I wasn't questioning the need, just the vision of the government and some of the previously served non-govt. organizations. I know first hand through the DMAT organization that their orders from Homeland Security was to make their communications 100% self-contained. I think a significant clarification needs to take place if we are all to have a meaningful dialog -- we need to list those agencies who require Amateur Radio comms to meet their critical communications needs and those who will not (or are moving in that direction). Once we have a verified list of which served agencies and organizations are and which are not then I think we may better assess what resources are needed of the Amateur Radio Service and which are not. So far across multiple lists the target keeps shifting. We have some folks in some areas telling us that the National Guard has secured the local EOC of any but National Guard communicators using their own gear and spectrum. In other cases, e.g. the DMAT's, we are observing the something similar. The Red Cross in some areas gives the back of their hand to Amateur Radio ops and in others really makes use of them. Not sure where we stand with the Salvation Army or the various church denominations with disaster response resources. The Christian Contractor Assn. here in West Central Florida showed up at a drill with a tractor trailer mobile command - with their own gear and ops. As a former SEC I love the idea of significant Amateur Radio Service involvement but I have seen Hams show up ready to go only to be ignored or sent away. I think we need to clarify the mission and the list of served agencies.
I just spent 9 days in Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras handeling communications for feeding operations that prepared over 60,000 meals. our resupply communications were critical because there was no refridgeration in Mexico. That's critical communications. FEMA didn't come aboard until after we had finished our feeding effort and things were returning to normal.We were fortunate to have had satellite Internet communications. Buthad that failed, we couold not have possibly sent out our supply request in a timely manner or correctly as the list were sometimes long.Whatever you think about disaster communications, I can say with certainty that you certainly need amateur radio highspeed, robust datas communications. If you want to feed, provide clothing, shelter and medical needs for the masses, and you are a non-governmental organization, you WILL need amateur radio highspeed, robust datas communications. Been there, done that and got the T-shirt. And that was last week.When the next CAT 4 or 5 hurricane hits the Gulf Coast or Eastern Coast of the U.S. or tornado ravaged town in the South West, come on out and operate one of our command and communications units and then tell me you don't need amateur radio highspeed, robust datas communications.Walt/K5YFW
-- Thanks! & 73, doc, KD4E Personal: http://bibleseven.com/kd4e.html Ham QTH: http://mysite.verizon.net/kd4e/