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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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New tower enhances radio communication

By Nathan L. Hanks Jr. | | February 8, 2013

A 196-foot communication tower was recently erected aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany to facilitate better first responder radio communication.
Some users include Marine Corps Police Department, Marine Corps Fire Department and the Installation and Environmental Division.
In a collaborative effort, MCLB Albany’s Communication and Information Systems Division and Installation and Environmental Division obtained funding to replace the old tower, according to Robbin Lamb, spectrum and land mobile radio manager, Communication and Information Systems Division, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.
“The tower supporting first responders, emergency maintenance and mass notification radio communication systems was identified as having serious structural issues,” she said.
Structural issues with the tower were identified in November 2010 during a survey collecting information for the Emergency Management Command and Control/Consolidated Emergency Response System/Enterprise Land Mobile Radio programs, according to Lamb.
“Tower repairs would have cost more than $40,000 so it was decided that a new tower should be built,” she said. “The old tower would have been replaced during the implementation of the ELMR program, which will take place in 2 to 3 years.”
ELMR is a program used Marine Corps-wide to standardize radio communication throughout the Corps.
“ELMR also fulfills the federal requirement for the Department of Defense to operate radio systems in the narrow band spectrum,” she said. “The standardization of radio communication and operating in the narrow band spectrum are direct results of lessons learned from 9-11.”
During the design of the tower and communication shelter, current radio system needs and future ELMR needs were taken into account, Lamb said.
“When ELMR is implemented, it will entail the replacement of current radios and radio support systems,” she said. “The new tower and shelter are designed in such a way that our current and future radio systems are supported.”
Additionally, the tower and shelter also meet current physical security requirements concerning communication structures, she said.
“Although construction of the new tower and shelter required several electrical outages, it provided users the opportunity to test back-up radio communication systems and contingency plans,” she said.