Christmas Cracker – 2014

After a long period of consolidating the logs I am pleased to announce that the Winner of Exercise CHRISTMAS CRACKER is:

Hampshire & Isle of Wight ACF

The scores below indicate the large number of exchanges (over 1,000) that took place over the period of the exercise and the hard work put in by your cadets and their adults.

Special thanks must go to all of the MARS Stations who took part and were always there for us, often the time zone where they were based meant operating at extended times, and their help is very much appreciated.

Every station will receive a personalised certificate to commemorate their participation.

When looking at the scores below please remember that not all stations took part for the entire 31 hours, myself included!!  This means that a low score does not mean that the station was ineffective, in fact quite the reverse.  To have communicated with other stations they had to have been effective and hopefully will have gained experience and confidence to take part in future exercises

Remember you DO NOT have to take part for the entire exercise.

Taking part meant that cadets experienced operating on HF and in conditions that at times were busy to say the least.  The initial ‘pile-ups’ decreased as Voice Procedure improved and cadets became used to working when they might not be able to hear every station on the frequency.

One way to overcome this issue is to have a directed net that allows a control station to bring in stations and if necessary relay messages.  This exercise is not about relaying messages nor about operating on controlled nets; but it is about experiencing HF conditions and communicating with distant stations as you might find it when working your own nets and links.

I am fully aware of the issues about the short frequency slots, the logging system and other matters.  I will be producing a Post Exercise Report (PXR) over the Christmas season and hope to get it to you early in 2015.  For our MARS friends I know that our PXR is called an After Action Report (AAR) within your organisation!!

I am hoping to run a training exercise in early 2015 and perhaps have another exercise with MARS Stations; maybe they would be happy to accept a number of invited stations onto one of their exercises!

Finally please remember that is about taking part more than about winning.

Best wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year.

Competing Stations
Position Unit Name Scored
1 Hants & IOW ACF 1225
2 1003 (Leighton Buzzard) Sqn ATC 915
3 Reading School CCF 885
4 Essex ACF 540
5 Sir Roger Manwood’s CCF 530
6 Clwyd & Gwynedd ACF – A 400
7 Maidstone Grammar School CCF 335
8 Clwyd & Gwynedd ACF – B 325
9 1213 (Andover) Sqn ATC 270
10 HQ2 Welsh Wing ATC 260
11 Airbridge & Coatbridge SCC 205
=12 Kent ACF 155
=12 Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School CCF 155
14 2364 (Welshpool) Sqn ATC 135
15 Dollar Academy CCF 115
16 Humberside & South Yorkshire ACF 110
17 Sutton Valence School CCF 105
18 2286 (Arden) Sqn ATC 100
19 1370 (Leven) Sqn ATC 65
20 73 (Huntingdon) Sqn ATC 60
21 2415 (Penkridge) Sqn ATC 50
22 Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire Wing ATC 40
=23 481 (West Bromwich) Sqn ATC 25
=23 1132 (Stalham) Sqn ATC 25
25 2331 (St Ives) Sqn ATC 15

Competition Organiser – Capt D Holman