FirstNet yesterday announced the hiring of TJ Kennedy as its deputy general manager — the latest action in FirstNet’s ongoing effort to assemble a staff of full-time personnel to oversee the deployment and operation of its nationwide broadband network for first responders.

Kennedy is a veteran of public-safety communications, most recently serving as director of public safety and security for Raytheon. Prior to joining Raytheon, Kennedy was vice president at Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), where he oversaw deployment of “large, integrated communications and security systems, including public-safety systems for the 2004 Olympic Games,” according to a FirstNet press release. (Read Kennedy’s 2012 three-part series for Urgent Communications about the communications needs for the Olympics.)

“TJ’s credentials and experience are ideally suited for his role as FirstNet’s deputy general manager,” FirstNet General Manager Bill D’Agostino said in a prepared statement. “FirstNet will benefit greatly from his breadth of knowledge on mission-critical communications systems and public safety. As a former Utah state trooper, firefighter and paramedic, he understands firsthand the importance of building this dedicated public-safety network and the needs of the first responders who we serve.”

In addition, FirstNet announced the hiring of Ed Parkinson as director of government affairs. Parkinson is intimately familiar with FirstNet’s task, having spent the last five years serving as a staff member for the House Homeland Security Committee chaired by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who was the first member of Congress to introduce a bill to reallocate the 700 MHz D Block to public safety.

While serving the committee, Parkinson primarily worked on first-responder telecommunications issues, as well as border security, emergency preparedness, cybersecurity and investigations into waste, fraud and the abuse of government resources, according to the FirstNet press release.

“Ed is a great addition to the FirstNet team,” D’Agostino said in a prepared statement. “As a congressional staffer who worked on public-safety legislation, Ed fully understands the requirements of FirstNet. His experience working with Congress will be invaluable as we work closely with state, tribal, territorial, local and federal entities to develop our plans for this network.”