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CQ October 2013 - On the Cover Antennas, antennas, antennas… Radio communication requires antennas, and the ability to transport and set up an antenna wherever it’s needed is part of what makes ham radio keep on working “when all else fails.” Getting practice transporting, setting up, and using both radios and antennas in remote locations is a significant part of amateur radio emergency communication training. The antennas on our cover for this month’s Emergency Communications Special were set up at the Manatee County Emergency Support Group’s 2013 Field Day operation in Bradenton, Florida. The MCESG is an umbrella organization providing ham radio communication support via ARES®, the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service, and RACES, the federal government’s Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. MCESG members come from throughout Manatee County and are not necessarily connected with any other club or ham radio organization. According to the MCESG website, the group’s primary mission is to provide backup communications for Manatee County Emergency Management in times of need. This includes setting up and operating stations at the county Emergency Operations Center, the Red Cross, various emergency shelters, or other locations that need communications. In addition, MCESG members work with the local Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, providing that group’s members with communications training and encouraging those interested to get their amateur licenses and become part of MCESG as well. For more information, visit <https://www.manatee- arc.org/ARES/ARES.htm>. To learn what other groups are doing in terms of ham radio emergency communication, check out the various articles throughout this special issue. (Cover photo by Larry Mulvehill, WB2ZPI)
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