Two long range radio towers used by Coast Guard Sector Portland, Ore., to monitor VHF marine radio communications in the Portland area will be undergoing tests, temporarily cutting off the sector command center's ability to send and receive radio transmissions.
During several 15 minute blocks of testing the Coast Guard will be relying on four individuals along the Columbia River with VHF marine radios to listen for any distress calls. One of the individuals is a Citizens Action Network member.
This marks the first time the Citizens Action Network will be used as a radio watch since its inception two years ago in the Puget Sound region. The Citizens Action Network is a group of 214 dedicated volunteers who live on or near our waters who stand ready to support the missions of the United States Coast Guard and its partners simply by taking calls day or night and reporting or corroborating what they see on the water or on their beaches.
The program, which has its roots in Puget Sound, was recognized Wednesday by the Secretary of Homeland Security during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Two founders of the Citizens Action Network were present to accept the Secretary's Award for Excellence.