The AREC AGM was held on Thursday 30 October. At the meeting John ZL4JY presented a report on the activity over the past year, summarized below.
Most of the Group's AREC activity is in support of SAR and Police, our contribution is set out below. Members have supported neighbouring branches, including a dedicated AREC evening at Titahi Bay Branch 42. The Group continues to assist with the Wellington Wander Search supporting Police searching for missing Alzheimer's suffers.
In additional to our operational roles two projects this year have been established the AIS project (see below) and an initial roll out of linked digital repeaters to support wide area AREC operations such as experienced during the Christchurch earthquake.
SAR Event Log
The Group’s AREC section was contacted for a smaller than usual number of incidents over the past year. The laregest opertion was the May SAREX.
Training - Wellington District SAREX 2014 Camp Wainui, Wainuiomata
LandSAR, Police, and AREC members gathered at base camp before the midday start of the 12-hour event. AREC team leader John Andrews had written the communications plan, HF tasks and score sheets. John spoke at the briefing and headed the Incident Management Team (IMT) on the day. Five AREC members in total had worked on the SAREX plan in the months leading up to the exercise. Equipment was set-up on the day included a gruelling half-hour climb in rain to deposit a portable repeater on a hilltop.
During the event, the VHF system was in constant use, using the portable hilltop repeater and a DoC fixed repeater. Including the Police channel, AREC ran four VHF channels and monitored the LandSAR HF channels of 3023 and 5680 kHz. The IMT averaged fifty messages per hour as teams checked into task stations and moved around the exercise area.
Our AREC effort received a big thank you from Sergeant Jo Holden, Coordinator Search and Rescue, Wellington District Headquarters.
IMT with John ZL2HD (on radio) and Ray ZL2RAY on the right - image by Nichol Ranger
Jo commented “AREC operators John and Ray worked pretty hard to get HF working for the start. They then maintained communications with all teams throughout the exercise without complaint; there were times when not much was happening, but there were also times when all three channels were going at once! The annual SAREX is an important part of the training calendar, bringing together SAR volunteers and police, to advance specialist skills. The contribution made by AREC is valuable and appreciated,’’
Particpating were: John ZL2HD, Ray ZL2RAY, Randal ZL2RJP, Rick ZL2TVY, and Phil ZL2PJG.
Marine AIS receiver operational July - The marine AIS (Automatic Identification System) is an automatic tracking technology used by ships to send and receive position reports. This will be useful for coastal SAR ops.
Members gathered all the quipment the section is responsible for and gave it a thorough check-out inlcuding the section's new HF trasnceiver (right foreground), nicely packaged by John Zl2HD.
Equipment check-out August 2014 - image John ZL4JY
This year has involved meetings at national SAR level assisting the National Director Jeff Sayer. I have also been looking after the management of AREC ZK call signs for NZART. This year I established a web site for AREC nationally http://arec.today it is still just getting started but already there are some interesting material on the site. I have had more overseas travel than usual over the last year and this has reduced the number of Group meetings I've been able to attend.
I would like to thank John Zl2HD and Ray ZL2RAY who have carried most of the AREC SAR load this year as well as AREC members from Branches 69, 42, and 50.
John Yaldwyn ZL4JY, AREC Section Branch 74 and Area Manager Central District