On February 21, US Army civilian contractor Tim Millea, AJ7UU, and MARS Volunteer Doug Smith, W7KF, embarked on the hospital ship USNS Mercy from San Diego to Hawaii to begin its deployment for “Pacific Partnership 2018” (PP18), a humanitarian assistance exercise that will include several Pacific stops. Their mission during the first leg of the voyage was to conduct Technician and General Amateur Radio classes for more than a dozen military and civilian personnel crewing the Military Sealift Command hospital ship, and to provide training in military HF communication procedures.
The pair provided two or three training classes a day for the crew, who took the classes following their work shifts. Classroom training was interspersed with on-air activities in the ship’s Amateur Radio room. The Mercy is utilizing the Weak Signal Propagation Reporting (WSPR) tool under K6MRC.