By Senior Master Sgt. Paula Macomber, 152nd Communications Flight
/ Published November 06, 2020
Staff Sgts. David Almada (left), and Tech. Sgts. Brian Skach (middle) and Thomas Bruce (right) assemble some mobile equipment for the JISCC exercise with Washoe County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Special Vehicles Unit in Chicken Spring, Nev. on Oct. 24. Mark Anderson (middle back) of Washoe County tests his cell phone connectivity to the JISCC network.
CHICKEN SPRING, Nev. — The 152nd Airlift Wing’s Communications Flight’s Joint Incident Site Communications Capability (JISCC) team demonstrated communications capability with the Washoe County Sheriff Office’s Search and Rescue Special Vehicle Unit on Oct. 24 and 25 for their quarterly training requirement in Chicken Springs, about four hours north of Reno.
“This training event was a perfect opportunity for the Nevada Air National Guard JISCC team,” Staff Sgt. Cody Klingelhoets, 152nd Communications Flight, said. “I am the JISCC Manager and a member of the Washoe County Search and Rescue Special Vehicles Unit and I saw a need for these two groups to get together because they would be valuable to each other. The JISCC also does quarterly exercises so we are using our quarterly exercise to demonstrate our capability to the Sheriff’s Office to show what we could do for them, should the need ever arise.”
The training focused on the community support and domestic operations demonstration of incident command capabilities. Other agencies participating were the Nevada Department of Wildlife and Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District. For these local first responders, this is the most recent exposure to the ongoing community support capabilities the Nevada Air National Guard has at its disposal.
The JISCC has communication capabilities for remote locations and when communication lines are taken out by natural or man-made disaster.
“The ultimate portion is they have a command and control capability that they don’t bring indigenously and if we could help them, and be a part of the emergency response capability, it would be beneficial to all involved,” said Senior Master Sgt. Tregg Jackson also of the 152nd Communications Flight.
In October of 2019, the 152nd Communications Flight volunteered to become a national pilot unit for the JISCC community. A pilot unit is a wing or base-level unit or a geographically separated unit (GSU) that is responsible for developing and maintaining standard manpower and or logistics detail for a particular unit type code or UTC. This means that as the pilot unit, the 152nd Communications Flight JISCC team will perform the day-to-day development and maintenance tasks on the UTC’s they’re charged with. Active duty units are appointed as pilot units, while Air National Guard units volunteer for the pilot unit responsibilities. This appointment requires many steps and approvals from the functional area manager, the adjutant general and the National Guard Bureau.
The team has a four-hour “out-the-door” response requirement, as well as a 90-minute set-up time upon arrival at the desired command location. This particular demonstration shows the local community, first responders, and emergency planners the quick response the JISCC can provide to assist in any coordinated emergency to save people and property.
Although the team is fairly new, they have already responded to some real-world disasters such as hurricanes, fires and other emergencies. During times of natural disaster, the Nevada Air National Guard JISCC team is ready and willing to help out, said Staff Sgt. David Almada, a JISCC member who deployed to the Santa Rosa Fires in California in 2017.
“Being a member of the JISCC team is a really rewarding feeling,” Almada said. “I get an opportunity to help out the people who are in dire situations and have the chance to be a crucial part of the support for those people.”
The team has been asked to support the Presidential Inauguration in January 2021 and they are coordinating other future exercises with the Nevada Homeland Response Force, Nevada Civil Support Team and Chemical, Biological, Radiological/Nuclear, and High Yield Explosive (CBRNE) - Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) over the next two years to demonstrate local, state and national level response capabilities.