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2020 DFW Metroplex NTS Functional Exercise

November 7, 2020
10 am – 2 pm

All traffic handlers in the Metroplex are invited to participate

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Why are we running a functional exercise?

A functional exercise provides a way to evaluate capabilities and multiple functions using a simulated response.

This exercise will help us evaluate system readiness and allow traffic handling stations to practice their skills in a simulated real-world scenario. It is being executed by the DFW Metroplex Traffic Net managers and the ARRL North Texas Section Traffic Manager as part of evaluating NTS readiness in the North Texas Section during a major incident.

View the press release from the ARRL North Texas Section

How will the exercise be carried out?

This exercise will take place across the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex during the dedicated time period above with specific instructions for traffic handling stations, net control stations, net managers, Section Traffic Manager, and Official Relay Stations to follow to:

Facilitate a realistic yet simulated scenario in a synchronized manner

Coordinate data collection and reporting

Develop an after-action report with steps on how to improve

Traffic handling stations will be asked to originate traffic to a simulated Emergency Operations Center containing a real-world situational report on cellular network connectivity. Net control stations will track check-ins and coordinate relaying listed traffic efficiently and according to precedence. All exercise participants will be asked to keep and turn in information at the conclusion of the exercise to help with evaluation. Specific details are available in the Exercise Documents below.

Exercise dashboard

During the exercise we will provide real-time updates regarding received situational reports on the exercise dashboard.

Winlink, EchoLink AllStar, and similar options are not permitted during the exercise

EchoLink, AllStar, or other options that are not over the air are not permitted during the exercise. Additionally, radiograms via Winlink, even if over the air via packet or other means, are also not permitted as the focus of this exercise is having traffic handlers check in and relay their traffic on the repeater-based traffic net.

How can I participate?

If you have a real-world emergency at any time during the exercise, break into the net using the prowords BREAK BREAK followed by your call sign and the words, “real-world emergency.”

Please do not check in “for the count”

While we appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and desire to help, we will only be taking check-ins from amateur radio operators with exercise traffic. Those checking in during the exercise that do not have exercise-related traffic, including those checking in “for the count,” will be asked to not participate.

Here is what you can do to prepare for and participate in the exercise

Become familiar with traffic handling prior to the exercise – see resources below

Ensure you are operating within the exercise area – see map below

Review the exercise documentation and reporting resources below

During the exercise window, send traffic containing requested information in the format required

When the exercise concludes, compile and send requested information within three days

This exercise will take place on the WA5CKF repeater system.

These repeaters are linked – use the repeater you prefer.

2 meters

146.72 MHz
Negative offset (-600 kHz)
PL Tone 110.9

1.25 meters

224.40 MHz
Negative offset (-1.6 MHz)
No PL Tone

70 centimeters

442.675 MHz
Positive offset (+5 MHz)
PL Tone 110.9

Traffic handling education resources

While one of the goals of the DFW Metroplex Traffic Net is to provide training, during an incident or an exercise we are not able to provide real-time training as we are focused on incident-related traffic. Please prepare beforehand as once the disaster begins, the time to prepare ends.

You can become familiar with traffic handling before the exercise by:

incident map
Functional Exercise Area

Traffic handlers can participate from anywhere in the DFW Metropolex Traffic Net service area using over-the-air capabilities to reach the repeater-based traffic net.

Exercise documentation and reporting

Player handbook

The player handbook provides background, exercise expectations, and additional details for exercise participants.

Incident Briefing and Incident Action Plan

The Incident Briefing and the Incident Action Plan (IAP) outline the scenario and the ask from Incident Command.

Radiogram reporting form

Traffic handlers can turn in radiogram copies electronically via this Google form within 3 days of the end of the exercise.

This form will accept responses at the beginning of the exercise.

General feedback

Whether you participated in or observed the exercise, you are welcome to provide feedback using this Google form within 3 days of the end of the exercise.

This form will accept responses at the beginning of the exercise.