Originally published by Adam Stone in C4iSR magasine
Originally published by Adam Stone in C4iSR magasine and underwritten by REDCOM
Advances in technology are helping to break down the barriers to telecommunications interoperability that have long stymied military planners. These advances greatly improve military communications capabilities, providing unprecedented situational awareness, better security and broader options for virtually every communications scenario.
While today’s military boasts a range of telecommunications technologies, compatibility issues can arise. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), time-division multiplexing (TDM), satellite communications, cellular, tactical radios, SCIP cryptographic devices, Wi-Fi and WiMAX: All are useful, but they don’t always play well together. This can have harmful tactical consequences. In a battlefield scenario, for example, it is unacceptable for the front line to lose contact with the command center.
Ensuring secure voice, data and radio communications between NATO allies in a common theatre of operation can be a difficult, even impossible task in forward operations. As encryption codes are secret, country-specific and are not shared, collaborating without risking eavesdropping from unwanted entities is a real threat.
NATO has 29 member nations, and each has circumstances that change from year to year. Geopolitical shifts can mean that a ‘friendly’ country cannot be considered as such permanently. For this reason, sharing encryption keys carries its weight of potential future risks, and understandably, countries want to maintain their independence as much as possible.
Your unit is first to observe a vehicle rollover with ejection. A second vehicle (a commercial bus) has an operator standing next to it. There are many victims in the remaining car, inverted, with several ejected. You communicate with Control to tell them that you need more resources. What are the critical communication points so far? How many patients? What conditions are life threats? Do some of these patients meet the criteria for airlift? Depending on the scene, what hazards are present to the rescuers? Can Incident Command quickly be established to dispatch additional help for you? This individual can relay patient status back to Medical Control to prepare facilities in the area for more substantial interventions.
In Mass Casualty, always evolving as we learn, there are many considerations. Communication and facilitation of resources on the scene are critical elements of Incident Management. There are many others.
This week on our blog, BaseCamp Connect, in collaboration with EPIC Podcast, interviewed the President of IAEM Canada, Greg Solecki. Join us to learn more about disaster management, emergency communications, and Emergency Operation Center (EOC) best practices.