The U.S. Army prepares to implement a network communications tool suite designed to help the Army National Guard soldiers communicate with first responders in the event of a natural disaster or other critical situation.
ARNG said Monday the Disaster Incident Response Emergency Communications Terminal will offer internet and commercial phone access as well as commercial wireless and 4G LTE capacity for emergency personnel who conduct civil support and disaster response missions.
DIRECT is built to integrate with Warfighter Information Network-Tactical equipment and scheduled for full deployment by 2021 across U.S. states and territories where ARNG members operate.
“We are fielding this new equipment to help us interoperate and better communicate up and down… and across the various chains of command,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy McKeithen, ARNG deputy director.
The Army aims to ensure the terminal will also be compatible with FirstNET nationwide broadband network the Commerce Department is building with AT&T under a potential $6.5 billion contract awarded in March.
ARNG noted that DIRECT will succeed the organization’s Joint Incident Site Communication Capability.