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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB016 (1997)

ARLB016 League petitions for RACES flexibility

ARRL Bulletin 16  ARLB016
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  March 21, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLB016 League petitions for RACES flexibility

The ARRL is seeking a change in FCC rules to relax regulations
regarding the Amateur Radio Service and the Radio Amateur Civil
Emergency Service (RACES). The League wants the FCC to allow hams
actively supporting emergency or disaster communication or involved
in drills and tests to communicate ''between and among'' RACES stations
and those stations registered with civil defense organizations
operating under RACES. The League also wants the FCC to relax time
limitations on RACES emergency drills and tests. This would permit
stations operating under RACES (organized under the Federal Emergency
Management Agency and operating under local civil defense agencies)
to communicate, as necessary during emergencies, tests and drills,
with stations operating under the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, or
ARES (begun by the ARRL in 1935) or with other non-ARES or non-RACES
stations also engaged in emergency communication or drills. Right
now, RACES and ARES operate independently of each other, although
some hams participate in both organizations.

Relaxing the rules ''would permit intercommunication with other
amateurs active in emergency communications, and enable a form of
'mutual aid' in the Amateur Service,'' the League said in its filing.
''It is time that the Commission permit, but not require,
communications between RACES participants and non-RACES amateurs
during emergencies or emergency drills and preparedness exercises.''
The League said the Commission has an opportunity to eliminate a
restriction that ''arguably should never have been enacted in the
first place,'' and that has ''outlived whatever utility it may ever
have had.''

The League also seeks to increase the time limit on RACES training
drills and tests from one hour per week to up to five hours per week.


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