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5.2. Auxcomm

During 2012, the Michigan Section and the Michigan State Police began the formation of an Auxiliary Communications or ACS unit. The concept is to provide an umbrella structure to coordinate the efforts of a number of organizations that can offer communications support.
A number of other states have formed ACS uints and it is currently being written into FEMA's Incident Command Structure. (FEMA refers to the function as AEC rather than the ACS used by the states.) FEMA already has several courses available to train operators in Auxcommm concepts. Unsurprisingly, Auxcomm reports to the Communications unit of the Service Branch of the Logistics Section.
Communications Unit
Comm Unit
Figure 5. Communications Unit

Auxcomm proved particularly helpful during the Palisades Ingestion Pathway exercise where it helped smooth the MARS/ARES interface. During that exercise ARES primarily provided the IC with additional situation awareness while MARS transmitted ground weather observations to the Warning Coordination Meteorologist present at the SEOC.
In early 2013 a meeting is planned for Auxcomm representatives around the state to work out a regional structure for Auxcomm response.