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US Army Mulls Satellite Comms for First Responders; Mark Henderson Comments

The U.S. Army National Guard plans to deploy a military-grade communications system that uses satellite to first responders in an effort to assist in search and rescue operations, C4ISRNET reported Friday.

Henry Kenyon writes the Army aims for the satellite communications system to connect first responders on site to state and federal authorities during disaster when critical infrastructure is damaged.

The Disaster Incident Response Emergency Communications Terminal tool is built based on the Army’s Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment 1, according to the report.

Lt. Col. Mark Henderson, project manager for WIN-T, said gains from recovery operations for hurricanes Katrina and Sandy were also used to develop DIRECT, the report says.

The tool comprises the WIN-T Joint Network Node and satellite communications trailer, radio-bridging and voice cross-matching equipment and a deployable tower, Kenyon reports.

“In an area where there is no infrastructure anymore, you’re going to have a node that can communicate back into the WIN-T network, and on the ground you’ve got a very robust capability to connect civil authorities, Guard and first responders to provide humanitarian support and assistance,” Henderson was quoted as saying.

The system is scheduled for fielding to all 50 states, the D.C. area and territories with National Guard units in fiscal 2017, C4ISRNET reports.

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