It’s unfortunate that a host of far-right websites are spreading the idea that the Department of Defense will trigger a massive communications blackout starting Saturday, Nov. 4 through Monday, Nov. 6. The day coincides with a purported series of protests by far-left activists known as Antifa.
There’s also another version of the rumor that claims the Pentagon plans to launch a massive electromagnetic pulse on that day, obliterating the power grid and communication networks, triggering a civil war.
It’s worth noting that the group Refuse Fascism does plan to hold anti-Trump, anti-government rallies on Saturday. It’s also a fact that the Department of Defense is planning an event Saturday, but it's a scheduled drill conducted alongside the American Radio Relay League.
However, they’ll be no such things as massive blackout, communications craziness or electromagnetic pulse. The Department of Defense and Radio League announcement, revealed that a "communications interoperability" training exercise is planned for Nov. 4-6, simulating what they are calling a "very bad day" scenario.
"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," said Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) Program Manager Paul English.
Members of the Amateur Radio community will be working alongside the military during the exercise which is just an exercise.
The MARS community also revealed that the event is routine training that is conducted four times a year.
"The purpose of the training is to prepare 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," MARS said on a Facebook post.
Rest assured that the U.S. power grid will remain operational during the exercise and the event is not planned to coincide with any particular protest - the date is set more than a year in advance, according to MARS. MARS also revealed that there is no actual solar pulse or solar storm." We are just simulating that, too," MARS said.