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ARES Mission Statement

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service, ARES, a program of The National Association for Amateur Radio®, ARRL®, offers to its partners at all levels, trained Amateur Radio Service licensees who are skilled in the use of a wide range of emergency and disaster communications techniques and who are committed to supporting our partners’ missions in service to the public

ARES Vision Statement

An ARES team is comprised of identified, organized, and trained amateur radio operators who support vital communications on behalf of the public through partner agencies and organizations during emergencies and disasters. The Amateur Radio Emergency Service, through its volunteer radio communicators, strives to be an effective partner in emergency and disaster response, providing public service partners at all levels with radio communications expertise, capability, and capacity.

(ARES® Plan, 2019)


Amateur radio operators possess unique skills. A federal amateur radio license allows the operation of radio equipment on a wide range of frequencies during varying conditions. Amateur radio operators are capable of setting up field stations with portable antennas. Radio operators often use non-conventional means of getting a message through when other systems are overloaded or have failed.

These skill sets are created and improved by the local ARES group through formal and informal training. An ARES team often joins local agencies where the team can meet the individuals with whom they can expect to be operating during an emergency. This effort helps develop mutual trust and understanding among the key individuals managing any emergency operation.


ARES groups are actively engaged in steps so that they have the ability to perform certain actions and meet their objectives during an emergency. Further, a goal of the ARES program is to ensure that program participants continue to improve and develop additional capabilities for serving the needs of partners.


In this application, capacity means the limits imposed by available ARES resources and the scope of the Amateur Radio service. These limits may be technical, personnel, equipment, or regulatory, in nature, and may prevent an ARES group from providing additional services. Each ARES group has capacity limits, and it is incumbent for ARES Leadership to be acutely aware of their capacity to serve, so the group is never over-committed. Further, each group should strive to match their capacity with partner needs and plan for extension of that capacity as appropriate. An emergency communications plan should detail existing ARES group capacity and plans for expansion, depending upon local needs.

(ARES® Plan, 2019)