K5TAL, American Legion Post 1992, Gautier-Vancleave, Miss.

Gautier-Vancleave, MS

Post 1992, Gautier/Vancleave Aug 4, 2016.
In August 2015, four amateur radio operators, all members of Post 1992, requested and were granted permission to form an amateur radio club. Documentation was received from TALARC (The American Legion Amateur Radio Club) concerning the constitution, bylaws and sample of minutes. These were modified to reflect the club’s name of Jim Leist Memorial Amateur Radio Club and a club call sign was requested from the FCC. In early September 2015, the club was granted the license of K5TAL. The FCC licensing is broken down to 10 geographic areas, and MS is in the 5th area with TX, AR, LA and OK. TAL stands for The American Legion, hence K5TAL.
September also brought the donation of a communications trailer from the Jackson County Amateur Radio Association, complete with a pneumatic mast that can raise an antenna 55 feet in the air. Work began on operating positions and outfitting the trailer for emergency use. The first activation was on Nov. 11 to recognize Veterans Day, and also to appear on the internationally acclaimed internet show "Ham Nation: starring Bob Heil of Heil Michrophone fame, Leo Laporte of TV fame, Gordon West of ham radio fame, and George Thomas of Amateur Logic fame. The interview was conducted live at 8 p.m. local time and can be viewed on the web at HamNation.com; look for Episode 222 dated 11 November 2015.
The last full weekend of January 2016 found us again operating in what is called Winter Field Day. This was our first opportunity to test out our ability to operate for a prolonged (24-hour) period of time. The lesson learned for this event was that we need a whole bunch of operators to operate for that long.
Since then, we have slowly been adding insulation to the walls and roof, beginning permanent operating positions and exercising the pneumatic mast.
In early June, Post 1992 (our home post) hosted the MS Southern Area Conference and we were able to show off our trailer and talk to many Legionnaires about our goals and capabilities. This opportunity was not wasted, as we were able to make contact with Bill Huntimer, KI0CW, in South Dakota, who serves as Net Control for the monthly 20 meter K9TAL net. He was able to carry on a prolonged conversation with newly elected National Commander Charlie Schmidt.
Below is a picture of the trailer decked out for the Veterans Parade held on Oct. 29, 2016, in Ocean Springs, Miss.
We are now at the place where serious money must be injected into the club. These monies will be for completion of the insulation, redoing the flooring, either painting or “wrapping” the outside, and adding all the things necessary for extended emergency operations.

Robert D. Rand, KA5DON

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