Security forces and Fire Department first responders demonstrate the use of the Dobbins Air Reserve Base “Giant Voice” notification system essential to alert installation personnel of any emergency situations Aug 7.
by Senior Airman Chelsea Smith
94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
9/10/2012 - DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- The wing's newly upgraded giant voice system is scheduled to reemerge in the approaching weeks as part of a two-phase mass notification system launch. The new system will replace the antiquated version which is scheduled to be fully operational by Sept. 30.
Phase one includes completion of the outdoor notification system while phase two will involve establishing an indoor notification system, said Capt. Jamison De La Peña, 94th Airlift Wing Communications Squadron commander.
The system will be controlled primarily by the 94th AW Command Post and the 911 Emergency Center serving as a secondary command center said David Felix, 94th Communications Flight personal wireless communications manager.
As referenced by the name, the system will function to disseminate messages for base exercises, real world events, weather alerts, canned training messages, alarm condition changes and other pertinent information, said Felix. In addition, traditional military music such as Reveille and Taps will be.
Six voice stack systems affixed to a pole or a building will be located at the Fire Department, Hangar five, buildings 922 and 501, and the base track and munitions areas, said De La Peña. Each stack holds eight loud speakers, reminiscent of bullhorns, interconnected at the top of a circular pole facing four directions.
"We're currently undergoing preliminary testing," said De La Peña. "This system will have the ability to utilize certain zones so that notifications can be pushed for that zone only to minimize confusion."
As part of the upgrades, the system is more user friendly due to the enhanced user interface that has touch screen capability, virtual base maps and the ability to isolate speakers to broadcast messages in select locations, said De La Peña.
Towering approximately 40 to 60 feet into the skyline, the giant voice system was a joint venture by contractors American Signal Corporation, General Dynamics and Motorola in compliance with a long-standing requirement derived by Air Force Reserve Command. The cost by the end of phase two is projected to total more than half a million dollars, said De La Peña.
Careful considerations were given to the positioning of the speakers in response to a rising concern for the heightened noise level in areas outside of the base.
"Positioning is such that the speakers are not projected into the residential areas surrounding the base," said De La Peña. "Hangar five has two less speakers to prevent the sound from blasting into the building."
Dobbins' members can expect to hear notifications from the Giant Voice soon, but will still receive mass notifications via desktop, or the purple globe, generated through the Ad Hoc system which is operated by the 94th AW Command Post, said De La Peña.
With origins dating back to World War II, the giant voice, a Civil Defense siren, was developed as a solution to new security concerns such as the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1942. It was created to send warning tones, military music such as Reveille, voice messages that are prerecorded and live public addresses.