FEMA Region X will conduct an interoperability communications exercise on December 21 that will use 60 meters. The “COMMEX” will consist of radio 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.
“Cities, counties, tribes, authorized Federal agencies and amateur operators that support jurisdictional emergency management organizations are welcome to participate,” Laura Goudreau, KG7BQX, Regional Emergency Communications Coordinator for FEMA Region X, said in announcing the exercise. “The coordination and authorization of this net between Federal stations and amateur licensees has been coordinated and authorized by the NTIA and the FCC.” Federal participants will include Department of Homeland Security, the US Coast Guard, FEMA, the US Army, the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS), Civil Air Patrol, and the Department of Commerce.
The net will include a digital component, intended as a one-way broadcast to test FEMA’s ability to send messages and for remote stations to receive them. To ensure compatibility with Amateur Radio stations, digital transmissions will follow ARRL’s recommendations for the use of digital modes on 60 meters.