By Nathan Van Schaik, USAG BavariaJuly 1, 2019
U.S. Army installations across Europe will soon migrate to a new emergency messaging system beginning this summer.
Alert! Mass Warning Notification System, or MWNS, will replace the current AtHoc system.
The Army's MWNS notifies service members, Army civilians and their families during a crisis. MWNS operators, for example, can issue alerts in the event of an active shooter, inclement weather or any other event requiring immediate notification.
The migration will affect all U.S. Army personnel stationed at or on assignment in Europe.
Installation Management Command-Europe -- the agency overseeing Army garrisons in Europe -- joins the Army-wide effort to migrate to the new mass warning system. The Army published an order Dec. 13, 2018, directing the migration.
The Army currently has two systems deployed across 100 installations. The migration to a single MWNS reduces costs and redundant investments. Migration across the Army will be complete no later than Feb. 29, 2020, according to EXORD 033-19.
Army garrisons in Europe will migrate July 22 - Aug. 2, 2019, according to the following timeline:
JULY 22 - 26, 2019
• USAG Ansbach
• USAG Rheinland Pfalz
• USAG Stuttgart
• USAG Wiesbaden
JULY 29 - AUG. 2, 2019
• USAG Bavaria
• USAG Benelux
• USAG Italy
• U.S. Army Europe
The Alert! MWNS provides similar service to the AtHoc system, capable of sending emergency notifications to worldwide users via desktop pop-up, mobile phone, SMS text, email and public distribution.
Alert!, however, is a government off-the-shelf system, meaning it was created and owned by the U.S. federal government. So unlike AtHoc, Alert! doesn't have license fees and is cheaper to operate. It also means that your Alert! account will follow your Army career -- both as a civilian and service member overseas and in the U.S.
Additionally, Alert! allows registered users to add up to 10 different phone numbers to include more family members and dependents.
Current AtHoc user accounts will automatically be migrated to the Alert! system, so there's no need to register. Personnel not covered by the AtHoc system will be afforded the opportunity to register for the Alert! after the migration is complete.
For more, contact your garrison emergency manager and visit your garrison's website.