Ships Medics Receive Amateur Radio Training

Two amateur/ham radio operators attached to a US Army civilian contractor Tim Millea, AJ7UU, and MARS Volunteer Doug Smith, W7KF, have recently provided amateur/ham radio training to medics aboard  the hospital ship USNS Mercy

The USNS Mercy was beginning a deployment from San Diego to Hawaii, where the training of 12 crew members was conducted.

The pair provided two or three training classes a day for the crew, who took the classes following their work shifts. Classroom training was interspersed with on-air activities in the ship’s Amateur Radio room. The Mercy is utilizing the Weak Signal Propagation Reporting (WSPR) tool under K6MRC.

The ARRL VE Team in Honolulu was fantastic to work with,.Due to spotty internet connectivity while at sea and strict base access and security issues in port, the VEs in Hawaii had to exhibit extraordinary patience and persistence to administer the exams aboard Mercy.
— Doug Smith, W7KF

On 3rd March 2018, the Mercy docked in Hawaii, where a group of local Volunteer Examiners (VEs), headed by ARRL Pacific Section Manager Joe Speroni, AH0A, administered Technician and General licensing exams to the students.

More than 18 sailors and civilians assigned to the USNS Mercy passed their Amateur Radio exams, administered in Pearl Harbor. The successful candidates had their new call signs or upgraded tickets two days later.