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PRESS RELEASE

State Homeland Security Officials Coordinating Communications Efforts Across Gulf Coast

BATON ROUGE (April 30, 2010) - The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) announced today that the department is working through the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) to coordinate communication for response officials throughout all effected states along the Gulf Coast - including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

GOHSEP Director Mark Cooper said, "We have already supplied the Coast Guard Command Post in Robert with 50 land-to-mobile 700 megahertz radios, and we are in the process of deploying an additional 50 radios to the U.S. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. We have 96 tower sites across Louisiana, including many that run all along the coast, through which the Coast Guard can use the radios to communicate with other emergency response personnel. We also have five mobile communication centers in the state. Additionally, we are currently working with the Louisiana Sheriffs' Association to bring their mobile communication center to Mobile, Alabama.

"Once the communications unit is in place in Mobile, our Louisiana radio system - called LWIN - will be able to tie into the communications systems in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Fully networking the systems in all states is expected to take two to three days. Once all systems are integrated we will have an historic level of interstate communications in place for responders to use all along the Gulf Coast, including the Coast Guard officials operating offshore. This radio network will be an important asset for all states involved as we continue to respond to the oil leaking into the Gulf."

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