Monday, December 15, 2008

Despite the Weather, Boating is on the Brain

With -20 degree wind chill factors, Flotilla 4 members decided to do a little dry dock work during the December Training Weekend. Sunday was the tear down day in the Auxiliary facility project.

The crew got together and pulled this soon to be facility apart. The Radar came off, radios, cables, stereo, and trim pieces littered the floor of the shop. Wiring was checked, and in the end we now have a blank canvas from which to build an optimized Coast Guard Auxiliary Patrol Vessel. Stay tuned as this build project takes on a life of its own.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 2008 Above Board

The December 2008 Flotilla 4 Newsletter, Above Board, is now available at

Monday, November 10, 2008

November 2008 Above Board

The November 2008 Flotilla 4 Newsletter, Above Board, is now available at

Monday, November 3, 2008

Flotilla 4 Members Complete AUXSAR Course

Seven members of Flotilla 4; Nick Critelli, Gene Kellogg, Norma Newton, Roland Newton, Ralph Tomlinson, Suzanne Tomlinson, and Jeff Towle completed the AUXSAR Course. The training is designed to present a thorough understanding of the policy, organization, and procedures involved in the search and rescue process as generally practiced by the U. S. Coast Guard. Congratulations to those who completed the training!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Flotilla 4 Takes Part in Coast Guard Auxiliary Ham Radio Day

Members of Flotilla 4 took to the airwaves as K0G on November 18th. In a facility that would make the people at NORAD jealous, seven Flotilla 4 members took to the air waves to participate in the Coast Guard Auxiliary's "Special Event Amateur Radio Day 2008."

This special event has been running for the past 10 years, and now has up to 60 U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary High Frequency (HF) Stations operational for this year's event.

The event commemorates the 69th anniversary of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and HF Stations from all across the country were operational on amateur radio frequencies all day during this event.

Stations operated from Coast Guard Bases, ships, lighthouses and other HF facilities

Flotilla 4 operated from an HF station ran by Tony Radebaugh (N0NI) on his acreage outside of Perry, Iowa. This unique facility has over twenty radio towers and an unknown number of antennas from which to transmit.

The Flotilla made contact with 530 unique callsigns. We worked several stations more than once on the same band. We made the following number of contacts on the amateur bands:

- 15 Meter Phone 5
- 20 Meter Phone 265
- 20 Meter CW (Morse Code) 5
- 40 Meter Phone 255

- 5 Countries (Algeria, Belgium, Hungary, Korea, Venezuela)
- 40 States
- 2 Canadian Provinces

Twenty one 1×1 call signs were worked, these are special event stations, but all may not have been from the Auxiliary stations.

John Halbrook (KC0RAM) organized the day's events. Flotilla 4 members who participated included Roland Newton (KC0IEA), Nick Critelli (K0PCG), Norma Newton (KC0LIN), Doug Jansen (KB0UUJ), Brandon Butters, and Jeff Towle. Chuck Brudtkuhl (WA0ROI) also checked in as a special event station from his location in the Virgin Islands. Brandon and Jeff, being new to the experience, quickly picked up the procedures and sat for three and a half hours straight taking in a constant stream of contacts. They now both know what QSL, QTH, and CW mean.

When the event's nationwide organizers heard about our success they had a few things to say about it:

"WONDERFUL ! That is amazing – Hope all had a great time and Thanks ! "

Bravo Zulu – Dan

"I assume these people were K0G —- You guys were consistently the loudest station of all the CGAUX that I heard. CONGRATS and GREAT JOB!"


(l to r) Roland Newton, Brandon Butters, and John Halbrook work the radios during the Coast Guard Ham Radio Day. This station, K0G, was sponsored by Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 4 from Des Moines, Iowa. Photo Courtesy of Doug Jansen.

Nick Critelli makes a contact using Morse Code during the Coast Guard Auxiliary Ham Radio Day. Photo Courtesy of Doug Jansen.

Roland Newton (left) explains what he is doing to Jeff Towle during the Coast Guard Ham Radio Day. Photo Courtesy of Doug Jansen.

Brandon Butters adjusts his radio during the Coast Guard Auxiliary Ham Radio Day. Photo Courtesy of Doug Jansen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October 2008 Above Board

The October 2008 Flotilla 4 Newsletter, Above Board, is now available at

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sector Upper Commander Appreciates Flotilla 4 Support of Iowa State Emergency Operations Center

8 September 2008

From the Desk of the Commander Sector Upper Mississippi River

As you know I have been in this Sector for only a short time, but in that time I have been impressed by the support and professionalism of 8 Western Rivers’ Auxiliarists. Your assistance to the Sector has been invaluable and is very much appreciated.

During the past month, I have reviewed the lessons learned from the massive flooding in June. One of the success stories which stand out is that of the Auxiliarists who support the Iowa State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). For those of you who are unaware of this team, let me provide you with some background information about them. These Auxiliarists volunteered to work with the Iowa SEOC and have been trained as a part of that organization. As such, when Sector dispatched a Coast Guard Liaison officer to the Iowa SEOC during the flooding this team supported him. This assistance was invaluable to ensure rapid support to the affected areas.

Based on the success of this team, I would like to establish an SEOC support team at each of the SEOC’s in Sector Upper Mississippi River’s (SUMR) area of Responsibility (AOR).The principal function of these teams would be to assist SUMR during emergencies by acting as a member of the Coast Guard Liaison Support Team assigned to the SEOC; working under the direct supervision of an assigned Coast Guard Liaison Officer. All teams would perform their duties under the supervision of the Incident Management Division at Sector UMR. Each team would train with the SEOC to ensure familiarity with systems, personnel, types of emergencies, etc; participate in SEOC Major Exercises; and, participate in SEOC Planning Evolutions (not as the decision maker, but as the communications link with SUMR).

The specific qualifications I am looking for in each volunteer are:

a. ICS 100, ICS 200, IS 700, & IS 800; with ICS 300 & ICS 400 preferred;
b. Some computer skills are necessary.
c. Co-located near the SEOC;
d. Willing to serve during emergencies;
e. Willing to make a significant investment in personnel time for: Training; Exercises; and, Planning.

These teams are necessary to cover a gap in our support organization which exists between SUMR and the other ten (10) SEOCs in our AOR. This program is essential to ensuring that we fulfill our responsibilities in emergency management and I look forward to working with you on making this a success.

I ask anyone interested in these important teams to contact Marvin Butcher (Auxiliary Coordinator for Sector UMR) @ (314) 269-2604 or (618) 567-8751 or email: or He will arrange for you to contact the appropriate Sector UMR personnel in charge of these projects.

Again, thank you all you are doing for the Coast Guard.

Steven L. Hudson, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Commander, Sector Upper Mississippi River

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A New Facility for Flotilla 4

In September it was announced that Flotilla 4 will now have a new vessel available for use for the Spring 2009 season. This new boat is a 23' SeaRay Laguna Center Console. It is equipped with radar, GPS, Comm radios, and twin 135 HP outboard motors. It’s top speed will be nearly 60 Knots. Mr. Daniels towed the new boat to the Flotilla Business Meeting on September 14th for Flotilla members to look at. Over the winter months it will get some TLC and get outfitted with the necessary gear to be made a suitable CG Aux facility this spring. This facility will be available in addition to 2 other Jon Boats and a pontoon boat for multi-mission patrols and SAR's.