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Strategic Management Annex

Introducing the new, improved AETC AtHoc Alert System

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, RANOLPH - Texas --

If you’re like most AETC civilians and military members, you may have grown tired of the endless alerts on your computer screen that tell you there will be a windy day or it will be an extremely hot day in the summer. Aren’t summer days supposed to be hot? Now you can opt-out of these warnings using the new AtHoc alert system. If you don’t want to receive all the weather warnings, you can choose not to. 

 If you are a military or civilian member of AETC, you are actually required to maintain an up-to-date AtHoc profile, including an after-hours contact number, a work email address, and – if you have a duty cell phone – a duty cell contact number. But now you can pick which weather alerts you want to receive, if any. By using the new, improved AtHoc profile page, you can enter your contact information to receive lifesaving alerts – without the “annoying” alerts of the past.

To update your profile information, find the purple AtHoc icon at the bottom right corner of your desktop screen and right click on the icon. Next, select “Update My Info,” select a CAC certification and view the AtHoc self-service page. From there, you can update your personal information, device information and unit-specific information. Save and exit the profile page.

If you enter your cell phone number for calls or text messages, alerts will be from a select category of emergency events that require immediate communication. Examples of situations in which alerts are sent to personal devices include active shooter events, hurricane conditions, tornado watches and warnings, security incidents, base closures and delayed reporting.

As Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, AETC commander, wrote in an AETC-wide email in April 2016, “Rapidly and effectively alerting AETC Airmen and our families about active shooter and other emergency situations is a critical component to responding to these events … We need all AETC members to … sign up for AtHoc alert messages via SMS text messaging and download the mobile application.”

So how do you download the mobile application? The AtHoc app can be found under the Apple App and Google Play Stores. Protect yourself and your family members by downloading the app now, and register up to 10 family members on your account. Follow the instructions in the mobile app guide.

But seriously, has there ever been a situation – active shooter event, hurricane condition, tornado warning or a security incident – where an AtHoc alert has saved a life? Yes, there has. According to Chief Master Sgt. John Morris Jr., AETC Command Post functional manager, “When the shooting happened last year on Lackland’s Medina Annex, the JBSA command post sent out an alert that day to let people know there was an active shooter situation. People who had subscribed to the alerts knew to stay away.”

AETC members may not want to enter their cell phone as their “after-hours contact number,” but as in the situations mentioned and other real-world emergencies, the benefits may be lifesaving. (This is purely optional since text-messaging fees may apply.)

“The command post can only send certain alerts to your personal device, and they aren’t always the same as the messages that pop up on your computer,” Morris said. “I’d say only one or two AtHoc alert messages go out to cell phones in an average month. One day, one of those may be life-changing.”

A listing of devices the installation command post sends alerts to for each respective incident is in Air Force Instruction 10-206 table 8.1, “EMNS Targeting Chart,” and can be viewed via the “HELP – Air Force Network” link in AtHoc.

“We implore everyone to sign up for AtHoc because it really is the quickest way to get important messages. It doesn’t pull from any existing systems like the global address list because we are asking for people’s personal, after-work contact information,” Morris said. “AtHoc has continuously improved during the past six years and includes more features to ensure members have the latest information at their fingertips. It’s leaps and bounds better than the old recall roster system, where multiple people have to call multiple people.”

Members of the command post and the communications community are putting together a campaign to ensure all AETC members know about AtHoc, reaching out through channels such as newcomers’ orientations, base newspapers and websites, and emails from leadership. Based on the AETC requirements for individuals’ contact information, the team is striving to ensure 100 percent of AETC members have updated their profiles.

For answers to frequently asked questions, click on the AtHoc icon and go to the “Help” page. For additional information or technical assistance, contact your installation Communication Focal Point.