Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

January 1, 2012 at 3:48am

Emergency mass notification system to be implemented at JBLM

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In September of this year, Headquarters Air Mobility Command awarded a contract to Reliable Government Solutions to provide AtHoc Installation Warning System Alerts (AtHoc IWSAlertsTM) to eight AMC installations.

This system procurement in part is in response to mitigating events such as the Fort Hood, Texas, incident, but will be key to notifying installation personnel during all types of emergencies.

AtHoc IWSAlertsTM is a network-centric emergency mass notification system (EMNS) which also provides an aspect of personnel accountability. The personnel accountability is a report consisting of who was notified, when and if they acknowledged.

The system is capable of notifying personnel within minutes of an emergency from a single, centralized, Web-based instance. Types of notifications range from force protection condition changes, anti-terror warnings or natural disaster alerts for approaching tornadoes, hurricanes or other emergency situations.

Command posts at each base will be the lead in operating the system with emergency managers also being key players in the process. The AMC command center will also have the ability to make command-wide notifications. As the primary owners of the systems at the bases, command posts will push alerts upon direction of the wing commander or their representative. A forthcoming HQ AMC EMNS concept of operations will outline operational details and provide guidance on how installations are to use the system. Installation commanders will be the final approval authority for local implementation and use.

The client installation phase should be transparent to the user. Once complete, it is easy for an end user (alert recipient) to know when communication is in place from their desktop, as indicated by the small purple globe in the system tray indicating connectivity. When there is no communication or a connectivity issue occurs, a grey globe with a red "X" appears in the system tray.

End user responsibilities are simple: keep your contact information current and respond to alerts in a timely manner by following the provided instructions. You can update your contact information by using the AtHoc IWSAlertsTM self service module; just right click on the purple globe and select "Access Self Service" and update accordingly. An alert will have a specific set of instructions to respond to. Ensure you read the entire alert and/or listen to the entire message then respond accordingly. An important note to remember is this system will notify many people in a short period of time and provides robust notification capabilities, but we still need personnel to remember their wingman responsibilities to ensure the 100 percent solution.

The contract provides eight installations with a rapid means to notify the base populace using computer pop-ups, e-mail, telephony (hard line and cellular) and text messaging. The eight bases receiving AtHoc IWSAlertsTM with this contract include Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Dover Air Force Base, Del., Scott AFB, Ill., Fairchild AFB, Wash., Grand Forks AFB, N.D., Little Rock AFB, Ark., McConnell AFB, Kan., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. This purchase will align these installations with the other AMC bases and improve our notification in a more standard fashion.

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