The fall 2020 nationwide Red Cross Emergency Communication Drill will take place on Saturday, November 14, in conjunction with ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARESĀ®) groups. The focus of the exercise is sending messages from local sites to a group of divisional clearing houses to simulate and demonstrate amateur radio’s capability to relay information in emergencies and disasters. The drill will get under way at 0900 until 1800 local time in each time zone. The scenario is a major weather event that has caused outages and created hazardous conditions across the country.

The drill will use Winlink as the primary method of delivering pre-formatted messages. The goal is to encourage more operators to become familiar with Winlink and its message templates — primarily ARC-213. This format permits sending standardized messages. The drill aims to bring as many radio operators as possible up to a “basic” level of Winlink proficiency.

A series of Winlink Workshops is held each Thursday at 0100 UTC on Zoom. Join the SEC-ARES group for announcements and discussions. Include name and call sign when registering.

Winlink proficiency goals have been drafted, a Winlink technical support team has been formed, and metrics for drill success have been developed. The proficiency goals are established as a training guideline and reference online training resources. Many hams new to Winlink may find these resources helpful.

Several hundred radio amateurs have already signed up for the event. This event is open to all radio amateurs.