October was Simulated Emergency Test month. A number of ARES groups in the Missouri Section held local SETs. Here is St. Charles County, our ARES group held a SET based on windshield damage assessment from a tornado that crossed part of St. Charles County. The goal of the SET was to pass traffic back to the county EOC from obserrvations of sites that were damaged. Simplex communications on 2 meters was tested and found to be a capable method of communications if the local repeaters were down.
October 23rd was the Statewide Communications exercise. The exercise was to test voice, data, and Winlink traffic messaging systems all around the Missouri Section. 21 counties and SEMA participated in the excise. The voice net control was Bill Schrock, N0UMP on 3963 KHz in Garden City. Conditions on 80 meters were relatively poor but Bill’s station was heard by most if not all voice participants. Inject traffic was passed with difficultly but most injects were successfully passed. The data net control was Bill Sweeney, W0WTS on 3590 KHz in Carrollton. Conditions for PSK31 were poor so the mode was changed to FSQCall & FLdigi for messaging.
Participation was very good from the 21 counties with a large number of operators using the various modes for communication exercise. Voice and Winlink modes functioned as per plan and a spirited conversation ensued about the data portion of the exercise for the AAR. Since I personally did not have any digital injects in the plan for St. Charles County, I can’t comment first hand on the digital operation pros and cons. It does appear from all the feedback provided that the 2020 ARES Digital Net Guide needs to be revised. If PSK31 mode is not robust enough for net operations, we need to update the plan to a mode that is capable for the task. Digital communications has exploded in the last few years. With so many modes available, it really is hard to keep up with the technology and have a good operating knowledge of the many modes. Every operator has their favorite mode but we must find a common technique that can and will be used for digital emergency net operations. Late comers to the net need to know what mode to expect when they join the net. Along with the revisions to the Digital Data Net procedures, a training guide for the section members is necessary. This guide will demonstrate and teach the basic setup, operation, and procedures of the modes in the update.
Many, many thanks to J.D. Simmons, WA0BER and Richard Kreiser, N0JBF for their many hours of work to create this exercise and its injects. The documentation explaining the exercise was well written and the number of injects created kept the various nets very busy. These two men deserve our thanks for taking on this task.
Hopefully, we learned a lot about ourselves and our capabilities in this exercise.
District A: Richard Fretwell, W0KRF DEC
BC ARES Members participated in the following nets: MTN, MESN, ARES, Region A Healthcare, and various club nets. KE0AVT ran the Region A Healthcare Net in October with KR1STL acting as a relay station There were 23 check-ins with 9 being from healthcare facilities. The Benton County Emergency Communications Trailer has been lettered.
4 Weekly Communications Exercises
1 Community Event “SPARKFEST” Communications used
1 SET October 30 for Emergency
1 Tornado Warning
1 Skywarn i.e. Tornado Warning
SET exercise on Oct 2, 2021
DEC Made a visit to Pettis County for the SET exercise on Oct 30th.
MECC “Simulated Emergency Test”
The Northland ARES joined other KC metro groups on Oct 2nd.
WA0TJT, NCS for the net, An exercise using What3Words /APRS
provided position Data from Field stations for “Disaster Assessment”,
“Personal location” Etc.
W0DLK, using “Net Control Manager” to record the events for Voice operations.
The NCM program results in permanent ICS records for later Data recovery.
KA0OTL, NCS for “Digital net” ops utilized FSQcall for net roll call. NBEMS FLdigi
provided an efficient method for exercise message transfer.
WINLINK provided a resource for exercise traffic to SEMA and served agencies
participating in the SET exercise.
Regards to all participants for a job well done.
NLARES SET Planning Team
Missouri Digital Emergency Service (MODES) net.
MODES 3.985 MHz Thursday 10:00 am CST
FOUR sessions QNI 60 QTC 11 43 hours. ZOOM Mtg for Technical Discussion.
NCS utilized FSQcall trigger “#” / “@” to expedite responses from participating
stations. Additional “MODES” info at https://modes.groups.io/g/main/topics
FLdigi-FSQ or FSQcall for net interaction. New members are welcome.
NCS KA0OTL Jeff, Net mgr.
District B: Dale Bagley, K0KY DEC
District B participated in SEMA EMCOM exercise Shaken not Stirred. I thought the phone part of the exercise went well but there was a bit of nit picking on the digital traffic handling by some folks. I am on the side of those that thought that the Digi Net Control did a great job and followed the correct procedures.
District F: J.D. Simmons, WA0BER DEC
DEC gave ARES presentation at Lake of Ozarks Council of Local Governments. Design and execute Shaken not Stirred Statewide Communications Exercise
Livingston Co. – Group had EOC Workday, Monthly Meeting covererd digipeating & APRS, Partipated in Statewide exercise.
Below are the ARES activity events and hours reported for the month of October:
I hope the everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving this month.
Jeff Young, KB3HF