CFARS - Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System

Established on August 8, 1946, initially under the auspices of the Royal Canadian Air Force, as a means both of facilitating communications during emergencies or contingencies and assisting Canadian service personnel deployed overseas to communicate with family at home. The programme, partially integrated with the Civil Defence Communications Organization on August 31, 1952, enlists amateur radio volunteer operators and equipment but uses neither standard radioamateur frequencies nor call signs as CFARS is allocated its own specific official frequencies and identifiers.

During the Cold War, Canadian troops deployed CFARS radio to military outposts in West Germany.

In the 1991 Gulf War, CFARS provided a means for Canadian soldiers stationed in Qatar to call home, boosting morale. On October 6, 2011, a malfunction of Telesat's Anik F2 satellite disrupted communications to Canada's high Arctic region for several hours; CFARS operators were called upon to provide emergency backup communication.

CFARS consists of a mix of military stations (publicly owned and operated by DND personnel), military unit/club amateur radio stations (operated and maintained on military sites by volunteer radio amateurs) and individual affiliate radio stations (which are privately owned and operated by individual radio amateurs affiliated with CFARS). Historically, CFARS stations have also been deployed on Canadian Coast Guard vessels for use during search and rescue deployments.

Agencies actively served by CFARS include the Military, Public Safety Canada, Transport Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

MARS - Military Auxillary Radio System

United States Department of Defense sponsored program, established as a separately managed and operated program by theUnited States Army, Navy, and Air Force. The program is a civilian auxiliary consisting primarily of licensed amateur radio operators who are interested in assisting the military with communications on a local, national, and international basis as an adjunct to normal communications. The MARS programs also include active duty, reserve, and National Guardunits; Navy, Marine Corps, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ships, andCoast Guard cutters and shore stations