Official Relay Station Reports
(Station Activity Report)
(Public Service Honor Roll)
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Traffic Net Reports
Traffic continues to be very much active here in the Section. Below are key updates related to November.
DFW Traffic Net relays over 3,000 radiograms this year
I am happy to announce that traffic handlers at the local-level DFW Metroplex Traffic Net relayed over 3,000 pieces of traffic so far this year! November alone saw 525 pieces of traffic, exceeding June’s 467 pieces driven in part by Field Day traffic. In fact, if you look at the last 12 months, you can see that we’ve come a long way from February’s 74 to where we are today.
This is significant as, just as large-scale incidents start and end at the local level, traffic ideally starts and ends at the local level, with section, state-wide, regional, and wide area nets moving traffic between local level nets. These increases stem from holding regular traffic handling classes, bringing new programs online to encourage participating in new and engaging ways, and holding our first traffic net exercise in recent memory.
Speaking of the exercise…
DFW Metroplex NTS Functional Exercise a resounding success!
In case you are not aware, the DFW Metroplex Traffic Net managers and I collaborated on an exercise to test the system during a simulated cell network outage. During the exercise we had 34 pieces of traffic including test emergency traffic relayed between participating stations and a simulation emergency operations center. We also provided real-time information online via an exercise dashboard to provide a central location to see where reports were coming from along with the status of cellular connectivity in those areas.
This exercise followed the Department of Homeland Security’s Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP), a set of guiding principles for approaching exercise management, design, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning. Based on this exercise, the DFW Net Managers and I compiled an After Action Report / Improvement Plan outlining exercise successes and areas for improvement. It also outlines our plans to improve, and will serve as the framework for trainings and future exercises as we head into 2021.
Some of the key observations and learnings include:
- Major strengths
- Net Control Stations maintained control of the traffic net throughout the exercise, including when emergency traffic unexpectedly arrived.
- Traffic handlers relayed information with clarity, quality, and accuracy using proper traffic formats and protocols.
- The vast majority of stations were able to work the repeater with a clear quality signal. Only three stations are known to be unable, and two of those relayed via simplex to an intermediate traffic handler to facilitate delivery to the Simulation EOC despite not having a documented process on how to do so.
- Primary Areas for Improvement
- Only 66% of exercise traffic was turned in post-exercise.
- Stations unable to reach the repeater did not have a clear alternative way to relay their traffic.
- Net Control Station did not regularly announce the ask: what the net is seeking to achieve, the fact check-ins are only being accepted for this purpose, etc.
You can find out more details in the AAR/IP document.
Public Service Honor Roll for November 2020
Congratulations to these amateur radio operators that qualify for Public Service Honor Roll!
Steven Phillips (K6JT)
Aaron Hulett (K8AMH)
Jo Ann Keith (KA5AZK)
Roger Elkinton (KE5YTA)
John Hazelton (KF5IOU)
Justin Lentz (KF5IVJ)
Ron Ford (KF5OMH)
Korky Kathman (KG5NNA)
Melissa Tanner (KI5GRH)
Next NTS training Session Saturday January 16 at 2 pm Central time
With the holiday season approaching, there is no training scheduled for December. The next session is Saturday January 16 at 2 pm Central time. If you would like to attend, please be sure to sign up!
As always, many thanks for your commitment to the traffic system. As we reach the end of 2020, I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday seasons and I look forward to updating you about December once we’re in 2021!
Aaron | K8AMH