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Training Exercise January 2018

South Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team
Pickens County Emergency Management
Pickens County Communications Group


18 January 2018

Members of the Pickens County Communications Group and the Pickens County EMD participated in a training exercise conducted by SCHART, the South Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team, on January 17 and 18, 2018. The exercise was designed to train pilots and rescue teams in the rugged mountainous terrain of northern Pickens County.


The PCCG’s mission was to twofold. First, we were tasked with establishing a communications link between the base camp (Wesleyan Camp) and distant rescuers in the Horsepasture area adjacent to Lake Jocassee. We deployed one of Pickens County’s UHF-VHF crossband repeater kits at the Wesleyan Camp and were able to successfully communicate with some of our members near Rocky Bottom as well as with rescuers in the field.

Secondly, we were tasked with establishing an HF e-mail link to the SC EMD using one of the state’s four SHARES kits. This kit included a portable mast and folded dipole antenna, Kenwood commercial HF radio, TNC modem and a laptop running Winlink. We were able to successfully establish a connection with an RMS node and send out e-mail traffic.

Those who participated learned how to set up and operate both kits, and gained experience in deploying two different antenna systems. One of the important purposes of this type training is to learn without the pressure of a real-life emergency. We realized that there were additional items which would be helpful additions to the kits and discovered an electrical problem with one of the cross band repeater kits. Making the necessary adjustments to the kits along with the time spent practicing will ensure that our next deployment will be even smoother.


              Many thanks to Matthew Littleton, KN4SWB, who did an excellent job of conducting
              the training for our group.


Submitted by                    
Harry Davis N4DDS                    





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