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Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
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The mission of the Pasco County Amateur Radio Communications (ARES) / Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) Group is to support and enhance the communications needs of its served agencies with the versatile talents and flexible resources of trained and competent amateur radio operators, thereby serving the public interest in times of emergency or special need and fulfilling the basis and purpose of the amateur radio service.

Although RACES and ARES are separate entities, we advocate dual membership and cooperative efforts between both groups whenever possible for an ARES group whose members are all enrolled in and certified by RACES to operate in an emergency with great flexibility. Using the same operators and the same frequencies, an ARES group also enrolled as RACES can "switch hats" from ARES to RACES and RACES to ARES to meet the requirements of the situation as it develops.

For example, during a "non-declared emergency," ARES can operate under ARES, but when a state or federal authority officially declares an emergency or disaster, the operation can become RACES with no change in personnel or frequencies. So in order to properly function in an emergency or disaster we have combined our groups and resources to become what is now called the Pasco County ARES / RACES Group.

Background
RACES is an organization of amateur radio operators who volunteer to provide radio communications for state and local governments in times of emergency. Created in 1952 primarily to serve in civil defense emergencies, RACES provides essential communications and warning links to supplement state and local government assets during emergencies.

RACES is a special part of the amateur operation sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).RACES provides emergency communications for civil preparedness purposes only.RACES is conducted by amateurs using their primary station licenses or by existing RACES stations.

In the event that the President invokes the War Emergency powers, amateurs officially enrolled in the local civil preparedness group would become limited to certain frequencies, while all other amateur operations would be silenced.