The new system, called the “Alert! Mass Warning Notification System,” or MWNS, will replace the current AtHoc system, per an Army order published Dec. 13.
Current AtHoc accounts will be automatically migrated to the Alert! system. Any Army personnel not already covered by the old system will be afforded the opportunity to register for Alert! after the migration is complete, the service said in a news release.
As it stands, the Army operates two systems across roughly 100 installations, the release said. The migration to a single system is expected to reduce costs and redundant investments.
Migration across the Army will be complete no later than Feb. 29, 2020, according to EXORD 033-19, but Army garrisons in Europe will migrate between July 22 and Aug. 2, 2019, according to an Army timeline published this month.
The Army’s new system notifies service members, Army civilians and their families during crises, including during an active shooter incident, natural disasters or any other event requiring immediate notification.
Between July 22-26, Army Garrison Ansbach, Army Garrison Rheinland Pfalz, Army Garrison Stuttgart and Army Garrison Wiesbaden will make the switch.
Between July 29-Aug. 2, Army Garrison Bavaria, Army Garrison Benelux, Army Garrison Italy and Army Europe proper will begin using the new system.
The new system will provide much of the same services as the older one, sending emergency notifications to worldwide users via desktop pop-up, mobile phone, SMS text, email and public distribution.
The new system is a government off-the-shelf system, meaning it was created and owned by the U.S. federal government. Unlike AtHoc, the new system will have no license fees and is expected to be cheaper.
Accounts that Army personnel use through the new Alert! system will follow personnel through their Army career, whether as a civilian or uniformed service member and in the United States and abroad.
Alert! also allows users to add up to 10 different phone numbers to include more family members and dependents.
Kyle Rempfer was an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.