Here is some guidance for participating in T-REX 2017
-JJS

1. ///EXERCISE EXERCISE/// Some of the traffic we pass is very
plausible and realistic. Many who stumble across our traffic nets may
not realize we are conducting a training exercise and could believe
there is a real world emergency developing. Always precede and end your
traffic with the disclosure that this is a training net. In voice
modes, say "Exercise Exercise Exercise. The following is traffic for
the T-Rex disaster preparedness exercise of 2017."

And at the end, "... again, this is only a training exercise."

For digital modes, add slants before and after your emergency training
traffic: /// EXERCISE /// or /// TRAINING EXERCISE ///

2. As the Army training adage goes, 'Train hard, fight easy', or 'An
ounce of sweat in training saves a gallon of blood on the
battlefield'. Although we want people to have successes and victories
during training, which builds confidence, we also need to embrace the
'suck' when we're training. Due to the solar cycle and other solar
weather factors, the band conditions are expected to absolutely SUCK!
This is a very real world factor that we could be (and have been) faced
with in real world emergency situations.

Make every reasonable attempt to pass or relay traffic. Use whatever
method or mode you can, as often as you're able, until your traffic gets
passed, or until you receive traffic others are attempting to pass to
you or others. If you are having great difficulty due to band
conditions, DO NOT FREAK OUT, and do not get discouraged. Pass what you
can, when you can. There WILL be traffic that never makes it out of the
gate or never reaches its intended destination. Some of you WILL have
antenna, transceiver, tuner, power, computer, software, etc failures.
Don't sweat it. Work through it the best you can. This is training and
this is designed to reveal shortcomings in your communications
equipment, training, and overall capabilities.

3. DIGITAL MODES WILL RULE THE DAY. If you do not have (at the very
least) digital receiving capabilities, you need to go to www.AmRRON.com
and type 'Digital' in the search box. There are several articles there
to help get you up to speed. The software is free. This is how most
traffic will be passed in this training exercise, and real world
events. It is reliable and gets through when voice does not.

20 meter bands are ruined right now and are expected to be for a while
(weeks or months). 40 meters is ruined right now for voice, and when it
is working it seems to be going LONG. So, 80 meters might be the way to
go for regional contacts. 40 meters might be good for digital contacts
at the outer edges of your region, and moderate interstate distances.
20m will work intermittently, so be patient with it and wait for that
opening.

The AmRRON SOI calls for Contestia 4/250 and MT-631KL for the
standardized digital modes. However, the situation on the ground (in
the air) will often dictate your course of action in a real world
situation. USE WHATEVER MODE GETS THE JOB DONE THE FASTEST! Feel free
to use MFSK 64 (fast), 32 (medium), or 16 (slowest but surest) modes.
The MFSK modes are also best suited for sending images using fldigi.

4. Take good notes about what went well, what did not, and improvements
needed to your station, your equipment, your skills, and your
local/area/regional network.

5. NET CONTROL STATIONS. You are expected to be on the air, but you
won't be alone! There will be six SIGCENs (Signals Centers) with three
to ten operators who are deploying together. They will be coordinating
with other SIGCENs across the country and will be standing by to assist
you. They will also help establish a roster of volunteer stations so
you can have some relief, and they are prepared to step up as Net
Control Stations where gaps are identified. SIGCENs will also be
contacting you to distribute Executive Summaries, News and Information
releases, etc. We're all in this together. We're all patriots. We
all want to help each other succeed, so don't get frustrated and take it
out on others who are trying to come alongside and help you.

6. SIGCENS. You have been requested to provide communications support
by various elements of leadership in your community or region. For some
of you, your local sheriff who does not have an active ARES/RACES group
in his county has asked for help. For others, groups of community
leaders inside and outside government positions have asked you for
assistance with communications to stay informed on regional/national
developments. And for others, the local ARES/RACES groups are
overwhelmed with what needs to be done and you have deployed to augment
communications and fill gaps that the county EOC cannot cover.

In all cases, the SIGCENs' secondary function besides local EMERGENCY
traffic, is to correspond and coordinate with the other AmRRON SIGCENs,
and National SIGCEN, to keep the network informed and connected. DO NOT
NEGLECT THE CH3 COVERAGE, MONITORING, AND TRANSMITTING OF INFORMATION.
There is no other viable system to keep the 'average joe citizen'
connected and informed in a grid down situation. Black Echo
Broadcasting Stations can be a huge asset in many cases.