Close this search box.

Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System (CFARS)

Phil McBride, VA3QR
Phil McBride, VA3QR
Phil McBride, VA3QR

Licensed in 1994, I am an Advanced and CW certificate holder. I am currently serving as the Ontario South Director for Radio Amateurs of Canada, as well as the Training Officer for the Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System. 

Additionally, I am the Contact Scouter for the 1st Acton Scout Troop, where I own and sponsor the VE3NEC Memorial Amateur Radio Station at Acton Scout House – a permanent HF/VHF/UHF installation for use by all Scouts Canada members. 

I am an ISEDC Accredited Examiner and have given dozens of new Radio Amateurs their exams via telepresence during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While I am well equipped at home, I do most of my operating in the field using various station kits that I have assembled. Along with operating and participating in military communications with CFARS, I’m always looking for ways to engage youth in the service to ensure its continued and vibrant future.


In Canada, the Department of National Defence (DND) sponsors a program called CFARS: the Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System. CFARS was initially structured after its American counterpart, MARS – the Military Auxiliary Radio Service – and consists of DND/Canadian Forces installations, Canadian Forces-based Amateur Radio club installations, and civilian Amateur Radio licensees who have applied and been accepted into the system. 

CFARS consists of some 125+ stations spread across Canada, as well as several unattended RF-based Winlink email gateways. The purpose of CFARS is to provide DND with a means of establishing and conducting long-distance communication using a system capable of operating independent of established infrastructure.  

My presentation will outline the history of CFARS and where we are today in our relationship with the Department of National Defence.

Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps and Amateur Radio

Matthew Batten, VE3ZQW
Matthew Batten, VE3ZQW
Matthew Batten, VE3ZQW

Sub-Lieutenant Matthew Batten, VE3ZQW, is the head of the Communications Department at RCSCC Quinte, a Sea Cadet Corps in Belleville, Ontario. An avid shortwave listener (SWL) for years, Matthew obtained his licence in 1994 following introductions to Amateur Radio in High School. 

Recognizing the need to revitalize the Sea Cadet training curriculum even before the pandemic, Matthew developed a comprehensive plan to introduce more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) content via naval communications training.  Embarking on his program in October 2019, he is now able to count six additional Sea Cadet unit stations, with more in the planning stages for Ontario and the Maritimes in the upcoming year.  

Matthew has been employed in the industrial engineering sector for several years, specializing in manufacturing and service with both private as well as family companies. He is married to his wife Candice, a pediatric nurse, and father to three children.


The presentation will:

A) Provide an overview of the Activities and Training, including the basic background of our program, the youth demographic, the aims of the Radio program, and the delivery of the program before the pandemic and after.

B) Touch on the Benefits and Successes of introducing Amateur Radio to our cadets. Acceptance of the theory and hobby by our demographic, successes of some graduates, international outreach / cooperation of similar organizations.

C) Outline the methodology of program delivery and the subsequent practical operations including complementary related activities.

D) Provide the timeline of our program, with future growth plans for development and paths to success.