2015 Maryland Command and Communications Rally

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Nearly 30 incident command vehicles participated in the 2015 Maryland Command and Communications Rally sponsored by PEAKE, formally Incident Communication Solutions (ICS) and hosted by the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Baltimore Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI).

Anne Arundel County Fire Chief Allan Graves said of the event, “We are glad to have this opportunity provided by PEAKE/ICS to bring together and exercise the communications assets of neighboring jurisdictions as well as our state and federal partners. Anne Arundel County is home to several major federal facilities as well as BWI and the state capital. Exercises like the command rally are important for ensuring the success of any incident involving multiple agencies.”

For an inside look into the 2015 Maryland Command Rally, watch the video below:

The event, held at the BWI Airport FedEx parking lot and attended by nearly 300 people, included a radio roll call and Mobile Command Unit (MCU) evaluation for all the local agencies and their Mobile Command Centers. The Anne Arundel County MCCU provided support for the Baltimore Regional Incident Management Team (IMT) which participated in the exercise by providing logistics, check in and safety functions. The event this year included an Encryption exercise by the Federal Partnership for Interoperable Communications (FPIC) that many Federal Agencies participated in, as well as some local organizations.

“PEAKE/ICS is extremely proud to sponsor the Maryland Command and Communications Rally every year,” said Steve Morgan, President of PEAKE. “We believe in helping to facilitate a day for agencies to get together to exercise their communication capabilities and collaborate with each other to come up with new and better ways to respond when they are called upon. The 2015 Rally was the most successful one to date, and we look forward to growing next year’s event.”

The exercise included command vehicles from the following agencies:

  • Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management
  • Anne Arundel County Police
  • Anne Arundel County Police/Special Operations Section
  • Baltimore City Fire Department
  • Baltimore County Police
  • Baltimore County Emergency Management
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (ATF)
  • Carroll County Sheriff’s Office
  • Carroll County Emergency Management Agency
  • Chestertown EMC
  • City of Annapolis, Maryland
  • Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Harford County Department of Emergency Services
  • Harford County Sheriff’s Office
  • Howard County Office of Emergency Management
  • Howard County Police
  • Kent Amateur Radio Society/Kent County RACES
  • Maryland Transit Administration Police
  • Maryland Transportation Authority Police
  • Metro Transit Police
  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • Pentagon Police
  • United States Coast Guard
  • United States Postal Inspection Service
  • Virginia Port Authority
  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transport Authority Police

Jim Potteiger, Chairperson of Baltimore UASI Command Vehicle Committee, said, “One of the most important things in a large-scale incident or event is for the responders to be able to communicate effectively. This is difficult when responders come from different agencies or jurisdictions.  The main goal of our command vehicle exercise is to test “Inter-Operable Communications and the exercise was a huge success.  Potteiger added that this exercise, “validated the ability of over 30 Command Vehicles from Federal, State, and Local agencies to communicate via radio. The exercise also validated our use of grant funding while allowing us to plan for the effective use of any future grant funds.”

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