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Accessing SHARES

SHARES is available on a 24-hour basis to provide an emergency communications link to support intra- or interagency mission requirements. No prior coordination is necessary; no SHARES "activation" is required. The flagword "SHARES" is all that is needed to get the message through. Certain conditions must exist, however, to use SHARES. These include:

  • The information must support National Security and Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) requirements.
  • The information must be communicated to a Federal entity and be of critical importance to the Federal government, the entity's mission, and/or involve the preservation of life and property.
  • The primary means of communications must be inoperative or unavailable for use.
  • The processing of SHARES message traffic must not interfere with the primary mission requirements of the SHARES participants.

To access the SHARES network, authorized users should contact the nearest SHARES station and request assistance in processing a SHARES message. All SHARES messages are unclassified; however, encrypted messages are authorized to be passed over SHARES. Message precedence is not used in SHARES. The priority for handling SHARES messages, in relation to other mission or emergency message traffic, is established by the participating SHARES station. Use of the flagword "SHARES", however, serves to notify SHARES station personnel that the information supports national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications and is of critical importance.

Processing SHARES Messages

An HF radio station accepting SHARES message traffic formats the message in accordance with SHARES formatting procedures contained in the SHARES User Manual, and refers to the SHARES Directory to identify a SHARES station nearest the message addressee. Contact is made with the station in accordance with SHARES radio operating procedures. If contact cannot be established, or if the receiving station is unable to assist is processing the message due to other mission requirements, the calling station selects another SHARES station near the message addressee. The message may also be relayed by other SHARES stations.

To increase the number of stations on-the-air and available to support SHARES during the first hours of an emergency, a SHARES Coordination Network (SCN) Level Change Notice is issued to SHARES stations and listed on the SHARES homepage and Pactor Bulletin Board System (PBBS). The Notice alerts station personnel to the fact that requests for assistance in processing SHARES messages may be expected.

Stations electing to support SHARES during an emergency submit a Station Availability Report to one of the SHARES Coordination Stations. These reports are forwarded to the SHARES Emergency Coordination Team and are tracked on the SHARES Emergency Management System, a mapping system used to track stations on-the-air and available to support SHARES. SHARES Operation Report, an electronic confirmation (SHARES Form 5), is issued to acknowledge station participation in a SHARES activity. Distribution is made only to stations that participate.

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