MCACS Vs. ARES® – What Is the Relationship?

MCACS and ARES in Montgomery County have overlapping missions and membership.

  • Montgomery County ARES is the local branch of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) program. The ARES program is administered by American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and is national in scope. It operates through a hierarchical structure that reaches from ARRL headquarters in Newington, CT to units established in local communities across the United States. ARRL has established formal relationships at the national and international level with many organizations active in disasters, and encourages individual ARES units across the country to do the same with their local counterparts. While the primary focus of ARES is preparing Amateur Radio operator to provide emergency communications services at the local and regional level, ARES operators having advanced training may be recruited by ARRL for missions far from home. For more information on ARES, see the ARRL website and the ARRL Maryland-DC Section website.
  • As explained on this website, MCACS is a home-grown 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to develop and maintain a cadre of volunteers who are qualified and equipped to provide emergency communications to Montgomery County during a disaster, including but not limited to Amateur Radio communications.
  • MCACS members who are hams are encouraged to participate in ARES, and ARES members in Montgomery County are encouraged to register as members of MCACS. In practice, many of our training activities are carried out jointly and we share this website to facilitate the sharing of information about our activities.
  • Together, Montgomery County ARES and MCACS work closely with the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Both organizations are identified as “cooperating organizations” in the Montgomery County Emergency Operations Plan.