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News | Nov. 1, 2022

Alaskan Command readies deployable comms in joint mobility exercise

By Airman 1st Class Quatasia Carter JBER Public Affairs

Alaskan Command successfully conducted a mobility exercise (MOBEX) to test the command’s capability to deploy, set up, and operate communications equipment any place, any time Oct. 27.

This MOBEX required team members to break down and package a J-17 Rapid Response Kit satellite and prepare detailed paperwork for an emergency response vehicle capable of providing mobile emergency self-sufficient communications single-handedly for more than a month.
“This mobility exercise is an annual certification for air transport that focuses on Deployable Communications Capabilities System (DCCS) capabilities and our team’s ability to deploy communications assets via the air,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Timothy Meerstein, ALCOM director of communications. “The MOBEX is an Alaskan Command requirement to ensure contractors are trained and equipped to properly conduct a load of communications equipment.”

The DCCS’s mission is to provide ALCOM a deployable/expeditionary communications infrastructure with a full spectrum of communications services necessary to provide restoral, redundant and/or initial communications to meet mission requirements.

The DCCS is capable of supporting various missions from daily mission assurance and homeland defense to Defense Support of Civil Authorities and Mutual Aid and Emergency Response missions. Each MOBEX helps refine potential errors or delays which could interrupt emergency transport of communications systems.

“When strategic systems go down or are not available, we use tactical systems for mission assurance,” said Tim Woodall, division chief of Alaska Global Deployable Communication Capabilities System. “That means employing a resilient capability to meet the Command’s expeditionary communications needs wherever and whenever needed.”

Deployable Communications Capability Systems include communication systems capable of connecting troops from any mission-critical location, be it local or abroad into the Defense Information Systems Network. Setup of an Alaska DCCS differs from standard communication networks. These are made with extreme winter weather conditions in mind.

“To ensure our ability to operate in Arctic conditions, our systems and cabling are good to about 72 degrees below zero,” said Woodall. “Our DCCS equipment has been re-engineered to succeed in the Arctic.”

Upon arrival in Alaskan austere environments, DCCS makes it possible to access the Defense Information Systems Network providing secure and non-secure voice data and video capabilities required to support the mission within specified timelines. To be able to transport the DCCS assets safely on military aircraft, the equipment must have obtained certain certifications.

“Any vehicle loaded onto an aircraft has to have an Air Transportability Test Loading Agency certification,” said Woodall. “All of our vehicles and Communications equipment are deployable aboard military aircraft and all have ATTLA certifications.”

U.S. Army Col. Don Makay, Alaskan NORAD Region and ALCOM deputy chief of staff, observed the MOBEX processes.

“This mobile system allows us, under various considerations across Alaska, to communicate anywhere,” said Makay. “We test the system to make sure we can transport it and fly it to wherever it’s needed, so our team is set up for success regardless of what conditions the Arctic may throw at us.”