All The Right Stuff

Yes, referring to the brave men that offered to do something nobody believed would or could happen. They all had done things that prepared them for what the missions would bring. They all had experience in different areas. They all may have had different political beliefs but it didn’t affect the outcomes. They were confident there was enough funding to reach the goal. They were surrounded by the best of the best to advise and direct their mission. They all were proud to be the first. The other thing they had was a belief that the contractors and the government together had done everything possible to achieve success.

So, why write the above? Because four Governors just last week showed they too have the right stuff. They were the first to step out and publicly state that FirstNet, in Partnership with AT&T, was the right decision for public safety. They obviously had the best of the best advising them. They all realize that their state can’t afford to go it alone financially. They all believe the chosen vendor and FirstNet have done due diligence and have provided the best possible solution to provide public safety the interoperability that the 9-11 Commission stated was absent during the worst domestic disaster our country has known.

Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia made this statement, “you can’t ask men and women to put on that uniform, put their lives on the line, and not give them the tools that they need to keep themselves safe.” He went on to say, “today we give them those tools to keep themselves safe!” That’s confidence in a decision as to what truly is ‘all the right stuff’ for public safety.

Governor Matthew Mead made this statement, “The state of Wyoming has participated in the FirstNet consultation and outreach activities throughout the planning of the network. I have determined that it is in the best interest of Wyoming to participate in the FirstNet deployment.” Hardly the words of someone who had any doubt as to success.

Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, a former Undersecretary of Homeland Security stated, “I understand the necessity of a reliable stand-alone emergency communications system.” To ensure the best decision for Arkansas in 2015 he directed the state to develop a robust process to review whether opting in to FirstNet was the right decision. As those brave men did so many years ago in the space program, Governor Hutchinson ensured that everything had been done right before taking the next step.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin also made the decision to opt-in. Joining three other Governors, Governor Bevin’s decision further demonstrates that these first four states have confidence that the FirstNet/AT&T offering is the best possible for the men and women who put their lives on the line daily to protect the citizens of our country.

These four Governors all did what they needed to be prepared to make the decision. They all have experience in different areas. They all may have different political beliefs. However, they all believe there is funding to meet the goal and sustain it. They all surrounded themselves with the best of the best to advise and help direct the decision. They, by making the decision to opt-in, believe that FirstNet and the chosen vendor, AT&T, together have done everything possible to ensure success.

These four Governors have shown they have ‘all the right stuff’ when it comes to ensuring that public safety will finally have the interoperability that has been lacking up until now. We, as public safety for the citizens we protect, can only hope that the rest of the Governors will also do the right thing and show they too have ‘all the right stuff’.


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