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Exercise Strategy

Strategy for the October SET

John McDonough

ARRL Michigan Section

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Each October the ARRL holds a national event called the Simulated Emergency Test. Although ARRL's view of this event is more of a contest, it has been the practice of the Michigan Section to use the SET as an exercise opportunity.
For the past few years the Section has been using exercises as an opportunity to improve the interface between the ARES and NTS organizations. During the May 20011 National Level Event, additional opportunities for improvement became apparent. This document is an attempt to elucidate some ideas which would permit the 2011 Simulated Emergency Test to be used to help move those improvements forward.

1. Introduction
2. Capabilities to be exercised
3. Issues to address
3.1. SEOC as Net Control
3.2. Interface between ARES and NTS
4. Possible Approaches
4.1. ARES-NTS Relationships
4.2. Liaison to the SEOC
4.3. Net ownership of response duties
4.4. "Outlier" nets
5. Exercise Evaluation
5.1. No players at the evaluators conference
5.2. Exercise Evaluation Guide
5.3. After Action Evaluator's Conference
6. Specific Assignments
6.1. District Emergency Coordinators
6.2. Net Managers
A. Universal Task List - Common Capabilities
A.1. Planning
A.2. Resource Management
A.3. Communications
A.4. Training and Exercises
A.5. Risk Management
B. Contact information for District Emergency Coordinators
C. Contact information for Net Managers
D. Preparedness Criteria
E. Target Capabilities List
E.1. Common
E.2. Prevent
E.3. Protect
E.4. Respond
E.5. Recover
F. Revision History

1. Introduction

Each October, the ARRL holds a "Simulated Emergency Test". Although it provides an excuse for an exercise, the SET is actually a contest. Unlike most contests where points are awarded for the number of contacts and number of sections contacted, points for SET are awarded for the number of agencies involved.
For several years, Michigan has used SET as an excuse for an exercise, and has focused on various skills. In some years we focused on packet, others on deployment, more recently we have been working on the NTS interface.
After the May NM11 exercise, a post exercise meeting was held at the Midland Hamfest. A number of issues became evident during the May exercise which were discussed. Much of the discussion centered around congestion at the SEOC.
With this backdrop, this paper introduces some thoughts for the 2011 SET and how we might use it to test some alternative methods for interfacing with the SEOC.