folding as the wing swept aft, the report states. Because the baffle was detached, the wing pushed the baffle into the overwing fairing cavity where the tapered edge of the baffle cut into the main fuel line.

C-5 Lands After Decompression Over the Atlantic

[What the report doesn’t mention is for several hours of communication between the C-5 and their operations for coordination was handled by the Air Force MARS Phone Patch Net.]


Feb 8, 2014: CHICOPEE, Mass. A military aircraft headed to Delaware from Germany was diverted to Chicopee, Mass., Saturday after it experienced a loss of pressurization above the Atlantic Ocean, officials said.A military aircraft headed to Delaware from Germany was diverted to Chicopee, Mass., Saturday after it experienced a loss of pressurization above the Atlantic Ocean, officials said. “Most people were sleeping, and then we just heard this noise, and people jumped up,” said a passenger who asked not to be identified.

The Air Force Galaxy C-5 was carrying 25 crew and passengers when it lost pressurization at 34,000 feet at about 11 a.m., according to a statement from Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee.

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“All the oxygen masks were coming out of the ceiling,” the passenger said. “I think everybody was just scared for a while.”

There was no declaration of an in-flight emergency, officials said. One girl was taken to a hospital for a minor injury, likely an ear drum issue.

“You could feel it. Ears were popping; ears were hurting. And we just needed some oxygen,” said the passenger. “I think they came to lower altitude, so that made it easier to breathe.”

Emergency crews, including dozens of ambulances, at Hanscom Air Force Base were standing by earlier Saturday afternoon for the possible arrival of the aircraft, before officials said the flight would land at Westover.

Humanitarian Efforts In Haiti.

(ARRL Feb 2010)

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Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 12.25.59 AM“Satterfield said the Amateur Radio teams were able to conduct approximately 25 phone patches on the Air Force phone patch net and the maritime 14.300 net. “Having access to the Air Force phone patch net was extremely valuable, providing virtually 100 percent phone patch availability, regardless of propagation or time of day or night,” he told the ARRL. “All were routine health and welfare traffic, and were extremely appreciated by the Miami Medical personnel. We were also asked to establish a communications link with the US Joint Operations Command (JOC) to coordinate certain local security concerns. We were able to establish contact with JOC on 50.125 MHz. Again, strict use of MARS protocol, including use of PRO-WORDS, made for seamless communications.”

 To read the full March 2010 ARRL article, click here.


Haiti Support

(ARRL Jan 2010)

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 12.26.25 AM“Amateur Radio operators with the US Air Force Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) have been actively supporting the Air Force’s efforts to bring relief to the earthquake-stricken country of Haiti. Via the Air Force MARS Phone Patch network, USMARS members have been providing communications support to air crews flying equipment and supplies to the devastated nation.”

To read the full January 2010 ARRL article, click here.

Net Support

The Air Force MARS Phone Patch Net supports all DOD aircraft including Coast Guard. A recent patch has handled for a Helo in the Bahamas area of the Caribbean.

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