Keesler Air Force Base Technology Expo

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A lot has changed over the past 20 years, but Keesler Air Force Base continues to hold its annual technology expo and today was no exception with the show going two decades strong.

Keeping our nation and local community safe, whether the attack is launched from overseas or the fury unfurled by Mother Nature, the most effective weapon and defense is technology when it’s put in the right hands. That’s just one reason why Keesler Air Force Base holds this annual technology and equipment expo. 81st Communications Squadron Commander Major Jon D. Drummond said, “It’s a great event where we can bring out individuals from all across the wing. It doesn’t matter if they’re medical, over in the training group where we have a lot of training for our brand new airmen who are coming into the Air Force, and how we can train smarter, and get those people to the field faster to increase our readiness for our country, and also on the support side for what it takes to run a wing. There are definitely a lot of great pieces that are here. ”

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There were dozens of vendors at the event. On display were two disaster and recovery kits used for mobile communications during disasters and hurricanes, most recently used in Panama City Beach, Florida to help in Hurricane Michael relief efforts.  Trent Griggs with Verizon said, “Communications were down in so many fronts from a landline perspective, and some cell service was down, and radio communications was hit pretty hard, some destroyed, and this is a quick and mobile way of getting those communications back up and running, based on the systems people already had present today. They were able to get them back up and running again.”

A lot has changed since Griggs and his Verizon work colleagues picked up the pieces of what was left of one of their sites after Katrina, but in every difficulty lies opportunity. Now, 13 years later modern day cell service and communications during times of disaster have improved greatly as have other services and technology, as seen at the booths here providing a safer environment for us all.

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!

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