F. R. Sussey Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron to host ARRL Field Days

The F.R. Sussey Composite Squadron will play host to the Fulton Amateur Radio Club and the Oswego County RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) annual amateur radio exercise the week end of June 23 and 24 at the Oswego County Airport.

Field Day is open to all amateurs in the areas covered by the ARRL/RAC Field Organizations and countries within IARU Region 2.

Amateur radio licensees John Darling, Dave Robinson, Rick Boutell and Bob LaMay prepare equipment for any emergency they may be called to assist in.
Amateur radio licensees John Darling, Dave Robinson, Rick Boutell and Bob LaMay prepare equipment for any emergency they may be called to assist in.

The event will begin at 2 pm on June 23 until June 24 at 2 p.m.

Field Day is an annual amateur radio exercise, widely sponsored by IARU regions and member organizations encouraging emergency communications preparedness among amateur radio operators.

In the United States, it is typically the largest single emergency preparedness exercise in the country, with more than 30,000 operators participating each year.

Since the first ARRL Field Day in 1933, radio amateurs throughout North America have practiced the rapid deployment of radio communications equipment in environments ranging from operations under tents in remote areas to operations inside Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs).

Operations using emergency and alternative power sources are highly encouraged, since electricity and other public infrastructures are often among the first to fail during a natural disaster or severe weather.

To determine the effectiveness of the exercise and of each participants operation, there is an integrated contesting component, and many clubs also engage in concurrent leisure activities (camping out, cookouts, etc.)

Operations typically last a continuous twenty-four hours, requiring scheduled relief operators to keep stations on the air.

Additional contest points are awarded for experimenting with unusual modes, making contacts via satellite, and involving youth in the activity.

The FR Sussey Composite Squadron cadets have been studying and testing to receive their amateur radio license and are eager to get on the air and learn more about this activity. They will also be learning how they can perform vital community service during extreme weather or other emergencies through this event.

The OCEC/RACES is a manpower resource that provides professional skills to the Office of Emergency Management and the government of Oswego County.

These skills include administrative and logistical communications to the emergency service agencies within the County and to other jurisdictions including the State Emergency Office when needed.

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in emergency communications, whether a licensed amateur radio operator or not, and is 18 years of age. A student membership that carries some restrictions is available.

The RACES group looks forward to participating in this Field Day to hone their skills and enjoy the camaraderie Field Day stresses emergency preparedness.

Frequently, entire radio clubs get involved and assemble a portable radio station in a field or park. Some might use quickly deployable portable antennas while others might erect more elaborate radio masts and towers supporting several antennas.

Generators or solar power provide electricity to amateur radio transceivers, which may be located in tents, cars, recreational vehicles, or other portable shelters.

The contest aspect of a Field Day operating event is to contact as many stations as possible in the given time period using portable station. Each station will exchange information with other participating stations.

The contest portion of Field Day has two purposes.

The primary purpose is to demonstrate the group’s ability to plan operations that can be effective for an entire twenty-four hour period, including operator endurance and adequate numbers of operators for a shift operation.

The secondary portion is to demonstrate the technical proficiency of the station that has been hastily constructed for the purpose; in theory a better station will be capable of emergency operations in more dire conditions.

Such a station will also be capable of making more contacts during the contest portion of Field Day.

Field Day is frequently used to attract significant publicity for amateur radio, and some clubs simultaneously demonstrate technologies including single sideband voice, Morse code, digital modes (such as RTTY, PSK31 and Winlink, among others), and communication via amateur radio satellite.

The public is welcome to attend this event and learn what amateur radio is all about.

Civil Air Patrol will be available to direct the public to the event.