Participation appears to be growing in the monthly Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region X HF interoperability exercises, which take place on 60 meters (center channels 5,332 and 5,348 kHz) on the third Wednesday of each month. Check-ins include state, tribal, federal, and Amateur Radio stations, to test HF interoperability in an emergency or disaster response. FEMA Region X is made up of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, but all stations are welcome.
Laura Goudreau, KG7BQR, Regional Emergency Communications Coordinator for FEMA Region X, said the January 18 exercise attracted 56 check-ins, 47 of them Amateur Radio stations. Also checking in were six Army and two Air Force MARS stations, three SHARES stations, and one FEMA station.
“The propagation that day allowed stations to participate from as far north as Houston, British Columbia, as far east as Billings, Montana, and as far south as Cupertino, California,” Goudreau said. “During the exercise, voice and data (both BPSK31 and MT63-2KL) were successfully tested.” The January numbers are up from 48 total check-ins, including 42 radio amateurs, in December.
The next FEMA Region X HF Interoperability Exercise will take place on Wednesday, February 15, 1730-1845 UTC.