Laura Goudreau, KG7BQR, Regional Emergency Communications Coordinator for FEMA Region X, said the December 21 Region X interoperability communications exercise on 60 meters went well.
“We had 48 check-ins, of which 42 were amateurs,” she said. “It was very successful and also included our first digital test.”
The “COMMEX” consisted of check-ins from authorized state, tribal, federal, and Amateur Radio stations to test HF interoperability in case of an emergency or disaster response. FEMA Region X is made up of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
The interoperability aspect between federal stations and Amateur Radio licensees was coordinated and authorized by the NTIA and the FCC. The net included a digital component, intended as a one-way broadcast to test FEMA’s ability to send messages and for remote stations to receive them.
Goudreau said that while there’s still room for improvement in the digital area, overall, she was happy with how the exercise played out. She said FEMA would continue these exercises in 2017.