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Homeland Security

Mobile Command Vehicles

Federal Protective Service mobile command vehicles are deployed to enhance or reestablish communication and coordination during emergency incidents and special security events nationwide.  These assets leverage satellite and internet access, as well as interoperable radios and video capabilities to enhance communication between FPS assets and other federal and local response and support assets.  This page provides an overview of MCV capabilities and how these vehicles support FPS operations and its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.

Supporting the Mission

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), Federal Protective Service (FPS) is responsible for protecting property owned, occupied and secured by the U.S. Government as well as the people on that property.  The Mobile Command Vehicle (MCV) program supports the FPS mission through the provision of mobile, on-site platforms for command, control and communications during terrorist attacks, natural disasters, National Special Security Events and other similar occurrences.  The MCVs can rapidly deploy to any location in the continental United States where the communications infrastructure is inadequate or has been disrupted, or where enhanced interoperability among law enforcement agencies is needed.

Incident management in the nation’s current threat environment requires mobility, interoperability among public safety agencies, reliability and cost effectiveness.  FPS Mobile Command Vehicles meet this need.  MCVs can support daily operations as well as special deployments of the FPS Crisis Response Teams and other organizational elements.  These highly specialized vehicles augment the capabilities of the FPS dispatch and call centers, known as MegaCenters, by allowing them to remotely dispatch units and link different radio systems together without the need to actually send personnel to the scene.  Each MCV also provides an environmentally controlled platform for on-scene command and control functions, with small conferencing areas, video-teleconferencing, data analysis and processing, and information acquisition and management for situational awareness and common operating picture development.

MCVs At-a-Glance

  • VHF, UHF, 800 and 900 Megahertz radio system frequencies
  • RIOS radio interoperability suite
  • Cellular and satellite, secure and non-secure telephone
  • Cellular and satellite data connectivity
  • Video teleconferencing
  • Video capture and security imaging
  • Six on-board computer workstations
  • Weather station
  • Mesh network
  • Triple redundancy for all communications systems (hardwire, cellular and satellite)
  • Dual 40 foot telescoping masts
  • 20 KW generator
  • 45’ overall length, custom box on an International chassis

FPS has eight MCVs located at regional offices around the country, as well as four SUV-based mobile communications vehicles, known as “Rabbits.”  The Rabbits provide most of the same communications capabilities as the MCVs, but lack the command and control space and workstations.  The Rabbits afford a rapid deployment capability, as well as the ability to navigate tight spaces and unimproved roads, which allows for the projection of communications services into areas that would otherwise be inaccessible.  The Rabbits are designed to extend their electronic footprint into buildings of opportunity so that they can be rapidly converted into command posts with the full communications services.  Strategic locations around the country ensure that each vehicle has a 750 mile “first due” response radius and that any area of the continental United States can be provided with service within one day. 

Last Published Date: August 27, 2015

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