We would like to thank all of you for participating in this organization and it’s efforts to support the community we live in through amateur radio. The structure, purposes, and goals of this organization will be discussed in this short letter to give you an idea of what the Lubbock County RACE/ARES organization is about and what the committee that is responsible for these efforts is trying to accomplish. We appreciate your help and interest and hope, that while you are here to learn and help, that you also will have fun in doing so.  There has been a vast amount of effort in the past several months in getting to this point by the organizing committee. In building anything from scratch, it takes a bit of time to get a foundation established to build on, which is what the organizing committee has been doing.

The organizing committee is comprised of seven members from the amateur radio community here in the Lubbock County area. The District RACES Officer who chairs the committee is Clinton Thetford. The other six members are Lee Kitchens, Koy Carson, Steve Slay, Kendal Stanaland, Rod Huckabay and Carl Petmecky. These members represent nearly every interest and every formally organized amateur radio effort in Lubbock County, such as The Skywarn severe weather group, The Lubbock Amateur Radio Club, The Lubbock Amateur Contest Club, the Caprock Repeater Club and others as well. Besides being representatives of these interests, each member also brings additional personal skills to the committee in various different ways such as experience in governmental relations, communications and teaching skills and technical skills which help in the organizational process. The Lubbock County RACES/ARES organization is just that, an organization. It is being designed and structured in such a way as to utilize the skills and knowledge of each of the varied clubs and amateur interests in Lubbock County, when called up to help by any of our governmental agencies. There are no club dues as this is not a club. Funds for this organization are primarily donations which will be tax-deductible since we are a non-profit organization. Any individual who is interested in helping with emergency communications, amateur radio operators and non-amateurs alike are welcomed. It is not the intent of this organization to combine or attempt to restructure any of the clubs or interests in Lubbock County as that would defeat the major purpose of establishing The RACES/ARES organization. Our main goal is to utilize each club, group, interest, and individual, and each of their specialties, in a composite effort when activated by our governmental agencies.
One last note about the committee. One of the committee’s strongest desires is to avoid the old “Too many chief’s and not enough Indians” syndrome that all too often destroys good organizations. The committee members are your representatives in all your interests and efforts in both supporting and making this organization work and work well. Your ideas and opinions are very important to them in making good sound decisions in our needs and goals and how to accomplish them. It is the committee’s goal, through your input, to develop our amateur radio community into a very professional and efficient resource, so that when we are needed, any and all of us will know what to do and how to accomplish our task at hand, without the “chief and Indian” problem. Team work is the greatest asset we want to develop.

Training will be one of our major priorities in the months to come. It takes some time and effort to put together these training sessions. We will be doing these as fast as we can in order to get every one up to speed on what we need to do. In addition to classroom sessions, we will be also be setting up practice exercises to help everyone become familiar with how the Lubbock County Emergency Communications Plan will work. In the future there are also plans to set up a RACES/ARES net on one of the local repeaters to practice simulated traffic practices. We hope and encourage each one of you to participate in these. The purposes for this are two fold. The first is to help each one of us to get familiar with our tasks at hand. The second is to help us work out any organizational procedures that may need to be changed to make things run smoother and more efficiently. Again, your input is very important to the making this work and work well. Your help and participation is appreciated.

Our goal is to organize and develop all of the varied interests and resources in the amateur radio community in Lubbock County into one very good resource that the community we live in can utilize when called upon in their time of need. Each amateur radio operator and non-amateur alike are equally important in our efforts to accomplish these goals. Our radio skills are important, but just as important in any emergency situation are the skills, knowledge, and personal experience each of us use in our everyday lives to make a living. There is no way we can ever anticipate or train for every possible incident that may ever occur. But with the vast amount of experience and knowledge we all have as a whole, our ability to adapt to our needs to accomplish our goals and tasks is greatly enhanced when pooling these skills and knowledge into one resource and working as a team. It is our goal and responsibility through training and teamwork to see that:

1-when activated we have a plan to follow that is versatile in accomplishing our community’s             needs
2-when we get on site and setup, we will all be able to recognize what needs to be done
3-we can all do any of the various tasks that need to be done
4-we can all feel good about what we accomplished through our efforts in working together after  we are    done.
5-we have fun and enjoy the learning experience together!!