Joint Communications Support Element: The Voice Heard Round the World
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV FORT MCNAIR DC
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In early January 2010, a catastrophic 7.0-magnitude earthquake rippled through Port-au-Prince, Haiti, affecting more than 3 million people and resulting in one of the worst natural disasters in history. More than 250,000 homes and buildings were destroyed including the Presidential Palace, National Assembly building, and headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. Additionally, the earthquake knocked out communications systems and electrical networks that were essential to respond to the various needs of Haitian citizens during this time of extreme devastation. Enter the Joint Communications Support Element JCSE, which arrived in Haiti within 24 hours of the earthquake and provided the first joint and secure communication capabilities in the country. JCSE communications equipment enabled the Haitian government to communicate with the U.S. President, Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Department of State to identify the way ahead for relief operations. In addition, JCSE provided the initial secure voice, network, and video-teleconference capabilities for Joint Task Force JTF Haiti commander, Lieutenant General Ken Keen, USA, and his staff. Without JCSE s ability to provide these essential communications in 2011, both the JECC and its subordinate commands were reassigned to U.S. Transportation Command.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Voice Communications