FEMA Interoperability Exercise Deemed a Success, Monthly Exercises Set:
The ARRL Letter
January 5, 2017
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FEMA Interoperability Exercise Deemed a Success, Monthly Exercises Set for 2017:
Laura Goudreau, KG7BQR, Regional Emergency Communications Coordinator
for FEMA Region X, said a December 21 Region X interoperability
communications exercise on 60 meters went well. FEMA Region X, which
consists of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, now has announced
that it will hold similar exercises each month in 2017, with all radio
amateurs welcome to participate.
"We had 48 check-ins, of which 42 were amateurs," Goudreau said of the
December event. "It was very successful and also included our first
digital test." The "COMMEX" event consisted of check-ins from
authorized state, tribal, federal, and Amateur Radio stations to test
HF interoperability in case of an emergency or disaster response. The
interoperability aspect between federal stations and Amateur Radio
licensees was coordinated and authorized by the NTIA
https://www.ntia.doc.gov/ and the FCC
The net included a digital component, intended as a one-way broadcast
to test FEMA's ability to send messages and for remote stations to
receive them. Goudreau said that while there's still room for
improvement in the digital area, overall, she was happy with how the
exercise played out.
During 2017, FEMA Region X will hold a communication exercise (COMMEX)
on the third Wednesday of each month, 1500-2100 UTC. The initial
exercise will take place on January 18.
"The intent of [each] COMMEX is to test and exercise interoperable
communications (federal/state/local/tribal/amateur) during a major
disaster, where communications infrastructure would be significantly
damaged or destroyed," a FEMA Region X announcement said. FEMA Region X
will use the call sign WGY910. Others taking part in these exercises
will include, but are not limited to, other FEMA stations, SHARES
stations, and Air Force and Army MARS stations. All stations are
encouraged to participate.
The COMMEX will use the five 60-meter channels: 5,330.5 kHz, 5,346.5
kHz, 5,357.0 kHz, 5,371.5 kHz, and 5,403.5 kHz. The area of operation
is the Continental US. -- Thanks to FEMA Region X Regional Emergency
Communications Coordinator Laura Goudreau, KG7BQR, and FEMA Spectrum
Manager Dave Adsit, KG4BIR
The ARRL Letter
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FEMA Interoperability Exercise Deemed a Success, Monthly Exe
by KG4RUL on January 7, 2017
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In my experience, when an activity like this is done monthly, participation rapidly dwindles. Quarterly is a more reasonable interval. What say you?
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