Idaho Amateur Radio
Emergency Service
   
Statewide Activities - Table Of Contents
Idaho ARES - Statewide - Frequency Plan

The following table lists frequencies and other information to indicate communications resources that are available in support of emergency communications statewide.


ICS-205 INCIDENT RADIO COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
1. Incident Name:
IDAHO ARES STATEWIDE COMMS RESOURCES
 
2. Date/Time Prepared:
Date: 24 JUN 2017
Time: 1711Z
3. Operational Period: Date From: 24 JUN 2017 Date To: ON-GOING
Time From: 1711Z Time To: ON-GOING
   
4. Basic Radio Channel Use:
Zone
Grp.
Ch # Function Channel Name/
Trunked Radio
System Talkgroup
Assignment RX Freq
N or W
RX Tone/
NAC
TX Freq
N or W
TX Tone/
NAC
Mode
(A,D, or M)
Remarks
  1   HF COMMAND NET 75M PRIMARY   3929 kHz LSB   3929 kHz LSB   A SIMPLEX
  2   HF COMMAND NET 75M ALTERNATE   3879 kHz LSB   3879 kHz LSB   A SIMPLEX
  3   HF COMMAND NET 60M PRIMARY   CH1 / 5330.5 kHz USB   CH1 / 5330.5 kHz USB   A SIMPLEX
  4   HF COMMAND NET 60M ALTERNATE   CH4 / 5371.5 kHz USB   CH4 / 5371.5 kHz USB   A SIMPLEX
  5   HF COMMAND NET 40M PRIMARY   7194 kHz LSB   7194 kHz LSB   A SIMPLEX
  6   HF COMMAND NET 40M ALTERNATE   7258 kHz LSB   7258 kHz LSB   A SIMPLEX
  7   HF COMMAND NET 20M PRIMARY   14250 kHz LSB   14250 kHz LSB   A SIMPLEX
  8   HF COMMAND NET 20M ALTERNATE   14315 kHz LSB   14315 kHz LSB   A SIMPLEX
  9   IDAHO ARES DMR           D BRANDMEISTER TALK-GROUP 31160
(any DMR repeater or hot-spot)
  10                  
5. Special Instructions:
 
6. Prepared by: Name: Position/Title: Signature:
ICS-205, Page 1 Date/Time (mm/dd/yy):  

Idaho ARES - Statewide Exercises
FEMA COMEX (Monthly)

FEMA COMEX every third Wednesday on 60-meters (Primary: Channel-1, Secondary: Channel-2). Participating stations include Federal, MARS, USCG Auxiliary & Amateur Radio stations. Check the ARRL web-site for any changes.


ICS-205 INCIDENT RADIO COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
1. Incident Name:
MONTHLY FEMA INTEROPERABILITY COMEX
 
2. Date/Time Prepared:
Date: 25 JAN 2017
Time: 2134Z
3. Operational Period: Date From: 3RD WEDNESDAY Date To: (ON-GOING)
Time From: 1730Z Time To: 1845Z
   
4. Basic Radio Channel Use:
Zone
Grp.
Ch # Function Channel Name/
Trunked Radio
System Talkgroup
Assignment RX Freq
N or W
RX Tone/
NAC
TX Freq
N or W
TX Tone/
NAC
Mode
(A,D, or M)
Remarks
  1   HF PRIMARY - VOICE   5330.5 kHz   5330.5 kHz   A 60M CH-1, DIAL FREQUENCY, USB
  2   HF ALTERNATE - DIGITAL   5346.5 kHz   5346.5 kHz   A 60M CH-2, DIAL FREQUENCY, USB, BPSK31 & MT63-2KL
  3                  
  4                  
  5                  
  6                  
  7                  
  8                  
  9                  
  10                  
5. Special Instructions:
SEE IDAHO ARES WEB-SITE. REF: ACTIVITIES MENU, STATEWIDE.
6. Prepared by: Name: Position/Title: Signature:
ICS-205, Page 1 Date/Time (mm/dd/yy): 01/25/2017

Amateur Radio has a secondary allocation on the 60m band. The primary user is the Federal Government. FCC rules follow the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) rules, which require that emissions be centered at the center of the channel (i.e. 1.5 kHz above the dial frequency). Digital operators should note that the insertion point on the waterfall must be centered at the mid-channel frequency.

COMEX exercises may request that stations provide a five-character FIPS CODE representing the county that they are reporting from, and the following information:

SITUATION STATUS REPORT

  1. STATION CALL SIGN
  2. COUNTY FIPS CODE
  3. TIME OF REPORT
  4. POWER AVAILABLE (Y/N)
  5. WATER AVAILABLE (Y/N)
  6. SANITATION FUNCTIONING (Y/N)
  7. MEDICAL SERVICES AVAILABLE (Y/N)
  8. LOCAL COMMUNICATIONS AVAILABLE (Y/N)
  9. ROAD CONDITIONS PASSABLE (Y/N)
  10. SOURCE OF INFORMATION (AMATEUR OPERATOR/DEFAULT)

ALL ANSWERS FOR REAL TIME ONLY.

ABREVIATED EXAMPLE:

<MYCALL>/16001/2150Z/Y/Y/Y/Y/Y/Y/AO

Information on this exercise is sparse, and it is not clear if the SITREP above will be required. Station operators should be prepared to provide a SITREP in the event that the COMEX requires one.


Statewide Activities - NETS
ARES / RACES HF VOICE NET (REVISED 11 April l2016)

The Idaho ARES Statewide HF Voice NET is held weekly on Thursday evenings:


ICS-205 INCIDENT RADIO COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
1. Incident Name:
MONTHLY FEMA INTEROPERABILITY COMEX
 
2. Date/Time Prepared:
Date: 25 JAN 2017
Time: 2134Z
3. Operational Period: Date From: THURSDAY Date To: (ON-GOING)
Time From: 0230 Z Time To: 0330 Z
   
4. Basic Radio Channel Use:
Zone
Grp.
Ch # Function Channel Name/
Trunked Radio
System Talkgroup
Assignment RX Freq
N or W
RX Tone/
NAC
TX Freq
N or W
TX Tone/
NAC
Mode
(A,D, or M)
Remarks
  1   HF PRIMARY   3929 kHz   3929 kHz   A ± QRM, LSB
  2                  
  3                  
  4                  
  5                  
  6                  
  7                  
  8                  
  9                  
  10                  
5. Special Instructions:
SEE IDAHO ARES WEB-SITE. REF: ACTIVITIES MENU, STATEWIDE.
6. Prepared by: Name: Position/Title: Signature:
ICS-205, Page 1 Date/Time (mm/dd/yy): 01/25/2017

An iCal calendar event file for the Idaho ARES Statewide HF Voice NET can be downloaded by clicking here. An iCal calendar event file that contains calendar events for all Idaho ARES NET activities can be downloaded by clicking here. These files are compatible with Outlook 2000, Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 on Windows and the Calendar application on Mac OS X. Any other calendar application that supports an .ics file should support this file. The calendar can also be synced to smart phone devices.


ARES / RACES NET PREAMBLE

NOTE TO NET CONTROL STATION (NCS): Clarifying instruction is provided in MAROON ALL CAPS TEXT within the NET preamble text below. A table is available below for printing that can be used to record the station entries during the NET roll-call.



Announce Net at 10 minutes prior to net to keep frequency clear. Announce Net at 5 Minutes prior for same reason. If you cannot operate at Net Control please advise the Alternate Net Controls via email or phone so an alternate can run the Net.


QST – QST – QST

This is <YOUR CALL SIGN>. My name is <FIRST NAME>, and I will be the Net Control Station for the Idaho ARES/RACES HF Net today. This Net meets every Thursday, at 0230Z. Our Frequency is 3929 KHz Lower Sideband.

BREAK

This net is conducted at the direction of the ARES Section Emergency Coordinator, and the Idaho RACES Chief Radio Officer. The purpose of the net is to provide emergency communications training and information, and to test the communications capability of our ARES and RACES stations in Idaho. Stations with Emergency or Priority traffic may break in at any time.

BREAK

All licensed Amateur Radio operators interested in training in emergency communications skills, and desiring to contribute to ARES or RACES activities are invited to check-in to the net.

BREAK

This is a Directed Net so please address all transmissions to Net Control. Wait to be acknowledged by Net Control before proceeding, and follow instructions given by Net Control. Participating stations are requested to remain on frequency until the net closes.

BREAK

Any Station with Emergency or Priority traffic may break the net at any time by giving their call sign and saying Emergency Traffic or Priority Traffic, as appropriate.

If there is any Emergency or Priority traffic, please call Net Control now.

BREAK


WAIT FOR 10 SECONDS.


Hearing none, we will proceed.

After check-ins are complete, I will acknowledge members with traffic, and then training. Traffic includes Formal Messages, Announcements, Questions, Comments, Activities, and other items of interest to the General Amateur Radio community. (Net Control will have <_____ (NUMBER)> announcements this evening).

BREAK

Digital Check-Ins via e-mail are encouraged. Please use the ICS-213 form to compose your message and send it to Net Control during or immediately after the net. My e-mail is <EMAIL ADDRESS>.

So, if you are monitoring but don’t have transmit capability, we would still like to hear from you “digitally” (that means by e-mail).

BREAK

We will now begin the check-in portion of the net. This net uses a roll call check-in procedure, by ARES/RACES district. I will call for District 1 first, and then subsequent districts in order. When checking in, please respond with your Call Sign only, using the international phonetic alphabet and you will be recognized by NCS and added to the check in list. NCS will further communicate with members on the list after the entire roll call, band conditions allowing.

BREAK

Following the District Roll Call, I will ask for any other stations to check in. All licensed Amateurs are welcome to check in at that time.

BREAK

We will now begin the ARES/RACES Roll Call, with District One,.

Idaho District One: District One is comprised of stations from Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties. Are there any stations from District One desiring to check-in? – Please come now. <YOUR CALL SIGN>.

BREAK

Idaho District Two: District Two is comprised of stations from Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce Counties. Are there any stations from District Two desiring to check-in? – Please come now. <YOUR CALL SIGN>.

BREAK

Idaho District Three: District Three is comprised of stations from Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley and Washington Counties. Are there any stations from District Three desiring to check-in? – Please come now. <YOUR CALL SIGN>.

BREAK

Idaho District Four: District Four is comprised of stations from Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls Counties. Are there any stations from District Four desiring to check-in?– Please come now. <YOUR CALL SIGN>.

BREAK

Idaho District Five: District Five is comprised of stations from Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power Counties. Are there any stations from District Five desiring to check-in? – Please come now. <YOUR CALL SIGN>.

BREAK

Idaho District Six: District Six is comprised of stations from Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison and Teton Counties. Are there any stations from District Six desiring to check-in? – Please come now. <YOUR CALL SIGN>.

BREAK

This completes the roll call of Idaho Districts. Do we have any late or missed Idaho stations? Please come now.

BREAK

Are there any visitors desiring to check into the combined Idaho State ARES/RACES Net? – Please come now.

BREAK

Do we have any relays?

BREAK

This is <YOUR CALL SIGN>, NCS for this evening. We will now go through the check in list for comments and information for the net.

BREAK


Go down the check-in list and ask each station for anything for the net, announcements etc and have a short discussion with each station as the band conditions allow.


This evening NCS has <NUMBER> Announcements, as follows:


Always have some kind of announcement, weather, DX forecast, something to share with the group.


BREAK

Do we have any other announcements?

BREAK

Are there any questions or comments, or additional business for the Net this evening?

BREAK

This is <YOUR CALL SIGN>. I will now take any final check-ins for the Idaho ARES/RACES HF Net. When checking in to the net, please give your call sign phonetically, first name, and general location. Any stations wishing to check-in please come now.

BREAK

This concludes the combined Idaho State ARES/RACES Net for this evening. The Idaho ARES/RACES team thanks you for checking in and thank you to our relay stations for their assistance. The next scheduled net will be one week from today, at 0230Z.

This is <YOUR CALL SIGN>, returning the frequency to general use. Thanks everyone for your participation, and 73, <YOUR CALL SIGN>


Idaho ARES Statewide HF Voice NET Check-in Sheet
DISTRICT 1        
       
       
       
       
       
       
DISTRICT 2        
       
       
       
       
       
       
DISTRICT 3        
       
       
       
       
       
       
DISTRICT 4        
       
       
       
       
       
       
Idaho ARES Statewide HF Voice NET Check-in Sheet
DISTRICT 5        
       
       
       
       
       
       
DISTRICT 6        
       
       
       
       
       
       
GUESTS        
       
       
       
       
       
       


ARES DIGITAL NET

The Idaho ARES Statewide HF digital NET is held weekly on Tuesday evenings:


ICS-205 INCIDENT RADIO COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
1. Incident Name:
IDAHO ARES DIGITAL NET
 
2. Date/Time Prepared:
Date: 25 JAN 2017
Time: 2134Z
3. Operational Period: Date From: TUESDAY Date To: (ON-GOING)
Time From: 0200 Z Time To: 0300 Z
   
4. Basic Radio Channel Use:
Zone
Grp.
Ch # Function Channel Name/
Trunked Radio
System Talkgroup
Assignment RX Freq
N or W
RX Tone/
NAC
TX Freq
N or W
TX Tone/
NAC
Mode
(A,D, or M)
Remarks
  1   HF PRIMARY PSK31   3578.5 kHz   3578.5 kHz   A USB
  2   HF PRIMARY RMS EXPRESS   3578.5 kHz   3578.5 kHz   A USB
  3                  
  4                  
  5                  
  6                  
  7                  
  8                  
  9                  
  10                  
5. Special Instructions:
SEE IDAHO ARES WEB-SITE. REF: ACTIVITIES MENU, STATEWIDE.
6. Prepared by: Name: Position/Title: Signature:
ICS-205, Page 1 Date/Time (mm/dd/yy): 01/25/2017

An iCal calendar event file for the Idaho ARES Statewide HF Digital NET can be downloaded by clicking here. An iCal calendar event file that contains calendar events for all Idaho ARES NET activities can be downloaded by clicking here. These files are compatible with Outlook 2000, Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 on Windows and the Calendar application on Mac OS X. Any other calendar application that supports an .ics file should support this file. The calendar can also be synced to smart phone devices.

The statewide digtial net begins with PSK-31 and then migrates to Winlink / RMS Express in Peer-to-Peer mode.


FIVE DOT THREE 60-METER PREPARADNESS NET

ICS-205 INCIDENT RADIO COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
1. Incident Name:
FIVE DOT THREE 60-METER PREPARADNESS NET
 
2. Date/Time Prepared:
Date: 25 JAN 2017
Time: 2134Z
3. Operational Period: Date From: MONDAY Date To: (ON-GOING)
Time From: 1300 PACIFIC Time To: 1400 PACIFIC
   
4. Basic Radio Channel Use:
Zone
Grp.
Ch # Function Channel Name/
Trunked Radio
System Talkgroup
Assignment RX Freq
N or W
RX Tone/
NAC
TX Freq
N or W
TX Tone/
NAC
Mode
(A,D, or M)
Remarks
  1   HF PRIMARY   5330.5 kHz   5330.5 kHz   A 60M CH-1, DIAL FREQUENCY, USB
  2   HF ALTERNATE   5346.5 kHz   5346.5 kHz   A 60M CH-2, DIAL FREQUENCY, USB
  3                  
  4                  
  5                  
  6                  
  7                  
  8                  
  9                  
  10                  
5. Special Instructions:
SEE IDAHO ARES WEB-SITE. REF: ACTIVITIES MENU, STATEWIDE.
6. Prepared by: Name: Position/Title: Signature:
ICS-205, Page 1 Date/Time (mm/dd/yy): 01/25/2017

ICS-205 INCIDENT RADIO COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
1. Incident Name:
FIVE DOT THREE 60-METER PREPARADNESS NET
 
2. Date/Time Prepared:
Date: 25 JAN 2017
Time: 2134Z
3. Operational Period: Date From: 2ND & 4TH SATURDAY Date To: (ON-GOING)
Time From: 1900 PACIFIC Time To: 2000 PACIFIC
   
4. Basic Radio Channel Use:
Zone
Grp.
Ch # Function Channel Name/
Trunked Radio
System Talkgroup
Assignment RX Freq
N or W
RX Tone/
NAC
TX Freq
N or W
TX Tone/
NAC
Mode
(A,D, or M)
Remarks
  1   HF PRIMARY   5330.5 kHz   5330.5 kHz   A 60M CH-1, DIAL FREQUENCY, USB
  2   HF ALTERNATE   5346.5 kHz   5346.5 kHz   A 60M CH-2, DIAL FREQUENCY, USB
  3                  
  4                  
  5                  
  6                  
  7                  
  8                  
  9                  
  10                  
5. Special Instructions:
SEE IDAHO ARES WEB-SITE. REF: ACTIVITIES MENU, STATEWIDE.
6. Prepared by: Name: Position/Title: Signature:
ICS-205, Page 1 Date/Time (mm/dd/yy): 01/25/2017

This is a 60m Band HF Radio Check and Propagation Test Net and it is for all Amateur Radio Operators, who want to test their stations and learn more about the 60m band. Here are the Net details:

  1. Principal Contact/NCS: Christine, AF7OK
    Facebook: Five Dot Three Net - 60m
    Twitter: @FiveDotThree

  2. Weekly Nets on Monday 1300-1400 (+/-) Pacific Time

  3. Starting January 2017, there will be a Saturday Evening Net on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, starting at 1900 Pacific Time.

  4. Frequency: 5330.5 KHz USB (Channel #1), Alt. Freq. 5346.5 kHz USB (Channel #2)

  5. Purpose: To gain experience operating on 60 meters; test station antennas and propagation conditions. As the sunspot cycle declines, 60 meters is likely to become a very useful band.

  6. Other information: We are building an email list for persons interested in participating in the net and/or receiving information about the nets, as well as receiving suggestions on net activities.

If you check into a net, I would appreciate it if you would send me your reception reports, e.g. what you heard, who you heard, and what you experienced during the net – high noise level, etc. Please be aware of FCC restrictions on the use of the 60 meter band prior to joining the net. See the following link for more info: http://www.arrl.org/60M-CHANNEL-ALLOCATION

Everyone is welcome to check into the Five Dot Three Net, share signal reports and say hello! Christine, AF7OK 73


Contact information is available only to Idaho ARES members who are currently logged into the web-site. If you are not seeing the contact information for Christine Masters (AF7OK), please log into the web-site and then navigate back to this page. If you are not an Idaho ARES member, you can join Idaho ARES (FREE) by applying on the registration page by clicking HERE.



Idaho ARES - Statewide Training
2015 Q2 Mini-SET - An integrated VHF / HF net exercise - Sponsored by District 2

Part of the feedback from the October SET and the January mini-SET was a desire for more frequent, smaller exercises with more focus on traffic handling. As a direct result of that feedback, Latah County will be hosting an additional mini-SET on April 11, 2015. All counties in Idaho are welcome and encouraged to participate!

Because the very nature of this exercise will require planning at the county level, I sent an email announcing the exercise to the Emergency Coordinators with the expectation that they will organize their respective counties for participation. Counties with no ECs are also welcome to participate but will need someone to organize the activities. Please contact me (contact info below) with any questions or concerns.

Included below are specifics about the timing and frequencies; the Goal, Structure, and types of Messages for the mini-SET; and a Primer on the operations of a combined VHF/HF net.

More information and reminders will be provided during the weekly HF nets and/or additional emails or postings.


IMPORTANT: To receive email notifications, please register with Idaho ARES if you have not previously done so.


Any questions, comments, concerns, or suggested improvements should be addressed to Bill Ward at:


Contact information is available only to Idaho ARES members who are currently logged into the web-site. If you are not seeing the contact information for Bill Ward (K9GRZ), please log into the web-site and then navigate back to this page. If you are not an Idaho ARES member, you can join Idaho ARES (FREE) by applying on the registration page by clicking HERE.


And, yes, I apologize for this being so long!

73
bill ward K9GRZ
Idaho SAEC
Latah County AEC

Q2 MINI SET - INFORMATION

ICS-205 INCIDENT RADIO COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
1. Incident Name:
2015 Q1 MINI SET (HOSTED BY LATAH CO.)
 
2. Date/Time Prepared:
Date: 25 JAN 2017
Time: 2134Z
3. Operational Period: Date From: 11 APRIL 2015 Date To: 11 APRIL 2015
Time From: 0800 PST Time To: 1200 PST
   
4. Basic Radio Channel Use:
Zone
Grp.
Ch # Function Channel Name/
Trunked Radio
System Talkgroup
Assignment RX Freq
N or W
RX Tone/
NAC
TX Freq
N or W
TX Tone/
NAC
Mode
(A,D, or M)
Remarks
  1   HF 75-METERS   3929.0 kHz   3929.0 kHz   A LSB
  2   HF 40-METERS   7229.0 kHz   7229.0 kHz   A LSB
  3   VHF           A LOCAL OPTION: REPEATER OR SIMPLEX
  4                  
  5                  
  6                  
  7                  
  8                  
  9                  
  10                  
5. Special Instructions:
SEE IDAHO ARES WEB-SITE. REF: ACTIVITIES MENU, STATEWIDE.
6. Prepared by: Name: Position/Title: Signature:
ICS-205, Page 1 Date/Time (mm/dd/yy): 01/25/2017

Goal

To practice and demonstrate capability of an integrated VHF/HF network for passing traffic both locally and around the state.

Structure

The primary purpose of this mini-SET is to practice and exercise our ability to operate a combined VHF/HF net. Therefore, each participating county will need to set up a local VHF net for local traffic handling with one HF station that will be used to pass traffic outside the local net. Because this is a combined VHF/HF net exercise, there is no need for “stand alone” HF stations. Each HF stations on the state net should be backed up by a local VHF net.

Pre-work

ALL PARTICIPATING STATIONS are requested to come to the exercise with AT LEAST two “canned” messages, ready to transmit, with a specific recipient in mind. The recipient does NOT need to be an amateur operator nor does the recipient need to be participating in the exercise.

THIS IS A MESSAGE PASSING EXERCISE! If the exercise participants do not come prepared with messages, the exercise will fail.

Thank You to everyone for coming to the exercise properly prepared.

Messages

During the exercise any type or subject of message should work as long as it fits on a Radiogram form (25 words or less). The ICS213 can also be used (but please stick to the 25 word limit for simplicity in transmitting/receiving). To better simulate an emcomm event, at least some of the messages should be real messages intended for real recipients who may not be part of the exercise. The ARRL National Traffic System, NTS, does this on a regular basis. It is not something we normally do for emergency communications training. But, when the local VHF station receives a message from the HF network, or even from another member of the VHF net, it may need to be delivered to someone not part of the exercise—the final recipient during an emcomm event will almost never be a ham operator on a VHF station!

Everyone in Idaho knows someone in another part of Idaho. This exercise is an opportunity to send a greeting to an acquaintance elsewhere in the state. Simply address the message to someone and inject it into the training net for delivery. Besides being a way to add some realistic message delivery to the exercise it provides a public demonstration of amateur radio capability—and might even encourage more people to become hams! Please, to keep things simple (and free), include an email address for the recipient. Receiving stations should forward the message via email, when possible.

Disclaimer: No, we do not need to use the ARES net structure to send an email to a friend or relative! But, as part of the training, it’s an easy way to get greetings delivered and also exercise our net capabilities. Yes, in many ways it’s a “game”—but it’s also good training so please play along!

As mentioned, either the Radiogram or the ICS213 can be used. Please make sure that all addressing information is included and clear. And, PLEASE, to make it easier for the receiving station please state which form is being used before starting the message! All stations should have both Radiogram and ICS213 forms available.

This is a planned opportunity to practice passing “formal” traffic both locally and across the state. During an actual emcomm event, most traffic will probably be local. Therefore, during the exercise there should be nearly continuous traffic passing on the local nets with each local net sending one or more messages to another part of the state using the HF net.

VHF/HF NET Structure & Operations Primer

Although at our Simulated Emergency Test (SET) exercises we often practice and train our HF net capabilities, during a real emergency situation there will be little need for “stand alone” HF radios passing emcomm traffic. Instead we will most often have VHF stations embedded with our served agencies and the VHF stations will be operated as a local net. Also attached to the local net will be an HF station that can pass messages to/from the rest of the state or region. Traffic will be generally be generated locally by a served agency and given to a member of the local VHF net to transmit either to another local VHF station with another agency or to the HF station that will then send the message to the receiving part of the state. Since there is no expectation that each of our served agencies would have an HF station available, the VHF net becomes a critical part of the traffic handling process for both local and regional traffic.

This means there are two equally critical parts to the ARES emergency traffic handling integrated network, both of which need to be exercised: the local VHF networks and the state wide HF network. The two parts combine by co-locating a “gateway” HF station that is part of state net into each of the local VHF nets.

During the mini-SET exercise (or during an emcomm activation) the local VHF networks will operate on a local repeater or simplex frequency and pass traffic between VHF stations. This will simulate, train, and exercise our ability to pass traffic between served agencies in separate parts of our local operational area. All traffic should be on Radiogram or ICS213 forms and proper net control procedures should be used on the local VHF nets.

An example of the VHF net in an emergency might be a station located at the hospital, one at the police station, one at the sheriff’s office, one at the fire station, etc. These would all be VHF stations with, generally, no HF capability. In an emcomm situation, when “normal” communications are down, all (or most) of the message handling becomes part of the amateur radio support role and is handled on the local VHF net, which makes the local VHF net a significant part of the simulation in this exercise—and in real emergencies.

During an emcomm event it may be necessary for a served agency in one county to contact a served agency in another county—outside the coverage area of the local VHF nets. For example, the hospital may need a specific medication or supply and have to request it from outside the county. Status updates may need to be sent to Boise or some other location. Sheriff departments may need to coordinate activities between counties where the local VHF nets won’t reach. So, in addition to supporting local operations with the VHF net, ARES operators need to maintain an HF net to pass traffic over longer distances.

To exercise the HF side of the integrated net during this exercise the VHF operators should generate, on a Radiogram or ICS213 form, traffic for another part of the state to be transmitted via their Gateway HF station into the state HF network. The VHF station co-located with the Gateway HF station will receive the message on the proper form and give it to the Gateway HF operator for transmission.

The Gateway HF operator will contact net control and request to send traffic to whatever Gateway HF station is closest to the final recipient of the message. Net control will alert the receiving HF station and send the two HF stations to a different frequency to pass the traffic. After the traffic is passed both HF stations will return to the net frequency, recheck with net control, and be available for further traffic.

The receiving Gateway HF station will receive the message and give the form to the VHF operator co-located with the receiving HF station. This VHF operator will then transmit the message to the VHF net member in the best position to deliver the message to the final recipient. The receiving VHF station will receive the message on a Radiogram or ICS213 form.

All message handling will use ARRL Radiogram forms or the ICS213 forms. Both forms have their strengths and weaknesses but, since either form can be used to originate the message, all stations should have both forms available during the exercise and know how to properly use them.