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NEWS | Jan. 22, 2017

Soldiers provide communications support for inauguration

By Cotton Puryear | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office

Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the information technology and communication sections of the Virginia Guard joint staff and Army Guard staff provided communications support for the 58th Presidential Inauguration with the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C. The JISCC is an advanced communications system that can be rapidly deployed to an incident location and uses secure satellite connections to provide the Guard and first responders with high speed internet, voice-over-IP telephones and high frequency radio communications. Prior the inauguration, the Soldiers conducted training with multiple states providing JISCC support.

“The ability to work with JISCCs from other states, train, operate and build lasting relationships with the teams was a highlight of the mission,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brent S. Helmick, the JISCC operations officer assigned to Joint Force Headquarters. “And certainly the ability to participate in the Presidential inauguration is a great honor.”

This was Helmick’s third Presidential inauguration where served as the JISCC officer in charge for the state of Virginia. Each inauguration, the team does better and identifies some opportunities to improve for the next mission, he said. Overall, the mission went very well.

“I have to recognize the Virginia JISCC team,” said Helmick. “The capability and civilian/military experience they bring to the mission was the key to our success.”

Helmick explained that the primary role of the JISCC is to provide a full suite of communications capability to first responders and other agencies, including radio interoperability that enables agencies to communicate even though they have disparate radio technologies.

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