Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Kornegay, 136th Airlift Wing, Texas Air National Guard
AUSTIN, Texas - Captain Michael McCann, Joint Task Force 136 Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Telecommunications Officer, is currently mobilized with the Texas National Guard's Task Force Texas in Austin, Texas. The Task Force Texas mission is to provide personnel support and supplies to hospitals located in Houston, San Antonio, Del Rio, and the Rio Grande Valley during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. CPT McCann’s role is to assure the continuation of support by keeping communication strong between military and civilian personnel.
CPT McCann and his team are responsible for support of the command, control, communications, cyber requirements and development processes that ensure joint interoperability.
"Our job is to make sure our people can reach the outside world," said McCann. "We handle communications and control through phones, internet, and computers. We have a team here that monitors the networks that allows information to flow from top to bottom and vice versa.”
CPT McCann’s 24 years of commitment to the Signal Corps, a U.S. Army branch dedicated to communication and information systems management, instilled within him the significance of clear communication.
"Proper information flow allows our commanders to make the best decisions,” McCann said. "It allows them to put soldiers where they need to be to support the civilians who need them right now.”
McCann appreciates the opportunity to serve his fellow Texans.
"I’m proud,” said McCann. “I’ve been doing this a long time and it gives me a great sense of purpose. It’s a different type of mission versus deploying somewhere. But this is very important to the nation and to the state of Texas. I’m honored to be able to step in and support.”
CPT McCann and his team accepted the challenge to keep Task Force Texas connected with multiple state agencies for the COVID-19 response.
“There’s always an uncertainty when it comes to working with new agencies,” said McCann. “It’s about how best to make things fit and putting the puzzle pieces together correctly. In no time at all, things began to work very smoothly.”
His prior experience with TMD’s Hurricane Harvey response afforded McCann with the necessary wisdom to better serve the citizens of Texas and the United States.
"While they’re both large, they are two very different operations. Both missions share the same goal and that is to mitigate suffering. That’s what we’re going to do here however we can.”
Texans serving Texas.