We are announcing our EPA Spring SET for Saturday, April 1, 2023 in coordination with the American Red Cross in Greater Pennsylvania and Southeastern Pennsylvania. This is NOT an April Fools joke. The date of the first Saturday in April just happens to coincide with April 1.

The good news is this will be an all-digital exercise employing Winlink. Whether you use utilize packet or VARA-FM or VARA-HF, you can send a  status message via Winlink to a TACTICAL CALL of the Red Cross. I realize many of us believe that only email addresses will work, but Jay King, W2AFE, our exercise coordinator, assured me these tactical calls work.

The exercise details are included in the announcement below. You may participate as an individual, a unit group either from your home station or in the field. There is no time window as long as you operate on April 1.

As you can see in the announcement, you will just be sending a status message to the chapter (logically, closest to you). A sample message is included below. You will state your availability and some other details that are stipulated.

Please make an effort to participate in this exercise. It can’t be much easier to take part, but the drill is good practice and will help the American Red Cross gauge our capabilities as well as availability. For those who do not possess Winlink RF capability, it is permissible to use Telnet.

Thank you and stay safe!

EPA Spring SET Announcement

The Pennsylvania Red Cross Emcomm teams in Greater PA and Southeastern PA invite all PA ARES members, Red Cross hams and unaffiliated amateur radio operators, to participate in a Winlink drill for the April 1st, 2023 SET. PA hams are invited to check in with Pennsylvania Red Cross chapter headquarters.

On April 1st, participants address a Winlink message to any PA Chapter(s) using ICS-213, ARC-213 or freeform Winlink message. Provide the following information: Name, call, location, county, if you are ARC and/or ARES, if you are on emergency power, if you are mobile, if you can deploy with VHF/UHF station for up to 12 hours and, Winlink connection details.


Subject: April SET Winlink checkin W2AFE
Joe Smith
Collegeville PA
Montgomery co
Not on emergency power
Not mobile
Able to deploy
VHF VARA via AA3E-10

Note: Use Winlink VHF/UHF, HF or telnet.


The tactical calls for the Pennsylvania Red Cross Chapter Winlink stations are: ARC-ERIE, ARC-PITTSBRG, ARC-GRENSBRG, ARC-JOHNSTWN, ARC-STCOLEGE, ARC-WILKSBARE, ARC-ALLENTWN, ARC-LEWISBRG, ARC-HARISBRG, ARC-SEPA. Address your drill traffic to these stations. Please check in only once per chapter.