Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Aviation Division participated in the annual Northwest Regional Aviation Communications Exercise (COMMEX) on March 7, 2018 as the State Air Operations Branch (AOB).
WSDOT Aviation Division used their Aviation Emergency Coordination Center (AECC) and radio equipment to help state emergency responders prepare and practice for future incidents and disasters during this annual readiness exercise.
State, regional, civil, military and commercial emergency responder personnel participated in this joint communications exercise by launching aircraft to fly pre-determined routes. While airborne, aircraft crews contacted air operations centers and ground stations to test communications equipment.
Participants in the exercise included WSDOT Aviation Division (AOB), Washington State Patrol, Drug Enforcement Agency, Snohomish County, King County, Pierce County, Airlift Northwest, the United States Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The COMMEX was also an opportunity to train multiple WSDOT Aviation Division staff members on the use of the AECC radio and communications equipment.
Patrick Wright, WSDOT Aviation Division Aviation Planner, helped facilitate the COMMEX and train participants on radio communications in the AECC.
WSDOT Aviation Division plans to expand their participation next year by incorporating volunteers from various aviation groups. Volunteers may prove crucial in the initial hours and days following a catastrophic event while federal assistance response flows into the impacted areas.
For more information or questions about COMMEX, contact Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.