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Copperas Cove Repeater Association, City Emergency Management hold Amateur Radio Field Day

Cove Leader-Press 

The Copperas Cove Repeater Association – Amateur Radio and the Copperas Cove Emergency Management hosted a “Summer Field Day” on Saturday and Sunday, June 22 – 23 at the Ogletree Gap Park. 
The purpose of Field Day is for local amateur radio operators to demonstrate to the public how they might set up radio stations and antennas under portable conditions, which might be used in case of a disaster or communication breakdown. 
The exercise scenario is to operate for 24 hours using emergency power, including generators, batteries, and solar power, and to make as many contacts as possible with other stations operating under the same conditions. 
Amateur radio individuals, groups, clubs, or Emergency Operations Centers took part in the nationwide event. Each had their own class of operation. 
The Cove Repeater Association operated under their call sign, K5CRA, reporting as a Class 3A, from North Texas (NTX). The “A” meaning a club operating portable, and using a facility not normally used as an amateur radio station. The “3” meaning they were operating three radio stations on the air. NTX is one of the sections listed in the U.S. and its territories.
The club had an information table with handouts to explain to visitors the functions of our group and its relationship with assisting emergency management in the City, County, and State. It was stressed that having an FCC Amateur Radio license is required to operate the radios on the amateur radio frequencies, but with the assistance of licensed hams, there were three “First Amateur Radio Contact Awards” presented to those that gave it a try. 
Information was available on how to study for the 35 question Technician class (entry-level) exam. When the operator is ready to upgrade to the General class or Amateur Extra class, additional operating frequencies are allocated to the licensee in the amateur radio spectrum. They also said that the club has a Volunteer Examiner Team that can administer the FCC exams, noting that Morse Code is no longer a requirement as part of the exam process. 
Gary Young, club President and the Copperas Cove Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator said, “We had eight visitors that came to learn about amateur radio and really showed an interest in becoming ‘hams.’ We had 28 club members that visited or operated the three radios. We made 224 phone (voice), 101 CW (Morse Code), and 15 digital contacts. The U.S. and Canada are made up of 71 Sections and we communicated with 65 of those Sections.”
The Club also participates in Winter Field Day, and the next one being on the last full weekend in January with approximately the same requirements. 
Both Field Days are hosted by volunteers that passionately believe that ham radio operators should practice portable communications to help increase the level of preparedness and improve operational skills in subpar conditions. 
This is a prime opportunity to work with Chief Young to bring amateur radio to the table when it comes to emergency management preparedness. One club member, Priscilla Beauregard, 85, stayed out the entire time.
More information about the Copperas Cove Repeater Association can be found on their Facebook page or on their web page at 

Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Phone:(254) 547-4207