Robins XP Office: On guard for ‘what if’

  • Published
  • By Kisha Foster Johnson
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office

Imagine having a job where the sole mission is waiting for worse-case scenarios to happen and then having plans on standby to circumvent the possible problems.

This is the reality for the 78th Air Base Wing Plans and Programs Office, which is also referred to as XP.

“Bad things happen at bases unfortunately,” said Jim Jackson, 78th ABW XP contingency planner. “There could be an active shooter, a massive fire or perhaps weather events, such as flooding, a hurricane or tornado, that could impact the installation.

“As a contingency planner, I’m one of several personnel who plans for the worse, for disasters,” Jackson continued. “Our goal is to protect Robins’ resources through the development of plans, programs and policies. We are regularly analyzing the effectiveness of our programs and implementing ways to improve them.”

In the event of an emergency, Jackson and the XP team will brief Robins leadership on the matter at hand and provide a course of action.

They work behind the scenes to maintain constant readiness through the Crisis Action Team. The CAT Support Staff consists of nine contingency planners.

“We stay ready primarily with a host plans,” he said. “For instance, we employ the emergency management, anti-terrorism, base defense and civil engineer plans for disaster response. The XP team is constantly developing new solutions for the commander to support Robins.”

The CAT is one of several command and control elements that falls within the Disaster Response Force. CAT members provide strategic direction for the installation during contingency and crisis operations and primarily communicate through command directives to unit control centers. 

According to Jackson, there are 36 unit control centers at Robins.

“I coordinate with a variety of those members from across the base,” he said. “The UCC representatives report back to the CAT Support Staff with critical information for the commander. Interaction with people of the various tenant units creates a great team to get things done, which is the best part of the job.”

A new addition to the XP arsenal is a computer application called C2IMERA. It stands for Command and Control Incident Management Emergency Response Application.

“Within this system, we utilize geographic-based data that is tailored and managed by the 78th Civil Engineering Groups Geographic Information System shop,” Jackson said. “It provides a visual depiction of a crisis event that is occurring on the base in real time.”

The platform serves as the installation hub connecting people and systems. Plus, it provides built-in alerts and system-wide notifications.

Jackson enjoys preparing for the what if.

“Yes, we never know when the next incident is going to hit, and when it does, it can get incredibly busy,” he said. “I call it controlled chaos, but it’s not stressful because we are operating from well-designed plans. I love it.

“Know your trade and know how to execute it,” Jackson continued. “At the end of the day, we’re talking about protecting resources, primarily our people. The ultimate goal is to keep the base operational and safe.”