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National Guard Plugs Communication Gap in Mississippi River Flooding with TAC-PAK
Recent Air National Guard flood response initially hampered by 30 mile communications gap; innovative ANG deployment of TACPAK mobile command center plugs gap and supports mission success
Severe Mississippi River flooding recently traumatized the citizens of Arkansas and Mississippi. Immediately, Arkansas National Guard (ANG) troops were tasked with an urgent flood relief mission requiring coordination between the Mobile Emergency Operations Center (MEOC), Joint Operations Center, and Unit Command Posts. Their urgent response included levee patrols, breach repair, security and setting up comprehensive communications in support of a 150 person Disaster Relief Bed Down System (DRBS) in remote McGehee, AR. Thirty miles from the MEOC, McGehee had a big problem - minimal existing communications infrastructure. As the Mississippi River continued to rise, the need for robust communications became urgent.
Due to the fluid nature of the disaster, the 189th Airlift Wing requested deployment of Region 6’s Tactical Command Package(TAC-PAK) Ultra-Agile briefcase mobile command system, manufactured by 308 SYSTEMS. For 16 days, the briefcase sized command and communication system provided both operational and welfare/moral communications traffic linking the 150 person tent city with the trailer based MEOC, Joint Operations Center, and Unit Command Posts.
Relying upon the TAC-PAK communication capabilities, the 189th provided McGehee with both local, and reachback communication support. This gave them all the fax, email, phone, and Internet needed to sustain operations and complete the communication gap. “I will and would deploy the TACPAK in future missions without hesitation” said MSgt Bill Catton of the ANG 189AW Emergency Management.
The vigorous Arkansas Air National Guard flood response successfully highlighted their ability to communicate quickly and effectively during times of crisis. The timely and accurate information provided by the 189th Airlift Wing enabled JOC based commanders to make successful decisions, and ensured the welfare and moral needs of over 150 troops were met.
For additional information, see: www.308systems.com.
- Corporate News/9-1-1magazine.com (via 308Systems, 1/5/12)