On June 30th 2015, emergency services, military and intelligence personnel took part in a major counter-terrorism drill in London.
The simulation, code named ‘Strong Tower’, was part of the largest ever exercise to test the command, coordination and control preparedness for a multi-site terror event, and took place over a 24-hour period.
The emergency services used the Airwave Network throughout the exercise to communicate with one another and summon urgent assistance. Airwave also took part in testing its own business continuity procedures by deploying two Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) in line with its business continuity policy to ensure emergency responders can continue to communicate uninterrupted during any incident.’
The Network was available to responders both above and below ground, including in the depths of the London Underground tunnels. This follows Lady Justice Hallett's recommendations at the inquests of the 7/7 victims in 2011, after which Airwave was contracted to extend its Network into the London Underground.
Airwave provides a world-leading critical communications network that covers 99% of Great Britain’s landmass and is designed to withstand major incidents, including terrorist incidents. The Network is also fully encrypted and protected against hacking. In order to ensure resilience, core parts of the Network are duplicated, meaning that any difficulties – from technical problems and extreme weather to targeted terrorist attacks – will not cause the network to fail completely.