Breaking New Ground - Fort Mead Army Base

Ensuring our Federal bases are equipped with Next Generation technology is critical. For Chief Thomas Russell, the Deputy Chief of Police for Fort George E Meade Army Base in Maryland, it is an objective he has been working toward for eight years.

With more than 56,000 employees,11,000 military personnel along with nearly 6,000 family members, Fort George E. Meade is Maryland’s largest employer and the third largest workforce of any Army installation in the U.S. Ensuring this installation is equipped with the latest Next Generation 9-1-1 technology is vital. For Chief Thomas Russell, the Deputy Chief of Police for Fort Meade, it is an objective he has been working toward for eight years.

“It is critical that our federal bases stay relevant with our outside counterparts,” says Chief Russell. “Federal agencies should be given as much opportunity as outside Public Safety Answering Points to implement state-of-the-art 9-1-1 technology.”

Chief Russell supervised the implementation of the Airbus DS Communications VESTA® solution, which recently cut over. “The goal,” says Chief Russell “is to continuously shave seconds off the time it takes to answer and dispatch a 9-1-1 call. Seconds matter in this business. Our new VESTA system helps us save a lot of time with capabilities we didn't have before.”

“As with any installation,” says the Chief, “we had a few hick-ups. But overall it was a textbook case how we got this done. I am very excited we can now better serve our community at Fort Meade.”

The VESTA solution has achieved the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) certification. It is the first IP based E9-1-1 system to be approved for use by the Department of Defense (DoD), built from the ground up to be NG9-1-1 compliant. Being JITC certified means the VESTA call processing system has met strict guidelines to operate in an elevated security-sensitive environment for the government and the military.

In addition to Fort Meade, Airbus DS Communications serves 140 Army, Air Force and Coast Guard bases and other highly secure federal agencies around the world including Ft Belvoir, VA, and Picatinny Arsenal, NJ.