Mobile Communication Unit

One of the primary responsibilities of the Cochise County RACES/ARES unit is the operation of the Cochise County Mobile Communication Unit (MCU) for the Cochise County Department of Emergency Services. The MCU is part of an Amateur Radio Communications Team (ARCT) Type II response element. Recent missions have included deployment to the DoD Interoperability Communications Exercise (DICE), a cave rescue on Fort Huachuca, a major propane tanker rollover on Highway 80, as well as number of Search and Rescue deployments.

In the cab, for use enroute, there is a Kenwood public service radio with 150 channels and a dual band Yaesu FT 8800R for the amateur frequencies.

Amateur equipment includes Yaesu FT2800, FT7200, FT2600, ICOM 706MKIIG, Kantronics KAM Plus TNC, SCS PTC IIex TNC, and a Shuttle shoebox computer (for digital support). Amateur antennas include: Diamond dual band (2Mtr/70cm), rotator for a Hex Beam HF Antenna, HT-20B military surplus Inverted V, and a quick disconnect mount for vertical HF whips.

A cellular phone was donated to the cause as a result of a Drug Bust conducted by the local gendarmes. This is supplemented by a cache of 10 public service portables to sign out on the scene, an air band radio, an ACU 1000 interoperability suite with a mix of VHF, UHF, 800 MHz Public Service Radios, TracStar Satellite Internet connection, and VOIP telephone connection. This allows the van to talk to almost anyone, anywhere. External antennas include a 106" VHF for the sheriff's channels, and a host of other antennas on the roof. There is also a WiFi network capability to allow other adjacent units to connect to our local area network and share our satellite connection. A mast mounted zoom camera was recently added to allow general surveillance of the area and to allow photos to be forwarded as needed over the Internet connection.