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News > Comm's JISCC provides Airmen, government agencies with 'Ops-in-a-box'
Comm's JISCC provides Airmen, government agencies with 'Ops-in-a-box'
The Joint Incident Site Communication Capability, or "JISCC" system, stands ready for communication support at Gowen Field, Idaho. The JISCC system provides users with a number of communication options, to include wired and wireless internet, satellite uplinks and radio connectivity. The system, used to support the May 2011 Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System certification by the 302nd Communications Flight, was developed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. JISCC aids local, state and federal agencies with quick communication options, all within one system. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Comm's JISCC provides Airmen, government agencies with 'Ops-in-a-box'

Posted 8/23/2011   Updated 8/23/2011 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Collier
302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

8/23/2011 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The need for clear, concise and dependable communication capabilities during a crisis is just as important as having the right people in the right position at the right time. Whether an emergency responder is in need of vital cell phone service, internet connectivity to transmit and receive critical information or even a satellite uplink, they can have all this and more in the remotest of locations courtesy of the 302nd Communications Flight's latest tool: JISCC.

The Joint Incident Site Communication Capability is a full-spectrum communication "Swiss Army knife" capable of providing a number of communication options to a variety of users, including wired and wireless internet connectivity, uplink to various satellites for users, telephone service to anywhere in the world, radio connections for both UHF and VHF and many more communications capabilities.

The system has already been used to connect military and federal agencies for one of the 302nd Airlift Wing's most critical of missions: aerial firefighting using the Modular Airborne Firefighting System. The addition of JISCC's capabilities to this interagency mission, according to Senior Master Sgt. Eddie Martin, provided for a capability unseen, until now, in the Air Force Reserve.

"With JISSC, we have full internet access, both wired and wireless, and it can cover a pretty huge area," said Martin, the 302nd CF's superintendent and one of the main subject matter experts on JISSC within the flight. "We also have the ability to support Voice over Internet Protocol, like Skype. On the radio side, we have the ability to take any radio frequency and patch it into any frequency."

Radio frequencies like UHF and VHF are incompatible with one another, making it impossible for individuals on either type of frequency to communicate with each other. With JISCC, any and all frequencies, whether they are transmitted on the Peterson flightline or Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida, for example, can be tied into one another, making for a single, cohesive communication network spanning hundreds, and even thousands, of miles.

During the MAFFS certification May 2-6 in Boise, Idaho, 302nd CF personnel brought the flight's JISCC unit, setting up a mobile communications center in less than a day. By week's end, Martin said the system had provided close to 15 gigabytes of data to 40 people. No JISCC unit had ever done that before.

"We actually learned quite a bit. AFRC had never sent a JISCC unit to support a real-world exercise of any type," Martin said. "We were the first unit in the command to do that. The communications flight will soon have the ability to provide their unique JISCC services again. Recently, the flight was asked to support an upcoming U.S. Northern Command exercise named 'Vital Connection'. The week-long exercise in Arizona scheduled for September will combine federal, tribal, state and local agencies together to synchronize their abilities to respond to an emergency cohesively. JISCC will allow for each organization, which typically operate different forms of communication devices, to contact one another. The hope, Martin said, is to increase their overall efficiency while decreasing response times.

While the JISCC system provides a number of communication services the military could only dream of 10 years ago, leadership within the 302nd CF point out it's the people of the unit who make the system so unique. Maj. Damon Brown, 302nd CF commander, pointed out Airmen assigned to his organization are focused on saying "yes" to JISCC customers, making it possible to provide any type of communication avenue possible with this "ops-in-a-box" system.

"JISCC is a full spectrum resource," Brown said. "If you have something and it's connectable, these Airmen can connect it. I like the Total Force benefits to this as well. We have Airmen who have incredible skill sets outside the military who are able to bring that expertise to this kind of mission. These folks are pushing the 'IT' envelope in the civilian sector. That's a power tool for us as a Reserve force and the JISCC mission greatly benefits from that."

Martin echoed the major's comments.

"If you don't have the right people running your equipment, you're not going to be successful."

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