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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB002 (2010)

ARLB002 Kent Olson, KA0LDG, Appointed Dakota Division Vice Director

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 2  ARLB002
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 25, 2010
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB002 Kent Olson, KA0LDG, Appointed Dakota Division Vice Director
In one of her first actions as ARRL President, Kay Craigie, N3KN,
has appointed Dakota Division Assistant Director and former North
Dakota Section Manager Kent Olson, KA0LDG, as the new Dakota
Division Vice Director. The position became vacant when Dakota
Division Director Jay Bellows, K0QB, was elected International
Affairs Vice President at the 2010 ARRL Board of Directors Annual
Meeting and Vice Director Greg Widin, K0GW, moved into the Director

A native of North Dakota, Olson -- an ARRL Life Member -- was first
licensed in 1981 while in high school; he earned his Amateur Extra
license in 1997. Olson served as the North Dakota Section Manager
from 2001-2008 where he told the ARRL that he had the opportunity to
get to know hams throughout North Dakota.

"I am very excited and honored that ARRL President Kay Craigie chose
me to fill the Dakota Division Vice Director position -- this has to
be the best thing that has happened to me in ham radio," Olson told
the ARRL. "It will be a pleasure to work with Dakota Division
Director Greg Widin in representing the Dakota Division. I am fully
committed to help in any way I can to promote the League, its
policies and Amateur Radio as a whole."

While still in high school, Olson enlisted in the North Dakota Air
National Guard (119th Wing) as a Munitions Systems Specialist. After
basic training, he worked on guided missiles for the F-4 (Phantom
II). After completing his degree at North Dakota State University,
he was selected to become a Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) in the F-4
and became a commissioned officer. "I did that for a couple of years
until the unit converted to the F-16 (Fighting Falcon). I then was
able to go to pilot training and became an F-16 pilot in 1991. I
have held a lot of positions in the Wing and am now the Vice Wing
Commander with the rank of Colonel." He has more than 3100 hours in
the cockpit.

When Olson flew the F-16, he had the unique opportunity to operate
HF aeromobile and make quite a few contacts to hams around the
world: "Talk about pileups. The F-16s we had were specifically
modified with an HF radio, and occasionally I could make contacts
while traveling cross country." Now that his unit has switched from
the F-16 to the C-21, he said he doesn't get to do as much
aeromobile as he would like, since his duties as Vice Wing Commander
keep him fairly busy.

As the Dakota Division's ham population concentration is in
Minnesota, Director Widin said he knows that members and ham radio
events and needs span all three Sections: Minnesota, South Dakota
and North Dakota: "I wanted someone who could help extend the ARRL
presence across the Sections. Kent brings experience and an
enthusiastic approach to the job. I'm glad we can add him to the
Dakota Division team. Hams who know Kent have already been
congratulating me on his appointment; Dakota Division members who
don't yet know him will soon be congratulating themselves at getting
such a competent and dedicated individual for Vice Director."

Olson is the past president of the Red River Radio Amateurs (RRRA),
the largest Amateur Radio club in North Dakota. He is an ARRL
Volunteer Examiner and an ARRL Certified Instructor. An active
participant in SKYWARN, emergency communications and public service
events in the area, Olson is a graduate of all three ARRL Emergency
Communications courses. He helped craft a Fargo city ordinance that
allows hams to erect antenna support structures.

Olson enjoys chasing DX and rag chewing: "I have a modest station
and have worked the world with 100 W on either a vertical or
dipole." He likes contesting "to give North Dakota out to those who
need multipliers (and not really to set any world records)." ARRL
Field Day, kit building and Jamboree on the Air round out his radio

Olson has been married to his wife Lisa for 21 years; they have two
boys -- Quinn, 13, and Ian, 9. Quinn got his Technician license last
year through Boy Scouts and his call is KD0GWA. Olson is active with
both Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts and is also involved with 4H Lego
Robotics. The family enjoys everything from building with Legos to
bike riding and other outdoor activities.


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