Home Front Command to link civilian emergency services to control system

In the future, IDF will have more precise control over air raid sirens via the Internet

November 18, 2013 01:45
2 minute read.
IDF soldier uses Digital Ground Army command-and-control system

Digital Ground Army command-and-control system 370. (photo credit: IDF Spokesman’s Office)


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The IDF Home Front Command is linking civilian emergency services to its control and supervision system, to improve coordination in the event of a national emergency, a senior source from the command told The Jerusalem Post.

Currently, the Home Front Command uses a control and supervision system called “Kingdom,” which allows for a wide range of communications with units on the ground, including satellite and cellular networking channels.

“We want to expand ‘Kingdom’ so that it encompasses the home front, and create one unified system,” the source said.

It has already completed operational tests successfully, he added.

Due to enter service within two years, the system will ensure that emergency responders, such as police, firefighters and paramedics, will be able to speak to one another and to the Home Front Command, which will be able to track developments on a digital map in real time.

“We want to set up a tool for interconnetivity,” the source said. “We can already track all locations of police units.

We’ll increase the view, and see ambulances and firefighters too.”

The technology is based on a “content management server,” and should prove useful in conflicts or natural disasters.

Difficult missions, such as evacuating an area or blocking off roads, will be made easier.

The source said the changes reflect a wider vision that views the home front as a single entity. “We’re making these systems user-friendly, for the reserve soldiers who will have to use them. We want to make it as easy to use as home computers,” the source said.

The system will join a national radio network already in place, which allows the Home Front Command to communicate directly with emergency services, with the exception of Magen David Adom, which has not yet joined due to funding issues.

The radio network will also be expanded, the source said, to include other forces deemed vital in handling emergencies, such as Military Police and the IDF’s Technological and Logistics Directorate.

The Home Front Command is also moving forward in its plans to create area-specific missile alerts, based on a projection of the path of an incoming projectile after its launch.

“We want to reach a situation where every air raid siren has its own IP [Internet address], allowing us to activate them selectivity,” the source said. In the future, the Home Front Command plans to take advantage of satellite television receivers (which also have IPs), and regional radio stations, to issue area-specific missile alerts in case of attack.

Under the plan, someone in an area under missile attack who is watching television will see the channel change automatically to a live broadcast from the Home Front Command’s in-house studio.

Currently, there is a cellphone text message alert system. “People here think outside of the box,” the source said.

Longer-term plans include setting up air raid sirens with electronic sensors, such as cameras, enabling them to deliver real time information to the Home Front Command on developments in areas hit by rockets or missiles.

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