2018 Virginia Section Report
I would like to wish a Great and Prosperous New Year to all Virginia Hams and their families.
The following is a report to our Virginia Hams as to the State of ARRL activities in our Section.
I am extremely grateful to be your Virginia Section Manager for another term. Thank you. In 2017; we have had several accomplishments stopping
several incorrect attempts at new state legislation that would have hindered mobile operation of our equipment. This is always a work in progress, as we now have a couple of bills in committees for the 2018 session, that need to be resolved. Emails have been circulating keeping many of up to date with our activities.
Substantial cleaning of years old ARES/RACES records was accomplished. However, we still have a way to go to establish a clean list of current members. We are still working to establish cooperative EMCOMM training for all hams in various agencies like CERT, local government EC
agencies, regional EMCOMM groups, SHARES, and MARS. This continues to be a work in progress invitations still stand to interested parties.
Amateur Radio representation is part of the recognized communications for emergency services by the state of Virginia. We have a seat on the Virginia Interoperability Executive Council which is part the official Virginia First Net program.
While we were lucky this past year that we had no significant storms, however, we did have several teams of hams from Virginia deployed to Houston and Puerto Rico for several weeks to assist with communications. This again, is confirmation of Amateur Radio Emergency Communications capabilities.
We have added a few ARRL and FEMA trained individuals around the state to assist clubs and agencies with their training programs. Better and
more cooperative training programs are being evaluated. Better and more interactive Virginia ARES web activities are also being worked on.
Please understand that in the commercial/public domain there are paid support persons. In our activities, we are all volunteer and this takes
extra time and with donation of hosting, support time does not fix problems as quickly as we all would like. In addition, the updating of ARRL HQ computing systems has also generated record problems.
The newly established (2017) WINLINK ARES/RACES net has grown to over 92 plus check-ins just from Virginia hams, every Wednesday of each week. Results are logged each Thursday on the ARESRACESofVA Facebook page. Thanks to Greg Butler KW6GB. This has shown us the true capability of using WINLINK during any type of emergency that develops.
ARRL Headquarters is starting to develop program improvements to ARES, RACES, and several other programs. This is designed to bring training, and other parts of these programs into the 21st century and current as well as new Federal programs. More cooperative and uniform training are some of the subjects being reviewed. This as we understand is reasonably longer term project for 2018.
More and better cooperation, information, and programs are coming in 2018. Join us and work with us in this new year.
Dr Joe Palsa
Section Manager, State Government Liaison Joseph G. Palsa K3WRY
Public Info Coordinator - Ken T. Longnecker KN4BAF
Section Traffic Manager - John D. Johnson K0IBS