The U.S. ArmyÂ prepares to implementÂ a network communications tool suite designed to help the Army National Guard soldiers communicate with first responders in the event of a natural disaster or other critical situation.
ARNGÂ said MondayÂ the Disaster Incident Response Emergency Communications Terminal willÂ offer internet and commercial phone access as well as commercial wireless and 4G LTE capacity for emergency personnelÂ whoÂ conduct civil support and disaster response missions.
DIRECT is built to integrate withÂ Warfighter Information Network-TacticalÂ equipment and scheduledÂ for full deploymentÂ by 2021 across U.S.Â states and territories whereÂ ARNG membersÂ operate.
“We are fielding this new equipment to help us interoperate and better communicate up and down… and across the various chains of command,” saidÂ Maj. Gen. Timothy McKeithen, ARNG deputy director.
The Army aims to ensure the terminal will alsoÂ be compatible withÂ FirstNETÂ nationwide broadband network the Commerce Department is building with AT&TÂ under a potential $6.5 billion contract awarded in March.
ARNG noted that DIRECT will succeed the organization’sÂ Joint Incident Site Communication Capability.