ARRL HQ Hosts Amateur Radio Course for USTTI Participants
Students from Ghana, Mauritius, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Zambia attended the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) Amateur Radio Administration Course (ARAC) at ARRL Headquarters October 12-16. ARRL Technical Relations Manager Brennan Price, N4QX, coordinated the session and led the course. ARRL Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer and Meeting Planner Lisa Kustosik, KA1UFZ, coordinated ARRL's participation with USTTI.
According to Price, the students work in their respective government telecommunications offices dealing with telecommunications and Amateur Radio testing, licensing and monitoring. "Our five students -- Yaw Kwarteng (Ghana), Luchmee Gokool (Mauritius), Vic Carcellar (the Philippines), Sudath Wakista (Sri Lanka) and Victor Mukungu (Zambia) -- made the trek to Newington," said Price. "The curriculum covered a wide variety of Amateur Radio topics and concerns, including licensing, spectrum requirements, disaster communications and antenna requirements." The curriculum also covered the ITU and its regulations, as well as the process leading to the next World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12).
"All five students took a keen interest in how the Amateur Radio Service has developed through its history and continues to develop today," Price said. "There was a particular interest in licensing and human resource issues, and students were receptive to our ideas and suggestions concerning these issues."
Price said that this year, we had a first: Yaw Kwarteng from Ghana took the Technician class license exam and passed. Kwarteng, who is not licensed in his home country, now holds American call sign KJ4PVL. "This is the first time ever we have had a USTTI participant take an Amateur Radio licensing exam and pass," Price said. "Yaw studied very hard all week long and we are all quite proud of him."
Numerous ARRL HQ staff assisted with the course. VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM; Assistant VEC Manager Perry Green, WY1O, and Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, covered the US Amateur Radio Licensing Structure and the VEC program. Dennis Dura, K2DCD, presented the Disaster Communications module, and ARRL Publications Manager and QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, spoke on HF digital communications and Amateur Radio satellites.
ARRL Laboratory staff members -- Mike Gruber, W1MG; Bob Allison, WB1GCM; Zack Lau, W1VT, and Ed Hare, W1RFI -- also contributed to the training effort. Hare and Gruber delivered presentations on RFI and RF safety, while Lau demonstrated 10 GHz equipment. Gruber and Allison assisted the students in assembling 40 meter receivers.
The Amateur Radio Administration Course is designed for those in developing countries who regulate and manage their countries' Amateur Radio Service. The course is intended to help participants create, administer and foster an Amateur Radio Service in their home countries. Now in its 27th year, USTTI is a nonprofit venture involving leading US-based communications and information technology corporations, as well as leaders in the federal government, cooperating to provide tuition-free management, policy and technical training for talented professionals from the developing world. ARRL has been offering the ARAC with USTTI for 25 years.