CCARES Weekend Exercise

Frozen Canal

Operation Artic Chill

[Frozen Cape Cod Canal photo courtesy of W1MPN
Click on photo to enlarge in your browser window.]

Happy WQ1O A happy WQ1O, CCARES DEC, presided over his “Operation Arctic Chill” exercise on Sat 1/31. Based at the Sandwich EOC, team members established comms around the entire Cape Cod district (including Martha’s Vinyard and Nantucket Islands) using pre-planned 2m, 6m, and HF frequencies. NVIS quick deploy antenna systems were used for HF comms.

Please press “Read More” button to read the after action report and view some pictures. [Work on this piece is in progress – W1MPN] [WQ1O photo courtesy of W1MPN
Click on photo to enlarge in your browser window.] CCARES Exercise #18 “Operation Arctic Chill” After Action Report

The exercise began at 10am will the following EOC stations:

1. CCARES EOC Hyannis

2. Sandwich EOC

3. Falmouth EOC

4. Martha’s Vineyard EOC

5. Nantucket EOC

The CCARES primary operations Net was established on the RACES repeater 146.955. A resource Net was established on the Falmouth Repeater 146.655. An NVIS callup was started on 7232khz. NTS mesages were initialized just after 10am. Many messages were passed between EOC stations. Several home stations were used for relay and liaison purposes. 6m FM was established for backup long range district wide operations. Operations ended about 12:15pm as stated goals were met.

Sandwich EOC Evacuation and Field Operations

At just after 11am, a simulated evacuation was begun at the Sandwich EOC. Vehicles were designated for 30 minute intervals to be used for cold weather rehab. Temperatures were in the low to mid 20s. A trailer was used for field NVIS operations and 2m operations. Another vehicle was used to support 6m operations. Both vehicles had expedient vertical antennas for vhf usage.

NVIS Operations

NVIS contact was established with Hyannis and with Nantucket. Band conditions were very poor, but signal from Nantucket was good. Contact with Hyannis was in close proximity and was somewhat weak.

VHF and 6m Operations

VHF repeater communications were nominal as expected. Our control operator simulated repeater failure of the RACES 146.955 Dennis machine by shutting the repeater on and off without notice. Operator did not know the repeater status from one moment to the other. Simplex emergency communications on the output of the repeater were successfully implemented. Signals were excellent. 6m FM continued to prove a star performer. Its range and clarity have made it a continued favorite for district wide usage.


NTS messaging continues to improve with each exercise. This is especially true of “message fills” and corrections. Operators are moving messages with increased efficiency.

What Worked/or Not/Lessons Learned

1. Appropriate cold weather clothing cannot be over emphasized It can never be too much!

2. Adequate spacing for RF interference is a must if vehicles are operating simultaneously on VHF

3. A rehab vehicle can significantly ease the burden of the Operators in cold conditions

4. All metallic masts and accessories must be handled with gloves (re-emphisized from last year)

5. A simplex 2m or 440 local field operations frequency is a must if using seperate vehicles

We wish to thank Dick Farrar W1RBF and the Town of Sandwich for hosting the field operations team. We also wish to thank the Nantucket, CCARES and Martha’s Vineyard ARES groups for their participation. The following operators participated in the exercise.

Frank Olaughlin WQ1O
George Allen N1NBQ
Brad Fligor KB1QL
Jim Bradbury WA1KCC
Bob Courtemanche N1WAT
Henry Brown K1WCC
Ben Carnevale W1VZT
Dan Howard K1DYO
Kent Bradshaw KB1ESG
Ritchey Guild KB1EAJ
Jim Leavitt KC1KM
Ron Trainor KC8CEV
Ross LLoyd KB1IMO
Paul Finnegan WA1JSE
Trenor Goodell N1PIV
Nick Norton K1NGJ
Ken Blackshaw W1NQT
Andy Bullington W1AWB
Jon Thayer KB1ILC
Phil Raneri W1PJR

Our special thanks to SEC Mike Neilsen for taking the time out of his busy schedule to visit us. Other visitors included Laura Neilsen, Rob Macedo KD1CY, Tony Duarte N1XRS. good to see everyone.

Preparations are already underway for the Section execise on 02/21/04

Respectfully submitted,
Frank Olaughlin WQ1O
Cape&Islands ARES District DEC

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