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269th provides communication support to Air Force Marathon

FAIRBORN, Ohio -- The 269th Combat Communications Squadron, Springfield Air National Guard Base, is providing communications support to the U.S. Air Force Marathon at, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Sept. 15-16, 2017.

 

This is the third year that the 269 CBCS will provide support for the marathon with communications support between runners and first responders.
Two types of communication support will be provided for the marathon.

“One will have cameras spread across Wright-Patterson AFB,” said Capt. Travis Clarkson, 269 CBCS Plans Flight Commander. “That way we will have eyes on where runners are at, tracking runners if there is any type of emergency.”

Cameras are set up specifically for this event and are strategically located at high traffic areas along the course. The connection is provided through a closed loop microwave network. The microwave links go to the Wright State research mobile center and firehouse where the images are monitored.

The second type of support will be an app from TDKC that runners can download from the marathon webpage to their phones which provides runners a way of communicating to first responders if they are experiencing a medical emergency during the race.

“The runner app TDKC shows your times etc,” said Clarkson. “[Runners] can text if they are injured and we can see where they are at.”

The 269th team consists of 10 unit members for set up and race day operation. The team began setting up the equipment the Tuesday before the marathon and were fully operational within three days.

This equipment is the same equipment that the 269 CBCS deploys with to support war fighters.

“This is the same type of communications suite [we would deploy with] if there were to be a new air wing set up somewhere that was going to be deployed,” said Clarkson. “We could send it out and support up to 3,000 customers.”

The 269 CBCS provided support for Army search and rescue in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They also supported the Hangar Four opening at the National Museum of the United States Air Force as well as the Republican National Convention.

The 269 CBCS currently has a six-member team providing tactical communications support to first responders in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes.

“We can support anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice,” said Clarkson. “What the 269th does is tactical communications. Our motto is ‘first then, first now.’”