Sunday, 18 November 2012

HAMNET News: 18 November 2012

Herewith an abridged report on the recent cross-border Search & Rescue into Mozambique: - the full report will be available at the website, and we thank Chris Gryffenberg, ZS6COG, for this report!

Quote: - Description: Mobilization of HAMNET Gauteng South to offer communication assistance during the Search and Rescue effort launched by ARCC on 29th October – 3rd November 2012.

Hamnet Gauteng South were able to mobilise a unit of two representatives and most of the equipment needed for the operation. Support came from various sources to ensure that nothing was overlooked regarding, equipment, clothing, reflective jackets, extra linear amplifier as well as a stronger power supply.

Glynn Chamberlain, ZS6GLN, took charge of the JOCC – Joint Operational Control Centre, on the grounds of ARCC, Air Rescue Control Centre. With the assistance of another 11 operators, working in shifts over 5 days, did an absolutely fabulous job of getting the information to Santjie White, head of ARCC.

Communication on occasions was challenging but stations as far afield as Windhoek assisted in sometimes doing a relay!

Some problems were encountered, which is to be expected namely teams were a bit on the small side, fatigue became an issue as information had to be taken by hand from the JOCC to ARCC, due to strict security at the centre!

We again need to look at enhancing our equipment to ensure that in future we do not need to outsource for equipment we do not have for any operation! This also includes being better prepared and improving tactical support for such operations!

Sending messages not related to the operation also needs to be looked at as well as the funding of any operator for such a length of time for food and possible refreshment.

Recommendations will be handled in detail in due course which includes more members at a duty stretch; more experienced operators at JOCC level although Judy and Francois did an excellent job in Beira.

The complete list is available in the full report.

Further vetting of member capabilities and the update of the Standard Operating Procedures, SOP, with the database of member capabilities will be undertaken in 2013. More training exercises are needed to stay vigilant and prepared.

In conclusion the HAMNET Gauteng South team was elated to be considered or providing the communication for this operation conducted from the Beira Airport – which is International territory and assistance also provided through Diplomatic channels! This was a first cross border deployment for HAMNET Gauteng South, and is considered a mile stone by their members.

Preparations for future collaboration are already underway and the members are taking the task very seriously. Thank you to Ms. Santjie White of ARCC and Francois Botha, Director of HAMNET for providing the challenge and the mandate on this occasion.

This abbreviated report prepared by Francois Botha, ZS6BUU.

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