Wouldn't it be nice if you could instantly know of any emergency situation on base? What if you and your family could receive a text message to your personal mobile phones any time there is a threat? With the new emergency mass notification system being fielded at McChord Field this spring, this will become a reality.
McChord Field's new AtHoc Alerts system can notify Airmen, civilian employees and their dependents within minutes of an emergency event. These notifications range from force protection condition changes and anti-terror warnings to driving conditions, reporting instructions and base disaster responses.
Several Air Mobility Command bases have already successfully installed AtHoc Alerts. In fact, Joint Base Lewis-McChord's own I Corps 24/7 Watch Office is already using AtHoc Alerts right next door.
Eventually, all AMC bases and the AMC Command Center will implement this system. The 62nd Airlift Wing Command Post is the McChord Field operator of the system and will send base-wide notifications or alerts and provide reports to the commander as needed.
For McChord Field, the 62nd AW commander also has the authority to approve any other organization's important alerts on a case-by-case basis through the Command Post. A small "purple globe" icon will appear in the desktop icon tray to let you know the program is available on your computer. In fact, the AtHoc system has already been installed on most of McChord Field's computers.
In order to begin receiving alerts, all Airmen and those civilians designated as "key" and "Level A and/or B" must update their contact information by using the AtHoc Alerts Self Service module at their work desktop. Just right-click on the purple globe, select "access self service" and update accordingly.
All Airmen and those civilians designated as "key" and "Level A and/or B" will provide at a minimum: name, organization, duty phone, duty e-mail and an after-hours contact phone number. You can provide additional contact information such as an off-duty email address as well.
Providing emergency notification information in AtHoc is not mandatory for all other civilian personnel. However, all civilian personnel are encouraged to provide personal contact data in order to receive vital safety and emergency information for themselves and their families in the event of a base incident or a natural disaster.
During an actual event or a test of the AtHoc system, the alert will include a specific set of instructions. Ensure you read the entire alert and/or listen to the entire message. Then respond accordingly, usually by selecting a numeric response provided in the message.
(Courtesy Maj. Aaron Torczynski, 62nd Airlift Wing Command Post chief)