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ANGRC Command Center, CAT undergoes $3.5M modernization, strengthens Air Guard warfighter

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Morgan Whitehouse
  • Air National Guard

ARLINGTON , VA -- After nearly a year and a half, the Air National Guard Command Center and Crisis Action Team facilities are operational and reaching the final stages of a $3.5 million modernization project.

Located at the Air National Guard Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, the Command Center and CAT facilities are a hub for supporting Air Guard contingency operations domestically and globally.

According to Lt. Col. Raymond Hale, ANG domestic operations liaison officer, the renovation was long overdue as systems grew increasingly unreliable in recent years.

“The CAT previously operated off of an audio-visual system from the mid-2000s,” said Hale. “When that system reached the end of its life cycle and began to fail, we were no longer considered operational.”

The 32,000 square-foot facility underwent a three-pronged project: an audio-visual system update, an infrastructure remodel and an information technology refresh. Upgraded specifications include 12 LED television displays, 52 upgraded workstations, a 32-foot video wall and more.

ANG CAT Director Lt. Col. Jim Ryan stated that this initiative was necessary to ensure the Guard maintains modern relevance.

“We were operating an analog system in a digital world,” said Ryan. “This renovation updated our aged system and brought in technology that will provide the resilience and integrity we need to meet the Air National Guard’s mission.”

In addition to boosting local communications, the facility’s state-of-the-art technology revamp will strengthen connectivity with Airmen stationed across the 50 states, three territories and District of Columbia as well as local, state and federal agencies.

“The new system provides a sense of stability and reliability that we didn’t have before that will allow us to provide more timely insights to commanders and stakeholders,” said Hale. “Ultimately, this modernization allows us to better serve wings in the states and integrate communication with our interagency partners during emergencies like wildfires and hurricanes.”

Overall, the Command Center and CAT renovation aligns with the Chief of the National Guard Bureau’s priority of modernizing enterprise-wide assets and personnel.

“The National Guard has experienced a shift in recent years,” said Ryan. “We are being called on more to support a myriad of missions, from domestic operations to overseas deployments… and we here at the ANGRC need the systems to support folks in the states at their time of need, at the speed of need. Now we can.”

Minor finishing touches are still in progress as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused global supply-chain delays. Though the official ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for fall 2022, personnel assigned to the ANGRC Command Center and CAT are operational in the new facility and ready to assist the 108,000 Airmen of the Air Guard.