State-Run Kenai Connection Communications Exercise a Success

On the morning of Thursday, May 31, the Alaska State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) kicked off the planned Kenai Connection Communication Exercise at 1000L.  This event was designed to test backup communications between the SEOC located on Fort Richardson in Anchorage and the three hospitals on the Kenai Peninsula (Central Peninsula General Hospital, Soldotna; South Peninsula Hospital, Homer; and Providence Seward Hospital).  Satellite telephone links were tested, followed by Alaska Land Mobile Radio (ALMR), and then finally amateur radio communications.

Over 20 hams in Anchorage, MatSu, Kenai/Soldotna, Homer, Seward, Cordova, Fairbanks, and even Sitka participated.  Simulated emergency traffic passed on amateur channels was focused on logistics requests from each hospital.  All traffic was handled via voice means, either on VHF or HF, with some digital relay once it was received in the Anchorage/MatSu area.  Traffic inbound to the SEOC was received either directly on Anchorage voice repeaters from Kenai/Soldotna, or relayed into the SEOC from KL7JFU in MatSu or from the AARC Radio Science and Operations Center (RSOC) in South Anchorage. The exercise was terminated at 1200L. 

While opportunities were identified during the event (which is what we are certainly hoping for in an exercise), from the most important perspective we clearly demonstrated our ability to establish and maintain effective communications between the Anchorage area and the Kenai Peninsula. 

Thanks to all who helped with the planning and execution of this important event.  The following HAMs were known to have participated in this event:

Cordova KL2YE Mike Hicks
Fairbanks KL7EDK Jerry Curry
Homer KL2T Toby Reich
Homer KL4GU Marty Kitson
Homer KL4M Mike Velikanje
Homer N7UTV Fred Trieselmann
Kenai/Soldotna KL3ZY Kathy Heindl
Kenai/Soldotna KL7AN George VanLone
Kenai/Soldotna KL7NN Skip Caligan
Kenai/Soldotna KL7UW Ed Cole
Kenai/Soldotna WW0TT Don Wilson
MatSu KL1IL Ray Hollenbeck
MatSu KL2FA Carol Bush
MatSu KL7JFT Don Bush
RSOC (Anchorage) KL7TS TJ Sheffield
SEOC KL4CX Dan Knapp
SEOC KL5T Kent Petty
Seward KL1UD Craig Williamson
Sitka AL5X David Lowrance
Sitka AL6G Michael White
Sitka AL7BW Darryl Ault
Sitka KL4EL Todd Dokey



Kent Petty, KL5T
Anchorage DEC
Amateur Radio Emergency Service