By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) LaTunya Howard, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs Office
MILLINGTON, Tenn. — The Navy conducted Citadel Rumble 2011, July 18-22, a personnel accountability and assessment exercise in which Navy Personnel Command (NPC) tested the first communications contingency plan should Millington be affected by a catastrophic event.
With the flip of a switch, all calls to the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) and NPC customer service center (CSC) were re-routed to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in New Orleans.
“This week we sent a group of military members to represent the Citadel Rumble and we sent some civilians to represent the CSC to New Orleans,” said Lt. Cdr. Dan Maltby, Navy Reserve NPC. “The idea was if something were to happen in Millington, we could just flip a switch and send all the calls and everything else down to New Orleans and they could do everything one for one that was normally done here.”
According to Maltby the plan was developed after flooding in Millington in May 2010. The objective of the contingency operation is to be prepared for any weather situation or equipment failure that may occur here.
“We realized last year during the Millington flood that we had a role outside of the walls of the campus here,” said Frederick Chambers, customer relations management director, NPC. “We can not afford to be out of business for two reasons. The Navy counts on ECC to support the personnel accountability and assessment process when commands need our assistance and the CSC runs the Department of Defense (DOD) Bone Marrow Program. These two mission essential functions have to continue without interruption.”
The CSC manages the DOD Bone Marrow Program with nearly 60,000 registered donors. When a match is identified between a donor and recipient, the Navy locator branch of the CSC brings the two together.
NPC is part of the global distance network, which is a family of call-centers within the department of the Navy.
“We decided why not use the partnership we have with global distance network and partner with another call center,” said Chambers. “They have the infrastructure in place; they are trained to do what we do at the CSC. Call-forwarding takes minutes. In a disaster we’re back in business in minutes.”
The military and civilian group that was sent to New Orleans didn’t man the phones at the SPAWAR call center but trained personnel on the standard operating procedure for the NPC CSC.
“We sent a small contingency group to New Orleans to test the transfer and not to take calls but to train them on how to access our knowledge database, how to take our calls and how to fill out our reports until we get there,” said Chambers.
In the event of a disaster here, NPC’s Navy Reserve unit is activated. An automated text message is sent to CSC agents outlining the continuity of operations plan (COOP) and muster location.
The CSC has setup three locations as contingency sites; New Orleans, Norfolk and San Diego.
“If we can’t get to New Orleans then we have to consider our two other sites,” said Chambers. “It’s now a matter of coordinating with my deputy and the admiral to determine the next suitable site.”
For more information on the Citadel Rumble 2011exercise, ECC, the COOP or the CSC call 1-866-U-ASK-NPC, 1-866-827-5672, visit the NPC website at www.npc.navy.mil or email CSCMailbox@navy.mil.