The spring Red Cross nationwide emergency communications drill will be held on Saturday, May 8th, with Red Cross, ARES and other operators asked to demonstrate the ability to deliver digital messages using Red Cross forms to specific addresses via Winlink. For this exercise, participants are tasked with sending two messages to the Red Cross Divisional Clearinghouse for their geographic area. The exercise scenario and guidelines attached to this message provide details and instructions for operators desiring to participate. This exercise draws on lessons learned in the previous Winlink Thursday sessions. For those who have been following along, this scenario gives you the opportunity to put into practice the skills you have been practicing since January. You will need to send a Winlink Check-In Form to register your participation and a separate WInlink message with a template ARC Disaster Requisition Form 6409. The hand-written sample provided in the exercise packet is similar to one that might be handed to a radio operator supporting a Red Cross relief operation. We urge everyone to take their time and be sure the information transcribed into the Winlink template form is an accurate copy of the information supplied on the form and that each message is properly addressed to the recipients specified in the directions.
A new addition to our playbook is the inclusion of a real-time map that displays the location of each station as their Winlink Check-In Form is received. You can follow along and watch as the exercise progresses on Saturday by clicking here to view the map. Please submit your messages on Saturday, May 8th between noon and 4 p.m. local time.
For those who can do so safely, we encourage you to once again pack your “go-kit” and get out in the field to submit your exercise traffic. This is good practice for any operator looking to become proficient in EmComm operations.
Last month, many of you submitted photos of your go-kit in the field as an attachment to your Winlink message. For this iteration, in order not to tie up the Winlink gateways unnecessarily, we request that anyone looking to submit an image to share in our gallery do so by sending it via traditional email to photos@ARC-EmComm-Training@
This year our spring exercise falls on World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, an annual celebration of the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. World Red Cross Red Crescent Day is celebrated on May 8th each year. This date is the anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant, who was born on 8 May 1828. He was the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize. We have set up a special clearinghouse for amateur radio operators from other national Red Cross or Red Crescent societies to check in for this event using the Winlink tactical address ARCDX.
If you would like to be included in our future training and exercise sessions, visit our website at ARC-EmComm-Training.org and subscribe to our mailing list. You can also find additional information on suggested proficiency goals and training materials to help you broaden your skills as an amateur radio operator.