In today’s grim budget environment, every government first responder dollar counts. Their field missions require effective and rapid deployments in order to save lives, protect people and property, ensure safety and relieve suffering. A traditional responder relies upon traditional vans, trailers or custom built vehicle mobile command systems.
In addition to high initial acquisition costs, these legacy systems require significant ancillary support costs such as insurance, engine overhaul, oil/gas, and drivers with specialized licensing. In addition, large vehicles cannot access many disaster areas such as muddy fields, streets clogged with earthquake or hurricane debris, narrow mountain roads, or snow drifted highways. Burdened by these drawbacks, many smaller agencies cannot deploy the significant communications capabilities inherent in a legacy command vehicle platform.
With current fiscal constraints in mind, to meet their initial entry communication needs forward thinking teams are now deploying cost effective alternatives to a traditional mobile command vehicle. A single man portable system can replicate the functionality of a traditional mobile command vehicle, for approximately 1/20th the cost.
For example, the Virginia Guard recently demonstrated their forward thinking nature, and accepted delivery of the latest TAC-PAK Ultra-Agile Mobile Command System. This deployment was planned to ensure effective and efficient communications between the Virginia Guard and local, state, private sector, non-governmental organizations and related Federal partners. Pushing the performance envelope even farther, their new system replicates a traditional command vehicle in functionality, yet is packaged into a self-contained case only 22in x 14in x 9in. This gives new meaning to the term “Ultra-Agile”, and enables TACPAK use in situations typically requiring a costly command vehicle.
The Virginia Guard customized each of their mobile command systems to support the robust nature of their mission. Local hurricane, ice storm, and flooding disasters provide operational challenges to VAANG troops, who immediately deploy the briefcase command system by quickly throwing it into the back of a Humvee or snowmobile. When deployed through streets blocked with water, hurricane debris or ice, and without any existing power or data infrastructure, VAANG troops simply flip a switch and immediately establish high speed cellular(up to 21Mbps bandwidth) and satellite voice/data connections. These Internet reachback connections can be shared by up to 25 local troops via built-in WiFi and support multiple operations including videoconferencing, local and worldwide radio interoperability, and much more. Guard troops are also now in the power utility business, and can provide both AC and DC onboard power to charge other Team member electronic devices.
“Wheels are out, briefcases are in” is the new mantra in today’s mobile field communications and command world.