RACES Update Message from Acting Massachusetts State RACES Radio Officer Mike Neilsen-W1MPN

The following is from Acting Massachusetts State RACES Radio officer, Mike Neilsen-W1MPN:

Hello all Stations:

I want to take this opportunity to thank you all again for the great support you provided your towns/cities/state government and volunteer organizations during the October storm as part of the RACES/ARES/SKYWARN/MARS teams.

In its aftermath, many of you understandably turned your attention to the impact and damage from the storm on your own and neighbor’s homes.  Consequently, we had to shelve our ACS, ARWG, and MRAS meetings temporarily.  We are now in process of rescheduling these meetings in December and January as best we can considering the holidays.  We have scheduled a leadership meeting for further exploring the ACS path for AR EMCOMM work on December 17th.  The ARWG will pick up its role to best leverage the new environment for hams.  We then want to expand the discussions to the MRAS group in January.  Additionally, a select group of the leadership will be available to speak to EMCOMM centric clubs who are interested in contributing to these discussions.

Many of you know that I place a very high value on readiness.  Our focus on system preparedness, particularly in the simplex mode has borne significant fruit for us.  Some stations are setting up relays to enable communication between those repeater dependent stations.  I applaud these efforts.  In coming months we will also focus on exercising our emergency power and antenna systems, in an effort to hone those skills.  I am also pleased to say that our nets are simultaneously getting more accustomed to passing routine and logistic traffic on resource and administrative nets.  Remember there are also several traffic passing nets meeting regularly such as the “heavy hitters”, just to name one where you can practice these skills.  When did you work with VHF/UHF SSB and HF NVIS last?

Some of you have expressed interest and/or concern that tactical traffic skills may languish.  In the late spring or early summer we will have an operational exercise for passing voice and digital traffic.  One of my long term readiness goals is the greater use of digital modes.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a wonderful thanksgiving celebration.  Please travel safely as well.

I desire the widest dissemination of this message.

Regards and 73,

Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN
State RACES Officer (Acting)
Chairperson, Amateur Radio Working Group
Member of the MA State Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC), and Policies and Programs subcommittee
Office Answering Service/FAX 978.389.0558

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