Santa Clara County ARES®/RACES
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Field Packet Mini-Drill
Saturday, 27-April-2024

Activation Number XSC-24-02T
Purpose Packet Mini-Drill

  • Attendees will set up their own individual packet station outdoors and are free to walk around the parking lot as much as they want to see other peoples packet stations.
  • The Field Packet Mini-Drill is a short, focused drill designed to simulate a brief but real-world field packet deployment. It's a simple and fun way to gain practical experience deploying your packet station in a field setting and accomplishing a set of objectives patterned after real-world assignments.
  • The Field Packet Mini-Drill is only a few hours in duration. Participants arrive, check in at staging, receive a briefing, and then set up, operate according to the exercise scenario, tear down, and check out. You can be home for lunch (or shortly thereafter).


  • Arrive on time and participate for at least 2 hours, including setup and tear down of equipment
  • Operate on the air for at least one hour
  • Execute the provided exercise scenario
  • Complete all standard documentation and follow all standard operating procedures
  • This ***IS*** an approved exercise for credit toward credentials

Anyone involved in SCCo ARES®/RACES. Packet is our primary/preferred message handling method because it's fast, accurate and automated. Just like everyone today knows how to use email, every ARES®/RACES operator should be able to use packet (or should be working to get to that point).

Drill Participation and Credential Credit

Participation will be logged for participants that send all messages as directed by the Xanadu EOC and/or drill IC, and submit all paperwork for your packet messages including an ICS-214, and ICS-309.

The ICS-309 needs to be submitted in one of these methods:

  • An ICS-309 printed by a printer you bring with you.
  • An ICS-309 placed on an USB stick and printed from the provided printer.

Evaluations for SCCo ARES®/RACES credentials will be available for: P3 and P2. Those participating in an evaluation will need to utilize the Resource Net for Travel to the drill. The Resource Net will not be used for travel home.


Saturday, April 27, 2024


Parking lot across from the Sheriff's Office
55 W Younger Ave.
San Jose, CA 95110

  • 08:00 -- Resource Net Opens - Required for all DSW registered participants.
  • 08:15 -- Staging Opens
  • 09:00 -- Briefing (be on time, complete Staging process before the briefing)
  • 09:30-11:00 -- Operational Period
  • 11:00 Pack up, if participating in a Credential evaluation, review with the evaluator.
  • 12:00 -- All operators should be packing up by now
  • 13:00 -- Everyone gone
  • Plan to arrive in time to get through staging and have your equipment set up prior to 9:30. This includes attending a briefing at 9:00.

You must sign up in advance to participate in this exercise. See: 27-April-2024 Field Packet Mini-Drill Sign-up Page


Bring your own equipment

  • You will set up your individual packet station in the parking lot right next to your car.
  • You can set up with something as simple as a card table and chair.
  • You'll need a radio (HT recommended) to be in contact with the voice net(our normal procedure), plus your packet station.
  • You'll need something to keep papers from being blown around. Clipboards work well.
  • You'll need something to shield your screen from the bright light of the outdoors. In a pinch, a cardboard box painted black inside works.
  • A pop-up tent will not be needed, we will set up under the solar panels.
  • Antenna
    • A Mag Mount antenna will work just fine for this drill. If you have one, bring a dummy load.
    • If you bring a mast and tripod, be sure to bring 10-20 lbs of weight per leg to secure the tripod from tipping over.
  • Be sure not to block any driveways, setup only in a parking stall.
  • We recommend skipping at least two parking stalls between yourself and the next packet user. This will help reduce RF interference from others.

No AC Power

  • There will be no AC power available and we don't want anyone to bring generators. You will need to provide your own battery power.
  • Remember, this is supposed to be quick and easy. The operating time will be about 1 hour, 1.5 hours max. Everyone's station should be able to operate for at least one-hour on battery.

  • You will be provided an ICS-205 at Staging.
  • If you have a 220 radio, please use it. It will help reduce the load on the 2m channels.
  • If you have a dummy load plan to use it. We will use the W5XSC BBS and it will be located on site.

Follow all standard personal and RF safety procedures, plus:

  • Stay out of the traffic lanes in the parking lot. Stay within the parking spaces.
  • Bring sun protection. At a minimum, a wide-brimmed hat will work for some.
  • Bring sufficient weights to hold down and stabilize any masts you set up.

Suggestion for getting the most out of the exercise:

  • Arrive on time. Expect to spend about 15-20 minutes in staging. So be sure to leave enough time to be ready for the briefing on time.
  • Stay at least until you complete the exercise scenario.
  • For credential credit, you need to operate on the air for at least one hour and participate in the exercise for at least two hours. You must also use the Resource Net for travel to the exercise.
  • Set up your field station just like you would do in a real situation.
  • Avoid using your vehicle, except for transportation. In a real situation, it's highly unlikely that you will be operating next to your vehicle.
  • If you have time after completing the exercise scenario, walk around and see what everyone else is doing and what they use for their setup. Share ideas for your own station.
  • For questions about packet, use our Packet discussion group.
  • For more information about all of our discussion groups, visit our Discussion Groups page.


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This page was last updated 27-Mar-2024