Colorado Air National Guard Sends Commo Unit for Irma Response
By Air Force Maj. Darin Overstreet, Colorado Air National Guard
CENTENNIAL, Colo., Sept. 10, 2017 – A special communications section of the Colorado Air National Guard is staging to Mississippi to assist civilian authorities in areas impacted by Hurricane Irma.
This morning, Irma's strong winds and whipping rain are impacting the Florida Keys and the southern Florida mainland, according to news reports.
Six airmen of the 233rd Space Communications Squadron, 223rd Space Group, Greeley, Colorado, will deploy with specialized equipment to the Southeastern United States.
The group is part of the Colorado National Guard Communications Element Joint Incident Site Communications Capability.
Providing Communications Capability
"The JISCC is specifically tailored to support unique homeland defense and civil support mission requirements," said Air Force Maj. Michael Holton, commander of the 233rd Space Communications Squadron. "It provides non-secure voice, data, video, intra-team radio, and radio interoperability for first responders supporting the incident commander."
"When we have an emergency in Colorado, we know we can count on our neighboring states to assist, so when we have the opportunity to help others, it's our top priority," said the Colorado National Guard Director of Joint Staff, Air Force Col. Gregory White, who commands the military response to domestic operations in Colorado.
"Our military training is transferrable to the civilian sector, and we're proud to support the professionals at all levels of the response effort," White added.
"Across the nation, there are more than 50,000 National Guard members helping Americans by responding to wildfires in the Northwest, and hurricanes in the South and Southwest and those deployed overseas," said Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael A. Loh, the adjutant general of the Colorado National Guard.
"Colorado, alone, sent 60 airmen and soldiers to help our neighbors in Texas, and we have more than 300 airmen and soldiers deployed to eight countries, predominately in the Middle East," Loh added.
The JISCC is the capability that supports the National Guard Communications Elements as prescribed by the Joint CONUS Communications Support Environment. JISCC is transportable by C-130 aircraft, rail, or trailer. It is a case-based system organized into five modules that includes a SATCOM Reach-back Communications Module.
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