The Ventura County Amateur Radio Society (VCARS) has been privileged to hold its annual “Field Day” event on the grounds of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum since 2001. The Presidential Library provides an ideal location for this weekend event: partially because of its location, partially because of its resources, partially because of the status and prestige that the Presidential Library holds, and partially because of the way in which members of the public are drawn to both the facility and the Field Day event in a synergistic way. In all, Field Day is an event that allows local Amateur Radio Operators (“Hams”) an opportunity to sharpen their operating skills and promote their hobby, a hobby that is as old as radio communication itself. What better place to showcase communications skills, than at a nationally recognized facility dedicated to one of our country’s greatest communicators.
For those not already familiar with the event, “Field Day” is an annual “operating event” organized and promoted by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national organization promoting and supporting the Amateur Radio hobby. The event is always held during the fourth full-weekend in June; in 2023, this falls on June 23-25. The purpose of the event is to provide an opportunity for licensed Hams to challenge themselves by operating under non-ideal conditions, such as might be encountered during an emergency or disaster. As an intended part of the event, our participants must transport equipment and supplies, erect temporary shelters and antenna structures, utilize portable power sources, and operate radio stations for twenty-four consecutive hours. During that period we attempt to contact as many Amateur Radio stations as possible, exchanging certain prescribed information. In past years, Field Day events at this location have netted many thousands of two-way contacts, and for each of the past several years (with only a handful of stations) our contacts typically extended to all of the (50) United States and several other countries.
Past participants of this event at the Reagan Presidential Library have included members and guests from several local Amateur Radio clubs and organizations. This year, members from the Ventura County Amateur Radio Society (VCARS) will combine efforts with members from the Simi Settlers Amateur Radio Club (SSARC) to organize the event; and during the event’s operation, they will be joined by several other (non-affiliated) Hams from the local area. Interested Hams, public officials, and members of the Press may contact either Vern Potter (W6NCT, Event Chairman, W6NCT@arrl.net), or Peter Heins (N6ZE, Event PIO, N6ZE@aol.com) for additional information about the event.