Ham radio club plays role at Camp Ripley
(Excerpt from the Brainerd Daily Dispatch Sunday, October 5, 1997)
The Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club was selected to provide radio communications for the first World Cup Orienteering competition in the United States. The event was conducted last week at Camp Ripley located 20 miles southwest of Brainerd.
The radio club provided radio communications throughout the 100 square miles of densly wooded, glacial hills, and occasional swamp and boggy area.
Ken Magloughlin (KAØJSW), a retired Major in the United States Marine Corps and a longtime resident of the Brainerd and member of the ARRL affiliated Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club, was overall coordinator of the ham broup. The group consisted of approximately 30 operators from BAARC during the three day event. George Swanson (KCØBH) was Net Control for the event.
The clubs' portable tilt-over tower, raised to 50 feet and topped by a cactus j-pole built by Dr. Terry May (KIØFW), got through on simplex to operators with hand-helds out on the course as well as to the Army Security Office where Jack Maus (WØMBD) held down the job of coordinating net with U.S. Army communications.
With more than 2,500 Orienteers participating from 48 countries, the language differences and national colors on their clothing added color to the event. Often the net control was asked to find an interpreter for the medical staff. Casualties were relatively few considering the challenging terrain, but the "Code Yellow" call the first was a serious time when a 63 year-old man impaled himself on a tree branch. He was in a deep forest were a four wheel-drive truck had to go in and transport him to the main medical center where an ambulance from Brainerd was waiting. Al Doree (WØRC) was dispatched with the truck to keep the communications loop intact. Fast action by the medics after the Code Yellow, kept the victim's injuries to a minimum.
The Ham Radio Group received the accolades of the USA World Cut Orienteering Organizing Committee.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch photo of Net Control George Swanson, KCØBH)
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