'Giant Voice' reducing live testing
April 5, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga. (April 3, 2013) -- Members of the Fort Benning community should soon find their Saturdays a bit quieter than usual. The Giant Voice, Fort Benning's emergency warning siren system, is reducing its live testing schedule from every Saturday at noon to the first Saturday of each month at noon.
However, while Soldiers and Family members may hear the Giant Voice less often, the system is actually increasing its testing schedule.
"Testing is not actually being reduced," said Jeffrey Shuck, chief of Installation Plans and Operations and the Operations Center. "Instead, it is being increased. We are now conducting silent testing every workday, so the system is being tested over two dozen times a month versus the four times previously. Live testing will only be conducted once a month, which may give the impression that testing is being reduced; however, with the advent of silent testing every workday our testing is increasing dramatically."
Giant Voice systems were added to many military installations in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1942.
The system is capable of issuing warnings for a variety of emergencies, but Shuck said the system here is used strictly for tornado warnings.
"Giant Voice is vital to the Fort Benning community, as it serves as outside warning of approaching tornadoes," Shuck said. "Currently, we use these sirens for tornado warnings only, which means if you hear the sirens on any day other than test day at its appropriate time, you should seek shelter immediately."