Recent US ANG Articles on Desktop Alert
Master Sgt. David Oliver, 124FW
Title: “Its Time to Sharpen Our Tools”
Master Sgt. Tony Vining, 122FW NCOIC of Command Post Operations
“Command Post Out” We hear these words daily, sometimes hourly, sometimes several times an hour. The announcement that precedes these words is normally something that a majority of Blacksnakes need. Could be a tornado warning or it could be the current wind chill. “It’s information used by more than just a few, if we are announcing it,” said Master Sgt. Tony Vining, 122FW NCOIC of Command Post Operations.
Often, these messages come across more than one media. You’ll get it on your desktop; you’ll hear it on base paging, and even the new Outdoor Giant Voice mass notification system. You would think the Command Post spends all their time pushing buttons making the mostly-automated messages flow.“We really don’t have to. We use a centralized Emergency Mass Notification System (EMNS) Called ‘Desktop Alert’®. DTA greatly automates the plans and integrates with many of the other systems we have,” Vining added. Now the Command Post Controller can go to a single source, DTA, and launch an announcement, choosing whether it goes to Giant Voice, cell phones, gets made over base paging, and or the computer desktops and even radios.
Recently, two new features were initiated on Desktop Alert: Mobile Messaging and Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) alerting. These two features extend the reach of the Command Post to any member of the 122FW, any- where they may be and also automate messaging for when the Command Post is closed, or possibly task-saturated with various other alerts. With mobile messaging, any message you receive on your desktop can also appear on your iOS or Android device. Since the device does not have to access the base network, it can be installed on personal devices or government-owned devices. You receive a notification on your device just like any other, and can even be sent videos or audio files.
With the rollout of CAP alerting, you can subscribe (opt-in) to receiving any emergency messages from the National Weather Service, such as Severe Storms, Floods, etc. CAP Alerting is currently established for 15 counties, and is updated by the minute to ensure instantaneous notification. To subscribe, contact the Command Post at 478-3216 or double click the ‘lightning bolt’ symbol in your task list at the bottom right of your computer screen.
“Desktop Alert was purchased by the National Guard Bureau three years ago, primarily for the Desktop notifications,” said Vining. “Since the day it was installed, we have worked with the developers to ensure that the features they were adding helped us do our job of alert, direct, execute and report.” Howard Ryan, President and CEO of Desktop Alert recently said, “Sergeant Vining’s input has taught us how DTA can be used, in ways we never realized. The 122FW Command Post is a model of DTA integration.” By having one centralized system to operate five notification systems, the Command Post is better able to keep the Blacksnakes safe. Mr. Ryan added “Desktop Alert was developed to serve the government and industry with Mass Notification needs. We have now developed it into a system that allows ANG Wings across the globe to notify their people instantly.” In the future, Emergency Display units will be added to the Notification Arsenal, permitting notifications to ex- tend to areas where people may be working or gathering, but are not near a base paging speaker or computer, such as the hangar floor or building 800.
For questions about Emergency Mass Notifications, or any base notifications, contact the Command Post at 478- 3216.
By Senior Master Sgt Richard Larson – ll4th Fighter Wing
JOE FOSS FIELD – The South Dakota Air National Guard commanders can boast that unit members are truly “dialed in” when it comes to knowing what’s going on. That’s because the I 14th Fighter Wing is first base in the Air National Guard to fully implement the new Desktop ALERT mass notification system. The system is a joint effort of Emergency Management, Communications Flight, and the Base Command Post.
From severe weather to any major threats, when seconds count, the Joe Foss Field Desktop Alert (DTA) system can blast out a message to thousands of Airmen regardless of location. It‘s all about the lightning bolt, which is the symbol for the notification system many on base recognize from the bottom of their base computer screens. Not just base monitors. Desktop ALERT can also send messages to member’s cell phones. smartphones, Blackberries, home computers. laptops and tablets. DTA is a powerful system that ensures when important word about anything has to go out, members will get it fast! lust register with the system and you’ll get updates.
“Its a rapid and thorough system for getting information out to the base population quickly and efficiently,” said Senior Master Sgt. Rick Larson, 114th Fighter Wing Emergency Manager. The system also interfaces with existing alert beacons and situational awareness monitors. DTA even ties into the base Giant Voice PA system and Intercom system.
Larson said the Desktop ALERT system has been running at Joe Foss Field for the past year and a half, and it couldn’t be working out much better.
Situational awareness monitors have been planed strategically across Joe Foss Field so that all members regardless of their environment have immediate access to emergency information.
“We’ve received a benchmark for how we’ve integrated warning systems from the Pentagon.” he said. referring to a recent visit from a DoD evaluation team. In 2014, USAF ACC IG Team recognized the Joe Foss Mass Notification System as Best Seen To Date!!
Development of such systems was underway following 9/11, and then the Fort Hood active shooter incident hastened the DoD to have full implementation standards.
“We use it on a daily basis,” said Larson. “It’s used whenever there is at threat to our personnel, mission and equipment.”
All base computers automatically get notices and alerts. The system is persistent prompting the attention of the person getting the message and requiring them to acknowledge receipt before the alert message will leave them alone – or until the next message goes out.