MOCARS Holds Field Day and Exercise
The Moore County Amateur Radio Society found a way to double the effectiveness of Field Day.
Early Saturday morning MOCARS members were dispatched to >the Moore County Emergency Operations Center, Moore County Health Department, American Red Cross Headquarters and various shelter locations for >a Simulated Emergency Exercise (SET) to hone club member's communications skills. > >
MOCARS has a long tradition of supporting the emergency communications needs of the Moore County Emergency Operations Center when needed. Communications were successfully established between all locations and message transfers completed per emergency services protocol. >The MOCARS SET was held earlier this year since support of the >Pinehurst Triathlon interferes with the traditional September SET date. >
Following the SET, the MOCARS team assembled at Hillcrest Park in Carthage to >prepare for Field Day. > Field Day is an annual communications exercise between amateur radio teams nationwide, operating in an emergency communications environment. The site included several dipole antennas strung through the trees, a multiband three-element antenna on a 50-foot tower and >verticals for 2 and 10 meters. > Communications included two HF radios, a 10-meter PSK-31 station, a 10-meter GOTA station and a 2-meter talk-in station >all operating on generator power with >the 2-meter station operating from a solar panel and deep-cycle battery.
"Just as we were getting ready to go online a severe thunderstorm, heavy rain and extensive lightning delayed operations," says a spokesman. "All equipment >was shut down, disconnected from antennas and power and covered for weather protection. >It was not until late afternoon that the weather cleared, and activities commenced."
The day culminated with the >annual club picnic, while members continued communications well into Saturday evening.
Several members endured the hot weather and a plethora of bugs to spend the night at the site, making contacts until early Sunday morning. >Soon after sunrise, followed by hot coffee and doughnuts, activities were again well under way. >At noon, site unstaging began, and within 30 minutes it was completed and everyone headed home.
Preliminary calculations indicate that the club earned 1,376 points with 145 phone and nine digital contacts. >From the public relations perspective, the maximum points were >earned for all categories >including >press releases sent to more than 30 area radio and TV stations and >newspapers, >a public information table, set up with information signs and visitor log, > invitations to local-, county- and state-elected officials. > >
"The overall success was the result of the dedication and commitment of the MOCARS members who are always ready, willing and able to respond when needed," says the spokesman.
Coordination of the Field Day exercise was handled by MOCARS member Charles Oswalt. >Based on the success and some new ideas, planning is already under way for 2011.
>More than 15 club members participated and nearly a dozen inquisitive visitors of all ages watched and learned about amateur radio. > >Members participating included Belle Arnold, Raymond Arnold, >Yvette Ausby, Tony Bible, Ernie Bryant, Jimmy Brock, Lionel Bryson, Mark Galyean, James Johnson, Charles Oswalt, Jonathan >Poverud, Dave >Sapko, >Pat Sheedy, Marilyn Sheedy, Charles Wackerman, Bob Whittman and Hurley Young.
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