DoD Emergency Exercise at Fort Monroe

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tuttleje

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Yesterday and today, there is a DoD Emergency Exercise being conducted at Fort Monroe. Participants are various DoD facilities, the American Red Cross, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, the Virginia Department of Emergency Services, amateur radio operators, and others.

This exercise would account for some of the recent linking between Orion and the FBI frequencies and possibly some strange transmission heard on STARS. Amateur radio operators are assisting in providing communication between various Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) and the Virginia EOC in Richmond.

The one of the amateur radio frequencies used is 146.76 MHz (a wide area repeater located in Williamsburg).

There is some excerise related traffic on the DOJ InterOps freq (165.700 MHz).

This exercise runs until March 28, 2008 and is called the Defense Interoperability Communications Exercise (DICE) 2008.
 
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tuttleje

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Here is info about last year's exercise (seems about the same as this years):

U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) hosted the Defense Interoperability Communications Exercise (DICE) 2007 at Fort Monroe March 5-16.

The exercise brings both Department of Defense (DoD) and non-DoD agencies together to simulate real-world scenarios that would require multiple groups to coordinate emergency communications.

DICE ensures that in the event of a natural disaster or mass casualty situation, local police, fire and rescue, and emergency medical crews can communicate with military units as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and American Red Cross.

“The goal is to take all pieces and provide a platform for everyone to talk together,” said Patty Critzer, the deputy director of communications systems at JTF-CS. “We want to make sure everyone is getting the best information they can. From the local first responders to the federal government, each one is here to simulate the types of challenges they could face.”

Many of the organizations and units participating in DICE brought with them communication trucks, equipped with a self-sustaining power supply and communication systems, which could operate on a wide range of networks. These trucks make it possible for communication to be established at sites where devastation may have knocked out the normal methods. Using the latest in advanced communication technology, they can link cell phones to walkie-talkies and military radios to their civilian counterparts or one device to any other. Some are even capable of providing secure lines for passing classified information.

“Our operational command post is used to provide interoperable communication to people in the area of operations,” said Matt Hopper, a representative of U.S. Army North, 5th Army. “Our main focus is interoperable radio communication. We network together so we can talk to one another.”

DICE will continue to be a yearly exercise, allowing multiple groups to train together. Practicing linking up communication equipment is a necessary part of emergency response training.

“We test our work with a wide spectrum of people we work with,” said Critzer. “We have to have systems that are interoperable; the way in which we can pass data, the way the other system receives it and can process it. We are here to get better situational awareness.”

JTF-CS is the only military organization dedicated solely to planning and integrating DoD forces with civilian authorities in an emergent situation. They are staffed by active, Reserve and guard members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. However, the majority of the JTF-CS communications staff is made up of Navy information systems technicians.
 

mike_s104

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tuttleje said:
Here is info about last year's exercise (seems about the same as this years):

U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) hosted the Defense Interoperability Communications Exercise (DICE) 2007 at Fort Monroe March 5-16.

The exercise brings both Department of Defense (DoD) and non-DoD agencies together to simulate real-world scenarios that would require multiple groups to coordinate emergency communications.

DICE ensures that in the event of a natural disaster or mass casualty situation, local police, fire and rescue, and emergency medical crews can communicate with military units as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and American Red Cross.

“The goal is to take all pieces and provide a platform for everyone to talk together,” said Patty Critzer, the deputy director of communications systems at JTF-CS. “We want to make sure everyone is getting the best information they can. From the local first responders to the federal government, each one is here to simulate the types of challenges they could face.”

Many of the organizations and units participating in DICE brought with them communication trucks, equipped with a self-sustaining power supply and communication systems, which could operate on a wide range of networks. These trucks make it possible for communication to be established at sites where devastation may have knocked out the normal methods. Using the latest in advanced communication technology, they can link cell phones to walkie-talkies and military radios to their civilian counterparts or one device to any other. Some are even capable of providing secure lines for passing classified information.

“Our operational command post is used to provide interoperable communication to people in the area of operations,” said Matt Hopper, a representative of U.S. Army North, 5th Army. “Our main focus is interoperable radio communication. We network together so we can talk to one another.”

DICE will continue to be a yearly exercise, allowing multiple groups to train together. Practicing linking up communication equipment is a necessary part of emergency response training.

“We test our work with a wide spectrum of people we work with,” said Critzer. “We have to have systems that are interoperable; the way in which we can pass data, the way the other system receives it and can process it. We are here to get better situational awareness.”

JTF-CS is the only military organization dedicated solely to planning and integrating DoD forces with civilian authorities in an emergent situation. They are staffed by active, Reserve and guard members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. However, the majority of the JTF-CS communications staff is made up of Navy information systems technicians.

sounds like one that went on in Northern VA last year as well about this same time.
 
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