NC Air National Guard Supports 58th Presidential Inauguration Ceremony with Mobile Emergency Operation Center
By Staff Sgt Laura Montgomery, 145th Public Affairs
/ Published January 20, 2017
02/05/2017 -- "Supporting the 58th Presidential Inauguration was a great opportunity for the 145th Airlift Wing to showcase the capabilities of the mobile emergency operation center mission,” stated U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Rebecca Tongen, installation emergency manager for the 145th Airlift Wing.
The NC Air National Guard mobile emergency operation center supported a Task Force Command-Army Joint Incident Site Communications Capability system, at the USDA building. This was the first time the Air National Guard has been tasked to help with the inauguration in this capacity. The units provided 24-hour support with personnel maintaining 12-hour shifts.
Five individuals from the NC Air National Guard were tasked with providing support the mobile emergency operation center including Tongen, Staff Sgt. Mark Fow, emergency management technician for the 145th Civil Engineering Squadron, Master Sgt. Eric Kennedy, operations branch chief for the 145th Communications Flight, Staff Sgt. Benjamin Elliott, 145th Communications Flight radio frequency transmissions technician, and Master Sgt. Timothy Jones, radio frequency transmission technician for the 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron; five of 8,000 military members tasked to support the ceremony.
Senior Master Sgt. James Cutshaw, installation emergency manager for the 134th Air Refueling Wing, was also on board the NC Air National Guard mobile emergency operation center to assist with communications support.
“These are the type of events we thrive to support as an Air National Guard emergency management community and are fortunate to be able to have support from other units within the Wing and FEMA Region Four,” Tongen said.
Recently, the mobile emergency operation center was updated with new equipment. “Interoperable communications is vital to our mission. Our recent modernization efforts allow us to stay connected to the other Air National Guard mobile emergency operation center. Additionally, the 4G internet capability allows us to provide higher speed data to those we support,” said Fow. A wide area interoperability system, which allowed them to communicate via radio to the seven other MEOC's supporting this mission, and a PepWave - 4G data service were some of the newest additions.
Tongen has taken lead in building-up the NC Air National Guard mobile emergency operation center for two and a half years and expressed her excitement about working the event stating, “The fact we were the closest to the National Mall and supporting three Task Forces; Security, Crowd and Access, was an honor. We look forward to more opportunities like this in our future!"
The NC Air National Guard continues to support national missions like the 58th U.S. Presidential Inauguration as their transition from the C-130 Hercules to C-17 Globemaster III aircraft progresses; truly showcasing the unit’s effectiveness and versatility.