Idaho Amateur Radio
Emergency Service
Idaho ARES - Statewide Exercises

The following Idaho ARES exercises are scheduled state wide:

November Simulated Emergency Test (SET)

Hack Attack

This exercise will be held on November 2, 2013, from 0900 to 1500 Pacific time (1000 to 1600 Mountain time).

This is a joint Oregon Office of Emergency Management – Oregon ARES/RACES SET

Each year, Oregon ARES/RACES, in cooperation with OEM, conducts two Simulated Emergency Tests (SETS); a spring SET in April and a fall SET in October/November. Over the past few years, SET scenarios themes have been related to tsunamis, earthquakes, windstorms, floods and downed aircraft. Building on these Winlink-intensive drills, the “Hack Attack” SET is intended to involve as many Served Agencies, Auxiliary Communications (AuxComm) Organizations and ARES/RACES members as possible in a regional scale Amateur Radio exercise.


Cyber security is a matter of national priority. In this drill scenario, an anonymous international group of hackers has taken down the internet within the affected area of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California. The internet outage has caused power failures in some areas of Oregon as well as disrupted cell/landline phone service, public service radio networks, traffic control signals, banking, retailing medical and many other services within the affected area. Emergency managers have activated AuxComm units statewide to provide urgently needed communications. “Hack Attack” assumes that the only means of communication is by peer-to-peer simplex (no repeaters) Amateur Radio and HF Winlink Pactor using RMS gateways outside of the affected area.


The objective of this SET is to train volunteer emergency radio communicators in simplex (principally voice and HF Pactor) modes, net operations and message handling under extreme conditions that might occur under this scenario. Participating groups will (a) organize county-level communications involving as many AuxComm groups as possible, d evelop a communications plan (ICS-205) and hold pre-SET coordination briefings; (b) exchange drill traffic with other participating groups via peer to peer modes; (c) contact as many in-county participating stations as possible; (d) hold post-SET “hot wash” debriefing nets and (f) submit an After Action Report to the ARES/RACEs SET Coordinator. Emergency managers statewide are encouraged to participate and may be injecting incidents as the SET develops.

This SET is designed to encourage AuxComm groups to work together and build relationships that will be needed should a regional-scale activation occur.

Local Winlink VHF packet, Echolink and other internet-dependent modes will not be used in this SET. Most groups will use Winlink HF Pactor, VHF/UHF FM, HF SSB voice communications or Winlink Packet peer-to-peer modes. Some groups will choose to use other supplemental digital simplex modes as well. Participating AuxComm groups may want to establish “high ground” relay and NCS stations to improve simplex communications and/or design and deploy additional digital mode technologies. Be sure to use proper message routing, formatting and other protocols during this SET.

Date Activity Description


ARES/RACES groups will contact AuxComm groups within their county and develop a joint communications plan using simplex modes.

ARES/RACES ECs are encouraged to contact groups that have participated in earlier SETs within their county. Others are encouraged to contact their county EC or the SET Coordinator to arrange participation. Please adhere to the deadline.


Register your participants by not later than Oct. 13th, midnight and plan to hold your SET briefing around Oct. 26th, a week before the SET.

ARES/RACES ECs are asked to coordinate and register their county participants on-line at Swaptoberfest. You may download a spreadsheet of all registered units with their information shortly after close of registration.


Nov. 2nd SET activation followed by your debriefing meeting and preparation of an after write an after action report (AAR).

Submit your AAR to the SET Coordinator ( by November 30th. The AAR should include your log of contacts and electronic copies of messages your group sent during the exercise.

SET Traffic

Messages to be sent will vary depending on the affiliation of the AuxComm unit:

Traffic content, format and routing will be as specified by your participating emergency manager if present. Each group will need to develop in cooperation with their emergency manager, their own specific SET plan to meet their own objectives. Most of the traffic should be prepared before the SET.

Note that each station should maintain a log of SET activity, station contact callsigns and traffic passed. Please include these logs in your After Action Report.


FM simplex nets (with net controls) should be operational in most counties before the start of the SET at 0900 local. These nets will check in all participating stations, coordinate traffic and facilitate communications at the local level. ARES/RACES County ECs will need to establish a schedule of NCS operators prior to the SET.

The “Hack Attack” HF Net will be established on about either 80 (3.950 MHz) or 40 (7.238 MHz) meters (propagation dependent) to coordinate statewide traffic. This will be a “Directed Net” and will be about 5-10 KHz below the OEM designated frequencies (3.964 and 7.248 MHz) to give OEM a clear channel. ALL participating HF stations should check into the “Hacker” Net at the start of the SET (0900 local) and use this frequency to make contact with other stations. Please check back into the net after passing your traffic as others may be looking for you. Do not check out of the net without informing the NCS.

Other participating AuxComm groups may want to establish their own nets. Those nets and frequencies should be noted on their registration form to facilitate communications.

After Action Reports (AAR)

Reports on activities, problems, and challenges overcome; number of participants, station logs and comments about the SET should be written by each participating group and submitted to the county ARES/RACES EC for inclusion in the county report. Regional multi-county AuxComm groups should submit their report to the SET Coordinator. Final reports are due November 30, 2013. Photos of from participating groups are always useful!

Registration, Participant Lists and Documents

Participation in this SET is open to Amateur Radio Auxiliary Communications groups affiliated with or sponsored by governmental agencies, or those organizations who, in the event of a disaster would be coordinating relief effort or supplying relief supplies and services at the request of the incident management teams. This includes all ARES/RACES or similar units, associated with governmental bodies, whether Federal State or Local, as well as hospital/medical center, CERT teams, non-governmental relief organizations, commercial entities who coordinate with or supplies services or goods at the request of the governmental bodies, and other communication during disasters. Register on-line at:


Navigate to August and click on the August 22nd Leadership Meeting. Open “More Details” and find the Fall 2013 SET Registration file. Then click on the “View Live Form” option, enter your information and submit the registration. Registration ends on October 13, 2013 at midnight. After the registration period closes, you can find a spreadsheet listing of all participating groups by clicking on the Fall 2013 SET (Responses) file. This file can be downloaded f or user analysis. SET documents and after action reports will also be available for download.

DRAFT J. Core, SET Coordinator, July 26, 2013

OEM – Oregon ARES/RACES Fall 2013 SET Update Notes

As a follow up to questions raised at the Oregon ARES/RACES Leadership Conference August 24th regarding the Fall 2013 SET:

General Scenario

This SET anticipates an internet cyber attack resulting in power, communications and internet failure within the affected area of the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California. County EOC ARES/RACES units are asked to send Winlink HF Pactor Activation, declaration of emergency, situation reports and deactivation messages to Oregon Emergency Management, the Oregon SEC and others as described in the ARES/RACES Oregon Operations Manual. All Winlink HF Pactor messages must be sent through RMS gateways outside of the affected area. Repeaters will be down for this SET. Traffic will be sent by voice and digital simplex modes on VHF, UHF and HF. An HF net will be active during the SET to facilitate traffic flow.

County SET Plans

Each participating county will develop their own operations plan in consultation with their emergency manager. A tabletop drill that exploring what may happen within this general scenario and what communications/traffic might be needed in response would be helpful in developing the county plan.

Example Plan

For example, power and internet failures would likely result in loss of traffic signals which in turn would likely result in numerous traffic accidents and a near complete blockage of traffic over wide areas. Such a incident would require public safety response on a large scale, overloading the 800 MHz radio system. One possible county SET plan might involve communication support to public safety agencies and medical facilities requiring activation of City EOC/ECCs, CERT Teams and other auxiliary communications groups. Plan your traffic and comm. plan with your emergency manager accordingly.

At the State (Oregon) Level

At the state level, we are contacting ARES/RACES leadership in adjoining states and other AuxComm groups to invite their participation. As these groups advise us of their plans to participate, updates will be provided by means of the SET registration listing on the Swaptoberfest website (see the full SET document for details). We have asked OEMA to involve emergency managers in this SET to direct their county response and traffic. OEM has indicated that they will likely have an emergency manager active during this SET. The intent is to involve many AuxComm groups in this SET so please plan to include them in your planning process. Again, watch for updates on the Swaptoberfest website and Oregon ARES Leadership Yahoo Group.

Thanks for your participation!

John Core, KX7YT
Oregon ARES/RACES SET Coordinator
August 26, 2013

OEM – Oregon ARES/RACES Fall 2013 SET - Additional Info

Ladies and Gentlemen:

If you receive this twice it is because you are on two of my email lists. Consider yourself blessed.

Hack Attack SET 2013 is a regional exercise to test our systems with consideration that all Internet, power, and normal communication systems are down. In a real life scenario you would not have all the answers so we have purposely left some out for this test. We are also operating based on the local level, through your Emergency Coordinator testing the leadership within the system. My station will be bouncing around from HF SSB to Digital. VHF will be on continuously. We will have several operators, new hams at this location as a learning/training opportunity.

I am incredibly proud of our Idaho ARES/RACES Operators with all the response to the SET. Our participation has overwhelmed the registration on-line system hence the new email method. Between now and SET time updates will be provided with some surprises for reality sake.

Emergency Coordinators please pass this on to all your ARES/RACES Members.

Good Luck with the SET.

Hack Attack Rules: