U.S. Coast Guard Accepts General Dynamics-built Rescue 21 Search and Rescue System for Sector Buffalo


Rescue 21 saves lives and property by increasing the speed and accuracy of maritime search and rescue operations, improving Coast Guard effectiveness in response to maritime security and environmental threats.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Coast Guard yesterday formally accepted the General Dynamics C4 Systems-built Rescue 21 search and rescue communications system now serving Sector Buffalo, in New York. The Sector responds to more than 1,000 search and rescue cases annually.

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Using advanced direction-finding technologies and digital communications, the life-saving Rescue 21 system enables Coast Guard personnel to respond rapidly and efficiently to calls from distressed mariners out to at least 20 nautical miles from shore. The system also delivers a much-needed interconnection for port security and maritime law enforcement officials, enabling greater effectiveness when responding to security and maritime environmental threats.

“I grew up enjoying the lakes and waterways that surround Buffalo,” said Bill Weiss, vice president of Communication Networks for General Dynamics C4 Systems. “Weekend boaters and others who use these beautiful natural resources now have the unprecedented safety and emergency responsiveness that the Rescue 21 search and rescue system delivers. On a national scale, Rescue 21 is the Department of Homeland Security’s first nationwide interoperable communications network that demonstrates how advanced broadband technologies improve maritime situational awareness, communication and collaboration among agencies.”

Rescue 21 enables improved information sharing and interoperability with users of the Department of Homeland Security’s wide-area network OneNet initiative, as well as other federal, state and local first responders. By enhancing inter-agency cooperation, the Coast Guard is more effective in accomplishing their various homeland security missions. Rescue 21 towers and command centers are also designed to accommodate additional sensors and command and control equipment, which will deliver new and cost-effective capabilities to the Coast Guard’s overarching mission.

Rescue 21 by the numbers:


* Sector Buffalo includes 14 communication towers and 10 facilities ranging from Easter Great Lakes to Massena, New York, including Niagara Falls.

* The 38th Rescue 21 sector to become operational, Sector Buffalo adds approximately 625 miles to the system’s nationwide coverage.

* There are currently 247 towers and 200 command and control facilities in use throughout the national Rescue 21 system, which includes an emergency/disaster recovery capability that can restore critical communications within hours of an event.

* Rescue 21 monitors more than 41,800 miles of U.S. coastline. For a map of the national Rescue 21 system, visit www.gdc4s.com/rescue21.

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