August 16, 2005
HPWREN establishes connection to CDF Helitack Base at Gillespie Field
A recent HPWREN connection was established to provide high speed
data connectivity in support of firefighting activities of the
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection at the
eight helicopter Gillespie Field Helitack Base in El Cajon.
CDF will utilize the connection for many fire support functions including
Real-time weather data affecting both flight planning and fire
Keeping updated on FAA restrictions and advisories
Keeping the map databases current
Sending map data that CDF creates in flight to GIS professionals
Maintaining a connection to CDF's Aviation Management server
Broadband based Aerial Firefighting Training as well as Ground
Firefighter Training for the Helitack Crew
Staying current with the general firefighting community
Departmental electronic communications
"I'm sure there will be a great deal of collaboration between
HPWREN, the San Diego Sheriff's Office and CDF in the future," says
Steve Shoemaker. Fire Captain, Gillespie Helitack Base, CDF - San
Diego Unit. "HPWREN has been a good partner to Public Safety Agencies
and has been creatively supporting and enhancing our capabilities.
I eagerly look forward to working together on technologies like
airborne imaging systems and data links for air-to-ground applications."
An HPWREN connection to the CDF Air Attack Base in Ramona was
established in July, 2003. The Ramona base is predominantly used
for fixed-wing firefighting operations.
Helitack Base at the Gillespie Field airport in El Cajon
The firefighting capability at the Gillespie Field Helitack
Base is a joint operation between the San Diego Sheriff's Office
and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
CDF fire captain Steve Shoemaker shows one of the two new county
helicopters stationed at Gillespie Field
Besides an ability to transport firefighters, the helicopter
also has the capacity to collect water during flight, and discharge
it onto fires
The antennas and Trango Atlas radios at a CDF tower on Lyons Peak (top)
and Gillespie Field (right) form the link from the HPWREN backbone
to the Helitack Base
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