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Dated: Fri, Aug 14, 2015
CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, CORTLAND MANOR, N.Y. More than 75volunteers of the New York Guard completed their first full year of monthly communications exercises using the Military Emergency Radio Network (MERN) here May 2.
The communications system links military and civilian radio operators to create a sustainable emergency radio network during a disaster.
The training is part of the New York National Guard contingency plan, and tasks the New York Guard to train and operate the Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS). The New York Guard personnel,
While most of the communication stations involved use fixed-site radios, this year introduces “Mobile MERN” elements, allowing New York Guard communications experts to locate closer to an incident site.
New York Guard personnel begin training this August during New York Guard Annual Training with vehicle-portable high-power radio equipment that will give MERN operators unprecedented tactical interoperability with New York State’s emergency responders. Mobile MERN will also create the ability to place low-cost, high-power communications units anywhere National Guard forces are deployed in the state. “We’re going to have over 100 boots on the ground by 2016,” said New York Guard communications officer Lt. Col. Barry Greene. Greene credited service component partners in the National Guard, as well as other supporting New York state agencies, federal military and civilian radio operators for their tremendous training and operational support.
“We will continue to make sure our soldiers are trained up, and ready to respond,” Greene said.