Wednesday Tip

  1.  Develop your own local ‘micro’ scenarios.  You know your communities better than we do.   You know what industrial sites or other potentially hazardous factors are in and around your community.  You know what highways, waterways, bridges, mountain passes, or other features which might become factors in the event of a total grid down situation.  Develop realistic scenarios for your family, group, or organization for you to practice responding to or planning for.   Those smaller scenarios within the larger scenario should enhance the overall larger scenario, and should focus toward emerging hazards you might anticipate, and humanitarian relief efforts.
  2. Any security or tactical related radio traffic and reports that you create in your local networks should stay within the scope of civil unrest, looting, riots, and otherwise, criminal activity.  Do not generate or relay reports or traffic simulating adversarial conditions with government entities.  If you see this, it is a plant or an agent provocateur attempting to undermine AmRRON and the training exercise.  Report such scenario traffic to so we can spread the word among AmRRON Corps.  Instead you should be working to develop working relationships within your communities with the goal of supporting your churches and local government entities (if they need and want it), so long as they are not misusing their power or acting unlawfully, or otherwise causing you to be in conflict with the AmRRON Mission Statement and Guiding Principles.
  3. Ensure that any scenario-related traffic you pass over the radio is labeled  ***EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE*** and/ or  ***THIS IS ONLY A TRAINING EXERCISE***  at the top and bottom of the body of your narrative.
  4. Follow the SOI frequencies, times, and modes, and any special instructions or requests by Net Control.  Documents we’ve referred to (such as previous training exercise instructions) are for reference only.  If there is a conflict between previous training exercise documents and the AmRRON SOI, then the SOI supersedes previous guidance.   For example, references to previous JS8Call exercise guidance was for the purpose of directing your attention to the formatting of a PIR report within JS8Call and your Station Info field, NOT the frequencies or establishing a JS8Call group name for the exercise.  Use @amrron as the JS8Call group name.


Tuesday Tip

1. Not all traffic is for YOU. There are generally two categories of traffic — ‘Wide Distribution’ and ‘Directed Traffic’.

Wide Distribution: Typically consists of news, reports, and announcements intended to get into everyone’s hands. It could also be intended for ‘limited’ wide dissemination within a local area. For example, the Sheriff’s department might be requesting medical assistance from anyone in the county who can report to 123 Elm Street, Mayberry, IN. If you live in Tuscon, Arizona, you don’t need to pester the radio operators you see on the air discussing the Indiana Sheriff’s request, simply because it’s a piece of traffic you don’t have. Persistently requesting message traffic that does not pertain to a particular party or region often results in interference.

If there is wide distribution intended for all parties across the country, or your region, or state, or your community, then of course, feel free to work those stations to get 100% of the traffic successfully and accurately.

Directed Traffic: This is typically traffic intended for a single operator or party. Stations should announce, “this is directed traffic for xxxxx.” Avoid interfering with stations which are handling directed traffic if it is not being specifically directed to you, unless you are assisting with relaying such traffic. It is not a ‘collect-them-all’ contest where you have to hound stations for every piece of traffic.

2. ‘OFFICIAL EXERCISE TRAFFIC’. There are two types of official exercise traffic in this exercise — ‘Requested Traffic’, and ‘Pre-Loaded Traffic’.

Requested Traffic is that which NCS specifically asks for during a scheduled net. For example, expect NCSs to REQUEST that all stations (who are capable) report their STATREPs (Status Reports) to him/her. NCS will compile those and send them up the chain.

Pre-Loaded Traffic. Several radio operators across the country have volunteered as ‘Initiating Stations’. They have (or will have) received instructions to inject traffic into the exercise over the radio at pre-determined days/times to enhance the scenario. Pre-Loaded traffic will consist of SITREPS or other traffic which will contain control numbers, formatted as TA-XXXX or TP-XXXX. Any other exercise traffic going UP the chain which is not requested or which does not contain exercise traffic control numbers will be disregarded and not relayed.

3. KEEPING THE NET CLEAR: Unlike our regularly-scheduled practice nets, Net Control will not be taking checkins for the sake of taking checkins. Keep the nets clear for traffic.
– If the NCS doesn’t tell you to transmit, don’t transmit.
– If NCS asks for traffic, or instructs you to report, then report and follow his/her instructions for doing so.
– Please offer to help relay if needed. Stations attempting to pass traffic may not have a good path between them. If you have a good copy on two stations who are attempting to pass traffic, but who are struggling, jump in and offer to relay. You might be able to receive the traffic from the sending station and relay it on to the receiving station. If able, try to coordinate among yourselves to move up or down 5 kHz to keep the net frequency clear. NCS may even direct you to change freqs to exchange the traffic.


Monday Tip

STATREPS.  In a real-world emergency, one of the first things AmRRON will be trying to do is understand the size, scope, and effects of an event, and then compiling that information to send back out to you for your own situational awareness.   That ‘snapshot’ is formed using information supplied by YOU, the individual radio operators dispersed across your states, regions, and the nation (and beyond).

One of the simplest and quickest ways to do that is for you to submit a STATREP (Status Report).  This helps us, at a glance, understand who has power, internet, communications, transportation, etc.   In other words — who is hardest hit?

Begin reviewing how to fill out and, if you are able, submit a STATREP.   The most efficient method is to submit an ‘Abbreviated STATREP’.   More information on the Abbreviated STATREP can be found in Section 6.3.1 (Page 37) of your Signals Operating Instructions.

During the exercise, Net Control Stations (NCS) will be requesting STATREPs at the onset of a grid down emergency event.  Have your report prepared prior to the beginning of a net.

SIMULATE that you are entirely grid down in terms of commercial electrical power, telecommunications, internet, and other modern services.   The STATREPs that you prepare and report should reflect this.   Ideally, the reports should flow up the chain:

Family/Group –>  Local Net Control –> Regional/HF Net Control –> AmRRON National Net Control

If your local NCS does not have HF capabilities, then the STATREPs won’t be able to go any farther.  That’s okay.  Your local NCS is the hub for communications in your local area,  He/she will still be able to make use of the aggregate information to keep the rest of the members of the local net informed of local conditions.

Feel free to also check out the White Paper covering STATREPS

Station operators who have used JS8Call in previous training exercises: 

PIRs (Priority Intelligence Requirements) will be issued at the onset of the exercise, over the air on the HF nets, requesting information in R/Y/G (Red Yellow Green) format responses.  This will provide an opportunity to revisit some of the formatting and reporting tools, for those operators who have participated in monthly and quarterly JS8Call training exercises over the past year.

We encourage radio operators who use the digital/data mode JS8Call to review the previous exercise documents, and be prepared to place PIR reports in your ‘Station Info’ fields.   Here’s a good example:

Especially, pay attention to the portion of that document which covers the following:

JS8Call Station Info Field Settings to report your PIR: enter the information requested in the PIR(s):

1. Your Four-or Six-character grid locator (depending on your comfort level), e.g. EN09ab.
2. One semicolon character (;) and NO SPACES. (Semicolons also separate multiple PIRs, when present.)
3. OCG activity in your AO, with Green/Yellow/Red/Unknown (abbreviated G, Y, R, U) conditions. The
conditions are defined as follows:

a. Green (G): All is normal
b. Yellow (Y): Caution advised
c. Red (R): Dangerous situation
d. Unknown (U): Unable to determine.

4. Example “Station Info” field messages:
a. DN09ab;PIR1=G < North Dakota location; no OCG activity >
b. FN56cd;PIR1=Y < Maine location; some OCG activity>
c. BQ40ef;PIR1=R < Northern Alaska location; confirmed OCG activity >