From ARRL ARES E-Letter August 16, 2016

San Diego Winlink (RMS Express) Weekly Drill Starts Eighth Year

Recently, the pioneering San Diego Winlink group began its eighth year of its weekly drill program. Ed Sack, W3NRG, said "I am pleased to note that in the period since we began, we have missed only one week on the drill exchange." And, "if my arithmetic is correct, that indicates we have conducted over 360 drills during the period. The number of drill participants has remained fairly constant over the seven year period the drill has been in existence." The number of addressees has been between 20 and 25 with approximately half of those having been active during the entire period and the other half being those who join, practice for a while and then are replaced by new participants. The weekly response rate runs from a low of 55% to a high of 90% with 75% being a fairly good overall average. During the life of the drill, there have been many upgrades to the Winlink (RMS Express) program. Of particular note, the idea of standard templates was introduced several years ago and the drill message today is sent out on the latest Winlink IC-213 template which, of course, can be accessed by those who use templates, as well as those who do not. Winlink has become the "program of choice" for emergency/disaster response work in many corners of the nation and the world. "We believe that having a trained and prepared cadre of Winlink emergency communicators in the San Diego/Northern Baja region provides a very powerful tool for ARES and other organizations to utilize should a serious emergency/disaster occur in this region. - Thanks, Ed Sack, W3NRG

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