There was some discussion at the Volusia meeting last Tuesday (17-August), with proponents of the NTS radiogram format and why we need to use something else (like the ICS message formats).

Following the meeting, Ed (KA1EHR) asked a very good question via email, asking for my opinions and views. I’ve attached my response below, in the interest of transparency.

Please note – this may NOT be consistent with the official ARRL position – and even though I was speaking that evening as the DEC for East Coast District ARES, the following views are mine alone – but hopefully, they are based on common sense and  clear thinking. The comments are NOT to be viewed as “policy”, but simply one person’s opinion. All are free to disagree (including the League).

Above: Email regarding NTS and ICS  (click to enlarge)

Are we on the path to being obsolete..??!! Certainly, if we don’t keep up with the times, with our Served Agencies and with Technology, we WILL be obsoleted – or somebody with bigger, better and less expensive capability will take our place. Look at Nextel and how they have changed the face of Event Management – in fact, the MS-150 staff will be using Nextel amongst themselves.  In short – we need to be AHEAD of the curve – always pushing, always advancing, always LEARNING in order to stay relevant. What worked (well) in 1950, or 1960 or even 1990 may not apply as well today. We need to constantly assess, change and adopt new solutions where they apply.

DStar is a good example, as are packet, WL2K and other technologies.