Columbia Safety: Wilderness First Aid, Oct. 6, 2018

Columbia Safety will hold a one day Wilderness First Aid class on Saturday, Oct. 6. The fee is $125.

Click here for more information and registration.

An intensive 8- to 10-hour course for those who are involved in wilderness recreation. This course may also meet the needs of volunteers and professionals who lead groups on short trips in relatively low-risk situations.

Most first aid classes assume that an ambulance or other advanced medical attention will be minutes away.  While wilderness first aid still assumes that you will eventually have the same, it also trains for the additional time that you may need to stabilize a patient before that happens. This makes the class good for those preparing for disaster aid situations.

Inland NorthWest Preparedness Expo, Sept. 22-23, 2018 – Sandpoint, ID

The Inland Northwest Preparedness Expo will take place at the Bonner County Fairgrounds, Sandpoint, ID on September 22 and 23rd. While this expo is not related to our own Northwest Preparedness Expo in Prosser, we do know a lot of the speakers involved, having hosted them for our own expo or as separate speakers for our assembly. There are a lot of good people presenting here, and it looks like it would be worth your time to attend.

http://inwprepexpo.com/

 

Speaker schedule:

Saturday, 9/22
Time Slot Title Speaker Room
9:15 – 9:30
Flag Ceremony Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts Main Floor
9:30 – 9:45
Event Welcome Glen Bailey,
County Commissioner
A
10:00 – 10:50
Go Bags: Survive the First 72 Hours Lee Lukehart,
Bonner County ARES
A
Active Shooter! Ranger Rick B
11:00 – 11:50
Hazardous Fuel Treatment Mark Sauter,
Selkirk Fire Dept
A
Gunshot Trauma First Response Ranger Rick B
12:00 – 12:50
Water Storage & Purification Nick Mechikoff,
Panhandle Health
A
Handgun Safety and Operation Russell Spriggs,
The Pistol Prof
B
1:00 – 1:50
Prepping from a Woman’s Perspective Shelby Gallagher, author
A Great State: The Divide
B
2:00 – 2:50
Prepping 2.0 Glen Tate, author
299 Days Series
B
3:00 – 3:50
Intro to Prepper Gardening Patrice Lewis A
Intro to Emergency Communications John Jacob Schmidt,
AmRRON
B
4:00 – 4:50
Medicinal Herbs Dr. Carla Northcott, PhD A
Meal in A Jar Janiene Rise, THRIVE Freeze Dried Food B
Sunday, 9/23
Time Slot Title Speaker Room
10:00 – 10:50
Go Bags: Survive the First 72 Hours Lee Lukehart,
Bonner County ARES
A
Medicinal Herbs Carla Northcott, PhD B
11:00 – 11:50
Overview of Idaho Water Rights & Permitting Brian Domke, Strategic Landscape Design A
Introduction to Emergency Communications John Jacob Schmidt,
AmRRON
B
12:00 – 12:50
Community Force Craig Nelson, Bonner County Sheriff’s Office A
Ladies First: How to choose a handgun Russell Spriggs,
The Pistol Prof
B
1:00 – 1:50
Prepping 2.0 Glen Tate, author
299 Days Series
B
2:00 – 2:50
Prepping from a Woman’s Perspective Shelby Gallagher, author
A Great State: The Divide
B
3:00 – 3:50
Wood Gas — The Other Solar Energy Steve Honkus A
Beekeeping TBD B
4:00 – 4:50 B
Ham Radio Field Communications Richard Howell, NQ7C
North Idaho Militia
A
Critical Considerations when deciding on solar, wind, hydro and hydrocarbons Thomas Quinlin, Idaho Solar & Energy Storage B

Brushbeater RTO Course – Why You Should Take It

One of our members recently attended the Brushbeater RTO Course. He has written up his thoughts on why you should take the RadioTelephone Operator course if you can.

Earlier this month I attended Brushbeater’s RadioTelephone Operators course taught by NC Scout. Other people have done reviews of the class (see here and here), so I am going to structure this a little differently. Rather than give a blow by blow of the course as others have already done, I’ll try tell you why you, as a prepper, or member of a Neighborhood Protection Team (NPT), or member of a Mutual Assistance Group (MAG), should take this course.

The purpose of the RTO course is to teach you how to communicate via radio and do so effectively as a member of a communications team. Communication is the act of transferring information from one place to another. Successful communications means that the information has been correctly and effectively transferred from the sender to the receiver. How many ways can that go wrong in radio communication? You may be surprised. The RTO class attempts to identify and rectify some of those common problems.

First, you may not be talking to the right person in the right place. For this, you need a communication plan, or Signals Operating Instructions (SOI). The plan tells you how to identify/authenticate to whom you are talking. It tells you where (what frequency) to contact them. If you can’t speak to them on that first, primary frequency, then you have an alternate frequency and then a third, contingency frequency. Finally, the plan lays out an emergency method of communication. You may have one plan that you use week in and week out for practice with your team or for supporting public service events, but you should practice changing it as well. And if you are preparing for some sort of TEOTWAWKI SHTF WROL WTFBBQ where your NPT is fighting off the golden horde type of event, you’ll want to change it every day.

Choosing the correct frequencies for the location and distance across which you need to make contact is a part of this planning, too. Will line-of-sight frequencies be appropriate or are beyond-line-of-sight frequencies required? What frequencies do everyone’s radios cover? To what frequencies does any possible adversary have access? If our radios cover a frequency, is the antenna on the radio sufficient to make the contact? If not, can you build a field expedient antenna that will be better?

Make sure you can talk to the person you want, and that it actually is the person you expect – check.

Next, you need to transfer all of the information without forgetting or leaving out anything important. Here the RTO course emphasizes standardized report formats. Most of these have come from NC Scout’s prior military experience. You can modify these for your own group or make up new ones; the important thing is to standardize them and to not modify them to leave out anything important. Many experienced radio operators or prior-military service personnel are familiar with the SALUTE report (size, activity, location, uniform, time, equipment) for reporting enemy information, but there are many other useful reports as well.

A good example is the arrival report, used to tell the command element that you have arrived at the location where you were sent. In my own experience with public service and emergency response, your arrival is typically only sent with something like, “Net control, this is Wxxxx. I have arrived at Spokane Memorial.” While having an entire report for arrival, may take more air time, it can convey critical information. For example, you can add that there was a rollover accident blocking interstate 90 so take the 5th Ave exit to get to the hospital. Or you were sent to the Red Cross building on McClellan, but they had moved services a few blocks away to the high school at 5th and Stevens and you taking up your post there. Deviations in final position as well as deviations on your route the location can provide important information for higher up decision makers and shouldn’t be left out.

The RTO course covered and practiced sending and receiving several different types of eports. Just as important as sending all of the information is receiving all of the information accurately. NC Scout emphasized that the receiver should repeat back the entirety of the report to the sender to ensure accuracy. Just saying, “Report received” doesn’t cut it and results in time wasted, or worse — lives lost, because a response was sent to the wrong location or the wrong assets were delivered.

Make sure that all important information is accurately delivered – check.

Finally, if your group or team is going to run efficiently and effectively, your command and control must be organized. Units being sent out must know why they are being sent and what they are expected to accomplish. The command element/post must remain available and actively monitor any operations in progress. Enough radio operators must remain with the command element to communicate with all of the remote units without being overwhelmed. How many radio operators that is will depend on your specific circumstances, including your size, the number of remote units to be sent out, the type and size of the situation to which you are responding, the capabilities of the radio operators and so on. For example, a command center for a peacetime parade may have one radio operator, communicating with twelve remote radio operators, but a large marathon may have several different teams operating on their own frequencies with their own net control. Similarly, a Neighborhood Protection Team with one control point and one roving patrol can operate with one RTO in the command center, whereas a community under siege in a civil disturbance scenario may have several scouting teams out and a need for a command center RTO for each remote team.

The RTO course again uses some military procedures to help with the command function. Warning orders and operations orders are briefly discussed as methods to impart the goals and mission-specific procedures to the teams being sent out. Similarly, NC Scout briefly discusses what are intelligence and intelligence requirements and the inclusion on the requirements in mission briefings.

Control your communication teams effectively – check.

The RTO course teaches to all levels of experience. If you are new to radio communications, the class will cover the basics of radio operation, antenna theory, and propagation for line of sight and beyond line of sight communications at a level that is understandable for a beginner, yet provides insights to more experienced radio operators as well. The class I was in had people from no prior radio use at all the way up Amateur Extra ham radio operators and ex-military radio users. Everyone appeared to have gained something valuable from the class.

In a disaster or SHTF scenario, you will need to talk to someone. That someone likely won’t be standing right next to you all of the time. How are you going to talk to them when they aren’t in talking distance? Why might you use UHF instead of VHF to talk to them? Why might you need HF? Why might you want to use a digital mode instead of FM or SSB? What’s the best radio for my team? Who needs to have a radio? Who needs to know how to use one? Should you use FRS or MURS? Should you get an amateur radio license? Is burying a box of Baofengs enough to cover my communications needs in the future? If you’re not sure about the answers to any of those questions, or are confused about what some of them mean, then you should take this class.

Occasionally I teach classes for people to get their Technician amateur radio license, and I plan on using some of NC Scout’s antenna explanations in the next class. The training about reports has made me re-evaluate how our radio communications should be conducted. I drove seven hours for the class, and it was worth it.

CSG: Low-Vis Tactical Vehicle Operations Course, Aug. & Sept. 2108

Combat Studies Group has a couple of open-enrollment dates for their Low-Vis Tactical Operations course. Those weekends are Aug. 25-26 and Sept. 1-2. The two day classes are $400 and take place in the northwest.

It’s safe to say that a good number of us spend a lot of time in vehicles. Going to and from work, taking the kids to practice, going shopping, visiting friends and family and so on. How would this common activity change if the thin veil of civility we currently enjoy were to slip? Can we still do what needs to be done without ending up a mobile resupply for the bad guys?

Let’s engage in a mental exercise, hypothetical in nature, wherein the area you live in has devolved into a completely lawless state. It doesn’t matter why, whether it’s a financial collapse, foreign invasion, natural disaster or any number of other scenarios. Picture something akin to the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 90’s.

You live in a rural area about 20 miles from the nearest town. You receive word via your HAM network that relatives in town are in need of extraction due to a sharp increase in gang activity and looting. Their vehicles have been stolen and/or destroyed and they are barricaded in their home with dwindling supplies.

What would you take with you on this mission?
What would your mission planning look like? 
What would drive your planning process?

Let’s look at something a bit less extreme. You need to run a security patrol or recce patrol in an area that is in a condition somewhere in between current day Caracas, Venezuela and Detroit.

How many vehicles would be in your party?
How overt would you want to be?
What would your contingency planning look like?
How would you deal with an unexpected roadblock? 

Now let’s say you get a frantic call for help from a loved one and you need to go right now. You are stuck with what is already in your vehicle. Will it support your operation in any meaningful way? 

A vehicle in your party a mile ahead radios that they have driven into an ambush and are disabled on the X. How would you approach this situation? The driver of the down vehicle is unconscious and appears to have a neck injury. How do you extract them in a hurry without causing more damage?

(And while I realize many of these questions are going to be determined by your METT-TC, they definitely deserve your attention sooner rather than later so standard procedures can be developed.)

These are some of the questions we address in the Low-Vis Tactical Vehicle Operations course.

– Vehicle packing – What and how
– Dressing around your equipment
– Tricks of maintaining a low profile
– Route planning
– Contingency planning
– Emergency action plans
– Multi vehicle operations
– Communication and coordination
– Ambush
– Roadblocks – manned and unmanned
– Anti pursuit measures
– Fighting into and out of vehicles
– Crossloading damaged vehicles under duress
– QRF setup and duties
– Vehicle modifications
– Counter surveillance
– Bail out bags
– Down driver and extraction 

This is a two day course with SIM guns and a three day course with a live-fire module. Course involves classroom instruction, hands on demonstration, SIM guns and operating your vehicle in controlled scenarios.

Cost is $400 (2-day) and $550 (3-day)

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

Click here to download the EIS preparedness checklist.

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?

 

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.

 

Sparks31 SIGINT Class, Denver, Oct. 20-21, 2018

Blogger and author Sparks31 will be holding a course titled Electronic Interception, Communications Monitoring, and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) For the 3%er, Prepper, or Survivalist in Denver, CO on October 20th and 21st, 2018.  Sparks31 has written several useful and concise books on communications including Communications for 3%ers and Survivalists, Commo, and Down-Grid Communications. Sparks31 tends to have very practical information which clarifies and simplifies the process of finding, analyzing, and prioritizing the radio signals in your area. His writings tend to emphasize how much you can accomplish with inexpensive equipment and a little know-how and elbow grease as opposed to spending a lot of money on expensive communications equipment that you don’t know how to use.

Class description and registration information:

This is a two day class focused on the needs of the 3%er, survivalist, or prepper. It teaches the basics of intelligence versus information, electronic communications monitoring, signals intelligence (SIGINT), and open source intelligence (OSINT) in support of SIGINT. It has been my observation that these skills are important and needed. Until now instruction was unavailable in the 3%, survivalist, and prepper communities. This class has been developed to provide access to this valuable information, and help those who would like to learn. It is based upon my 30 years of experience in communications monitoring, and work in the electronics , radio communications, and security industries. It has been distilled into the essentials from the best military, private sector, and hobbyist sources. Much of the material is new and has never before been presented in one course, including my previous grid-down/down-grid communications classes.

The first day of class will be a course of instruction where the following topics will be taught and discussed:

  • What is intelligence?
  • Intelligence versus information.
  • What is SIGINT, COMINT, ELINT,and OSINT, and how do they all work together.
  • Legalities of civilian SIGINT.
  • Area studies.
  • What do you need? Equipment types and figuring out its selection for your area.
  • Electronic interception, communications monitoring (low level voice intercept) and COMINT techniques.
  • Setting up a listening post in different situations.
  • Police scanners, communications receivers, SDRs, antennas, and other gear.
  • Constructing an electronic order of battle for your area.

The second day of class will be a field exercise in which the techniques taught the previous day will be demonstrated, and students who have brought equipment will have the opportunity to engage in a monitoring exercise. A listening post will be set up, communications monitoring activity will be conducted, and further practical instruction provided.

Due to the intense, technical nature of this class, (I have a well-deserved reputation for giving a lot of material to students over the course of the class. Be prepared to take extensive notes.) enrollment size will be limited.

The cost for this two-day class will be at a discounted rate of $200 until August 31st, 2018. After August 31st, the cost will increase to $250 provided slots remain available. Advance registration ends October 1st. After October 1st, the “at the door” price for any remaining slots will be $400.

UPDATE: Payment is accepted in the form of credit card, cash, or money order. To enroll and pay via credit card, please visit our storefront at https://squareup.com/store/sparks31. If paying by cash or money order, please email me via sparks31@protonmail.com or sparks31wyo@gmail.com for payment information.

Flights from the Tri-Cities airport can be had for around $320 at the time of this writing.

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.

 

RELATED:

Brushbeater: Montana RTO Course and Other Admin Notes

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.

 

FO: SHTF Intelligence Class, N. ID, June 23-24, 2018

Forward Observer is holding their SHTF Intelligence class in Priest River, ID on Saturday, June 23rd-24th, 2018.  This course is highly recommended for helping you identify what kind of threats and problems you have in your area, and how to collect and evaluate information should a disaster or other event require. Intelligence helps you make good decisions. Intelligence is much more than just having some information. Don’t lack intelligence; take this class.

This SHTF Intelligence course is a two-day course that prepares students for conducting intelligence collection and analysis operations during an emergency for community security.  Each training day begins at 0900 and ends approximately 1700 (5pm), although we sometimes go longer.

We begin by exploring and analyzing the threats we’re likely to face during a SHTF scenario, and then we get into how we should configure our intelligence section. This is the ‘brain’ of community security. We work on understanding our SHTF mission and we conduct some threat analysis to identify what we should be preparing for. Then we build our intelligence team around the mission.

You’ll have the opportunity to do group or individual work where you’ll navigate the Intelligence Cycle and complete relevant intelligence products for your community. We discuss Intelligence collection and then we collect. Then we discuss Intelligence analysis and we then analyze incoming information in order to produce intelligence.

What we do over these two days is train students to become the ‘intelligence officer’ during an emergency scenario. The student will have an understanding of his/her roles and responsibilities, be able to direct collection and then produce threat intelligence. That’s our number one goal for any scenario — produce early warning and threat intelligence.

This training course is taught by intelligence professionals, so please arrive prepared and ready to engage. You’ll be able to download the required reading as well as some notes on tradecraft upon receipt of your course fee.

Click here to register at Forward Observer

Center for Self Governance, Level I & II, Spokane, June 17

The Center for Self-Governance is holding their Level I and Level 2 class in Spokane, WA on June 17, 2018 from 1:30 pm to 9:00 pm.
Location
Argonne Library
4322 N Argonne Rd
Spokane, WA 99212

Level 1 and Level 2 – Combined Training

Online attendees must register at least 7 business days prior to class to be guaranteed on-time delivery of their workbook.  A webinar link will be emailed to registrants the day of class.  Please send an email to pleslie@tncsg.org if you plan to attend online. 

Foundational Civics

  • Tuition: $110
  • Time: 8 hours
  • Students will need to complete all training exercises (#1-#7) prior to scheduling the Level 3

Level 1 – Foundations in Self Governance

In Level 1, the student compares and contrasts the theoretical concepts of power, government, and control. The student will learn different systems of government based on those concepts. The control concepts of Self Governance and Centralized Governance introduces the student to the experimental role of the governed within the U.S. mixed republican system of government. The student completes Level 1 training exercises before moving onto Level 2. This level and associated exercises are foundational to successful completion of the entire course.

Level 2 – Macro Understanding of Centralized Governance

Building on the Level 1 paradigm, the Level 2 student is introduced to the design elements of the U.S. mixed republican form of government. They will learn the logic behind and current structure of separation of governments (i.e. Federal v. State), the separation of powers (i.e. executive v. legislative), and the separation of controls (i.e. Sheriff v. Coroner). They will explore the inter-relationship between selection of elected, appointed, and employed governors and influencing (controlling) those governors. The student completes the Level 2 training exercises before entering Level 3. This level and associated exercises establishes the student’s basis of authority from which they will put self governance into practice in the remaining training levels.

Your workbooks are included in the registration fee.

Adult registration is $110 (NOTE:  Combined class is NOT for children under 18 years of age).

Prior Level 1/2 students may review this class for $20.

Family discounts are available.  Contact CSG for more information.

Supplies to bring include: paper, pen, and your enthusiasm! This is an interactive class and we look forward to hearing from you. Please dress comfortably and bring a sweater/jacket as facility temperatures can be unpredictable.

You must attend the full 8 hours to complete the course, as well as associated training exercises, to graduate Level 1 & 2.  Training cannot be taken out of sequence.

Sparks31: Monitoring Exercise

Sparks31 put up a couple of posts on running a monitoring exercise (MONEX) designed to use basic radio receiving equipment, get you experienced in listening, test your gear, and give you an idea of who is operating in your area and their frequencies. The first exercise in part 1 uses a portable broadcast FM radio and the second an AM radio, which just about everyone has. These are exercises that you can do on your own and only require the ability to receive. You do not need a license to receive radio communications.

MONEX Part 1

MONEX Part 2

MONEXes (Monitoring Exercises) are important because they help you understand what your listening equipment is capable of doing, they help you improve your skills in both COMINT and OSINT, and they help you figure out what frequencies in your area are useful for keeping an ear on events. Communications monitoring equipment is not something you can purchase and toss in a go-box for when the balloon goes up. You need to get proficient with the equipment before the s[tuff] hits the fan. Information gathering is as important a survival skill as firearms proficiency, or growing your own food. MONEXes are the way to COMINT proficiency.

RELATED

Consolidated Frequency List (pdf) This contains a long list of to whom various frequencies have been allocated for use. (H/t Sparks31)