Our brief for the America’s Cup World Series (2015-2017) and the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda (America’s Cup and Red Bull Youth America’s Cup) focused on three key services:
- to establish command, control and coordination (c3) plans, procedures,
- coordinate with radio providers and deliver our own Hytera accessories to each event, and;
- during event operations establishing and maintaining an event control facility in various locations (green field – Portsmouth; desert/golf course – Oman; Office locations – New York and Chicago; Event Village – Toulon and in a purpose built two floor structure in Bermuda across 40 days of readiness exercising and operations in May and June 2017.
Once established at each event, we cemented our liaison with partners – documenting their critical information requirements and aligning to local incident management arrangements. We provided Event Control management in support of the Event Director and senior management team, Event Liaison support for routine and incident meetings, note taking and information sharing from daily Gold meetings, radio channel controllers and our web based platform for logging and information sharing during operations and for post event debriefs.
At all times we maintained information management and key information for Managers and key nodes:
- Event Management and site delivery team
- Health and Safety team
- Multi-Agency Command Centres
- Local Authority
- Search and Rescue
- Medical provider
- Media and other on venue centres of gravity
- On Water Operations (off site and co-located with maritime partners)
The Event Control solution
We provided a fully integrated event control facility which coordinated festival, fan zone and race operations with Event Control Management, log platform to provide situational awareness & a defensible audit trail. We supported regular Event Liaison meetings and information sharing with a multitude of partner agencies and other control centres, using technology to produce and share regular situation reports and alerts to stakeholders both on and off site. For those based in our multi-agency control centres they experienced our easy to use web-based document and logging system which was shared with various command and control locations (e.g. emergency services control centres, Managers on the move), requiring minimal training or support.
People over processes
We know from experience of incidents and challenges during events that the shared knowledge, understanding of our own capabilities and of others – and having practised routine and incident procedures together ensures that the event team has as strong a bond as the competitors. We led readiness activity in each World Series country (2015-7) and in Bermuda supported Superintendent Andy Houghton (Retired) and Superintendent Martin Woosey – both at NPoCC – who led a series of JESIP training and exercise programmes which ensured all parties were working with similar terminology, awareness and knowledge of each agencies’ requirements.
The technical communications solution
Our team managed key radio channels on the reliable Hytera 782/785 handheld UHF radio equipment provided by Skycom and local communications notably provided by Mark Comms in Portsmouth and by East End Telecom in Bermuda. We augmented this kit with a range of specialist radio accessories for control room personnel, land and water personnel who operated in high noise environments from Juma Communications and Talking Headsets so our control room, key medical users and managers on the ground had the best access to communicate in all environments.
Our KA Band satellite from Primetech high capacity broadband enabled us to deploy a private wi-fi network in case of mobile phone network or event wi-fi failure for the UK events in Portsmouth (2015-6).