Coast Guard to Accept and Dedicate Rescue 21

PORT ANGELES, Wash. – The Coast Guard will officially accept and dedicate the command, control and communications system, known as Rescue 21, Thursday at 1 p.m. durring a ceremony held at Ediz Hook Port Angeles, Wash.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony will be Capt. Mark D’Andrea, Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Group/Air Station Port Angeles.

“Daily challenges faced by Coast Guard crews, especially along the rocky and often, dangerous coast of Washington, make communications upgrades good news across all of our rescue and maritime homeland security missions,” said Capt. D’Andrea. “The advanced technology offered by Rescue 21 has already helped us identify hoax calls emanating from inland areas, allowing us to respond to the real emergencies. The system is a critical tool for Coast Guard watchstanders and crews,” he said.

The maritime communications system includes:

-Direction-finding technology that helps locate the source of a radio transmission.

-Highly sensitive equipment to help reduce gaps in coastal coverage.

-Enhanced playback capability to allow garbled calls to be more easily deciphered.

-Interoperability with other law enforcement agencies and first responders.

-A deployable and temporary communications disaster recovery system.

-Reception and response to Digital Selective Calling alerts of boaters in distress.

The Coast Guard has a strong connection to the Pacific Northwest with units serving on the pristine and sometimes treacherous waters found in Washington and Oregon. “With a long history of preserving the safety of life and property at sea in this area, Rescue 21 offers a toolkit that ensures the continuation of those goals,” said D’Andrea.

With a budget of $730 million Rescue 21 is the largest information technology acquisition project in Coast Guard history. When nationwide rollout is completed in 2011, it will replace the Coast Guard’s National Distress and Response System, built during the 1970s. Once fully implemented, this maritime “911” system will cover 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline, navigable rivers and inland waterways.

For more information visit the Rescue 21 webpage.

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