The 2023 running of the Armed Forces Day (AFD) Cross-Band exercise will be held on May 13, 1300 – 2200 UTC (6A – 3P PST). A complete list of participating stations, modes, frequencies, times, and other details was announced. The event is open to all radio amateurs. Armed Forces Day is May 20, but the AFD Cross-band Military-Amateur Radio event traditionally takes place 1 week earlier in order to avoid conflicting with Dayton Hamvention®.
During the exercise, radio amateurs listen for stations on military operating frequencies and transmit on frequencies in adjacent amateur bands.
Military and amateur stations have taken part in this event for more than 50 years. It’s an exercise scenario, designed to include ham radio and government radio operators alike.
Per previous announcements: “The AFD Cross-band Test is a unique opportunity to test two-way communications between military communicators and radio stations in the Amateur Radio Service, as authorized in 47 CFR 97.111. These tests provide opportunities and challenges for radio operators to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly controlled exercise scenario that does not impact any public or private communications.”
Military stations in various locations will transmit on selected military frequencies and announce the specific ham band frequencies they are monitoring.
An AFD message will be transmitted utilizing the Military Standard (MIL-STD) serial PSK waveform (M110) followed by MIL-STD Wide Shift FSK (850 Hz RTTY), as described in MIL-STD 188-110A/B. The AFD message will also be sent in CW and RTTY.