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2. Exercise Objectives

2.1. Introduction

The point of any exercise should be to accomplish something. This section outlines some of the key objectives for the current exercise.

2.2. Structured Communications

The October 2009 SET had intended to demonstrate a structure flow of messages between the counties and the State EOC, along existing chain of command lines. (If you will recall, an earlier exercise along an incident-specific structure elicited some significant complaints.)
The results were not encouraging. Only one of the section nets organized as expected, and few counties or Districts attempted to exploit the NTS structure. The exercise structure did leave the Districts a lot of opportunity to apply their own creativity, but apparently the intent was insufficiently clear.
For this exercise, net schedules and message paths will be detailed ahead of time. Each section net has a schedule and specified liaisons. Each District has specified liaisons. There will still need to be some thought applied to the interface between the District and the appropriate VHF net, but both responsible parties are known well ahead of time.

2.3. District Communications Plan

During the 2009 SET it also became evident that not all Districts have thoroughly thought through within-District communications paths. This issue is discussed in more detail in a later section.

2.4. NTS Familiarity

Although most communications in any incident is local, and most of that is tactical, strategic communications, whether local or otherwise, requires a higher level of discipline. NTS procedures and structures provide that discipline within amateur radio.
Each program requires at least a few people that are familiar with the existing NTS network and how it works. There is a summary later in this document. All individuals operating in ARES/RACES should have at least some familiarity with NTS procedures. There is significant NTS training happening around the Section so at least a few individuals capable of passing NTS formatted messages should already be available within each program.