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U.S. Coast Guard to Dedicate Advanced Command, Control and Communications System In Gulf States

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The U.S. Coast Guard has announced it will officially accept the new Rescue 21 command, control and communications system along the Alabama, Mississippi and Florida coastlines. General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), is the prime contractor for development and deployment of the Rescue 21 system.

The U.S. Coast Guard will dedicate Rescue 21 in a ceremony at Sector Mobile, BLDG. 101, South Broad St., Mobile, Ala., on Thurs., Aug. 10, 2006 at 10 a.m.

"Rescue 21 offers a significant tool to enhance execution of many critical Coast Guard missions," said Rear Admiral Joel Whitehead, Eighth District Commander. "That's especially important in the Gulf Coast region." Whitehead will be one of the speakers at Thursday’s ceremony along with representatives from General Dynamics.

Direction-finding capability is a vital component of Rescue 21, helping reduce search areas even if a “mayday” call is only seconds long. A network of towers increases communications coverage in coastal areas. The system dramatically improves interoperability with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies as well as with first responders. The Disaster Recovery System, an important component of Rescue 21, proved its mettle in the Gulf Coast region following Hurricane Katrina last year. Four of these units are currently staged in Huntsville, Ala., for rapid deployment. It is a self-sufficient, system providing temporary communications capabilities.

“From a technology perspective, the Rescue 21 system provides a sea change of capabilities -- well beyond that of the current National Distress and Response system,” said John Weidman, vice president of National Systems for General Dynamics C4 Systems. “In addition to the improved search-and-rescue capabilities, Rescue 21 also provides connectivity and communications interoperability across a broad range of federal, state and local agencies.”

“What makes Rescue 21 technology both compelling and critically important is that even with a short radio transmission, we gain decision-quality position information on a target of interest, be it a distressed boater, a hoax caller, or homeland security concern,” said Captain Dan Abel, Rescue 21 Project Manager, who will attend the ceremony.

The Rescue 21 system in Mobile encompasses more than 900 nautical miles of coastline and three states - Alabama, Mississippi and parts of northwest Florida. Currently, the system is installed in two regions of the Eastern seaboard (from Manasquan, N.J., to Belle Haven, Va.).

Once fully implemented, it will provide communications along 95,000 miles of coastline and inland waterways. When fully deployed by 2011, the system will replace the Coast Guard’s aging National Distress and Response System (NDRS), which was built during the 1970s.

For more information about scheduled deployment and detailed Rescue 21 information, please visit

By the Numbers

* November 2005 – First life saved using Rescue 21 system
* December 2005 – First Rescue 21 system commissioned Atlantic City, N.J.
* December 2005 – Two Initial Operating Capacity regions; Atlantic City, N.J., and Eastern Shore, (Maryland, Delaware and Virginia) accepted Rescue 21
* May 19, 2006 – First Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) region accepted Rescue 21 in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi
* June 29, 2006 – Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., the second of four LRIP regions, began using the system

General Dynamics C4 Systems is a leading integrator of secure communication and information systems and technology. General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 81,900 people worldwide and had 2005 revenue of $21.2 billion. The company is a market leader in mission-critical information systems and technologies; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and business aviation. More information about the company can be found at

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Note to Editors: Media are invited to attend the dedication ceremony and are strongly encouraged to call ahead by contacting Judy Silverstein, Rescue 21 public affairs, at (202) 536-8167.

August 9, 2006
Contact: Fran Jacques
Tel: (480) 441-2885

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