News: SC National Guard tests emergency operations communications
Story by Sgt. Erica Knight
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina National Guard Forward Tactical Command Post (TAC CP) flexed its communication muscle during an exercise to test the stand up capabilities of emergency communication assets at the Joint Operations Center (JOC) in West Columbia Feb. 2.
The Forward TAC CP consists of two trailers and vehicles and the Incident Commander’s Command and Control Unit (IC4U).
“We go forward after a hurricane or incident to supply the forward commander with internet, Voice Over IP (VOIP) phone, and radio patching,” said Sgt. 1st Class David Thompson, with Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) Department of Information Management (DOIM). “We even have equipment that can make a SINGARS (radio) talk to a cell phone.”
There are three IC4U vehicles in South Carolina. One belongs to JFHQ DOIM. The other two belong to the 151 Signal Battalion. The vehicles require a two-man team to operate.
“The trailers are faster and require less man power than the tents,” said Sgt. Nolan Pegues, a soldier assigned to the JOC. “A team of five people can have this up and running in 30 minutes.”
The vehicles that haul the trailers are also mobile command vehicles. They are equipped with phones, laptops and video screens.
“This makes sure we can communicate with other states and that we are not stationary. We stay mobile,” said Pegues.