Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System

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The Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System was established in 1977. The programme enlists amateur radio volunteer operators and equipment but uses neither standard radioamateur frequencies nor callsigns as CFARS is allocated its own specific official frequencies and identifiers.[1]

During the Cold War, Canadian troops deployed CFARS radio to military outposts in West Germany.[2] In the 1991 Gulf War, CFARS provided a means for Canadian soldiers stationed in Qatar to call home, boosting morale.[3] On October 6, 2011, a malfunction of Telesat's Anik F2 satellite disrupted communications to Canada's high Arctic region for several hours;[4] 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.[2]

Agencies actively served by CFARS include the military, Public Safety Canada, Transport Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.[5]

A counterpart to CFARS exists in the United States of America as the Military Auxiliary Radio System; established procedure is designed to facilitate interoperation between the two systems. While the use of CFARS phone patch traffic in its traditional rôle as a means for soldiers to contact loved ones is declining with the growing access to communications satellites by military units in the field, the amount of digital radio traffic (such as electronic mail) carried has been increasing.

A working Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System station is on exhibit as part of the Military Communications and Electronics Museum at CFB Kingston in Kingston, Ontario.


CFARS station CIW64 at CFB Kingston's signals museum

The following frequencies are in use by the Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System (CFARS) worldwide:[6]

6878 kHz Alpha
15386 kHz Bravo
14960 kHz Charlie
15463 kHz Delta
14446 kHz Echo
21971 kHz Foxtrot
209863 kHz Golf
28715 kHz Hotel
13454 kHz Juliet
16449 kHz Kilo
20277 kHz Lima
13954 kHz Mike
6922 kHz Whiskey
6662 kHz Xray
4152 kHz Yankee
4223 kHz Zulu

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Major D.J.W. Bergeron (December 2011). "CFARS: Why Should I Become Aware and Consider Being A Member". Communications and Electronics Branch newsletter. Canadian Department of National Defence (Volume 56). Archived from the original on 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  2. ^ a b Robert S. Ing (1992). The Canadian Military Radio Frequency Guide : 50 KHz. - 500 MHz. p. 12. ISBN 9781895377064. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  3. ^ Michael Hanlon (Jan 2, 1991). "Callers order flowers for families at home. Canadians stay in touch by radio phone". Toronto Star. p. A2. 
  4. ^ "Satellite problems ground Nunavut flights". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  5. ^ Les Lindstrom (December 2010). "CFARS – Alive and Well!". 54. Communication & Electronics Branch newsletter, Canadian Forces. 
  6. ^ Larry Van Horn, N5FPW. "Monitoring Times Hot 1000 HF Frequencies". Monitoring Times (magazine). 

External links[edit]