Federal 100 winner: Col. Debra Rose

Col. Debra Rose

Communications officer

South Carolina National Guard

When disaster strikes, first responders cannot always rely on normal communications channels. Rose, who manages the command, control, communications and computer systems support program for the South Carolina National Guard, established a mobile wireless system that the Guard can use during emergencies.

The system enables secure voice, data and video communications among multiple Guard units and with other first responders. Building the system involved designing the network, installing wireless gear at 13 armories and training more than 850 guard members — and those tasks had to be done under a tight budget.

"Rose meticulously planned and detailed this project to ensure it met the Guard's mission and served as an appropriate use of the taxpayer dollar," said Janet Kumpu, president of wireless equipment provider Fortress Technologies.

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