COMSAT Demos the Power of Preparedness During CA Wildfires

Being prepared prevented the Santa Paula teleport facility from wildfire damage.

COMSAT, a U.S.-based satellite connectivity provider, has successfully demonstrated the power of preparedness in reaction to the recent wildfires in California.

The Thomas Fire, reported to be the largest in California state history, presented a very real threat to the day-to-day operations of the Santa Paula multi-purpose teleport facility.

(The wildfires threaten several thousand homes in Southern California, where more than 5,000 firefighters are battling the fires. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Dec 8, 2017)

Owing to the preparedness of COMSAT and its local team, an efficient, well-planned contingency strategy ensured that the teleport continued serving its global network without interruption, despite the proximity of the intense flames.

As the fire reached teleport facility boundaries, the COMSAT team implemented a practiced crisis response to mitigate the imminent risks.

Working closely with the Ventura County Fire and Rescue services, who had already provided emergency training to all COMSAT team members, the fire was held at bay.

(Ventura County Fire Captain Tony McHale is the kind of guy you want to come to the rescue if you’re in trouble. He had been on the Thomas Wildfire in Ventura all night, his own family evacuated near Ojai but he was on the job as long as it took. The kind of public servant we all owe a debt to…reacting to conditions, taking charge, organized. Courtesy of FOX 11 Los Angeles and YouTube. Posted on Dec 5, 2017)

Teleport emergency generators provided essential power to the facility for more than a week while regional energy services were restored.

Staff members, who worked with a local command center to secure continued access to the facility, followed pre-defined emergency plans and protocols.

The collaborative approach working with the firefighters, and local emergency services, supported the safeguarding of the teleport grounds.

The COMSAT earth station serves hundreds of thousands of people worldwide including governments, military forces, emergency services, international corporations and members of the public.

COMSAT president David Greenhill
COMSAT president David Greenhill

“Major network operation centers around the world rely on the teleport connectivity, and I am extremely proud of Guy White, the director of teleport operations, and his team,” said COMSAT president David Greenhill.

“Without their professional approach, adherence to the plan, and excellent relations with the local responders, the situation could have been very different.”

“The crisis management plan, devised in response to the what-if scenarios, demonstrated how resilient the teleport and its team are.”

“It just goes to show that being prepared for such an event is essential.”

Located 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles the teleport began operating in 1975 in support of the MARISAT global satellite fleet and ground systems, and the COMSTAR satellite fleet serving the continental USA, Alaska and Hawaii.

(See the COMSAT Santa Paula Teleport, courtesy of Bird’s Eye View and YouTube. Posted on Jun 26, 2017)

Today the teleport provides mobile and fixed satellite communications coverage for the entire Pacific Ocean Region (POR) as well as operating services in and out of the continental USA, Canada, the Gulf of Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean.

It is an international gateway for the Inmarsat satellite network, and has been since its inception.

The Santa Paula Teleport is instrumental in providing fixed and mobile communications services for Inmarsat, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Veterans Administration and other key government agencies and commercial customers.

The teleport also serves as a data center, connecting cyber secured networks for its parent company, Satcom Direct.

Its primary charter has been to operate “life and safety” services and providing five nines (99.999%) service availability, a target it has continually exceeded.

COMSAT is a leading operator of customized, secure end-to-end satellite communications services with a full portfolio of fixed satellite solutions (C-Band, Ku-Band, Ka-Band, X-Band and UHF) and mobile satellite solutions (Inmarsat, Thuraya and Iridium) to aeronautical, land-mobile and maritime users in multiple markets, including U.S. government and military, global governments, educational institutions and commercial maritime.

COMSAT logoWith two teleports located in Southbury, CT and Santa Paula, CA, COMSAT provides communications and data center services to commercial, government and educational institutions worldwide including end-to-end connectivity, co-location and research efforts, critical data backup and recovery, satellite and terrestrial network data center, cloud and cybersecurity services.