Association of Emergency Radio Organizations in Minnesota


Currently, AERO Curriculum is just coming together. AERO 100 is available at your local club. AERO 101, 102 and 201 will be available in the next few months. This material was taken from a presentation about the AERO Curriculum and could still be updated and reorganized.

What is AERO?

  • AERO is the Association of Emergency Radio Organizations
  • AERO member groups must have an official affiliation with a government or nonprofit agency involved in emergency management.
  • Radio Clubs that are not recognized by an emergency jurisdiction or agency are not eligible.
  • Individual radio operators are not eligible for membership

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Association of Emergency Radio Organizations is to enhance the ability of volunteer emergency radio organizations to support emergency management and disaster response agencies with supplemental communications in times of disaster.


  • The focus of the AERO organization is communications support to our emergency management lead agencies during times of emergency or disaster.
  • AERO training will help the amateur radio operator to better their skills as they become more involved with an emergency amateur radio organization such as: ARES, RACES or Skywarn.


Courses - Field

  • AERO 100 – Basic Radio Operations AERO 101 – Introduction to Emergency Communications
  • AERO 102 – Advanced Emergency Communications
  • AERO 103 – Digital Communications**
  • AERO 111 – Communications for CERT’s
  • AERO 112 – Basic Communications for Adjunct Emergency Teams*

Courses – Net Control

  • AERO 201 – Introduction to Net Control
  • AERO 202 – Advanced Net Control Operations*

Courses – EOC/ICS

  • AERO 301 – Communications Supervisor *
  • AERO 302 – EOC Operations*

300 Level course candidates will have taken the Homeland Security AuxComm Course.
Target dates ** 2017
Target dates * 2017 ** 2018

AERO 100 Basic Radio Operations - Available Now through local clubs


  • Identify radio features and controls
  • Use correct radio operating procedures
  • Proper radio ‘etiquette’
  • Procedural words and phonetics
  • Program frequencies and access tones
  • Understand simplex vs duplex (repeaters) modes


  • Basic VHF/UHF radio anatomy
  • Basic operation of your radio
  • Choosing the correct frequencies
  • Programming common frequencies
  • Initiating and responding to calls

AERO 101 Introduction to Emergency Communications


  • Understanding Proficiency Workbooks
  • Served Agencies – Who Works for Whom
  • Nets
  • Basic Net Operations
  • Basic Communications Skills
  • Review of the Incident Command System
  • Being prepared: Go Kits


Proficiency Workbooks

  • What is EmComm? (Emergency Communications)
  • When We are Needed
  • How Amateur Radio Fits In What We Are Not
  • Emergency Communications vs Day-to-Day
  • Go Kits

AERO 102 Advanced Emergency Communications

Objectives from DHS RADO Certification

  • 15: Communicate information effectively to incident personnel
  • 16: Provide effective communications support during routine or non-emergency situations
  • 17: Provide effective communications support during emergency situations.
  • 18: Demonstrate familiarity with basic COMU (Communications Unit) functions capabilities
  • 19: Demonstrate proper application of communications policies and procedures
  • 20: Demonstrate proper use of communications equipment.


  • Familiarity with ICS forms
  • Communicating information effectively to incident command
  • Providing effective communications support during routine and non-emergency situations
  • Providing effective communications support during emergency situations
  • Demonstrating familiarity with basic Communications Unit (COMU) functions capabilities
  • Demonstrating proper application of communications policies and procedures
  • Demonstrating proper use of communications equipment

AERO 201 Introduction to Net Control for the Amateur Radio Operator


  • Understand how the net works for the field operators
  • Identify Communications Unit positions and how it fits into the ICS structure
  • Understand the role of the Net Control Station (NCS)
  • Understand how the NCS functions and how to manage it
  • Familiarity with the different types of nets (non-emergency and emergency)


  • Review of Net Operations
  • Review of ICS
  • Net Control Operator
  • Duties/Responsibilities
  • Documentation
  • Net Control Operations
  • ICS
  • Handovers
  • Scripts, instructions to net, announcements
  • Challenges
  • Types on Nets


Course Content

  • Radio familiarization
  • Operations of communications equipment in non-emergency conditions
  • Club support and activities
  • Event support

Course Content

  • Operations of communications equipment in emergency conditions
  • Skywarn
  • Disaster operations
  • Support due to infrastructure failure
  • Radio operator functions
  • Working with a Net Control Station
  • Passing ‘traffic’ (message handling)
  • Using common ICS forms
  • Net control operations
  • Controlling net activities
  • Directing and logging all ‘traffic’
  • Documentation of all net activities

We Are Mobile

Trained Emergency Communications Operators are:

  • In the field with handhelds, mobiles and portable base stations
  • In a mobile communications vehicle
  • In a distant radio room
  • In an EOC

One of the tenets of this terrific hobby we call Amateur or “HAM” Radio is the ability to provide communications when all other means have failed or are completely overwhelmed.  Since the early 1980’s there has been a group based in the Twin Cities whose sole purpose is to train radio operators in Emergency Communications.  AERO – the Association of Emergency Radio Organizations – is a volunteer organization comprised of local radio clubs and Governmental Agencies that provides free training to radio operators who wish to serve their communities, Public Safety and local Office of Emergency Management.

One of the new courses that AERO has developed is AERO 100 or, “…How Do I Turn This Thing On?” It is a short course for the new ham radio operator - that person who passed their Technician Level exam and bought a radio but has no idea what to do next.  They think they’d like to be able to ‘help out’ but aren’t sure how to go about it.   You and AERO can help.

One of the goals of AERO is to not only train radio operators in Emergency Communications, but also to pair them with local clubs who can continue to mentor them and help keep their skills sharp by participating in local nets and working local events.  AERO would like to provide you and your club with the necessary materials to put on a class for new hams – at no charge!  You are free to offer this class as much as you like.

This serves several purposes:

·        First, it provides the new HAM with some practical guidance about what they can do with their new radio.   It will also provide some insight into Emergency Communications.

·        Secondly, it introduces them to your club, your expertise and hopefully to AERO where they can add to their skills to serve their local communities.  

It is our hope that they would like to continue to learn Emergency Communications skills and take more training.   We’ll even teach you how to teach the class.

AERO is hosting two “Train-the-Trainer” meetings on Thursday May 26th at 7:00pm in the Haeg Conference Room of the Bloomington Civic Plaza and again on Saturday June 11th at 10:00am at the Hennepin County Emergency Operations Center – 1600 Prairie Drive – Medina, MN.  The training will take about two hours and will feature the AERO 100 Curriculum with some tips on how to teach it.  You’ll also go home with all of the course materials you’ll need to teach your own course.   Please RSVP by contacting Mike Ostlund, AERO Board Chair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..    You may also call 612.839.6501 if you have questions.

Thank you for your consideration.  We’ll look forward to seeing you soon.


Michael J. Ostlund, MN-CEM, MN-COMT
AERO Board Chair

Board of Directors: Mike Ostlund, Dave Johnson, Dan Anderson, Joe Sherohman, Brian Esmay, Andrew LaVenture,  Ann Foster, Steve Hartman, Matt Holden and Pam Darnell 

Curriculum Work Group: Dale Morgan, Ryc Lyden, Howard Lund, Dan Pietso, Ryan Kelzenberg and Bill Hughes

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