Stray Signals

Sea Cadets earn Ham Radio Technician License – ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Jeff Winner for Olympia Amateur Radio Society

During the Winter break from school, local Sea Cadets of the Capitol Battalion Sea Cadets took the opportunity to earn their Amateur Radio Technician’s License. On December 18 through 20, Thurston County District 13 Griffin Fire Station hosted these local Cadets. The class and hands-on practice were provided by Lee Chambers KI7SS, Steve Ward WC7I, and Bruce Montgomery WA7BAM, from the Olympia Amateur Radio Society (OARS). Following their test on the 20th, the group received a gift of five hand-held VHF/UHF ham radios on Thursday followed by a field trip to Lee’s (KI7SS) shack. On Friday, they visited the Thurston County Emergency Operations Center and talked with Emergency Coordinator, Tom Bohon W7BHN.

How did this training come about?

In order for the cadets to receive promotions in the Sea Cadets they have to complete several requirements. One of the requirements is to attend an advanced training for each promotion. These training camps, usually 1-2 weeks long, take place all around the country and cover just about any subject you can think of. But, due to budget changes this year within the federal government, it was unclear if there were going to be any training opportunities within driving distance of Olympia during winter break from school. The unit leadership started looking at training opportunities we could provide locally for our cadets. Ham radio seemed like a good fit on a number of levels, from the opportunity for more community service if they earned ham licenses, to fitting in with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program which would benefit our cadets in virtually any career field they choose to enter after leaving the Sea Cadet program.

I was vaguely familiar with the Olympia Amateur Radio Society (OARS) because I had started to get my ham

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