By Tech. Sgt. Andrew Reitano, 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 04, 2009
OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- Two units of the 267th Combat Communications Squadron were deployed to the Washington, D.C., area for six days during the presidential inauguration in January to provide communications support in the event of an emergency.
The Joint Incident Site Communications Capability (JISCC) was stationed at Andrews AFB, Md., and was assigned to Joint Task Force-Washington, D.C. The unit was on stand-by in the event additional resources were needed. There were several other operational JISCCs providing primary communications support.
The JISCC is a dedicated communications system that connects military and civilian agencies, allowing them to work together more effectively. According to Capt. Stephen Dillon, 267th CBCS, seven Airmen were tasked to man the JISCC. "I'm proud of each and every one of the Airmen for volunteering to be a part of an historic moment and be ready, if called upon, to execute their duties flawlessly," said Dillon. "This mission was a continuation of the important role the 267th CBCS plays in supporting homeland defense and security."
The Interoperable Communications Extension System (ICE-S) unit was stationed at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., and was assigned to Joint Task Force-29. The unit was teamed up with the North Carolina Guard JISCC team that was supporting the Army's 134th Armored Unit from Minnesota. Their mission was to provide communications support for the 134th Armored Unit if it was to go into action. Members of the 134th were on hand for crowd control.
The ICE-S is a cellular system on wheels that first responders can set up in an affected area re-establishing cell phone connectivity on a prioritized basis during emergencies. Four members of the 267th CBCS accompanied the ICE-S for the assignment. "We were happy to provide this capability in the event it was needed, which thankfully it was not," said Master Sgt. Mike Ulich, 267th CBCS.
Both the JISCC and ICE-S were designed and implemented after Hurricane Katrina identified problems with the communications setup between civilian and military agencies.