USNORTHCOM eyes 'Jackpot' demo

By Sgt. 1st Class Gail Braymen | NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | April 18, 2007

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Several senior U.S. Northern Command leaders and area civilian first responders attended a demonstration of mobile communications packages put on here April 17 by the Joint Communications Support Element.

The JCSE, a military unit composed of about 450 Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps personnel, brought equipment from its home station at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., to demonstrate the communications capabilities the unit can provide to Department of Defense and other government agencies.

The JCSE's Joint Airborne Command and Control/Command Post, or "Jackpot" package, is designed to fit aboard a military C-130 aircraft and has military and civilian band radios and Internet access.

"I think it's a neat tool," said Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. "(The Jackpot) has the common frequencies, and we can tie them right into (first responders) on the ground and be able to help more quickly."

Up to 12 people can sit down and work "like they were at their desks" aboard a C-130 outfitted with the Jackpot package, said Petty Officer 1st Class Josiah Davis, a JCSE information system technician.

"They can talk and correspond and pretty much take care of business from the sky," he said.

The JCSE communications packages "absolutely" show promise "especially if the systems on the ground are down," said John Gulizia, assistant emergency manager for the Arapahoe County (Colo.) Sheriff's Office.