By Airman 1st Class Michelle Brooks, 152nd Communications Flight
/ Published January 31, 2021
A photo showing the JISCC team’s proximity to the capital on their deployment there to support critical communications for the presidential inauguration Jan. 13-22, 2021. (Courtesy photo by Staff Sgt. Eduardo Vargas-Vazquez, 152nd Communications Flight)
Airmen from the Nevada Air National Guard’s 152nd Communications Flight deployed to the nation’s capital Jan. 13 to support critical communications for the presidential inauguration.
The 152nd Communications Flight deployed with the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability (JISCC), a multi-capable satellite-enabled communication system that facilitates reliable communications between military, civilian first responders and other support agencies.
The JISCC operates on-scene, bridging communication systems between different agencies, providing internet, telephone and radio capabilities. The Nevada Air National Guard was deployed with other military JISCC units from across the country, each unit assigned a specific task force for communication support.
More than 25,000 National Guardsmen from across the country were on the ground in Washington for the inauguration, in addition to civilian law enforcement and first responders--agencies which rely on effective interagency communication networks for to execute their mission.
“Communication is everything,” said Senior Master Sgt. Eric Howe, shift leader during the deployment. “As you’re moving that many people around, if you can’t communicate, you’re not going to be able to do the mission.”
According to Howe, fortunately, primary communications were not degraded requiring emergency (JISCC) communications capabilities. However, the experience did provide the Nevada Air National Guard valuable training opportunities made available with many JISCC units together at once. One of these opportunities was use of the Wide Area Interoperability System (WAIS), a system that ties together JISCC units.
“You could actually talk around the world,” Howe said. “Communicating within this one system. On this deployment, we were able to bring this system up. Normally you don’t see this many JISSC units together. You just don’t get that opportunity.”
The 152nd Communications Flight assisted communication in Washington from January 13 to 22. In addition, the Nevada National Guard deployed soldiers for the inauguration from the 1-221st Cavalry based in Las Vegas and the 3665th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company in Henderson, Nevada.