Loudoun Amateur Radio Group
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEWS SUMMARY: Loudoun County Hams Gear Up to Practice Emergency Communication Skills on June 22-23.
(Purcellville, VA, June 5, 2002) Amateur Radio operators of the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group will work around the clock to conduct an emergency radio communication exercise and contact thousands of other operators in the American Radio Relay Leagues Field Day. For the first time in its 69-year history, Field Day officially will expand its scope beyond the borders of the US and Canada to include participation by amateurs in all of North and South America--including the Caribbean. Another significant change this year is the new "Get on the Air" or GOTA station, which replaces the Novice station at Field Day setups. The idea is to give newly licensed as well as generally inactive amateurs and even unlicensed individuals a chance to participate--under the supervision of a licensed control operator. According to John Unger of Hamilton, Chairman of the Field Day Committee, Field Day is a real fun event for testing emergency preparedness. Unger also says Its a chance to fine-tune communication skills and team work. We use generators and battery power, and we set up stations and antennas in the field. The idea is to put together self-sufficient, working stations quickly and test our communications capabilities. This year well establish seven field stations to operate on voice, Morse code, digital and satellite communication systems. Each station will have computer logging and message handling capabilities. Several of the stations will operate only on battery power as in a real emergency situation. And, we hope to again make contact with amateur radio operators on the International Space Station.
The ARRL Field Organization has been effective in establishing emergency communications nets during floods, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and other major disasters. Members of formal emergency organizations such as the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the Radio Amateur Communication Emergency Services (RACES) regularly participate. Members of the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group provided communications support during the 9-11 attack and annually support the Loudoun Chapter of the American Red Cross in their exercise with the Reston Bike Club ride across Loudoun County. The ARRL estimates that more than 35,000 hams participate in Field Day every year. The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group Field Day Team will deploy to a farm west of Waterford. Set up begins at 4 PM, Friday, June 21, 2002.
SUMMARY: Loudoun Amateur Radio operators to contact thousands of other hams in the nations largest ham radio on-air event.
WHO: Licensed Amateur Radio Operators in Loudoun County.
WHAT: Hams will set up and operate field radio stations to contact other hams throughout North and South America. The objective is to see who can make the most contacts during the 24-hour exercise period.
WHERE: Local amateur radio operators are invited to participate and are asked to attend the Final Preparation Meeting on Saturday, June 15, 2002, at 8:30 AM at the Leesburg Public Safety Center, 65 North Plaza Street NW, Leesburg, VA. Contact John Unger, W4AU, at 504-338-4620 or visit the LARG Internet site at www.k4lrg.org.
WHEN: Saturday, June 22, starting at 2:00 PM through Sunday, June 23, at 2:00 PM.
WHY: Participation in the American Radio Relay Leagues Field Day. Amateur Radio operators practice communication skills under primitive conditions, with generator and battery-powered equipment and portable antennas. Field Day is a competition as well as a trial run for emergency communication skills used during disaster situations.