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Colo. National Guard to support Hurricane Irma response

Two Airmen operate communications equipment

Colorado National Guard Communication Element Airmen Master Sgt. Nathan Skoglund and Master Sgt. J.T. Theiral of the 140th Communications Flight use the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability to provide phone and internet service to both military and civilian authorities at the Black Forest fire in El Paso County, Colo. June 17, 2013. (Photo by U.S. National Guard 2nd Lt. Skye A. Robinson)


The Colorado National Guard sends a National Guard Communications Element to support civil authorities during response efforts to Hurricane Irma, Sept. 10.  

A Colorado NGCE Joint Incident Site Communications Capability and six Airmen of the 233rd Space Communications Squadron, 233rd Space Group, Greeley, Colorado, will travel via military aircraft from Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado. The team will stage in Mississippi with follow-on orders to storm-affected areas.  

“The JISCC is tailored to support the unique nature of homeland defense and civil support mission requirements,” said Maj. Michael Holton, commander of the 233rd Space Communications Squadron. “It provides non-secure voice, data, video, intra-team radio, and radio interoperability for first responders supporting the incident commander.”  

“When we have an emergency in Colorado, we know we can count on our neighboring states to assist, so when we have the opportunity to help others, it’s our top priority,” said the Colorado National Guard Director of Joint Staff, Air Force Col. Gregory White, who commands the military response to domestic operations in Colorado. “Our military training is transferrable to the civilian sector, and we’re proud to support the professionals at all levels of the response effort.”  

“Across the nation, there are more than 50,000 National Guard members helping Americans by responding to wildfires in the northwest, and hurricanes in the south and southwest, and those deployed overseas,” the Adjutant General of Colorado Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Loh said. “Colorado, alone, sent 60 Airmen and Soldiers to help our neighbors in Texas, and we have more than 300 Airmen and Soldiers deployed to eight countries, predominately in the Middle East.”  

For more information about what Colorado is doing to support hurricane response efforts, contact the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 720-432-2433, @COEmergency, www.coemergency.com  

The JISCC is the capability that supports the National Guard Communications Elements as prescribed by the Joint CONUS Communications Support Environment. JISCC is transportable, C-130 aircraft, rail, or trailer. It is a case-based system organized into five modules that includes a SATCOM Reach-back Communications Module. Ku-band (Ka upgradeable) deployable satellite communications terminal and backup reach-back capability.