Re: Saturday Nov 14th Drill


Hi Bob and DST group:

First - I stand corrected on the so called "Winlink shutdown" (I am glad to learn there IS redundancy in the system). This is twice  that I have picked up information from the SEC-ARES group that was wrong. The other was in sending pictures over Winlink during the drill! We all must learn to NOT believe every thing we - see - read - and hear! Verify it! That also goes for disaster management, when many rumors are flying about!!

Now on to Winlink use and training. Bob - KG6RGI wrote: "The idea of Winlink is to get it directly to the intended end user." That is SO TRUE!"  So just WHO is the END USER?? That will depend on the circumstances and conditions created by the disaster event. Primarily Red Cross is called in to mitigate the effects of a disaster on disaster victims. For effective and timely relief for Red Cross clients, communications is VITAL! As a DST TEAM our mission is to set up an operative and reliable communications infrastructure, of computers, printers and networks, and radio communications systems, not only in the San Diego, but in other areas Red Cross may be deployed! This takes TRAINING!  In the local geographic area, where Red Cross is setting up to serve clients, if the disaster has destroyed ALL communications infrastructure, then the END USER becomes workers and staff in all vital Red Cross ICS functions!! There is a term used in disaster management called "The Last Mile." During the Katrina disaster the "Last Mile" was more like 50 Miles, in which NO normal communications systems were left operative!! ONLY reliable Point-To-Point communications, will allow Red Cross to serve its clients with the services they need. Radio communications would need to be established at locations like: Shelters, Service centers, the CDOC, Temporary Evacuation points (TEP), Staging areas, The County EOC, to name a few. The distances are short and easily covered by VHF Winlink - VARA-FM  Peer To Peer (P2P) or repeater communications, to send and receive filled out Red Cross Forms. There have been many discussions about how to handle, and have the forms filled out. Filling these forms out by hand will NOT work and is prone to errors! The most efficient and accurate means I see, is for DST Team members to be equipped with tablet computers. If a "End User" needs to send a message form, such as an ICS213, 6409, then the DST worker would "open" that "form" up on the tablet, and have the Red Cross staff worker fill it out. Then this message with the attached form  could quickly and reliably sent on a Winlink VARA P2P connection! DO YOU NOW see the VALUE for the Red Cross DST Communications Teams to TRAIN and develop skills on VARA-FM on Winlink P2P, and repeater  station relay??!!! NOTE: there is a VARA "Broadcast - chat" function, where an announcement or status report can be received by all the P2P stations on the net frequency, that I plan to learn through TRAINING!
For disaster message traffic to and from a disaster area, going to/from National or Divisional, for mutual aid support, obviously would be handled on HF PACTOR  or  VARA 4.0. - using the same Winlink skill set learned in TRAINING!

73 Bruce   WA6DNT@...   WA6DNT@...             

On 11/12/2020 3:34 PM, Bob Birch wrote:

During the meeting I asked all who were planning to participate in the drill to send me an e-mail. Since I didn’t get one thought something had come up and you were not going to be available.


As for Winlink system, to my knowledge its only the website, NOT the capability to transmit winlink msg’s.


We will have drills in the future. Not sure how much interest is really there right now. As for P2P, not a big fan as it only ends up on the two winlink computers that transmitted the msg. The idea of Winlink is to get it directly to the intended end user. In P2P someone will have to transcribe the msg onto another format to deliver.



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