In May 2021, U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján visited Alamogordo where he toured, among other places, the White Sands-Alamogordo Regional Airport.
Luján also visited the Interagency Dispatch Center and Tanker Base where he saw the U.S. Forest Service firefighters at work.
While there, Luján said he saw firsthand that the internet provider at the time was not reliable.
“Reliable and redundant internet is vital for our dedicated first responders who serve rural areas, especially those who protect our public lands and communities from wildfires,” Luján said. “Last year, during my visit to the Alamogordo-White Sands Regional Airport, USFS air tanker crews fought multiple wildfires throughout the West and I could see up close the multiple issues that fire managers faced because of an unreliable internet connection. That’s why I’m proud to have worked with federal land management agencies to secure a more dependable internet service provider for the courageous men and women managing firefighting operations in Alamogordo to protect New Mexico’s public lands.”
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After Luján’s visit, his staff worked with the U.S. Forest Service throughout several months to raise the internet connection quality at the dispatch center. A new internet provider’s service was installed began on March 1.
“Reliable internet at the Alamogordo Airport, where the Interagency Dispatch Center and Tanker Base are located, has been an ongoing issue for many years,” Lincoln National Forest spokeswoman Laura Rabon said. “Previously, the internet would routinely go out during rainstorms and on windy days. We are pleased to now have reliable, fast-speed internet available to our dispatchers who assist wildland firefighters and other emergency management personnel.”
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