LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Numerous amounts of Facebook posts, articles and videos have surfaced on Wednesday referencing a planned training exercise by the Department of Defense saying that a simulated, “very bad day” scenario will take down the U.S. electrical grid, putting millions in the dark for days.
In the announcement from the Department of Defense (DOD) about the planned exercise a quote from the Program Manager for Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS), Paul English, said that a “massive” event “will impact the national power grid.”
What many were blind to was that the exercise itself is just a simulation. So there will be no impact to the power grid or communication systems in real life.
English went on to tell Snopes.com that this is just a routine quarterly training.
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.
Further on talking and explaining with Snopes, English said that even trying to do that is above what he makes.
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 simulating that.
Just so Arkansans know, we contacted Entergy to furthermore ensure that nothing is happening and they gave us this statement.
Customers would be alerted in the event of a planned outage. There’s no mass outage planned during this period of time.
Be sure to inform and calm your friends and family that the power grid won’t be compromised by a government training exercise and help fight the spread of fake news and rumors.