Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Upgrading the Mobile Command Center

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard “Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council” magazine by LCDR Richard Sundland, Command and Control Branch Chief, and LCDR Andre Whidbee, Communications and Sensors Branch Chief, U.S. Coast Guard Office of C4 and Sensor Capabilities.

Developed as a “system of systems,” the Coast Guard mobile command center (MCC) project supports an array of product lines while maintaining interoperability with partners through compatible communications and network systems and standards.

The MCC project consists of four main subsystems:

· enhanced mobile incident command post (eMICP, pictured above),
· mobile communications vehicle,
· portable SIPRNet,
· portable computer store.

The eMICP is an incident command post that contains temporary office and conference room facilities and a robust communications suite that includes Internet, intranet, SIPRNet, phone, and radio systems.

When used in concert, the mobile command center subsystems provide scalable resources to establish a Coast Guard operational presence in an area with damaged or non-existent communication infrastructure.

Ongoing Support
Incident management, contingency preparedness, continuity of operations, and surge operations have proven to be more effective with the new and improved mobile command center.

The robust communications, terrestrial and satellite network connections, and capability for unclassified and secure communications has enabled the Coast Guard to reach a higher level of interoperability with partners while better allocating and managing resources.

For example, the Coast Guard’s “blue force” tracking technology provides real-time status of all assets in an operational environment, enhancing the situational awareness necessary for tactical decisions.

The Coast Guard will expand the mobile command center project, building a total of three enhanced mobile incident command posts and three mobile command vehicles.

Ultimately, the Coast Guard will have one eMICP and mobile command vehicle on the West Coast and two eMICPs and two mobile command vehicles on the East Coast. This geographic distribution of assets will help ensure Coast Guard incident commanders have the proper command center capabilities for their mission responsibilities.

For more information:
Full article is available at http://www.uscg.mil/proceedings/fall2009.

Subscribe online at http://www.uscg.mil/proceedings/subscribe.asp.