The US Army is set to start the implementation of a mass warning system at installations across Europe.

Known as Alert! Mass Warning Notification System (MWNS), the new emergency messaging system will be used to alert service members, army civilians and their families during a crisis.

MWNS will replace the existing AtHoc system. It sends alerts through computer networks, phone calls, emails and text messages during a crisis.

It will be used to inform about events such as an active shooter, inclement weather or any other incident that requires immediate notification.

The migration to MWNS is part of an army-wide effort to use a single government-operated system instead of different commercial mass warning systems.

US Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz emergency management specialist Jeremy Watson said: “In the event of an area-wide incident, we will use Alert! to inform the community about safe havens, family assistance centres, shelter locations and numerous other things.

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“Alert! allows us to get information out to the community in a timely manner – information you may need to help you survive.”

The move will cover all army personnel stationed at or on assignment in Europe, with the migration expected to be completed by 2 August.

The service issued an order in December to implement the migration to the new system. In January, the US Army Materiel Command’s headquarters started the transition.

The switch to MWNS will help reduce costs and redundant investments, the army stated. The service-wide implementation is expected to be completed by the end of February next year.

Users can add up to ten different phone numbers to include more family members and dependents.