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Homeland Security

Appendix K

Communications Section

The communications section mission is to provide tactical emergency and garrison communications to the CST commander and as requested by a site IC. This is accomplished through the UCS by providing voice and data communications through a variety of networks designed to support CST operations and civil and military agencies. The UCS acts as a common support node for an incident site and maintains intrateam communications and communications with higher authorities, other responding agencies, and SMEs. The section establishes secure communications links, as required. It maintains COMSEC, classified cryptological information (CCI) equipment, and all classified documentation. The UCS is capable of stand-alone support to an IC, if required. The UCS performs much of its duties using high-powered radio and satellite transmissions supported by generator power. As such, the UCS must be included into the site safety plan to ensure safe and effective operations.



K-1. During the preincident phase, the communications section ensures that all communications equipment, COMSEC, and CCI are serviceable and ready to deploy. The commander and the communications section chief will be responsible for the site and physical security of the UCS, COMSEC, and other classified materials. It will maintain all CST software for backup purposes. It will coordinate all remote communications and distance learning activities. The communications team chief will ensure that section training, UCS proficiency training and new technology training are conducted. The communications section will conduct communications surveys of possible infrastructure targets of opportunity as directed by CST commanders. It will conduct communications logistics to support unit and section requirements and maintain all updated information for reach-back purposes.

K-2. The communications team coordinates, integrates, and incorporates the UCS into any incident. The communications section will account for and maintain all essential communications equipment.

K-3. The communications section will maintain all databases and information support systems and fulfill all required duties for the UCS accreditation.



K-4. During the alert and deploy phases, the communications section establishes a communications plan and maintains communications en route with supporting agencies such as the-

    • Trojan Network Control Center (TNCC), Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
    • POMSO/TAG or the next higher military HQ.
    • ICP or state EOC/EMA.
    • CST home station.

K-5. The communications section will configure its section equipment for any means or mode of travel and conduct 100 percent inventory and PMCS. The section ensures that alternate power supplies and power systems are available.

K-6. The ADVON may deploy with the UCS, and the UCS will provide the CST commander a modular, air-transportable, self-contained communications system with the capability to support civil and military authorities. When deployed, the UCS would give the commander the ability to exercise TACON while coordinating operations with on-scene CM agencies.

K-7. Communications nets will be opened and maintained as needed. Radio checks will be conducted with all vehicles in convoy prior to departing to the incident.



K-8. The communications section will implement the site communications plan that supports the commander's intent. The team also plans the CST OPORD (signal portion) and SOI.

K-9. Additionally, the communications section establishes internal and external communications using a site communications plan if that specific portion is applicable. The communications section functions include-

    • Placing the UCS in operation.
    • Establishing initial communications with the IC.
    • Establishing communications with the appropriate EOCs.
    • Establishing voice reach-back communications.
    • Establishing data reach-back communications.
    • Establishing LAN communications between the OPCEN, the analytical equipment (as required), and the UCS.

K-10. The communications section provides communications support during the mission. The team determines incident-specific communications requirements and assesses existing capabilities. The communications section also manages other communications-related matters, such as assigned frequencies, and develops the call signs and radio nets from the SOI.

K-11. Another key task for the CST communications section is to maintain unit internal communications. To support intradetachment voice communications, the communications section provides push-to-talk communications equipment or handheld radios to assigned team personnel.

K-12. The communications section will conduct a 100 percent COMSEC and CCI inventory. The communications team chief will be prepared for the emergency destruction of COMSEC and CCI. The communications section chief will implement a section work/rest cycle, as needed.



K-13. The communications section will clean and inventory all communications equipment, to include all COMSEC/CCI. The communications section will dispose of lithium batteries per the unit SOP. Any required closing reports will be submitted prior to departure. The communications section will notify the COMSEC custodian of any changes in the COMSEC status.

K-14. The communications section also completes required inspections and addresses any equipment readiness issues. Equipment and vehicles are repacked and are made ready for movement and future missions. Upon returning to the home station, communications nets will be closed on commander's orders.


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