State of Hawaii, Coast Guard partnership completes statewide safety network

Capt. James Jenkins, Coast Guard 14th District chief of staff, provides remarks after David Ige, Hawaii state governor, read a proclamation announcing the completion of the Anuenue Interisland Digital Microwave Network, at the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu, Oct. 22, 2015. Twelve Anuenue “high sites” located on mountaintops in many at remote locations connect with eight sites located at state office buildings and Coast Guard properties. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle/Released)

Capt. James Jenkins, Coast Guard 14th District chief of staff, provides remarks after David Ige, Hawaii state governor, read a proclamation announcing the completion of the Anuenue Interisland Digital Microwave Network, at the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu, Oct. 22, 2015.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle/Released)

HONOLULU — “Full operating capability” has been achieved on shared infrastructure designed by State of Hawaii and U.S. Coast Guard engineering professionals to provide robust and survivable communication links and facilities throughout Hawaii.

The ANUENUE Interisland Digital Microwave Network consists of high-capacity microwave links, radio towers, and facility buildings that interconnect and support the systems and networks relied upon by first responders, search and rescue, law enforcement, emergency services, and critical government operations. Twelve ANUENUE “high sites” located on mountain tops — many at remote locations — connect with eight sites located at state office buildings and Coast Guard properties.

Gov. David Y. Ige, state Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy, and Capt. James Jenkins, Coast Guard 14th District Chief of Staff, gathered Thursday in executive chambers to celebrate the completion of this joint project that has been many years in the making, as well as to recommit to the cooperative effort it represents.

“A shared vision and trust between the State of Hawaii and Coast Guard resulted in a partnership that shares resources and capabilities to achieve a common goal of protecting and serving the people of Hawaii,” Gov. Ige said. “As a result, Hawaii is more secure and better prepared for emergencies.”

“The ANUENUE Network is a testimony to the superb relationship between the U.S. Coast Guard and the State of Hawaii,” Capt. Jenkins said. “This vital system enhances the effectiveness and resiliency of communications among the entire first responder team during both routine operations and for emergent threats such as hurricanes and other natural disasters.”

The ANUENUE was designed to survive disasters, natural or otherwise. Its towers and buildings are designed to survive the 155 mph winds of a Category 4 hurricane, generators are ready to run for a week without commercial power, and earthquake Zone 4 rated backbone facilities are located away from tsunami inundation zones. Backbone towers range in size from 50 to 180-feet tall and support microwave dish antennas as large as 15 feet in diameter. The microwave radio backbone provides a secure 155-Mbit/s SONET connection across the state.

ANUENUE replaced the Rainbow Microwave System, a technologically outdated predecessor that initiated the concept of shared communications infrastructure and fostered the cooperation and resource sharing critical to the current success. State support of the ANUENUE started with an initial appropriation by the Legislature in 2001 for radio site construction. The state’s total $19.1 million investment in ANUENUE facilities and equipment was significantly extended by the Coast Guard contribution to the partnership. The cooperation of county agencies, private land owners, and other federal agencies, especially the Federal Aviation Administration, also helped move the project forward.

In addition, facilities on Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii were built or refurbished to minimize impacts to sensitive areas and view planes and to be environmentally friendly.

ANUENUE is jointly managed by the Coast Guard Base Honolulu C4IT Division, which is based on Sand Island, and the state Department of Accounting and General Services’ Information and Communication Services Division (ICSD), which is overseen by the CIO. As part of the ANUENUE agreement, the Coast Guard C4IT Division maintains all of the system’s radios and electronic equipment.

State users of the ANUENUE include the Statewide Shared Blended land mobile radio system; Maritime Wireless Network System; Hawaii Emergency Management Agency; and the Departments of Public Safety, Transportation, Health, and Land and Natural Resources. State sponsored users include the County of Maui Police Department and other agencies of all counties.

The Coast Guard’s primary use of the ANUENUE is its new Rescue 21 maritime distress radio system, which has commissioned 10 remote sites in Hawaii providing significantly improved coverage and location capabilities over the recently retired National Distress System used to locate mariners in distress. Coast Guard-sponsored federal users include the U.S. Army Pacific Land Mobile Radio System, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Emergency Weather Broadcast System, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and National Park Service.

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