Air Force Materi'l Command improves alert system

The Air Force Materi'l Command (AFMC) is implementing a command-wide standard for unified IP-based emergency notification nationwide, reducing the time to launch and manage a consistent alert across multiple independent systems as well as enable each base to trigger alerts to their own personnel locally.

'An integrated, centralized deployment of a mass notification system supports our key requirements to provide a unified, command-wide emergency notification system for AFMC,' said Col. Richard Wesche, deputy director of communications for command headquarters. 'Once fully deployed, operators will be able to easily reach personnel at all AFMC locations or individual wings through desktop computers, mobile devices, telephones and our giant voice systems. The command will have the ability to reach all personnel, or specific groups, across the command, within minutes, and operators will be able to track alert receipt and responses, which is a critical function for personnel accountability.'

The agency is using technology from AtHoc. Under the $3.4 million contract, AFMC will deploy AtHoc IWSAlerts across its 10 bases and tenant units around the country, providing mass notification and personnel accountability capabilities to all 125,000 active-duty military and civilian personnel.

The selection follows on previous successful deployments at three AFMC installations ' Eglin, Edwards and Wright Patterson Air Force bases ' where the system is currently used to alert more than 30,000 people in case of emergency.

The new contract extends the technology to all additional AFMC bases. The solution will include centralized telephony resources and will be integrated with local base-level telephony alerting systems and giant voice siren systems for any integrated notification management system.

More than 500 command post operators are expected to be trained in the use and operation of the technology, which runs on a Microsoft platform over Dell servers with Cisco networking equipment. The system is expected to cost less and be simpler to maintain than the current technology because of its centralized approach.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.

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