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:
|RSOC (Anchorage)||KL7TS||TJ Sheffield|
Kent Petty, KL5T
Amateur Radio Emergency Service