Report on Radio Relay International and Winlink… the latest exercise.

I have received the following email with respect to the exercise between amateur radio and the US Navy in Sept of 2018

Report on Navy Medical Exercise September 5Th/6th San Diego California.

                    Citadel Rumble

“Winlink was used both on packet and HF, and worked very well in message delivery”


At the request of the supported agency, Navy Medicine West, hams used
the Winlink System to exchange both Express ICS and HICS forms (including the familiar
“213”), photos, and diagrams about 1,200 miles between the simulated
earthquake-affected Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in the Seattle,
WA area and the Navy Medicine West Headquarters at Naval Base San Diego, CA. An element of the event was testing with Radio Relay International and the Express Radiogram.

Most hams have never sent or received an NTS/RRI Radiogram. On
9/5/18, that began to change when a West Coast Navy Medical Exercise
provided an opportunity for a few hams to send “I’m OK” test welfare
traffic to family and friends across the US on behalf of themselves
and others involved in the Navy Medical Earthquake Exercise named
“Citadel Rumble”

Radiograms are now very easy to send thanks to recent improvements in
the free Winlink Express software used by hams to connect to the
global Winlink Radio System. Prior to the template, hams relied
on the NTS/RRI “Pink Card” which provided detailed Radiogram
grammar rules CAUSING the same anguish as a high school writing style
guide, and then they had to find a traffic net to send their

“While there is no substitute for the experience gained from regular participation on traffic nets,

 the Winlink Express software template will prove ideal for the occasional user or those
 whose experience is limited”
With the click of a few buttons, the Winlink Express software automatically
formats and transmits a grammatically perfect Radiogram to NTS/RRI traffic
handlers across the US.To expedite the delivery of welfare message traffic during the
exercise, Radio Relay International activated their US network of
traffic handlers and set a delivery goal for welfare traffic of 6
hours or less.

Umpires indicate that more than 60 Radiograms were sent as a part of the
9/5/18 exercise. That’s a good start, and planners hope to increase
the visibility, familiarity, and volume of Radiograms by making
Radiogram welfare traffic a regular part of future exercises.

The recent improvements to the Winlink Express software that enable

 easy sending of Radiograms were brought by Winlink Development Team (WDT) members
 Mike Burton XE2/N6KZB and Greg Kruckewitt KG6SJT in collaboration
 (RRI) liaison Steve Hansen KB1TCE facilitated the drill along with RRI Staff Manager
 James Wades WB8SIW.  Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (Oak Harbor Clinic) Emergency
 Manager Mike Cox KI7SDQ, and San Diego Assistant Section Manager (Training) Robert Freeburn
 were the on site managers.
 From the left:  Curtis Price K6IBP (waving)  Bob Younger AI6KU (seated)  Dennis Yard N1TEN (seated)  Mike Bradbury N2DDS (hidden in comm van)
John Wright K6CPO  Rhonda Bradbury KK6KTM  Not in photo: Gary Asbury N6GLS, Patrick Gooden K6PFGPhoto by: Rob Freeburn K6RJF