The BLACK SWAN COMEX highlighted the need for modern messaging in amateur radio. Starting 1 July 2021, the BLACK SWAN net is the center of our on-air training, and may be activated if needed by an agency serving the public. The net is organized to support reliable communication throughout the state of Ohio in amateur radio spectrum, interoperably with U.S. Government stations via dedicated 5 MHz channels, using any message format, and with voice, CW, and digital emissions using the Narrow Band Emergency Messaging Software (NBEMS) suite fldigi, flmsg, and flamp. The net is independent of the NGOs, clubs, and associations of amateur radio, singularly focused on being a viable emergency communications function in accordance with the first articulated justification for the amateur radio service in the United States (47 CFR 97.1).
Our current training program is as follows:
On demand: Topic video on Radio KD8TTE.
Tuesday weekly training task and online discussion via Internet email on the QTC mailing list.
On-air operation to practice the task Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and as activated. See the Activation Notice and Signal Operating Instructions.
Weekly project: QSP radio-only newsletter released each Monday.
We have also conducted various exercises at different times of the year, as well as undertaken projects to assess requirements and net performance.
This net came from the efforts of Steve Judd WB8YLO and operators of the Buckeye Net to support the needs presented in the BLACK SWAN series of exercises. Originally organized as a mixed-mode session of Buckeye Net and structured as an NTS traffic net for the Ohio Section in support of ARES operators, regular operations began in May 2020 with the Red Cross Volunteers' Emergency Communications National Radio Simulation. That operation showed the viability of statewide routing for digital messages with NBEMS. Operations continued through Field Day 2020, BLACK SWAN 20, and began daily operations around Thanksgiving 2020. The last session of Buckeye Net Mixed was held 30 June 2021. (C. M. Curtin. "Farewell, Buckeye Net Mixed; Hello, BLACK SWAN Net!" PostScript. July 4, 2021. pp. 4-5.)
The video below demonstrates a session of the net. Audio recorded via Internet-connected SDR is augmented with visuals to describe and show what the viewer is hearing.