An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : News
NEWS | Oct. 5, 2012

Command post pros provide critical counsel

By Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

Minimizing panic and confusion in times of natural disasters or emergency situations, each Air Education and Training Command base command post simultaneously provides warnings and instructions to people via multiple government communication venues mere minutes after an incident takes place.

"AETC's emergency notification system is AtHoc Installation Warning System-Alerts," Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Garcia, AETC Command Post functional manager, said. "The system is a network-centric emergency mass notification system capable of notifying base members within minutes of an emergency from a single, centralized, web-based system. AtHoc is currently installed on all network computers throughout AETC."

Each installation's command post is the primary owner. From phone calls and computer alerts to the base's "giant voice," command post professionals push alerts at the direction of installation commanders or their representative, Garcia said.

Users should keep their contact information current and respond to alerts in a timely manner. Base members can update their information with the AtHoc IWS-Alerts self-service module by right-clicking on the purple globe icon at the bottom of their screen and selecting "Access Self Service" and updating accordingly.

Garcia said while the system notifies base members in a short period of time and provides robust notification capabilities, everyone must remember their wingman responsibilities to ensure 100-percent solution.

For the daily user, with the exception of the desktop alerts, users will only be notified on their personal phone lines for actual emergency situations such as, but not limited to, severe weather events, evacuation orders, specialized recalls and active shooter alerts.

"Ultimately," Garcia said, "the goal of the command post is to provide a means of rapidly notifying AETC staff during times of emergencies, through multiple avenues and to accelerate the installation's response. AtHoc IWS-Alerts provides the capability to reach thousands of people within the AETC via computer pop-ups, land lines and cellphones, text messaging and installation giant voice systems in real time."