A fully functional ACS unit is always active and involved in the agency affairs. ACS participants are at the agency as many days of every week as possible. They do so on a regular basis --- doing administrative and management tasks in addition to any net activities. This keeps the unit in full view of agency personnel while providing untold opportunities to absorb agency protocol, nuances and other unwritten factors that enhance the unit's function and usefulness when the eventual emergency does occur.
An ACS unit wants to support ALL government communications-related needs as part of its overall activities and operations --- not just passing messages on the Amateur bands. It may never use an Amateur band during an incident if its other systems are adequate. The ACS may evoke some operations on the Amateur bands IF there are adequate benefits and available clear channels. Unfortunately, there have been instances in the last several years where it was necessary to avoid Amateur frequencies due to health and welfare traffic interests who trounced emergency services nets, rendering them inoperable.
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