STACS® Software Defined Network and Hardware components solve the challenges identified in this document. We used the SAFECOM Interoperability Continuum below for guidance as we developed and evolved our STACS® technology.

SAFECOM Interoperability


PURPOSE OF EXERCISE: To test interoperability within and between a municipality (Sierra Vista, Arizona), a county (Cochise County), the state EOC (Arizona), FEMA (MERS, Texas) and United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM).

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The State of Arizona, Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA), Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) participated in the Department of Defense Interoperability Exercise (DICE) on 9-11 June, 2009.


The exercise was coordinated by the United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This field training exercise was designed to test all levels of interoperability from first responders and to NORTHCOM which provides defense support to civil authorities (DSCA).


DICE provides opportunity to test equipment, refine techniques, and practice procedures for communicating with federal, state, tribal, County, and city stakeholders. This year, the participants were USNORTHCOM, South Carolina National Guard, Texas National Guard and Arizona. Arizona was hosted by the Joint Interoperability Test Center (JITC) at Ft Huachuca.


DICE 09 included a simulated hurricane on east coast, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive events (CBRNE). In Arizona, the Master Scenario Event List (MSEL) included severe rainfall and flooding resulting in waste pollution threatening the water supply of several cities and towns in southeastern Arizona. In addition, a pipe bomb exploded in a chlorine tank and a small nuclear device was detonated at the Douglas Wal-Mart which compromised the border crossing between the United States and Mexico.


The challenge for ADEM was (1) operating all EOC operations from the communications vehicle (Bullfrog), (2) responding to requests made by Cochise County and (3) communicating our requests to FEMA. Most of these goals were accomplished.


The STACS unit (Smart Tactical Advanced Communication System) worked very well. We used the EVDO all of day 2. The unit was located outside the Bullfrog and in full sun, ambient temperature of 96oF, 36oC. We disabled the EVDO for a short time forcing the unit to shift to INMARSAT BGAN satellite. After a very short delay, operations continued without interruption. One of our STACS units will be assigned to the Bullfrog and will become organic to that vehicle. Other ADEM STACS units will be deployed regionally within the state.


Submitted by: Dr. Jerry Justus
Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs