EIS: Earth Ex 2018 – Black Sky, Aug. 22

The Electric Infrastructure Security (EIS) council’s second annual Earth Ex is coming Wednesday, August 22nd. You can submit an email address to get exercise notifications.

Our integrated world – and the “catch” that comes with it

In the modern world, everything we do depends on nationally and globally interconnected utility, infrastructure, resource and service networks. Together, they are much like our bodies – a fully integrated, interdependent organic system.

But there is a catch. Like our bodies, this integration – while critically important – brings with it a unique vulnerability. If any major piece fails, the whole system can collapse. Six “Black Sky” hazards represent particularly serious concerns for such vulnerabilities.

What can be done?

Sector by sector, nation by nation, leading government organizations and corporations are beginning to make investments and develop plans to build resilience against these “Black Sky” hazard scenarios. With EARTH EX, they are joining together to evaluate those plans.

But government organizations and corporations cannot do this alone. Resilience – at the level that will be needed for these extreme hazards – begins with individuals, with families and with neighborhoods.

The Individual and Family EARTH EX Experience

Individual and Family participants in EARTH EX will have an opportunity to experience the same full-scale video “injects” used by their corporate and government colleagues, as an introduction to a special, animated, interactive learning experience.

In the exercise, you will learn some of the most important preparatory steps you can take to prepare for extreme hazards:

To protect yourself and your family, and prepare to help your friends and neighbors to get through an unprecedented crisis.

Who is participating?

Professional sectors are participating in six categories:

  • Utilities (electricity, water and communications providers)
  • Government (all levels of government, law enforcement, finance and emergency responders)
  • Non-profits (both local and international organizations)
  • Health (health services of all kinds)
  • Cyberworld (cyber response and forensics)
  • Private sector providers (transportation, retail, factories, agriculture, finance, food and pharmaceuticals)
  • And for the first time … individuals and families, adults and children

Brushbeater RTO (Radio Operator) Courses Near Missoula, Sept. 2018

NC Scout of the Brushbeater blog will be holding his RTO course in Hamilton, MT (south of Missoula), on Sept. 8-9, 2018 and again Sept. 15-16. There will also be an advanced class held on Sept. 13-14.

EDIT: The 15-16th class has been cancelled because of a lack of sign-ups.

Click here for registration information.

The Radio Telephone Operator (RTO) Course is designed to take the individual of any and every experience level and teach them the basics of effective small unit communications in a field environment. Students will learn what it takes to set up a plan and implement communications in an improvised setting be it anything from a retreat to a security patrol to regional communications networking groups. A heavy emphasis of the course is on improvisation and antenna building- each student will construct antennas from improvised materials which they keep. This is NOT a “ham radio” class. No equipment or previous experience is required; only a notebook and a good pair of shoes. It is the only course of its kind offered anywhere, in a friendly, laid back and respectful environment.

This class will teach students the basics of communications at the Team or Squad Level in the field. Topics of instruction include:

  • Identifying Equipment Requirements
  • Writing a Signals Operating Index
  • PACE Planning for Communications
  • Basic equipment capabilities
  • Traffic handling
  • Improvised antenna types, uses and construction
  • Setting up and running an NVIS HF station
  • Message Formats
  • Setting up and communicating from a Hide site

Two day course will culminate in an field training event running a TOC station and Hide site in the field. Students will each build an antenna and demonstrate competency in team communications basics during the field exercise. Amateur Radio license qualification is helpful, but not required. This is NOT a ‘ham radio’ class but each student will come away with a basic understanding of a team’s communications needs in a tactical environment and how to best meet them under less-than-ideal circumstances. No equipment is required for this course; however, if students want to get field practice with their own gear, it is highly encouraged but done so at their own risk. Instruction is completely off-grid.

RTO Course: $300 per Student in advance or $350 at the door

The Advanced Course picks up where the RTO Basic Course leaves off, with training focused on:

  • Advanced SOI/CEOI Planning
  • Planning & Coordinating Transmitting Sites/Directional Transmitting
  • Uses of Resistors and Constructing Directional Wire Antennas
  • Data Bursts
  • Advanced HF techniques
  • Basic Signals Mapping and Communications Intelligence

Advanced RTO Course: $300 per Student in advance or $350 at the door

$50 deposit required for the in advance class prices by August 15th.

Wilderness First Aid, Kennewick, Sept. 8-9, 2018

Wilderness First Aid Course

Prepare for the unexpected with this fun, hands-on introduction to wilderness medicine, taught over two or two and a half days. If you like to take short trips relatively close to medical resources, work at wilderness camps, enjoy weekend family outdoor activities, or recreate outdoors, this course is for you. This course is great for people of all experience levels, and is best suited for those who recreate outdoors where EMS response can be expected in a timely manner (fewer than eight hours). You’ll learn the Patient Assessment System, how to provide effective first aid treatments for injuries and illnesses common in the outdoors, and how to make appropriate evacuation decisions. You’ll learn both in the classroom and in outdoor settings regardless of weather, so come prepared for wet, muddy, cold or hot environments!
  • Sponsor: REI Outdoor School
  • Location: Kennewick, WA
  • Dates: Sat, 08 Sep 2018 thru Sun, 09 Sep 2018

More info and registration links.

 

2018 NW APRS Summer Gathering, North Bend, Sept. 7-9th

From the folks who run the NW APRS Summer Gathering:

Summer Gathering 2018!
Back for the 21st year it is once again time for the Annual NWAPRS Summer Gathering
This year September 7-9 (always the weekend after Labor Day) at Valley Camp  6 miles east of North Bend Washington.
For us location precision nuts the GPS coordinates for a point near the center of camp are:
47.4662216  -121.6804046  (Highly accurate GPS control point)
(The first to find what’s at this location and show a picture of it to K7FZO wins a special door prize)

Directions to camp for those needing actual pictures, maps and words can be found here: Directions to Valley Camp or the bottom of the Summer Gathering webpage.

The Summer Gathering is an event for everyone involved in Amatuer Radio that wants to learn about what’s new in the hobby, meet people involved in the newest technologies that create the opportunities to experiment and advance the hobby.
Because the Summer Gathering has always been a very social event, we suggest taking advantage of all the opportunities we provide to spend time with other Hams involved in the hobby.

Friday evening social time, ice cream anyone? Or share a beverage with friends, this usually goes until around 10PM, later if you don’t need sleep, but quiet time in camp is 10PM to 7AM.

Saturday morning Breakfast, provided by the West Seattle Amatuer Radio Club, starts at 7AM with coffee and a full breakfast prepared by our chef Curt WR5J and his helpers.

The event officially begins at 8:45AM with the first presentation at 9AM
Lunch at noon will be provided, as to what it will be and the cost is being worked on right now, so stay tuned.
Afternoon sessions begin at 1PM with a wrap-up session at 5PM
Dinner plans are currently being discussed, once again stay tuned.
After Dinner open time for discussions, Q&A with presenters, and project show-n-tell.

Sunday starts with coffee available at 7AM followed by a full breakfast once again prepared for you by Curt WR5J.
Sunday presentations will begin at 9AM.
Lunch and the afternoon program are still in discussion. If you have ideas please send them to Thom at
summergathering@wa7vc.org

Saturday presentation slots have been filled, we are working on some great ideas for Sunday. We are looking to you for ideas that you feel should be discussed and volunteer presenters.
Once again, if you want to facilitate, share a project, or know someone we should contact let us know by emailing  summergathering@wa7vc.org

The current presentation schedule is available on the WA7VC website which will be updated as changes are made.
Presentations are held in the large picnic shelter, you can improve your seating experience by bringing your own comfy folding camp chair, coffee and hot water for tea will be available all day.

With just a month to go, it would be a great idea to make your reservations soon for Friday and or Saturday nights accommodations.
Full Service RV sites, parking for RV’s not needing services, tent sites, and bunk space in the Teneriffe Lodge are currently available. Please contact Teena at Valley Camp to reserve your space at   info@valleycamp.org
Discuss with Teena at Valley Camp the cost for these overnight accommodations.

It is time to make sure the SUMMER GATHERING is on your calendar!

Taibbi on Internet Censorship

Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone Magazine has a decent article out titled Beware the Slippery Slope of Facebook Censorship which makes some good points and is worth a read.

…Facebook was “helped” in its efforts to wipe out these dangerous memes by the Atlantic Council, on whose board you’ll find confidence-inspiring names like Henry Kissinger, former CIA chief Michael Hayden, former acting CIA head Michael Morell and former Bush-era Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff. (The latter is the guy who used to bring you the insane color-coded terror threat level system.)

These people now have their hands on what is essentially a direct lever over nationwide news distribution. It’s hard to understate the potential mischief that lurks behind this union of Internet platforms and would-be government censors…

Way back in 1996, when mastodons roamed the earth and people used dial-up to connect to the Internet, Congress passed the Communications Decency Act. It contained the following landmark language:

“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

Essentially this meant that Internet providers wouldn’t be treated like news organizations. In the eyes of the law, they were less like CBS or Random House than they were bookstores or newsstands.

The rule allowed platforms to grow exponentially without the same fear of litigation. Companies like Facebook and Google became all-powerful media distributors, and were able to profit from InfoWars-style programs without having to be liable for them.

This led to the flowering of so much obnoxious speech that the First Amendment acquired a reputation as a racist con, and online media distributors, instead of being sued themselves as publishers, began to be viewed as potential restorers of order, beneficent censors.

Now, at a moment of crisis and high political tension, the public seems unable to grasp the gravity of allowing the government or anyone else to use that power.

It is already a scandal that these de facto private media regulators have secret algorithmic processes that push down some news organizations in favor of others. Witness the complaints by outlets like Alternet, Truthdig and others that big platforms have been de-emphasizing alternative sites in the name of combating “fake news.”

But this week’s revelation is worse. When Facebook works with the government and wannabe star-chamber organizations like the Atlantic Council to delete sites on national security grounds, using secret methodology, it opens the door to nightmare possibilities that you’d find in dystopian novels.

The sheer market power of these companies over information flow has always been the real threat. This is why breaking them up should have long ago become an urgent national priority.

Instead, as was obvious during the Senate hearing with Mark Zuckerberg earlier this year, politicians are more interested in using than curtailing the power of these companies. The platforms, for their part, will cave rather than be regulated. The endgame here couldn’t be clearer. This is how authoritarian marriages begin, and people should be very worried.

Click here to read the entire article at Rolling Stone.

Related:

K of Combat Studies Group – Censorship As A Political Weapon weighing in on means to avoid some of this if you are a content provider.

Either Gab.io and other sites similar in content will have to start shopping for another hosting option (takes time and lots of money and there is no guarantee that the same thing won’t happen again) or they will have to take that unconventional approach. And let’s not forget that under the Obama administration control of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers) was relinquished from the US to an international body…..what could go wrong?

So, whats to be done? I’ll tell you what I told Infowars years ago….begin moving to platforms that are outside of their opposition’s control.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service Volunteers Assist in California Fire Response

From the ARRL,

[UPDATED 2018-08-08 @ 1210 UTC] Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) volunteers have pitched in to assist where needed to provide or support communication as catastrophic wildfires have struck California. Volunteers from multiple ARRL Sections in the state have stepped up to help, as some fires remain out of control. The fires have claimed several lives, destroyed more than 1,000 homes, and forced countless residents to evacuate, including radio amateurs. ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, said this week that things have calmed somewhat compared to the past couple of weeks, with American Red Cross shelter communicators stepping down after 10 days of support. Initially, there were four shelters in Redding. On August 5, the Shasta-Tehama ARES team was able to take its communications trailer to Trinity County to support a shelter in Weaverville opened for Carr Fire evacuees, he said.

“This relieved the Sacramento County ARES volunteers who had been up there for several days,” Kruckewitt said. “For mutual assistance to Weaverville, it is a 4.5- to 5.5-hour drive for the Sacramento Valley Section people who helped out. Communications at the shelter have been important, as power and cell phone coverage is often spotty, with power going off for hours at a time.” All ARES activations for the Carr Fire ended the evening of August 7.

CalFire reports that the Carr Fire in Shasta and Trinity counties covers more than 167,000 acres and is 47% contained. Evacuations and road closures are in effect. At one point, more than a dozen ARES volunteers from Shasta, Sacramento, Butte, Placer, and El Dorado counties were working at shelters opened in the wake of the Carr Fire.

“Sacramento Valley ARES member Michael Joseph, KK6ZGB, is the liaison at the Red Cross Gold County Region Disaster Operations Center (DOC) in Sacramento,” he noted, adding that Joseph has been in the DOC since the fire started. “When the fire in Sonora started, we scrambled to get some ARES members to that location to see what communications the shelter needs.”

Kruckewitt said Winlink continues to be the go-to mode, as fire has damaged several repeaters and no repeater path exists to the Gold County Region of the Red Cross in Sacramento.

“One difficulty we ran into this weekend was that the Red Cross needed [ARES Emergency Coordinator and SEC] contact information for various counties that also are experiencing fires and having to open shelters,” he said. Completing that task involved lots of phone calls. “We encourage all ARES members to get to know their neighboring ARES groups and…check into their nets.”

Kruckewitt told ARRL that demand for ARES communicators is rising as the fires continue to grow…

 

Rep. David Taylor Loses Primary Amid Poor Republican Showing Statewide

At the current, unofficial count, Rep. David Taylor appears to have lost in the August 2018 primary. According to an article at We the Governed, Republicans showed poorly statewide, and many traditionally strong Republican districts had weak results.

The initial results in a variety of districts around the state – largely considered Republican leaning, but showing Republican weakness last night should be motivating some serious soul searching and galvanizing Republican efforts around the state.  Here is a review of a few of these races (please note direct links to election results will change as more late mail-in votes are counted):

In the 15th Legislative District (Yakima County), this district will remain in Republican control, but an intramural fight within the Republican Party has resulted in poor results for the Republican caucus and for everyone who values freedom. In a five way primary runoff for the house seat, longtime Republican incumbent David Taylor appears to have missed surviving the primary results with a disappointing election night return of 20.42%.  This result is partly due to a longtime well-known grudge against Representative Taylor by nearby Republican Senator Curtis King (LD-14) who has repeatedly recruited candidates to

Senator Curtis King (14th LD)

run against Taylor.  Baring an unusual shift in ballot returns over the next few days, it looks like King succeeded with former Democrat and recently converted Republican Jeremie Dufault who will beat Democrat candidate AJ Cooper in the fall.  Representative Taylor was one of the most knowledgeable legislators of either party in Olympia when it came to land use, property rights, planning, and how the hodgepodge of land use laws functioned in Washington State.  Losing him from the legislature eliminates a desperately needed knowledgeable, freedom-oriented voice in the legislature.  Senator King didn’t like Taylor’s criticism of King’s various gas tax proposals and King’s endless campaign to increase the tax burden on Washington State citizens.  This is yet again another example of how Republican intramural fighting will help the Democratic Party agenda of higher taxes next year.

Combat Studies Group Announces Sepio 2 Secure Laptop

After a few quiet months, Combat Studies Group has announced that the improved Sepio 2 secure laptop is to be released soon. They say the Sepio 2 will be faster and more secure than the original Sepio, with the choice of 13″ or 15″ screens, multiple hard drive options, expanded memory, and more. Base models starting around $1400.

Combat Studies Group also has some new classes they are teaching, including GroundRod 3, a GroundRod Alumni update course, Low vis tactical vehicle operations, and home defense/CQB.

Sparks 31: More Practice – SIGINT, COMINT

From Sparks31

radioshack-pro-34

Practice. Practice. Practice.

That’s how you become good.

You know where you live. (At least I hope so…)

You live in a state, county, and maybe even in a municipality (city, town, village, borough, etc.)

That means you will have a state police/highway patrol, county sheriff, and possibly a local municipal police force.

Each will have its own dispatch/operations frequency or talkgroup if they use a trunked system.

You should know what State Police/Highway Patrol troop covers your area, and what precinct your local PD your neighborhood is in (if your town/city PD is that big).

That should be three frequencies and/or talkgroups.

Go to Radio Reference.

Select your area.

Program in the necessary data.

Go to the local dollar store and get a composition-type  notebook.

Listen.

If there is too much traffic, then just listen to one. Start with your municipal PD  or county sheriff if you live in an unincorporated area.

Take notes.

Listen some more.

Keep taking notes.

Do it for a week.

Then do it some more.

Keep practicing. That’s how you become good.

Sparks has a class on all this in Denver in October.

Brushbeater has a radio operator class in Montana in September.

Forward Observer has an SHTF Intelligence class in Florida at the end of August.

Everyone is telling you to get trained. Events are telling you to get trained. Why aren’t you?

 

SA President: Change constitution to Legalize Expropriation of White Farmers’ Land

In South African news

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has said the ruling African National Congress must initiate a parliamentary process to enshrine in the constitution a proposed amendment, paving the way for land grabs without compensation.

Ramaphosa, who vowed to return the lands owned by the white farmers since the 1600s to the country’s black population after he assumed office in February this year, said on Tuesday that the ANC would introduce a constitutional amendment in parliament.

“The ANC will through the parliamentary process finalize the proposed amendment to the constitution that outlines more clearly the conditions under which expropriation of land without compensation can be effected,” Ramaphosa, a prominent trade union leader and a close associate of Nelson Mandela, said in a televised address on Tuesday.

The millionaire ex-businessman argued that “it has become pertinently clear that our people want the constitution to be more explicit” about the proposal, which is viewed by the South African white minority as forceful expulsion that can incite violence against farmers.

There have been growing fears that the planned expropriation will deal a blow to commercial farming in the country and might put it on the verge of a food production crisis, like the one that struck Zimbabwe when it unleashed a similar crackdown on white farmers in 1999-2000.

Promoting his plan to boost land redistribution in March, Ramaphosa sought to assure white citizens, who constitute roughly nine percent of the total population, that the government would handle the controversial matter through “dialog, discussion, engagement, until we find good solutions that take our country forward.”

“There is no reason for anyone of us to panic and start beating war drums,” he said at the time, noting that nothing should prevent farming activities from continuing as normal.

However, many of the Boers, descendants of Dutch settlers in South Africa, do not take the government’s promises at face value, instead seeking asylum abroad from what they say is a surge in violence and government-fueled hostility against them…

Simon Roche of Suidlanders responded heatedly during an expropriation meeting.

Simon Roche attended one of the land expropriation hearings in South Africa to represent the Suidlanders point of view. It definitely wasn’t what the people are used to hearing at these hearings. Simon calls a ‘spade a spade’ in a powerful presentation and clearly points out that the process of expropriation will go ahead as planned by the ANC government and that the expectations of the masses created by them is not going away and that white people or others that oppose it should accept this. He accuses the chairperson and his fellow members of treachery and calls them all traitors who are misleading the constituency and points out facts that there is not enough viable land to meet these expectations.

 

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Judge’s Unconstitutional Effort to Block Blueprints for 3D-Printed Guns

In news directly related to the recent announcement of a federal settlement with Defense Distributed, a Seattle federal judge has issued a restraining order to prevent Defense Distributed from posting the blueprint files.  From National Review:

If there’s a hall of fame for futile, symbolic, and ultimately unconstitutional federal court orders, the temporary restraining order just issued in Seattle blocking Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation from posting blueprints for 3D-printed guns deserves at least a plaque, if not a full display. The court’s order temporarily overturns a Trump administration legal settlement that reversed an Obama-era policy designed mainly to limit the spread of the relevant files abroad, not here at home. I love NPR’s sardonic Twitter response:

NPR gets it. Let’s be clear about what has just happened. A federal court has issued a prior restraint on speech (it’s attempting to block the spread of information; it is not blocking the lawful home manufacture of firearms) that is already thoroughly and completely moot. The files are out. They’re all over the internet. They’ve been copied and reproduced. The judge’s order can’t change that fact.

Moreover, Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation are hardly the only sources for online files or blueprints that enable a home manufacturer with a 3D printer to make a gun. I’m honestly unclear what the court is trying to accomplish here, aside from targeting the Trump administration and/or targeting a disfavored private company.

Earlier today I published a lengthy explainer of the factual and legal issues surrounding the 3D-printed gun controversy. I’d urge you to read the whole thing, but the bottom line is easy to understand. First, home manufacture of weapons is clearly lawful, and it has been common practice in the United States since before the founding of the nation. Second, it is thus just as lawful to “print” a gun as it is to assemble one with parts in your garage. Third, the plans to print guns are widely-available on the internet — and have been for some time.

Put another way, a gun that’s lawful to assemble is lawful to print. A gun that’s unlawful to assemble is unlawful to print, and that includes undetectable plastic guns that are either printed or assembled. It’s that simple.There is no new “threat” here. There is no crisis…

The files at issue can still be downloaded from http://codeisfreespeech.com/

Tonight, the organizations and individuals behind CodeIsFreeSpeech.com, a new Web site for the publication and sharing of firearm-related speech, including machine code, have issued the following statement:

Our Constitution’s First Amendment secures the right of all people to engage in truthful speech, including by sharing information contained in books, paintings, and files. Indeed, freedom of speech is a bedrock principle of our United States and a cornerstone of our democratic Republic. Through CodeIsFreeSpeech.com, we intend to encourage people to consider new and different aspects of our nation’s marketplace of ideas – even if some government officials disagree with our views or dislike our content – because information is code, code is free speech, and free speech is freedom.

Should any tyrants wish to chill or infringe the rights of the People, we would welcome the opportunity to defend freedom whenever, wherever, and however necessary. Hand-waving and hyperbole are not compelling government interests and censorship is not proper tailoring under the law.

There is no doubt that Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed have inspired countless Americans to exercise their fundamental, individual rights, including through home gunsmithing. Through CodeIsFreeSpeech.com, we hope to promote the collection and dissemination of truthful, non-misleading speech, new and evolving ideas, and the advancement of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms…

9th Circuit Three-Judge Panel Upholds Right to Open Carry Firearms

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals determined, in Young v. State of Hawaii, that the Second Amendment protects “the right to carry a firearm openly.”

Truth About Guns reports,

The right to carry a firearm for law-abiding citizens barely exists in Hawaii. A so-called may-issue state, the Pacific paradise hasn’t issued a permit to carry this century. As far as the fiftieth state is concerned, Americans only have a right to keep and bear arms in their own homes.

That violation of his Second Amendment rights (see District of Columbia v Heller) was the basis for George Young’s suit against the state. Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a two-to-one decision, agreed with Mr. Young.

A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment protects a right to openly carry a gun in public for self-defense, rejecting a claim by Hawaii officials that the right only applies to guns kept at home. …

Two of the three 9th Circuit judges voted to reverse a decision by the U.S. District Court in Hawaii that state officials did not infringe on the rights of George Young, the plaintiff, in twice denying him a permit to carry a gun outside.

“We do not take lightly the problem of gun violence,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote in Tuesday’s ruling. “But, for better or for worse, the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.”

You can read the full ruling here. The majority opinion wasn’t friendly to concealed carry, but here’s the main takeaway:

The panel acknowledged that while the concealed carry of firearms categorically falls outside Second Amendment protection, see Peruta v. County of San Diego, 824 F.3d 919, 939 (2016) (en banc), it was satisfied that the Second Amendment encompasses a right to carry a firearm openly in public for self-defense. Analyzing the text of the Second Amendment and reviewing the relevant history, including founding-era treatises and nineteenth century case law, the panel stated that it was unpersuaded by the County’s and the State’s argument that the Second Amendment only has force within the home. The panel stated that once identified as an individual right focused on self-defense, the right to bear arms must guarantee some right to self-defense in public. The panel held that because Hawaii law restricted plaintiff in exercising the right to carry a firearm openly, it burdened conduct protected by the Second Amendment.

In determining the appropriate level of scrutiny to apply to section 134-9, the panel first held that the right to carry a firearm openly for self-defense falls within the core of the Second Amendment. The panel stated that restricting open carry to those whose job entails protecting life or property necessarily restricts open carry to a small and insulated subset of law-abiding citizens. The panel reasoned that the typical, law-abiding citizen in the State of Hawaii was entirely foreclosed from exercising the core Second Amendment right to bear arms for self-defense. The panel concluded that Hawaii’s limitation on the open carry of firearms to those “engaged in the protection of life and property” violated the core of the Second Amendment and was void under any level of scrutiny.

 

 

Brushbeater: Developing, Exploiting Signals Intelligence

NC Scout at the Brushbeater blog has an article up, Developing and Exploiting Open Source Signals Intelligence, in which he discusses the types of information that you should be collecting now for your data books on local communication capabilities as well as foreign.  A third of Americans expect a civil war in the next five years. If a civil war indeed happens, then it’s likely there will be foreign meddling. It’s easier to find out information about capabilities now than during any hostilities.

IMG_1309…Back in the early days of this blog I wrote short blurbs about the importance of things called Data Books– which should be nothing new for veterans of more elite units out there and for Long Range Marksmen. But Data Books are not limited to recording Data On Previous Engagements (DOPE) on our weapon systems– it should also serve as a quick reference on a large number of topics for us as we operate in an area. Things that really come in handy, such as:

  • Flora and Fauna, both good and hazardous
  • Key Terrain Features, including Human, in the Area of Operations (AO)
    • Local gathering sites
    • Local persons of influence
  • Equipment recognition guide and data cards
  • Technology present in my AO

That last bit is critically important- there’s a reason every Intelligence agency has a technology analysis branch. We have to know what a potential adversary’s capabilities are, beginning with his principle enabler- communications. As I cover in the RTO course, advancements in radio technology being fielded in all areas is changing at a rapid rate. Civilian data in the US is publicly published. Even military data is not terribly hard- the specifics take some digging but glossing over but FCC Frequency Allocations gives a great starting point as to what can be found where. It might be a really good idea, and one I cover in class, to write down all of the license free band frequencies; you know, like the frequencies those MURS, FRS/GMRS, and Marine are actually on? That way if I happen to come across a group talking on 151.82mHz, I know know they’re on MURS 1 and can begin communications mapping of their capabilities.

Wait, what? Communications Mapping is not at all a hard concept- I listen for you, write down where you’re transmitting and a compass bearing (if I can get it) while also writing down any other pertinent information. Things like callsigns, male/female voices, times, languages, accents, emotions, the level of training, and if they’re even hostile from the traffic itself are all items that can tell us the level of organization (or lack thereof) of our adversary. And while it sounds simple, it takes discipline and training to execute correctly and to also remember- you’ll be on the receiving end of this as well

Read the entire article by clicking here.

 

Related:

Sparks31’s TECHINT blog post and his SIGINT class

Sparks31’s Police Scanner Workbook

Brushbeater’s Signals Intelligence Resources

Brushbeater’s SIGINT for the Small Unit

Forward Observer Interview with Sparks 31 on Communications Monitoring

Sparks 31’s Reference Material

Tri-City Self Reliance July Meeting, Thurs. 26th, 2018

The Tri-City Self Reliance group is holding their monthly meeting on Thursday, July 26th.

TIME – Thursday 6:30-8:30
LOCATION -Island View Worship Center
1520 Fowler St.
Richland WA. 99352

JULY Topic – Water & Sanitation by Kathy James

WITH A SPECIAL INTRO – From Clint Didier

FOR MORE INFO email: benfranklincos@gmx.com

AmRRON T-REX Radio Traffic

Following are some messages received via amateur radio for the AmRRON readiness exercise. Errors are as received.

**EXERCISE***EXERCISE***EXERCISE**

a DRINKING WATER RESEVOIR IN SUTHERLIN OR HAS BEEN CONTAMINATED, THERE ARE DEAD ANIMALS IN THE WATER.

SAN FRANCISCO – ONLY THOSE WITH ALTERNATE POWER ARE OK.

***EXERCISE***

 

***EXERCISE***EXCERCISE***EXERCISE*** THERE HAS BEEN A CYBER ATTACK TO THE POWER INFESTRUCTURE NATIONWIDE. POWER WILL BE SPORATIC FOR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE. INFECTIOUS DISEASE HAS HIT OREGON. THE DISEASE IS SPREADING FROM ANIMALS TO HUMAN AND VISA VERSA. ALL COMMUNICATIONS OTHER THEN RADIO ARE DOWN. PLEASE CHECK YOUR AMRRON SOI FOR COMMS SCHEDULES AND UPDATES. ***EXERCISE***EXERCISE***EXERCISE***

 

And here you can find one participant’s after action report for the exercise.

AmRRON T-REX “News” for Drill

The following is made up “news” for the AmRRON readiness exercise being conducted this weekend (July 20-22, 2018).

The Pre-Exercise Breaking News and Pre T-Rex Message Traffic are used as a ‘build up’ to set the T-REX training exercise scenario. We are also providing resources to help you with your preps! We look forward to training with you! The “Grid Down” portion of T-REX 2018 officially begins Friday, July 20th at 1900 zulu.


Note: We will be simulating GRID DOWN for T-REX beginning at 1900z (12:00 noon pacific time). AmRRON Operators will be running practice nets using the Communications Signal Operating Instructions. Hope to see you on the air! 73!

///Exercise Exercise Exercise/// The AmCON level has been raised to level 2 due to overload of emergency systems.

The spread of Disease X has began to result in travel restrictions as the president has declared martial law and brought in the National Guard to provide quarantine in some large cities. Anyone who is planning to relocate to another location should do so immediately as the window of opportunity is closing quickly, possibly already closed depending on your individual location. Public areas and gatherings should be avoided if at all possible. Limit contact with individuals and do not consume meat products that have been obtained within the previous 3-4 months to reduce risk ofcontracting Disease X through the food supply. Avoid meats or use long-term supplies.  NC SIGCEN

2018 AmRRON TEOTWAWKI Readiness Exercise, July 20-22nd

AmRRON’s 2018 TEOTWAWKI Readiness Exercise (T-REx) will be held on the weekend on July 20th – 22nd. This is a nationwide grid-down disaster training exercise.. This will be an emergency communications training exercise with emphasis on Amateur Radio for use during emergency/disaster situations.

Here is a listing of the Pre T-Rex Message Traffic that has been collected from the AmRRON practice nets! The Pre-T-Rex message traffic and the T-Rex Breaking News page are used as a ‘build up’ to the exercise scenario for T-Rex 2018!

EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISE

20181807022103 // Exercise // Exercise // Exercise // 

Farmers in Pickens County SC report rapid spread of disease among livestock. Many animals have been destroyed as a result. Disease also affecting migratory birds with many found dead county wide. Farmers indicate similar reports from family members in WA/OR/CA. // Exercise // Exercise // Exercise //
end of message
MSG #0714-01-E-P EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISE

SPECIAL ADVISORY STATEMENT
In a special bulletin transmitted on television and radio, officials from the CDC, DHS, HHS and FEMA issued the following statement: "Our research has concluded that we are entering the 90 - 100 day window where symptoms of disease X, a prion based disease, may be dramatically expanding based on extrapolation from the number of initial cases seen in April and May. In fact, we are seeing an increasing number of cases nationwide bearing this out. With this in mind we have issued the following directives: 
1. Do not travel beyond your local community and do so only when absolutely necessary. TSA, FEMA and members of the Natl Guard are conducting screenings at all transportation hubs and airports. Be advised if you have to travel, expect long waits and mandatory screening.
2. Avoid large gatherings such as sporting events, concerts and malls.
3. If you have symptoms, DO NOT go to the hospital, physicians office or ER.
Call you local public health department and report your symptoms to
them.  Follow their instructions.
The CDC, USAMRIID and researchers are working tirelessly to contain this disease and put mitigation measures in place. Please remain calm and follow the instructions of government officials. Information is being disseminated to local health officials now." EOM EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISE
MSG #0708-01-E-R EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISE
Amateur Operator picked up information relayed by WPA ARES net for an additional resource request of (10) isolation kits and (3) additional biologic decontamination units to be dispatched from the State public
health HQ to the University Hospital campus asap. Local news reports out of the Pittsburgh area have stated that an
exclusion zone has been set up around the University Hospital in the downtown area and all non police and emergency vehicle traffic is being diverted. An eyewitnesses states that there are multiple arrivals of medivac helicopters. There is to be a joint public statement by the Allegheny Co EMA and University Hospital PIO at 1800 EDST. EOM EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISE
MSG #0705-01-E-R EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISE
SW listener reports that he picked up spanish language SW broadcast discussing disease effecting cattle, goats, sheep and humans in Argentina. Symptoms are consistent with those of "disease X" in the USA. Requests to WHO regarding spread of "disease X" outside of the USA remain unanswered. There are unsubstantiated reports of outbreaks in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain. If you have contacts outside of the USA and can verify reports of breakouts in other countries, pse contact AmRRON national with further information. EOM EXERCISE // EXERCISE // EXERCISE

T-REX Breaking News

The Pre-Exercise Breaking News and Pre T-Rex Message Traffic are used as a ‘build up’ to set the T-REX training exercise scenario. We are also providing resources to help you with your preps! We look forward to training with you! T-REX 2018 officially begins Friday, July 20th at 1900 zulu.

 

>>07/17/18 Executive Summary AmRRON NC SICGEN | AmRRON Piedmont Triad<<

 

7/16/18 21:00
Exercise // Exercise // Exercise
Several alternative media sights are reporting that due to the supply shortages, many Sams Club, Costco, Kroger and Safeway store in IL, MO, MN, NE, AR, LA, CO and UT are limiting quantities of beef, poultry, and pork that can be purchased in a single order. Corporate representatives for these chains deny any knowledge of supply problems and are unaware of any stores instituting transaction limits.

Precautionary measures:
Stock up on food and supplies due to possible supply problems.  
Take steps to make sure your universal preparedness prepping supplies are stocked up.
Examples: Nitrile Gloves, Disposable gown, hair cover, eye cover, mask (N95 or better yet N100 with pink filters)!
In the event we go grid down, monitor during the net times indicated in the Communcations S.O.I.

 

7/16/18 00:00
Exercise // Exercise // Exercise
Federal authorities have reportedly destroyed the entire livestock heards of several ranches in North Central NE, inducing the Sandhill, Spade, Krebs, Nolles and Haythorn cattle ranches. This represents the destruction of over 500,000 cattle.

Precautionary measures:
Take steps to make sure your universal preparedness prepping supplies are stocked up.
Examples: Nitrile Gloves, Disposable gown, hair cover, eye cover, mask (N95 or better yet N100 with pink filters)!
In the event we go grid down, monitor during the net times indicated in the Communcations S.O.I.

 

Resources:

CLICK HERE for more information on prepping for a Mandatory Quarantine

 

T-REX Guidance for Participating Stations

Here is some guidance for participating in T-REX 2018!

1. ///EXERCISE EXERCISE/// Some of the traffic we pass is very
plausible and realistic. Many who stumble across our traffic nets may
not realize we are conducting a training exercise and could believe
there is a real world emergency developing. Always precede and end your
traffic with the disclosure that this is a training net. In voice
modes, say "Exercise Exercise Exercise. The following is traffic for
the T-Rex disaster preparedness exercise of 2018."

And at the end, "... again, this is only a training exercise."

For digital modes, add slants before and after your emergency training
traffic: /// EXERCISE /// or /// TRAINING EXERCISE ///

2. As the Army training adage goes, 'Train hard, fight easy', or 'An
ounce of sweat in training saves a gallon of blood on the
battlefield'. Although we want people to have successes and victories
during training, which builds confidence, we also need to embrace the
'suck' when we're training. Due to the solar cycle and other solar
weather factors, the band conditions are expected to absolutely SUCK!
This is a very real world factor that we could be (and have been) faced
with in real world emergency situations.

Make every reasonable attempt to pass or relay traffic. Use whatever
method or mode you can, as often as you're able, until your traffic gets
passed, or until you receive traffic others are attempting to pass to
you or others. If you are having great difficulty due to band
conditions, DO NOT FREAK OUT, and do not get discouraged. Pass what you
can, when you can. There WILL be traffic that never makes it out of the
gate or never reaches its intended destination. Some of you WILL have
antenna, transceiver, tuner, power, computer, software, etc failures.
Don't sweat it. Work through it the best you can. This is training and
this is designed to reveal shortcomings in your communications
equipment, training, and overall capabilities.

3. DIGITAL MODES WILL RULE THE DAY. If you do not have (at the very
least) digital receiving capabilities, you need to go to www.AmRRON.com
and type 'Digital' in the search box. There are several articles there
to help get you up to speed. The software is free. This is how most
traffic will be passed in this training exercise, and real world
events. It is reliable and gets through when voice does not.

When tuning in to talk or listen, follow the Signals Operating
Instructions.  However, keep in mind that some of the bands may be
unusable due to propagation, sun spot activity, sometimes for hours or
days.  If you cannot hear activity on 20m, wait for the 40m band time
window.  If you cannot copy any activity on 40m after ten minutes,
switch to 80m frequency (applies to both voice and digital time windows). 

If the band has deteriorated and has become unusable, Net Control
Station (NCS) operators should move the nets from 40m to 80m (or from
80m to 40m) after ten minutes of attempting to use the primary band. 
Obviously if the band has deteriorated, the NCS cannot tell everyone to
switch (aka. QSY) to the alternate band.  Each operator should follow
the net and do this on his own.  Remember the rule of thumb -- TEN
MINUTES of no activity?  Then switch!

The AmRRON SOI calls for Contestia 4/250 and MT-631KL for the
standardized digital modes. However, the situation on the ground (in
the air) will often dictate your course of action in a real world
situation. USE WHATEVER MODE GETS THE JOB DONE THE FASTEST! Feel free
to use MFSK 64 (fast), 32 (medium), or 16 (slowest but surest) modes.
The MFSK modes are also best suited for sending images using fldigi.

4. Take good notes about what went well, what did not, and improvements
needed to your station, your equipment, your skills, and your
local/area/regional network.

5. NET CONTROL STATIONS. You are expected to be on the air, but you
won't be alone! There will be six SIGCENs (Signals Centers) with three
to ten operators who are deploying together. They will be coordinating
with other SIGCENs across the country and will be standing by to assist
you. They will also help establish a roster of volunteer stations so
you can have some relief, and they are prepared to step up as Net
Control Stations where gaps are identified. SIGCENs will also be
contacting you to distribute Executive Summaries, News and Information
releases, etc. We're all in this together. We're all patriots. We
all want to help each other succeed, so don't get frustrated and take it
out on others who are trying to come alongside and help you.

6. SIGCENS. You have been requested to provide communications support
by various elements of leadership in your community or region. For some
of you, your local sheriff who does not have an active ARES/RACES group
in his county has asked for help. For others, groups of community
leaders inside and outside government positions have asked you for
assistance with communications to stay informed on regional/national
developments. And for others, the local ARES/RACES groups are
overwhelmed with what needs to be done and you have deployed to augment
communications and fill gaps that the county EOC cannot cover.

In all cases, the SIGCENs' secondary function besides local EMERGENCY
traffic, is to correspond and coordinate with the other AmRRON SIGCENs,
and National SIGCEN, to keep the network informed and connected. DO NOT
NEGLECT THE CH3 COVERAGE, MONITORING, AND TRANSMITTING OF INFORMATION.
There is no other viable system to keep the 'average joe citizen'
connected and informed in a grid down situation. Black Echo
Broadcasting Stations can be a huge asset in many cases.