STEWART AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, New York --
Airmen from the 105th Operations Group, 105th Logistical Readiness Squadron, and 105th Communications Flight all participated in an exercise to load the base’s Joint Incident Site Communications Capability (JISCC) Package on to a C-17 Globemaster. The multi-squadron training exercise was conducted over the weekend at Stewart Air National Guard Base, thanks to the coordination of Staff Sergeant John Hall. “The intent of this exercise was to maintain and enhance our air load capabilities” Hall said.
The JISCC is an integral part to the National Guard’s disaster response strategy. It provides commanders with the capability to deploy internet, phone, radio, and cross-banding solutions at a moment’s notice to areas that are in urgent need of help. The package is designed to be stationed in areas that have experienced some sort of catastrophe and can operate without power or other amenities taken for granted on a daily basis.
The JISCC is operated and maintained by the Airmen of the 105th Communications Flight. It is particularly special because it resides at the 105th Airlift Wing, which has the primary mission of flying C-17s as a part of Air Mobility Command. “When we deployed to St. Croix in response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma, our cohabitation with the C-17s gave us a fast response time” said Staff Sgt. Hall. “Additionally, their increased carrying capacity afforded us the ability to bring extra gear because we didn’t know what we would encounter.” While deployed to the US Virgin Islands, the team provided direct support to an airport control tower that would have otherwise been without communications.
When the JISCC team isn’t responding to natural disasters they assist as an integral part to the National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (NG CRE). As a part of the Homeland Response Force (HRF), the JISCC provides the CBRN Task Force and its supporting elements with all their required long haul communications, network connectivity, and radio interoperability should a CBRN event happen. The Airmen of the 105th Airlift Wing take this mission particularly serious due to its proximity to New York City.
Disasters may not be a regular occurrence, but collaborative exercises such as the one today are carried out multiple times a year ensuring the men and women at the 105th Airlift Wing remain ready to respond.