The Sussex County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) Group, by the direction of the county Emergency Operations Director (EOD), and the Sussex county Emergency Operations Plan (SCEOP), is the official Point of Contact (POC) for Sussex County Emergency Management interoperation with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) sponsored Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and other non-affiliated Radio Amateurs.

To augment and support communication needs during unusual situations, the Sussex County RACES Group will be Activated by responsible authority (EOD / RACES RO/ARO).  The Activation Period and response will be determined on a case by case basis for each event or incident. As appropriate for the situation, RACES personnel will be operational on predetermined frequencies, from directed locations, to interact with, and receive reports from ARES and the amateur community at large.   The county government, in this relationship, is the “served agency”, accessed through the RACES POC.  The ARES and amateur community at large, given their distribution across the county, state, and peninsula, are a valuable resource in the ability to provide “ground truth” reports on conditions in their immediate area.

Assignment and utilization of resources, as provided in the National Support Framework (NSF) is to be managed by the delegation of the Incident Commander (IC/EOD) through the established command structure. The utilization of the Amateur Radio resource is provided for under Emergency Support Function 2 (ESF2) of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and State of Delaware Emergency Operations Plan (DEOP).

For this relationship to work effectively; there should be group interaction, joint exercises, and mutual support of public service events, in order to effect a smooth and efficient interoperation.  Through the practice and application of communication skills during scheduled, managed events and exercises those skills, applicable in an emergency situation, are developed and strengthened.

The joint service Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) interoperability guidelines will be utilized, as applicable, by any MARS member, from any Sussex County RACES Group station, using the individual member’s callsign.  The individual member is responsible for assuring operational compliance with the guidelines of their respective branch of service.  The initiative to effect MARS interoperation with ARES/RACES is to be supported, particularly in the generation of Essential Elements of Information (EEI) and County Status Reports, utilizing the “ground truth” reports from ARES/RACES.


March 10, 2016