Thanks to our (South Texas Section Communications Manager) Lee Cooper, W5LHC, an initiative to introduce a standardized ARES training program has been accepted by the entire West Gulf Division (that's South Texas, North Texas, West Texas, and Oklahoma).  Mike Urich, KA5CVH (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) has recently (Feb 2017) assumed the role of ASEC-Training for STX.

The ARRL only requires to be an ARES member one must have an Amateur Radio License and join ARES. The ARRL also goes on to say that "Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES". This will largely be driven by what our served agencies may need from us. When working with our served agencies many may require absolutely nothing more than a warm body who can operate the radios and follow instructions.  On the other hand, many are requiring that ARES members assigned to them "MUST" have completed FEMA IS100, IS200, IS700, and IS800 and additional site-specific training. The Standardized Training Workbook for the South Texas Section has been slightly reorganized to bring it more in line with what our served agencies generally require and to make it easier for ARES members to reach higher levels of certification.  One significant addition is standards for the evaluator to follow so that the candidate knows exactly what is expected of them. 

Utilization of the training plan is optional, and participation by ARES members is also optional. However, we are urging all county ARES groups to adopt the terminology and recognition by the title of their members. The South Texas ARES database will be updated to reflect these standards, record progress, and recognize those who attain various levels in the training.  Our mission should include achieving the appropriate training that exceeds our customers (served agencies) expectations and perform at a high professional level. 

In the immediate future expect to see links posted here to take you to training articles that can be used for weekly nets. In the meantime they can be found on the Harris County ARES web-site at,   Each DEC / EC / AEC may use any of these training topics as they best fit their districts/counties needs.  In addition, if you have any good training topics forward them to Mike, (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) so that they too may be added.  STX already has a good reputation when it comes to training and together we can continue to excel.