Last week I mentioned the SHARES forum scheduled for this past Friday at HamVention.   SHARES is the Department of Homeland Security’s SHAred RESources High Frequency Radio System.  Due to recent changes, it now includes federal, state, county, public utility and other select shortwave communications systems.

In times of emergency, SHARES provides the means for stations on one shortwave network, such as the Air Force Military Affiliate Radio System, or MARS, to pass emergency messages to a station from a normally unrelated HF network, like Cincinnati Bell or Verizon.

Amateur operators may not participate in SHARES as hams, but may as preapproved representatives of Army MARS, Air Force MARS, the American National Red Cross, a county emergency management agency or in some similar capacity.  Preapproval is necessary because some SHARES information, such as frequency lists, is protected by DHS, and a degree of training is needed prior to operating on SHARES nets.  To learn more, visit www.dhs.gov/shares .