174th Attack Wing First in Northeast to Get Mobile Emergency Operations Center
By Staff Sgt. Chris Ewsuk, 174th Public Affairs Office
/ Published January 06, 2013
Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York -- The 174th Attack Wing introduced its new, state-of-the-art Mobile Emergency Operations Center (MEOC) during its January unit training assembly. The MEOC will be used to provide command and control capabilities for emergency responders during natural disasters and is the first such emergency center to be assigned in the Northeast.
"We are excited about the opportunity to have such important new community asset staged here at the 174th Attack Wing," said Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Scanlin, Hancock Field Base Emergency Manager. "Interoperability among various responding organizations is the key during any emergency response, and this new mobile center will greatly enhance the ability to effectively work together."
The MEOC will be deployed wherever it is needed in the northeast region, providing command capabilities for emergency response situations similar to those of hurricanes Sandy and Irene. When deployed, the MEOC will provide the hosting location with news and weather information, as well as communication to all military assets needed. The MEOC assigned to Hancock Field is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 2 asset and will cover emergency response in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Currently, the 174th MEOC is the only one of its kind in the northeast United States, with the next closest located in Maryland. Funding has been approved for 20 MEOCs, eventually providing at least one to each FEMA region. Upon request, the MEOC can be deployed wherever it is needed in the northeast region in a short amount of time to provide support for emergencies and natural disasters. The 174th Civil Engineering Squadron is currently undergoing training with the MEOC, and are able to get it up and running in as little as 15 minutes.
Hancock Field personnel have repeatedly participated in emergency response missions in the northeast region in the past, including disaster relief for Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. Hancock Field's proven capabilities and location made it an ideal candidate for having one of the new MEOCs stationed at the base. Now, the unit will be able to provide the capabilities of a full Emergency Operations Center at any forward location, and with a smaller footprint.
The MEOC has room for up to eight (8) workstations, a conference room, and several monitors which display weather and news information. The new command center has its own weather and Direct TV satellites, providing the emergency response command team with both weather and up to date news broadcasts. The command Center has all radio capabilities needed to communicate with all military assets including ground troops and helicopters aiding in emergency operations.
Hancock Field will continue to provide support as needed for emergency response in the northeast region, and the new MEOC will aid in these missions to come.