It is always nice when you can combine work and pleasure.  CCS was lucky enough to be asked to participate in the 2015 State of New Mexico Hot Air Balloon Festival in Albuquerque, NM from October 3 through the 11th. Around 550 pilots, from 17 countries participated in this year’s Balloon Fiesta. International balloons enjoyed their moment in the spotlight on Wednesday, October 7 during Flight of the Nations, an event that honored all of the countries represented at Balloon Fiesta.

hot air ballons at festival

Up to two balloons from each country launched while carrying their country’s flag to begin the Mass Ascension. Countries represented at this year’s Balloon Fiesta include Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Ireland, Mexico, Russian Federation, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. The mid-week Mass Ascension featuring the Flight of the Nations started in 1997 and has been a favorite and unique event in the international ballooning community.  CCS had one of our MERC-Lite satcom trailers set up on the South side of the launching field helping to provide video surveillance/security and a WiFi Hot Spot for State personnel working the event.

merc trailer at hot air balloon festivalOur expansion into Latin America with Chilcott, Inc. out of Miami, Florida continues to grow.  We are currently working on new projects for MERC-Lite build outs in Guatemala, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, and more units for Peru.  Much more on these projects in coming months, but the recent earthquake in Chile and possible tsunamis have really heightened the awareness of the need for Mobile Emergency Response Centers that can assist these countries in their emergency response efforts after any disaster.  No matter where a disaster occurs, one common theme is the need to be able to quickly communicate and contact all required resources that are needed to respond to the event.  CCS was also honored to receive an additional order on our current Project for the Texas National Guard.  We were already under contract to build out eight of our 20 foot Mobile Emergency Response Centers (MERCs), but they have come back and added three more MERCs to the order.  This will bring their complete fleet of MERC units up to 33 total systems that can be deployed in the State of Texas for a Disaster Response.

A continued area of focus for CCS is the rollout of the FirstNet LTE network nationwide (   For those of you not familiar with this initiative, it is basically a private LTE network that will be used exclusively by First Responders.  A key part of this rollout will be “deployable” or trailer based LTE units that can help provide LTE coverage to areas that may not otherwise have it.  With our partners at IP Access International, CCS will be providing our MERC satcom trailers that will be equipped with LTE repeaters and antennas to offer this new service.    By using the satellite backhaul to make a network connection into FirstNet, we will be able to provide this coverage anywhere in the world.  These are very cool products that will help save lives as our First Responders work to respond to man-made and natural disasters.

merc training for military in Peru

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.


Gary Collins – CEO