DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. --
The 94th Emergency Management team paired with the 94th Communications Squadron to participate in the 2016 Statewide Mobile Communication Vehicle Functional Field Exercise held at Stone Mountain, Georgia, May 3-6.
The exercise tested the operation of mobile communication vehicles and their onboard communication equipment during an emergency response situation, according to the 2016 MCV exercise situation manual.
This experience allowed the Dobbins Emergency Management team the preparation needed to arrive on an accident scene and link mobile communications with off-base counterparts, said Senior Master Sgt. Kelvin Battle, 94th Emergency Management specialist.
“We want to be ready to deploy our assets anywhere in Georgia,” Battle added. “We could be tasked to respond to anything from a tornado to an aircraft accident.”
Dobbins represented one of more than 30 emergency management teams from federal, state and local entities that traveled from the Southeastern U.S. to participate, said Jim Milsap, Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency communications lead.
“This year is a record year. We had 183 participants and 32 mobile command vehicles.” Milsap added. “We’ve got helicopter support, Civil Air Patrol, amateur radio support. If it has anything to do with communications, it’s here.”
Each team worked through a list of tasks designed to ensure the different agencies could communicate efficiently and overcome technical obstacles associated with syncing digital communications systems, said Milsap. Exercise communication was accomplished via e-mail, web-based interfaces, radio voice-communication, and high-frequency radio devices.
He explained when multiple emergency response units arrive at a scene to collaborate, the respective teams may be using different technology systems to communicate. Overcoming these differences is at the core of the exercise objective.
The exercise not only provided Team Dobbins with greater capability in working with off-base counterparts, but also a stronger working relationship between members of the 94th Emergency Management team and the 94th Communications Squadron experts they rely on for technical support.
“For comm, this is a wonderful opportunity to partner with Emergency Management and be prepared for any local, state or federal emergencies that may come upon us,” said Maj. Andrea Walthour, 94th Communications Squadron commander.
In the end, the event was a success and we learned a lot working through the exercise tasks and injects, Battle added.