JISCC Enables Military, Civillian Communication During Exercise
By Spc. Michelle Nash, Task Force - Tarheel, North Carolina National Guard
/ Published May 07, 2010
KENAI, Alaska -- Five North Carolina Air Guardsmen with the 263rd Combat Communications Squadron and four service members with a staff element from Joint Forces Headquarter - North Carolina set up the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability to support the Alaska National Guard's Vigilant Guard 2010 exercise here today.
The JISCC is a mobile communications system designed to outfit disaster first responders and other local, state, and federal agencies.
"A JISCC is an emergency response communications set up," said Tech Sgt. Joseph Bishop, 263rd CBCS computer systems controller. "Anytime there is a hurricane, tornado or earthquake our mission is to get to the point and provide communications as soon as possible."
Bishop said, most of the time after natural disasters the first responders and civil agencies don't have a seamless line of communication. The JISCC enables communication via telephone, Internet, radio and video teleconferencing.
"In the past all the folks were coming together during a natural disaster but there was a break down with the inability to work together and communicate," said Air Force Lt. Marcus Huneycutt, 263rd CBCS communication officer. "This particular military equipment allows people to communicate together."
Air Force Major Raynor Garey, Joint Forces Headquarter- North Carolina information management tactical officer, said deployment of satellite communication packages came about after Hurricane Katrina when issues with communication and inoperability arose.
The JISCC is designed to provide global communication anywhere in the world, with a set up time of approximately one hour.
"It's a lot of fun working with other units and seeing how they set up and communicate," said Garey. "Our team showed great teamwork while setting up and everyone was involved."
The Vigilant Guard exercise is a component of a state-wide exercise combining the State of Alaska's Alaska Shield exercise and the Joint Task Force Alaska's Arctic Edge exercise. The exercise simulates a large-scale earthquake and is designed to test state and local civil authorities capabilities.
Approximately 60 North Carolina Guardsmen with Joint Task Force Tarheel, were deployed to Kenai, Alaska, in support of the exercise.
JTF Tarheel includes service members from the Joint Forces Headquarter-North Carolina, 263rd Combat Communications Squadron, North Carolina Air National Guard and 60th Troop Command and member of subordinate units.