AmRRon will be holding its annual T-Rex exercise Friday through Sunday, August 6th, 7th, and 8th, 2021.
This exercise is for anyone wishing to test their communications and disaster preparedness plan in a simulated nationwide cyber attack scenario-based training exercise using unconventional communications such as ham radio. Even those with limited radio capabilities will be able to participate in this years training through the Channel 3 Project. That means you Technician level operators will have a chance to interface with HF operators in this nationwide exercise.
A goal of this TEOTWAWKI Rediness Exercise is to practice using communications equipment and skills, implementing your disaster preparedness plan, and to identify weaknesses and areas needing improvement.
AmRRon issued a WARNORD, or ‘WARNO’ (Warning Order) on May 17th.
This T-Rex communique outlined a simulated nationwide cyber attack and scenario-based, grid-down disaster training exercise, with special emphasis on non-conventional emergency communications.
ENEMY: Unknown. However, intelligence leading up to the exercise indicates a nation-state actor with advanced, sophisticated cyber warfare capabilities.
FRIENDLY FORCES: AmRRON Radio Networks; various emergency communications networks; local and/or state government and non-government entities, disaster response services.
MISSION: Conduct local, regional, and national nets to ascertain the size, scope, and effects of the (simulated) cyber attack.
Simulate coordinating relief efforts and providing public information services for the operator’s community. Simulate and demonstrate support to community leadership in response to various emergency and relief efforts (churches, mutual aid groups, other logistical and/or security elements).
EXECUTION INTENT: Pre-developed scenario, with timeline, will be implemented by AmRRON, with ‘Initiating Stations’ injecting previously-distributed traffic into the net.
Initiating Station will initiate radio traffic in the form of a SITREP (Situation Report) based on information issued to him/her prior to the beginning of the exercise. The Initiating Station injects their traffic into the exercise at a prescribed day and time to help enhance the realism of an unfolding scenario.
Preloaded Traffic (or, ‘Inject’) issued prior to the exercise, will describe a situation which has developed in your local area. Each ‘Inject’ will also have a set of instructions or guidance to help you produce a report from the information you had been given, including the day/time at which you are to send the traffic.
Each individual station is expected to develop a STATREP or SITREP, and be prepared to pass that information to the net when requested by NCS.
Consolidated information, news, and intelligence will be distributed to the network from AmRRON National and other pre-coordinated stations, to provide aggregate information to the network.
Additional guidance will be produced and posted via:
- AmRRON Mobile Team App
- AmRRON Corps communications tools such as the Z-Net and the AmRRON Corps Forum.
News and alerts will be released leading up to the exercise, culminating in a nationwide loss of grid power, all telecommunications, and commercial transportation on Friday, August 6th.
AmRRon NCSs will then be on the air to begin receiving County STATREPs. All AmRRON operators on the air to assist.
Exercise will terminate on Sunday, August 8th, at a time to be determined.
HOW to Participate in T-Rex:
Although the event is sponsored by AmRRON, all other interested parties are free to train along with the exercise scenario. Keep checking AmRRON.com for more details and videos to help prepare you for T-Rex 2021.
Using tools, such as the AmRRON Signals Operating Instructions (S.O.I.), and best practices, non-conventional communications will be used to share participants’ status, relay intelligence, and receive information distributed to and through the network, using voice and digital communications software, programs, and tools.
I originally suspected JS8Call will be one of the digital modes used as we have trained previously with that software. However, it appears from the latest guidance from AmRRon the data mode most likely to be used is FLDigi.
Multiple resources, tutorials, and postings with embedded videos.
Leading up to the exercise, pre-mission ‘Public Information Releases’ will be posted at AmRRON.com and over the radio during nets.
Sedgwick County AmRRon Participation.
Be sure to reference your AmRRon National S.O.I. as the tactics and procedures described there will be emphasized. Since the plan is to activate our local AmRRon net on 146.420 MHz, you’ll also want to refer to our Sedgwick County S.O.I. for operating instructions locally. Overall, our goal will be passing STATREP or SITREP traffic up and down the RF frequencies.