For the past 40 years the Mike and Key Amateur Radio Club (K7LED) has participated in a national amateur radio ‘Field Day’ from Ft. Flagler State Park on Marrowstone Island in Jefferson County. Field Day is the single largest emergency preparedness exercise in the country. In 2014 2,686 clubs and individuals participated in Field Day and 37,428 active participants made over 1.2 million contacts via Amateur Radio during the 24 hour emergency preparedness exercise.
Ft. Flagler’s 784 acres, surrounded on three sides by a saltwater shoreline, is the site of an Army post established in the 1890’s to guard the entrance to Puget Sound. The island’s high eastern bluff island offers the ideal location for the club to test their ability to communicate in an emergency at a location removed from the conveniences of the city.
The club deploys eight mobile radio stations operating on generator power for the 24 hour event. During Field Day a score is kept that reflects how effective each participating organization performs with points awarded for contacts made with other Field Day stations, public outreach, youth involvement and other activities like transmitting using renewable energy sources such as solar power. The Mike and Key has a history of being #1 in their category (determined by size of the operation) and in the top 20 overall in the country.
The public is welcome to visit the Mike and Key Field Day operation at Ft. Flagler. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the excitement of Field Day first hand by operating a radio and making contacts with other Field Day stations. The event begins at 11am on Saturday June 26th and runs 24 hours, ending at 11am Sunday June 27th. Visitors will find an information booth located at the entrance to Battery Gratten on the northeast corner of the park. A Washington State Park Discover Pass is required to access the park. Ft. Flagler has an automated pay station where you can purchase a one-day or annual Discover Pass.
More information about the Mike and Key Field Day is available at this link.
If you can’t make it to Ft. Flagler you can use the ARRL’s Field Day station locator at http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator to find a Field Day operation near you. Sites that are noted with a ‘GOTA: Yes’ will be prepared to welcome visitors.
Founded in 1963 the Mike and Key Amateur Radio Club (K7LED) is a Seattle area organization devoted to all aspects of Amatuer Radio operation. The club’s focus is helping the community through training its members and providing public service by supporting such events as Seafair and the Seattle Marathon. The club meets monthly and hosts several events throughout the year. For more information visit http://www.mikeandkey.org/.
For more information or to schedule a visit to the Mike and Key Field Day site please contact David Yarbrough 425-445-2792.
You can download images of the Mike & Key Field Day event here: