Bringing DOD’s public safety communications into the 21st century

The Pentagon wants its public safety communications capabilities to be like the IP-based technologies currently used by state and local government responders.

The Defense Department is looking to overhaul its public safety communications ecosystem.   

The legacy public safety solutions DOD currently uses will be upgraded to the IP-based commercial technologies currently used by state and local government responders for routing for 911 calls, according to an Oct. 28 request for information.

The massive upgrade, called for in the DOD’s C3 Modernization Strategy, affects all DOD base, post, camp and station environments in the U.S. as well as those in 18 countries. It is also expected to support warfighters in combat theaters and deliver functionalities provided on shore to various marine platforms.

The new distributed public safety communications ecosystem requires:

  • Establishing a DOD Information Network-hosted Emergency Services Intranet with location-based routing that can connect calls, texts and other forms of media from DOD facilities to local 911 public safety answering points (PSAPs).
  • Upgrading legacy 911 PSAP systems to IP-based Next Generation 911 (NG911) systems that have integrated computer-aided dispatch capabilities.
  • Deploying an enterprise emergency mass warning notification solution that integrates with the Enhanced Wireless Emergency Alert System and supports all types of emergencies, including for air field crashes and active-shooter situations.
  • Upgrading legacy land mobile radio networks so they can interconnect to IP interfaces and integrate FirstNet into the DOD public safety communications enterprise
  • Upgrading legacy burglar and fire alarm panels to IP over Ethernet or wireless LTE radio modems.  

DOD wants to leverage virtual hosted technology that can be operated within either MilCloud or impact level 5 FedRAMP-approved data centers as a way to reduce operating expenses and maintenance costs.

Responses are due Nov 18. Read the full RFI here.

This article first appeared on GCN, a Defense Systems partner site.