The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Teams recently completed a deployment in support of first responders participating in INTEROP 2024, an annual training exercise hosted by Texas A&M University’s ITEC Interoperability Institute and Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) that focuses on maintaining and restoring critical communications during large-scale public safety response efforts.

This year’s exercise simulated what it would take to help ensure mission-critical communication capabilities during a large-scale event with over 100,000 attendees, as well as during a cyber attack and a terrorist attack.

To help provide exercise participants with key communications services, the Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team, Verizon Satellite Solutions Group (SSG) and Verizon Network Assurance Team delivered real time aerial mapping capabilities, a Tactical Command Trailer, a Rapid Response Connectivity Units (RRCU), a High Altitude Wireless Kennawhat (HAWK) drone, and multiple other Verizon Frontline solutions.

The Verizon teams on hand for the exercise leveraged a long-standing partnership with ST Engineering iDirect to help provide essential satellite communications to first responders and participants during the event.

Core focus areas of this year’s training included:

  • Mission Critical Push-to-Talk (MCPTT)
  • Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1)
  • Team Awareness Kit (TAK)
  • Real Time Aerial Mapping using sUAS Technologies
  • Identity Credentialing & Access Management (ICAM)
  • Information Sharing Framework (ISF)
  • Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency Planning (PACE)

“Getting the chance to work with our partners in public safety during the ‘blue sky days’ allows us to continue to be ready when real-world emergencies occur,” said Bill Barr, public safety experience senior manager at Verizon Frontline. “Participation in exercises like INTEROP 24 only strengthens our response capabilities and our ability to support first responders across the nation.”

"Verizon has a long history of using satellite communications for providing critical comms going back to Hurricane Andrew in 1992,” said Stuart Burson, Director of Verizon's Satellite Solutions Group. ”While our ability to provide a range of services to both the first responder community and the victims of these disasters has certainly evolved since Hurricane Andrew, the fact remains that satellite communications are a cornerstone of quick, reliable and flexible solutions in the aftermath of a disaster. iDirect's Dialog platform powers our fleet of mobile satellite enabled assets with a partnership that goes back to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.”

“iDirect has deployed with Verizon during major disaster responses to provide critical communications while infrastructure is being repaired. When a disaster happens, the front-line teams need field-proven solutions that guarantee the highest performance, quality of service and steadfast reliability to speed-up their response times and restore communities,” said Darren Ludington, SVP of Americas, ST Engineering iDirect.

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team provides on-demand, emergency assistance during crisis situations to government agencies and emergency responders on a 24/7 basis. Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team members set up portable cell sites, Wi-Fi hotspots, charging stations and other Verizon Frontline devices and solutions that enable communications and/or boost network performance.

Verizon Frontline is the advanced network and technology built for first responders – developed over three decades of partnership with public safety officials and agencies on the front lines – to meet their unique and evolving needs. Learn more at our site.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed in 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $134.0 billion in 2023. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, and security.

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Media contact: Chandler Bakerchandler.baker@verizon.com757 725 4806 

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