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Author Topic: RACES  (Read 9887 times)
W4GRJ
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Posts: 15




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« on: May 25, 2011, 07:19:51 PM »

RACES - Does it still exist?
If YES, how does it relate to ARES?

Thanks,
Jack
W4GRJ
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LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 02:34:46 AM »

RACES groups still exist. Some places, RACES and ARES groups have the same people in them, other places they have only one or the other. ARES is run by the ARRL, while RACES is run by the local government (state/county/parish/city). Both provide services to local government, but ARES is more free to support NGOs and activate more often.
Correct?
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 02:39:36 AM by LA9XSA » Logged
KG4RUL
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 07:16:49 AM »

In South Carolina, EMCOMM groups at the local/county level apply to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) RACES coordinator for credentialing.  SCEMD coordinates RACES operations and issues all ID badges.

The form used for registration is suitable for ARES registration by filling out the the first two pages and RACES by also filling out the third page.  http://www.w4brk.org/SCVolunteerEmergencyCommunicatorRegistrationForm.pdf

In either case, the applicant provides three references and a criminal background check is performed.
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W3LK
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2011, 07:23:26 AM »

RACES groups still exist. Some places, RACES and ARES groups have the same people in them, other places they have only one or the other. ARES is run by the ARRL, while RACES is run by the local government (state/county/parish/city). Both provide services to local government, but ARES is more free to support NGOs and activate more often.
Correct?

Correct, although the FCC is no longer issuing new station licenses for RACES stations.
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2011, 09:46:22 AM »

Correct, although the FCC is no longer issuing new station licenses for RACES stations.
That would be the civil defense groups who would be licensed to continue operation if the President closes down amateur radio in a time of war, right? I guess invasion or nuclear war isn't quite as likely a scenario in the US now as it was in the Cold War.

Do people in RACES think that it'll be merged with ARES some time in the future, or is there a benefit to having the two parallel structures?
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2011, 04:31:52 PM »

Quote from: LA9XSA
Do people in RACES think that it'll be merged with ARES some time in the future, or is there a benefit to having the two parallel structures?


The structures serve different purposes.  ARES is an ARRL program to organize hams for emergency response. 
RACES is a Federal designation that allows local government levels to register and use hams for emergency
communications when regular ham radio is shut down by government decree in an emergency.

Here in Oregon we have a State ARES/RACES organization and in most counties the two programs are merged. 
But there are some exceptions where, for example, there is only a RACES organization, or where the county
uses the ACS (Auxillary Communications System) model, with multiple groups (possibly including ARES, REACT,
MARS, etc.) working together to meet the needs of the county under the RACES umbrella.

Why the difference?  In some cases it is political - might have been a particularly unpopular ARES EC who stepped
on some local government toes, or hams who still haven't forgiven the League for Incentive Licensing, or issues
around egos, control, etc.  There are some organizations that are well trained and disciplined for emergency
response who don't want the oversight of the League.  (Only League members can be appointed EC.)  RACES
only applies to support for governmental units, and while the rules have relaxed over the years there used to
be limitations on how many hours a week a RACES unit could hold drills.  (This was, IIRC, because at one point
some operators could have more privileges under RACES, such as a Novice operating 2m phone, and some
tried to claim they were operating as RACES all the time.)

Will they ever get combined?  No, not as long as the local government is in charge of one and the ARRL
controls the other.  It is great when they can flow smoothly as a single unit, but given the nature of some
people I don't see either entity giving up control to the other.
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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2011, 07:05:53 PM »

How would the government effectively shut down ham radio in an emergency? Good luck with that!  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 08:57:08 AM by KI4SDY » Logged
LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2011, 09:38:59 PM »

Thanks for the input WB6BYU. What do you make of the FCC's policy towards RACES? Is there simply no more need for new licenses because no new civil defense organizations will be formed in the future?
How would the government effectively shut down ham radio in an emergency? Good luck with that!  Roll Eyes
They could just drive around to amateurs' houses, as registered by the FCC, and take the radios, and then use radio direction finding to find violators. In such a situation, the gravity of the situation would probably have the country on a war footing anyway, and most would comply, I think.
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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2011, 07:35:26 AM »

They are going to have time and resources to confiscate radio equipment in the middle of a real emergency? Why would they do that? Ham radio, as we all know, is considered an antiquated easy to monitor (eavesdrop) form of communication by the government and public, so how could it be harmful? The suggestion defies common sense. Roll Eyes

They tried taking everyone's firearms in New Orleans, after the hurricane hit, when they should have been using their resources to rescue and assist people. How did that work out for them? Oh, they got a few guns, but they also got a lot of bad press, some officers were arrested and the courts ordered the guns returned. Now we have state and federal laws preventing such socialist (Democrat) actions by the government. Just remember to be careful who you vote for in the next election!  Wink
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 08:16:23 AM by KI4SDY » Logged
KG4RUL
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2011, 12:58:00 PM »

In the case of a Federal directive shutting down Amateur Radio, those who are law-abiding will obey it - those who are scoff-laws will ignore it.  There will always the the 1%.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5981




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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2011, 06:56:44 PM »

These days, I think it's more like 5 percent, not one.  There are a lot more scofflaws out there than there used to be.
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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2011, 08:17:41 PM »

Many Jewish folks blindly followed orders and walked in to gas chambers built by the Nazis.  Shocked
They were "law-abiding" citizens too!  Sad  
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 08:37:31 PM by KI4SDY » Logged
WB6BYU
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Posts: 13119




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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2011, 01:18:51 PM »

Quote from: LA9XSA
...What do you make of the FCC's policy towards RACES? Is there simply no more need for new licenses because no new civil defense organizations will be formed in the future?

I think they are not issuing new licenses because none are required - there have been a lot of changes
in the regulations since RACES was added in the 1950's.  Now the local ARES (or RACES, ham club, etc.)
can get a club callsign and use it when needed.  We operate W7YAM from the Yamhill County EOC under
both ARES and (if needed) RACES.  Remember, when the RACES licenses were first issued we still had
to identify as portable when we weren't operating from home, and some hams had two callsigns issued
if they had a second home with a station.   So eliminating the RACES licenses with distinctive callsigns
really makes no difference - the RACES group can get a standard club callsign if desired.


Ham radio was shut down during both WWI and WWII, and compliance was nearly universal, even if
they didn't collect equipment the second time around.  While the threat of spying is one reason, the
other (which would also direct the shutdown of all AM radio stations except those at 640 and 1240kHz -
remember those CD emblems on the dial?) was the potential that the enemy might use known radio
stations for navigation in an attack.  During the height of the Cold War all ham stations were required
to have CONELRAD monitors so they could know to shut down their station immediately in case of attack.

And, actually, there WAS a good DF system in place in WWII (though far more primitive than what the
FCC has available now) that was responsible for tracking downed aircraft, unauthorized transmissions,
U-boat traffic, etc.  Very few spies attempted to report by radio as a result.  Were that to happen now,
I suspect that very few scofflaws would continue to operate once they realized that they could be held
as potential spies and/or threats to national security for the duration as a result.  But it wasn't just ham
radio that was shut down - ALL non-essential radio transmissions were restricted, and those that
remained in operation took steps to reduce the risk that they could be used for navigation.

At this point the chance of the President invoking the War Powers Act and shutting down ham radio is
pretty remote unless there is a threat of immediate enemy attack.
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KI4SDY
Member

Posts: 1452




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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2011, 09:26:42 PM »

In the event of an enemy attack, why would you shut down a large resource of citizens that can intercept and monitor possible enemy transmissions, as they did in WWII. Again, that does not make any sense, no matter how remote the possibility.  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 05:53:25 AM by KI4SDY » Logged
KC2UGV
Member

Posts: 385




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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2011, 12:10:01 PM »

Many Jewish folks blindly followed orders and walked in to gas chambers built by the Nazis.  Shocked
They were "law-abiding" citizens too!  Sad  

Ham radio =/= Kristallnacht...

In other words:  Ham radio is not srs bsns.  Srsly.
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