Category Archives: Uncategorized

Modification to State RACES Program

Emergency Management officials are making some changes to the RACES program in South Carolina. A letter has been sent to those who have state RACES credentials. This letter explains what you have to do to retain your RACES credentials.

If you received a letter from South Carolina Emergency Management Division regarding your RACES credentials, click here.

AUXFOG Manual Now Available!

The first edition of the AUXCOMM Field Operations Guide is now available for download. This counterpart to the NIFOG is specifically targeted to the needs of Auxiliary Communications. It offers a wealth of information about frequencies, procedures, NIMS, and technical tips.

You can download a copy here.

SC AUXCOMM News Summer 2013

The following paragraphs provide a summary of SC AUXCOMM activities for January to July,  2013.

As of August 1, we have 65 individuals in the SC AUXCOMM database.  Members of SC AUXCOMM are encourage to help identify other Amateur Radio operators who demonstrate strong interest in Emergency Communications and conduct themselves in a professional manner under stressful conditions.  If you know of individuals that you would personally recommend, please contact your ARES, RACES or MARS Chief with your recommendation.   They have the ability to invite these candidates to become part of the SC AUXCOMM Corps.

Exercises/Incidents

Ardent Sentry

Members of SC AUXCOMM participated in multiple exercises during the first six months of 2014.  Members from the Charleston and Columbia areas supported a joint multi-state exercise under the leadership of the SC National Guard.  The SC State Guard provided adjacent communications for the National Guard and SC AUXCOMM was integrated into the communication plan to support Auxiliary Communication Systems.  The exercise centered around a hurricane affecting a multi-state area.  In this exercise, AUXCOMM deployed the SCHEART Communications Trailer to the Hampton Armory and provide operators to support auxiliary communication capability to field units and the State Emergency Operations Center.  The SCHEART Repeater system and HF communications were used during the exercise.

NDMS

SC AUXCOMM supported the National Disaster Medical System at the Columbia Airport.  In this exercise, multiple simulated injuries were received into Columbia as result of an explosion in Charlotte.  Patients were processed at a hanger in Columbia and then sent to regional hospitals.  SC AUXCOMM used the SCHEART trailer and provided back up communications to affected hospitals from the airport.  VHF and UHF repeaters on the SHEART network were used.  In addition, primary Internet and VOIP communications were provided by the SCHEART trailer to the Incident Command Staff.

State Full Scale Exercise

AUXCOMM members staffed the State Emergency Operations Center for this year’s Full Scale Exercise.  VHF/UHF and HF communications were tested during the exercise.

Infrastructure Updates

ECV- communications bus

The State Emergency Communications Bus was transferred from SC EMD to Urban Search and Rescue this past spring.  The USAR team is upgrading the bus and establishing an Auxiliary Communications operating position.  SC AUXCOMM members will be used to help support communications during deployments and exercises.  The bus will still be available for use by SC EMD if needed.

MARS

AUXCOMM recently deployed a third Winlink RMS station located at the ETV transmitter site in Spartanburg.  This brings additional flexibility to the Agency MARS communication program.  Also, all three stations have been converted to the latest operating software which has the ability to move traffic between RMS stations via HF if their Internet connections fail.  The Agency MARS program supports data communication for essential traffic during an emergency.  The following stations are now operational

AAB4SC- Spartanburg RMS                         AAC4SC- Charleston RMS

AAD4SC- Columbia RMS

AAN4SC- State Emergency Operations Center

AAN4SI  ECV

AAN4SI-1 Aiken County Trailer                   AAN4SI-2 SCHEART Trailer

AAN4SI-5 Fly-away Kit                               AAN4SI-6 Fly-away Kit

AAN4SI-7 Fly-away Kit                               AAN4SI-8 Fly-away Kit

SEOC

AUXCOMM is participating in several projects to update and improve auxiliary communication systems at the State Emergency Operations Center.   New Commercial VHF/UHF antennas have been installed to support Amateur Radio communications.  These antennas are rated for 150 MPH wind loads and supplement the existing amateur radio antennas that were rated only for 90 MPH gust.  New lightning protection has been installed on auxiliary communications systems and additional antenna work is schedule for the fall.  Additional work is planned for transportable station equipment that may be used at an Alternate EOC or Incident Command Center.

Administrative

Over the past year, representatives of SC AUXCOMM are meeting monthly with representatives of agencies responsible for communication systems.  These meeting have been hosted SC ETV and by SC EMD.  The focus has been on auxiliary communications improvements in the state and developing using AUXCOMM volunteers more effectively to support emergency communications capability across state agencies.