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SATERN Seeks Amateur Radio Volunteers for Joplin Operations


More than 50 hams responded to SATERN’s request, and as of Monday, June 6, all personnel needs have been met. Those amateurs who have already been assigned a slot should maintain contact with SATERN leaders, but no more volunteers are needed. Both the ARRL and SATERN greatly appreciate the response from the amateur community.


In accord with our Memorandum of Understanding with The Salvation Army, the ARRL is looking for volunteers to aid them in their work in Joplin, Missouri at this time. There is a specific process to be followed in doing this, so please read this information carefully.

The Salvation Army continues to provide food, drink and other items of basic care to survivors and rescue workers in the impacted areas of Joplin. While cell phone coverage is no longer much of a problem in Joplin, Amateur Radio continues to be important in certain operations -- such as those of the Salvation Army -- where the ability for several persons to hear what is going on at the same time is an asset.

As a SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network) operator, if deployed, you will be asked to go out on Salvation Army vehicles into the areas impacted by the Joplin tornado to supply logistical support. The Salvation Army vehicles supply basic human needs (particularly food and drink), and you will play a big part in the operation. You will relay information such as inventory, requests for food and drink and maintenance problems that develop. At certain periods of the day, radio traffic has been almost constant. The Salvation Army Disaster Response Operations are now running from 7 AM to as late as 9 PM each day.

DO NOT SELF-DEPLOY! Wait to be contacted for possible deployment and assignment.

The qualifications for being assigned are:

  • Technician or higher Amateur Radio license.
  • Good health -- you will encounter 100 degree heat, exertion and long hours. You need to be in good shape!
  • Ability to take on a 3-5 day deployment in the field.
  • Have a handheld transceiver and a mobile (VHF/UHF) radio -- APRS capability is a big plus.
  • Experience with disaster responses. ARES® leadership experience is a plus.
  • NIMS/ICS training with a minimum of IS-100 and IS-200 completed.

The process to volunteer is:

1. Send an e-mail to In this e-mail, please include your name, call sign, contact information (phone and e-mail), location and specific information on how you meet each of the criteria above.

2. Your information will be checked against the current needs.

3. If cleared, your contact information will be sent to our liaison with SATERN field leadership.

4. If assigned, you will be contacted by SATERN directly and given further instructions.

The Salvation Army will try to supply you with some type of lodging, if available. If deployed, you should consider bringing a sleeping bag or make other sleeping arrangements should you need to be housed at the Salvation Army.

SATERN operations in Joplin are being held on the 147.00 (positive offset) repeater. If you are deployed, you will need at minimum a 2 meter handheld radio with a spare battery pack (or cigarette lighter adapter) and a magnetic mount antenna. Due to some communications problems experienced on 2 meters within the impacted area, a 2 meter mobile radio with magnetic mount antenna would be desirable. Additional information will be furnished to you.

No reimbursement for travel or any other expenses has been authorized at this time. Therefore, SATERN recommends that you record your mileage and save your receipts. You may be able to deduct your mileage from your taxes (consult your tax preparer). The Salvation Army will, of course, provide you food and drink while on duty.



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