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Radio group slates annual Field Days

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Aroostook Amateur Radio Association invites the public to its 2018 Field Days competition at the Northern Maine Fairgrounds June 23.

The event will take place in the forestry building from 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, to 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 24.

AARA radio operators will provide an opportunity for interested community members to observe and participate as they speak with other operators around the U.S. and New Brunswick via radio.

In addition, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts seeking to advance their communications skills for related badges may meet with team members, watch, listen and sit at the microphone to work some stations on the air.

On June 23, association members will offer tests for FCC amateur radio licensing at 3 p.m. for a fee of $15. Walk-ins will be accepted. Examinees must have two forms of positive identification and their Social Security number. Licensed amateurs trying to upgrade must have in their possession the original license and a clear photocopy of it.

According to Jim Cerrato, KC5UEQ, AARA public information officer, the association’s mission is to provide emergency communications service to County communities, assist civic organizations, promote the technical craft of amateur radio through training and testing, assist and mentor new operators and members, and enhance fellowship among radio operators.

The local association also supports the Aroostook Radio Emergency Services, as well as the Radio Amateur Emergency Services (RACES), created by the FCC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for emergency services.

RACES operators communicate on amateur radio during exercises and drills as well as real-time emergencies, he said, and are the only amateur operators authorized to transmit during emergencies for which a president has invoked the War Powers Act.

For further information on the AARA or Field Day, contact Cerrato at jamesthomascerrato@gmail.com.

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