Colorado ARES members were invited to provide communications for Operation Vortex on October 11, 2012. This was a large, metro-wide exercise that simulated destruction by tornados in various locations across the area. Several first-responder agencies from jurisdictions around the metro area took part in the exercise, Denver International Airport and several ARES districts. In addition, a large contingent of FEMA personnel and equipment from Colorado and Utah initially staged at DIA and participated in the exercise.
RM Ham deployed its Communications Trailer to the Denver International Airport location, where the incident command post for the exercise was located. Boulder County ARES, District 11, set up a mobile tower next to the Trailer and provided the primary relay for Amateur Television broadcasts of the exercise events in various locations around the Denver metro area.
The RMHR Trailer was also used to provide communications support for Arapahoe ARES District 22’s assignment to serve as net control for exercise communication support in the vicinity of DIA. D22 personnel used the Trailer’s capabilities to manage and coordinate communications among D22 members assigned to event support duties.
Operation Vortex was a complex exercise during which several ARES districts in the Colorado North Central Region provided communications support to first responders as well as to the exercise controllers and support personnel.