Unusual traffic on 4.025 MHz (MARS Net??)

natedawg1604

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So this evening I'm hearing voice traffic on 4.025 MHz, on USB. I'm hearing numerous 3 character callsigns all starting with "8", such as "8KD", "8BS", "8AQ", "8AE" and "8JM". It appears to be some kind of traffic handling net (there is definitely a net control so it's some type of net). Numerous people are reading back messages to each other, one character at a time. Could this be MARS traffic? I've heard several references to message numbers. I'm guessing it must be MARS as I can't think of any type of other entity/group that would hold formal nets on HF outside the ham bands.
 

N4GIX

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At first I thought it might be the annual MARS/Amateur net practice, but that's scheduled for next weekend:
The US Department of Defense will host this year’s Armed Forces Day (AFD) Cross-Band Test, Friday and Saturday, May 7 – 8, in recognition of Armed Forces Day on May 15. The event is open to all radio amateurs. For more than 50 years, military and amateur stations have taken part in this exercise, designed to include amateur radio and government radio operators alike.
 

natedawg1604

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After further listening this was definitely a Airforce MARS net (they didn't say what kind of Net, I'm sure the members knew). After this net, they moved to interop on 60 meters, Ch. 1.
 
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