By John Yaldwyn
More than 70 people gave more than 3,000 hours to this successful and enjoyable SAREX Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th October 2009 at Kapakapanui. About half the effort was in field team work with the balance in the initial track laying, AREC, Incident Management Team (IMT), and planning.
Operating from the Kapiti Coast District Council purpose built Civil Defence and Emergency Management Centre in Paraparaumu the event was to provide training for Land SAR Wellington for both field teams and the headquarters’ IMT. For field teams the skills to be exercised included tracking and clue awareness, processing, search methods, navigation, and radio communications. For the IMT team we wanted to practice the setting up and operation of the computer and communication systems, IMAN, TUMONZ, downloading GPS and giving exposure of some IMT tasks to members new to IMT.
The SAREX kicked off on Friday with Kapiti Branch Section leader Len Blackley ZL2GO heading out to install an ESB band portable repeater. Operations on VHF used the KCDC ESB fixed repeater and the portable repeater. HF was also deployed to give teams practice with the Polsar radio. AREC messaging logging and dispatch was maintained using IMAN connected to the main IMT area over the LAN.