Citadel Rumble Communications Drill - West Coast

Contact Rob K6RJF with any questions.

Seven San Diego Winlink operators supported a Navy West Coast medical exercise on 8/6/19. It was not an ARES exercise, but the ARES name inevitably arose in discussion and appeared in the news story. Many thanks to the volunteers!

San Diego Participants:

Bob Younger AI6KU
Patrick Gooden K6PFG
Gary Asbury N6GLS
Mike Bradbury N2DDS
Rhonda Bradbury KK6KTM
Bill Honaker N9LZ
Rob Freeburn K6RJF
Dennis Yard N1TEN

Photo being displayed.........(U.S. Navy Photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Pearl/Released)

SAN DIEGO NNS (August 06, 2019) Gary Ashbury and Mike Bradbury of Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) test HAM and Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) capabilities during Citadel Rumble 2019 at Navy Medicine West (NMW). Over a two-day period, NMW conducted emergency communication checks with Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB), Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor, U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, and U.S. Naval Hospital Guam. Citadel Rumble is an annual training exercise designed to increase Navy preparedness in response to disasters that may occur in accordance to response plans that are in place.

Unmentioned in the news story but deserving great thanks are the volunteers who keep the global Winlink radio system functioning 24/7 and who keep the software up-to-date across platforms.

We are still collecting a list of lessons learned from the exercise yesterday, and a few of the lessons learned might become new steps in the telnet desktop drill planned for September to rehearse for the November hospital drill.

The RF side of the drill went smoothly. We operated four Winlink stations simultaneously (3 VHF + one HF) with minimum mutual interference. This was the second year that we participated in Citadel Rumble with the Navy Medical focus being an earthquake scenario north of Seattle affecting a Naval Air Station.

Pre-fill CCs. Every Winlink drill is an exercise in rediscovery of Winlink software features and buttons that we forgot existed. A bright note is that a software suggestion made yesterday by Bob AI6KU was adopted immediately by the Winlink Development Team and released today as a software update. The improvement is the ability to preset automatic CC addresses on outgoing messages.

Timeouts. As a Winlink user, you know that some Winlink gateway owners limit the connection time allowed by users to X minutes per day or Y minutes per connection. The exercise yesterday was high traffic volume, and some operators timed out gateways, even though all traffic was text and forms (no photos). During a real event, we would attempt to contact the gateway owners to request more connection minutes.

Note: Pactor for this event was the HF gateway connection mode. Local packet gateways were also used to facilitate communications.
Traffic volume for the 2 day event was very high. It has always been a WDT suggestion to set daily usage in Trimode to max.

Mike xe2/n6kzb

Gary Ashbury and Mike Bradbury  SDG ARES
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