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Will the Department of Defense shut down power grid?

A video that falsely claims that a Department of Defense (DoD) communications drill will cause the national power grid to go out for several days in early November is causing panic on social media.

The video warns that the Department of Defense will be using an electromagnetic pulse to shutdown the power grid November 4-6 – and that everyone needs to prepare now.

While a training exercise is happening during that time period, the outcome has been exaggerated by false reports being shared on social media.

The official DoD announcement about the planned exercise states:

“This exercise will begin with a national massive coronal mass ejection event which will impact the national power grid as well as all forms of traditional communication, including landline telephone, cellphone, satellite, and Internet connectivity.” — Army MARS Program Manager Paul English

During the exercise, the national power grid will not be impacted. Most social media reports referencing the announcement do not mention the exercise is a simulation and will have no “real life” impact.

“The average citizen will not even know this exercise is taking place. Our focus is to interoperate with the amateur radio community,” English told Snopes.

Routine communication interoperability training happens four times each year and involves various divisions of the Department of Defense, along with amateur radio operators and MARS organizations.  During the first week of November, these entities will come together to train under a simulated “very bad day” scenario.

A “very bad day” is any event in which the national power grid fails along with other forms of communication including landline phones, cell phones, satellites and internet connectivity.

They will also be practicing a solar storm scenario, but that too will be a simulation.

“The purpose of the training is to prepared for an event we hope will never happen, but should be ready for if it ever does,” said the Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS).  “These exercises are all about coordinating existing capabilities like amateur radio, and citizen volunteers like MARS members, to be a productive part of the solution in the event something like a severe solar storm ever happens.”

The date of the training exercise coincides with rumored “Day of Rage” protests for “antifa” groups on November 4, according to Snopes.

The Army Military Auxiliary Radio System posted about the exercise on Oct. 25. In response to the rumors on social media, the page added a comment to the post to provide some clarity and to dispel rumors:

“Thanks everyone for speaking out on this. We are glad you are using our social media to express some questions and concerns about COMEX 17-4 and I hope I can clear up some of the misconceptions and rumors.

In this exercise Amateur Radio operators are conducting a routine training that we do four times a year. The purpose of the training is to prepared for an event we hope will never happen, but should be ready for if it ever does. These exercises are all about coordinating existing capabilities like amateur radio, and citizen volunteers like MARS members, to be a productive part of the solution in the event something like a severe solar storm ever happens.

To answer some of the questions:
a. Yes we will try to talk to Amateur Radio operators in all 3000+ counties in the United States. We hope all Amateur Radio operators will help us with that by tuning into 60 meter channel on on Saturday night (date/time noted in ARRL bulletin above)

b. No we will not **actually** be turning off the electrical power grid. While I strive for realism when planning exercises, turning off the electricity all across the US is way above my pay-grade, so we just have to simulate that.

c. No, we did not plan this to coincide with any particular protest. The date for COMEX 17-4 was set more than a year in advance. Keeping track of the various protest groups calendar of events is more than a little out of our lane.

d. Yes, will will actually practice a solar storm scenario, go off the air, protect our radio equipment. After the notional storm, we will practice using emergency power (at least for a little while just to say we can, but not long enough to waste gasoline since the electrical service will actually still work), and of course establish radio contact with Amateur Radio Operators throughout the United States.

e. No, there will not really be a solar storm. We are just simulating that too.

f. If you are a US citizen, YOU can help by becoming an Amateur Radio Operator. Check out for information about becoming a ham. If you are already an Amateur Radio operator, learn as much as you can about using High Frequency radio. Build an effective station. Use the 60 meter band. Become proficient with your computer, learn to restore your software and operating system, learn how to set up and maintain basic networks. If you have done that, and want to do more, join MARS. Go to the link and fill out the on line form. You will have to train, A LOT, use new digital modes and procedures. You will solve problems, and make a lot of new friends in your team. Most of all, you will be part of the solution to big problems like how to recover from a severe solar storm.”


17 Comments on "Will the Department of Defense shut down power grid?"

  1. Apneaman on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 12:34 pm 

    Several days without power means several days without the internet.

    clog will go into withdrawals and start goosestepping down main street barking out nationalist slogans at terrified children while frothing at the mouth and porn addicts will be franticly tearing through storage boxes for old copies of National Geographic with pictures of saggy jungle titties.

    The horror.

  2. dave thompson on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 4:10 pm 

    Several days without power means food and fuel goes bye bye in 48 hrs. The nukes all then start to melt down due to loss of grid power to cool the fuel rods. LOL no will needed, all will be dead within weeks.

  3. Outcast_Searcher on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 4:22 pm 

    Good old Dave. Useful for nonsense and FUD, as usual. As though nuclear power plants had no backup generators — and cause big problems every time there is an outage.

    So why should people believe anything else you say?

  4. Davy on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 4:40 pm 

    OS, what happens when the back ups quit or in a techno optimist world that would never happen. I think dave has good reason to worry. He may be worrying too much but he is more rational than you with your cavalier all is fine attitude

  5. dave thompson on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 5:40 pm 

    LOL dead is dead all things being equal. Yea no grid power leads to no liquid fuels very quick like. How do you pump the gas with no electrical?

  6. dave thompson on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 5:42 pm 

    fear, uncertainty and doubt, usually evoked intentionally in order to put a competitor at a disadvantage.
    “the FUD factor” No doubt or competition from me. Being a realist can be a real pane.

  7. makati1 on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 6:54 pm 

    Outcast, but do those generators actually work? And do they actually have fuel for them? Who knows? You and I don’t. They are old just like the reactors. Most should have been retired years ago.

  8. makati1 on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 7:03 pm 

    Few consider just what will happen if the electric really goes out over large areas and never comes back on. Most hospitals have backup for a few days or even a week or two then, nothing. Ditto for reactors. Simple things like gasoline will be underground and out of reach.

    The internet (ATMs) will be gone. If you don’t have cash in your hand, you are out of luck as credit cards will be useless. Checks will just be pieces of paper. Etc. Your well pump will not work. Even your septic system will not work if it is a sand mount type with an electric pump.

    Electric controls our world much more than oil or NG. Both have substitutes. Electric does not.

    Are you prepared for a life without electric? I doubt it.

  9. makati1 on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 8:03 pm 

    “The globalists must divide America so she will fall. The United States Constitution is all that remains between 2017 and global hegemony. By refusing to see with their own eyes, so many people have become gullible, useful idiots. They have no clue what is about to happen to them. They’ve been fooled. … But how were they so deceived? The answer is simple. They believe what they were persuaded to believe.”

    “Unfortunately, so many people don’t care to know and this may explain why they refuse to question any “official” narrative presented to them by the Corporate Media.

    Moreover, instead of thinking on their own, it has become apparent that millions of Americans would rather remain forever numb in an opiate-induced stupor. … Perhaps it is because so many Americans acutely realize the deception and corruption permeated all throughout the Western societies today and this is why they have turned to addictions, piercings, tattoos, faux wealth, video games, virtual reality, rioting in the streets, and whatever else for relief. Maybe a significant number of Americans today are internally corrupt themselves and this explains why so many have desired to give Hillary Clinton a perpetual hug; even as they tar and feather Hollywood Harvey Weinstein. It seems their hands have grown heavy with what they crave as they lead lives of rampant consumerism, or while dreaming of Democratic Socialism, both outward manifestations of internal black holes filled with silent desperation and raging despair.”

    The Great Leveling continues…

  10. deadlykillerbeaz on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 10:14 pm 

    The sky is falling! Were doomed! We’re all gonna die!

    You can remove the fill hole cap, find an old hand pump for fuel, fuel a generator, then use a electric pump to remove fuel from the underground tanks or use the generator to power a fuel pump at the gas station.

    Somebody will have some knowledge of how to wire it to have some electricity. Not everybody is going to go crazy then stark raving mad!

    You’ll be able to fuel your car and be on the move. You can plug in the charger for your laptop, you’ll have computing capability. You will solve a problem, then another.

    The satellites won’t go bye bye, everything can return to normal.

    Then it can go all Mad Max, not until then, like it is now.

    Bring back the good old days of paint huffing and glue sniffing, the opioid epidemic is getting old fast.

    What’s this world coming to?

  11. dave thompson on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 11:04 pm 

    The world is going PUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. makati1 on Thu, 2nd Nov 2017 11:14 pm 

    DKB, yep, those ideas may be possible, but I doubt it? Do YOU know where to find an old hand fuel pump? I bet the local hardware store does not carry them. Home Depot? End of story.

    As for the satellites, if nothing is going up to them, there is nothing to come down from them. Just more orbiting space junk. Techies cannot imagine a world without their toys. I can. I grew up in one. LOL

  13. deadlykillerbeaz on Fri, 3rd Nov 2017 1:26 am 

    Well, I sure do! Have one in my hands in a quick hurry!

    Next question.

    Besides, the fuel truck is full each day, a phone call away for 250 gallons of fuel oil will be delivered if need be.

    There are millions of barrels of oil available for consumption every day, it’s an everyday thing.

    Piece of cake to obtain plenty of the stuff. Oil is in tanks and on the store shelves at Walmart. It is not a problem to find some. Dig a hole in the ground, it’s there.

    The coal-fired power plant is generating electricity. Plenty of electricity too.

    7.5 billion tons of coal mined each year is going to happen, the demand is there for electricity. That’s how you get useless wind turbines and maybe useful at times solar panels, they exist because of and from coal and oil, both used for energy, mining and drilling have benefits for civilization. Copper wire for electricity. Gotta get those resources somehow, might as well make life a little better with a little bit more.

    The emissions are discounted, they don’t count.

    That is what is happening, if you take a look, you can see it all right before your lyin’ eyes!


  14. Ghung on Fri, 3rd Nov 2017 8:21 am 

    mak said; “DKB, yep, those ideas may be possible, but I doubt it? Do YOU know where to find an old hand fuel pump? I bet the local hardware store does not carry them. Home Depot? End of story.”

    Every auto parts store carries 12DC electric fuel pumps. They are brushless and can be hooked to any DC power source between about 10 volts to about 20 volts, including something as simple as a 30 watt PV panel. Even flashlight batteries hooked up in series will run one long enough to pump a couple of gallons, which can then be used to run a generator to pump more fuel.

    These are simple problems I’ve played with since I was about 8 years old. Easy to spot the non-engineers in these threads. And you gridweenies can be downright hilarious.

  15. Cloggie on Fri, 3rd Nov 2017 9:11 am 

    E-vehicle 200 parts
    Gasoline vehicle 1400 parts

    In seven years e-vehicle cheaper per km then gasoline.

    Takeaway point: future e-vehicles will be much easier to maintain. Furtheremore, many of these autonomous e-vehicles will be owned by giant taxi-companies and maintained by them. Private car ownership will recede and eventually all cars will drive autonomous and fines a thing of the past.

  16. Darrell Cloud on Fri, 3rd Nov 2017 9:21 am 

    You know what a real zombie is? It’s some good old boy coming up out of Miami, Chicago or New York who hasn’t eaten in about a week with a trunk load of barbeque sauce and an AR. When he comes, he will not be alone. He will be in a horde numbering in the thousands. When you figure out how to deal that, give me a heads up.

  17. Davy on Fri, 3rd Nov 2017 9:47 am 

    “E-vehicle 200 parts Gasoline vehicle 1400 parts”
    So what dumb n dutch, yes that is a point but what makes up those parts is also an issue especially the batteries. You are always so void on hard talking points and full of soft ones to support your extremist agenda. Is this because you are desperate?

    “In seven years e-vehicle cheaper per km then gasoline.”
    More dumb n dutch logic that has no support in reality. Maybe maybe not is all one can say. A lit of changes will be needed for that to happen. EV’s may not even be on the market by then.

    “Furtheremore, many of these autonomous e-vehicles will be owned by giant taxi-companies and maintained by them. Private car ownership will recede and eventually all cars will drive autonomous and fines a thing of the past.”
    I think you are reaching pretty far on that one dumb. Maybe in your little dutchy of dumb but in the real world a huge amount of changes are required for this to scale and be economical.

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