Duties of the Alternate Net Control Station

ARES® Training for January 7-13, 2024

The Alternate Net Control Station (ANCS) assumes control of a directed net as directed by the Net Control Station (NCS) or in the event the NCS fails to respond in a reasonable period (usually 1 minute from the time the NCS was expected to say something) which may be due to incapacitation, equipment failure, or other diversion.

During the net, the ANCS performs as an assistant to the NCS when called upon, such as asking for relays (simplex nets), handling net traffic on the back-up frequency, taking polls, validating the log, etc. This is equivalent to the Executive Officer in military parlance.

When someone assumes the role of ANCS, they should have access to a copy of the net log. That way, they can assume control of a net without having to re-establish who is on the net.

Our net scripts do not call for an ANCS, but the Net logging software (net-control.us) provides for an ANCS duty assignment. Under Role, select 2nd for the person assigned as ANCS.

Please step up in future nets to take the ANCS role. Whether notifying NCS during net preparations (usually within a minute or two prior to the net start time), or by stating that you are willing to be ANCS when checking in to the net, your participation in net management would be greatly appreciated.

Performing duties as ANCS is an easy way to learn the rhythm of net control and to become more confident in net procedures. It gives the NCS a back-up should “duty call” or something happen to the NCS. Once you’re ready, volunteer as NCS on an ARES® net. The usual NCSs will more than likely let you take this on while being your ANCS. Those performing during as NCS (not ANCS) get Task Book credit for performing the NCS role.