NEWS | Jan. 5, 2011

Rapid Improvement Event key to communication

By Eric Sesit

Although Joint Base Charleston became fully operational more than three months ago, there remains an ongoing effort to ensure the base's command and control functions are able to efficiently communicate incidents to leadership and the base populace. This includes having all the information needed at the tip of their fingers to make timely and accurate decisions in the event of an emergency. Recently, a team of more than one dozen key personnel from both JB Charleston-Air Base and Weapons Station held a Rapid Improvement Event to discuss the best way forward in opening communication channels should the unexpected happen.

According to Maj. Scot Frechette, 628th Air Base Wing Command Post chief, "We are fully prepared for any event, however, our hope is that these meetings will drive the mapping and decisions for the future of Joint Base Charleston and all joint basing command and control."

Ensuring leadership and first responders have all the critical information necessary becomes more complicated when you factor in the distance between JB Charleston-Air Base and the Weapons Station. Before joint basing, there was limited coordination between base agencies to create a synergistic process and both routine and emergency communications were not as efficient as needed. Multiple communications systems were used by first responders which could result in information bottlenecks that made it difficult for controllers to effectively manage timely notifications. By standardizing the notification process, communication times will decrease and errors will be minimized.

"There are always better and more efficient ways to do things," said Major Frechette. "Our team is looking at how we collect information in times of emergency and how we disseminate that information. Basically, we're looking to streamline the information flow and, in the process, save lives and property if an event happens."