Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is a standby radio service provided for in Part 97.407 of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations governing amateur radio in the United States.

The concept of a standby “Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service” to replace the conventional “Amateur Radio Service” during wartime was developed in 1952 as result of input from the American Radio Relay League and the Department of the Army’s Office of Civil Defense. During World War II, the Amateur Radio Service had been silenced and a new War Emergency Radio Service (WERS) had to be created from scratch in a process that took six months.

The resulting standby RACES service was designed to provide a quicker and smoother transition in the event the President ever needed to silence the regular Amateur Radio Service again when invoking the War Powers Act. Despite four wars involving the United States since 1952, this has never happened.

Read more on RACES: Wikipedia