New system to help alert base community of emergencies

19 Dec 2013 | Lance Cpl. Joshua Grant

Tragedies like the Fort Hood and Washington Naval Yard shootings are reminders violence can sometimes be present aboard a government facility, but a new system will assist in keeping all base residents safe and informed.

AtHoc, a mass notification system, is being implemented aboard all Marine Corps installations to provide better security and safety for its residents.

“AtHoc was rolled into the installation emergency management program as a result of the Fort Hood shooting,” said Paul Stenger, director of plans for the Marine Corps Installations East Operations Division. “There is a Department of Defense requirement to notify the base population within 10 minutes of any threat.”

Once fully deployed, the system is capable of notifying all service members and DOD civilians aboard Camp Lejeune with a common access card regarding threats. Personnel must specify the means of preferred notification including phone call, email or text, said Tabatha Hart, web emergency operations center administrator for Marine Corps Installations East.

AtHoc is designed to notify users of emergencies such as active shooters, terrorist attacks or natural disasters.

The Giant Voice system was installed to reach dependents and all other civilians working on base as another part of the emergency management program.

“The Giant Voice system, the large public announcement speaker system, is designed to help notify the individuals not alerted by AtHoc,” said Stenger. “The speaker system is already in place in high population areas across the base, including school areas and housing, to ensure everyone is made aware of any incident or disaster.”

Stenger added, the Giant Voice will notify people of an emergency, but will also inform them of the best course of action, whether to seek shelter or avoid an area of base.

All eligible AtHoc users will be able to modify their AtHoc settings by accessing the purple globe icon in the right corner on their Navy Marine Corps Internet computer, or visit