“Black Swan 18” is a communications exercise aiming to test how well responders, emergency management agencies, and non-government organizations (NGOs) activate, operate, and complete communication missions, specifically in terms of the volume, accuracy, and speed of radio traffic. The scenario for the October 4 – 10 Black Swan 18 will be a series of winter storms and associated events. ARRL Field Organization teams have been invited to adapt this activity as the basis of their annual Simulated Emergency Test (SET). Operational periods by participating organizations should not exceed 48 hours.
“In a high-impact disaster, response will need to include many organizations bringing their unique expertise and resources to bear in a coordinated fashion,” the Black Swan 18 announcement explains. “Black Swan 18 will test this ability to operate across geography and among complementary organizations. Cooperating forces include the Ohio Military Reserve (2nd Battalion), the ARRL Ohio and Iowa sections, and Air Force MARS.”
For this exercise, communication between US government radio stations and Amateur Radio stations is authorized on the five channels at 5 MHz where the Amateur Service has secondary status. Exercise communications must yield to real-world emergency communications. Interoperability will remain in effect for the duration of the exercise.
The exercise will run in three stages:
1. “Build-Up” is October 4 – 5, when organizations involved in preparation for large events or response to localized emergencies may wish to participate.
2. “Intense Action” is October 6 – 7, when most organizations will be establishing operating stations and handling radio traffic in support of emergency preparation, response, and recovery. Organizations that cannot participate during the “Intense Action” timeframe may run their own exercises in any 48-hour window during the scenario.
3. “Recovery” is October 8 – 10, when organizations preparing for and engaged in recovery operations may wish to participate.
Localized severe weather events and effects may cause activation in the week before or the week after the scheduled timeframe.
Ohio Military Reserve will provide exercise controllers on SHARES stations NNO5HA, NNO5HD, and NNO5HG. This activation has been approved by the FEMA Spectrum Manager.