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Author Topic: How hard would it be to reactivate our radiological monitoring mission?  (Read 2806 times)
Mordecai
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,041
Unit: SI

« on: May 15, 2017, 05:52:24 PM »

I ask this question in light of the existence of the FEMA radresponder network. It seems FEMA has upgraded their aerial and ground radiological monitoring capabilities; What are the chances we might be able to either borrow or purchase said gear and train with that technology? It isn't like this is a subject that wasn't in our wheelhouse before and the FEMA MOU for ground/air radiological monitoring is still active.

https://www.radresponder.net/
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etodd
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Posts: 759

« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 08:24:02 PM »


It seems FEMA has upgraded their aerial and ground radiological monitoring capabilities; ...

If so, then why would they need us? I'm clueless as to previous history, but your statement just begged the question.
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Eclipse
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Posts: 27,824

« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 08:55:54 PM »

There's no way CAP can catch back up on RADMON or get ahead of the curve enough to
participate in a meaningful way.

The equipment it had was Lunar-Lander era technology which has long ago been
disposed of or consigned to museums, and despite the fact that some members
continued to get training from outside agencies, RADMON hasn't been a mission capability of CAP in probably 30+ years.



If CAP decided today that RADMON was important and a new mission, if would be 5 years before the capability existed,
and by then they'll be hanging monitoring gear on the same UAVs working SAR.

There's also the non-trivial issue of CAP conservative approach to member risk, and asking people to
"go see if that area is hot" isn't likely to even go back on the list.  I can't even imagine how high the ORM
on that would be, or the reaction of a typical CAP mom when she found out her butterfly
was sweeping aircraft for radiation (as a cadet is shown above in that 1956 photo).

Back to the OP, this appears to be a data collection & aggregation app & service, but not a capability in and of itself.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 10:01:48 PM by Eclipse » Logged

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Lord of the North
Forum Regular

Posts: 111

« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2017, 09:44:46 PM »

Speaking as someone who participated in the early radiological monitoring training and having worked professionally in radiological controls most of my adult life, any radiological monitoring for CAP is dead.  In the original training, it was planned as a possible assist after a nuclear attack on the US.  In those scenarios, the radiation doses would be in the REM/hour (a dose of 600 REM is generally lethal to 50% of those who receive that dose in a short period of time.  The equipment for use in the airborne monitoring readout ONLY in REM/Hours (and only for gamma radiation).

Today the threat is more from dirty bomb contamination when the dose rates are not nearly as high but the risk of ingestion or inhalation pose a much higher risk.  In these cases, the instruments would most likely be able to detect radiation in the milliRem or microRem ranges.  This equipment is expensive, not radially available to the general public and requires some serious health physics training to be able to interpret what may be detected.

The government has already invested much time and money in preparing the response assets to cope with the types of scenarios that could possibly happen.

CAP does not fit in this mission at all.
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Mordecai
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Unit: SI

« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 10:04:56 PM »

Speaking as someone who participated in the early radiological monitoring training and having worked professionally in radiological controls most of my adult life, any radiological monitoring for CAP is dead.  In the original training, it was planned as a possible assist after a nuclear attack on the US.  In those scenarios, the radiation doses would be in the REM/hour (a dose of 600 REM is generally lethal to 50% of those who receive that dose in a short period of time.  The equipment for use in the airborne monitoring readout ONLY in REM/Hours (and only for gamma radiation).

Today the threat is more from dirty bomb contamination when the dose rates are not nearly as high but the risk of ingestion or inhalation pose a much higher risk.  In these cases, the instruments would most likely be able to detect radiation in the milliRem or microRem ranges.  This equipment is expensive, not radially available to the general public and requires some serious health physics training to be able to interpret what may be detected.

The government has already invested much time and money in preparing the response assets to cope with the types of scenarios that could possibly happen.

CAP does not fit in this mission at all.

Actually I consider the greatest risk to be a radiological incident at one of our reactors or cleanup sites. Consider for example the Hanford radiation incident that just happened this month. With slightly different circumstances, having local aerial assets wouldn't be a bad thing, especially considering this statement:

“Radiological screening of concerned citizens should be
stressed as a major psychosocial stress reduction
factor, and aerial surveys could greatly help in
alleviating this stress. Populated areas around
commercial nuclear plants would be prime aerial
baseline survey projects.”
Mark Henry, State of Washington Department of
Health, Office of Radiation Protection

We can be useful in these tasks and I feel that we are underestimated quite a bit by both our veteran members and other agencies.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2017, 10:14:39 PM »

We may well be underestimated, but in this case the only people involved should be paid professionals.
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The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

etodd
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Posts: 759

« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 10:45:02 PM »

We may well be underestimated, but in this case the only people involved should be paid professionals.

Dittos and thumbs up, many times over.
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Toad1168
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Unit: NCR-MO-110

« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2017, 09:27:58 AM »

Early on as a cadet working flight line, I remember we were trained on this.  I may be wrong, but I think we were evaluated on it too.
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Mike Toedebusch
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wacapgh
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Posts: 176

« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2017, 05:41:54 PM »

CDX = Civil Defense Exercise. Used to wear a ribbon with a device to show participation (I don't remember how many were required to award it). The ribbon lives on as DR, without the CD device. "Decontamination Practice" was a welcome relief in summer months  ;D

AIR-RADMONT was a required task for Observer back then as well. Neat patch along with it  8)
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GaryVC
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Unit: PCR-NV-070

« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2017, 06:11:54 PM »

CDX = Civil Defense Exercise. Used to wear a ribbon with a device to show participation (I don't remember how many were required to award it).

One of several ribbons I can't wear since I rejoined. It was one exercise but you had to do other things like attend a first air course and a radiological monitoring course.
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Mordecai
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Posts: 1,041
Unit: SI

« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2017, 10:29:27 PM »


It seems FEMA has upgraded their aerial and ground radiological monitoring capabilities; ...

If so, then why would they need us? I'm clueless as to previous history, but your statement just begged the question.

For the same reason we exist for other missions: We can put planes in the sky cheaper than any agency.
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etodd
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Posts: 759

« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2017, 11:28:08 PM »


For the same reason we exist for other missions: We can put planes in the sky cheaper than any agency.

For a limited time only ... the cheap, long range drones cometh ....
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PHall
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 11:36:30 PM »


For the same reason we exist for other missions: We can put planes in the sky cheaper than any agency.

For a limited time only ... the cheap, long range drones cometh ....

That don't get radiation sickness....
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SarDragon
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2017, 12:38:29 AM »

CDX = Civil Defense Exercise. Used to wear a ribbon with a device to show participation (I don't remember how many were required to award it). The ribbon lives on as DR, without the CD device. "Decontamination Practice" was a welcome relief in summer months  ;D

AIR-RADMONT was a required task for Observer back then as well. Neat patch along with it  8)

What was the time frame for this? I was a rated observer back in the late '70s, and it was only an option.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
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Mordecai
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Unit: SI

« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2017, 01:19:32 AM »


For the same reason we exist for other missions: We can put planes in the sky cheaper than any agency.

For a limited time only ... the cheap, long range drones cometh ....

A problem that will affect all CAP missions if we keep at our current methodologies of trying to get missions (read, not actually trying to get missions)
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2017, 08:41:25 AM »

Quote

That don't get radiation sickness....


Yet still will have to be rad-decontaminated...

 >:D
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wacapgh
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Posts: 176

« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2017, 03:16:32 PM »

CDX = Civil Defense Exercise. Used to wear a ribbon with a device to show participation (I don't remember how many were required to award it). The ribbon lives on as DR, without the CD device. "Decontamination Practice" was a welcome relief in summer months  ;D

AIR-RADMONT was a required task for Observer back then as well. Neat patch along with it  8)

What was the time frame for this? I was a rated observer back in the late '70s, and it was only an option.

Could be. I was only a C/MSGT in '77 and that's what we were told by The Powers That Be at the time.

Was taught by the state, a few hours classroom and got .5 in the back seat recording the random dial readings generated by the instructor in the front seat.

Note: There was no age restriction on getting the rating, you just couldn't fly on AF missions until you were 18.
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sardak
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« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2017, 11:20:07 PM »

Air RADMON was required to be an observer. I’m looking at CAPM 50-5, “Observer Manual” dated 8 Aug 1975. Training was divided into two phases:
“Phase I is rather abbreviated but is designed to qualify scanner candidates in a short time to become productive members of the SAR team. Completion of Phase I qualifies the trainee as a scanner.”
“Phase II is somewhat longer and more demanding. Phase II qualifies the trainee as an observer and earns the aeronautical rating.”

2-11 Aerial Radiological Monitor training. ARM training must be completed and certification accomplished prior to performing observer duties on ARM missions. The trainee observer must:
 a.    Complete the 16-hour civil defense home study course, “Introduction to Radiological Monitoring.”
 b.    Complete the 8-hour practical training course, “Aerial Radiological Training.”
 c.    Be certified as an aerial radiological monitor by  a Civil Defense Agency.

2-12 Administrative Requirements
a.    Phase I. Complete Attachment 3 pertaining to Phase I (qualified scanner annotated on CAP 101)
b.   Phase II
 (1)   Complete Attachment 3 pertaining to Phase II.
 (2)   Complete aerial radiological monitoring through Civil Defense.
 (3)   Obtain ARM certification through Civil Defense.
 (4)   Complete CAP 116 ES exam.
 (5)   Complete end-of-course observer exam.
 (6)   Qualified observer annotated on CAP 101. Complete request for award of observer wings.

CAPM 50-15, Emergency Services, 15 April 1983, required an observer to have ARM.

CAPM 50-75 wasn’t superseded until the release of CAPR 50-15, CAP Operational Missions, 1 January 1992. There was no requirement for ARM in this document.

Mike
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SarDragon
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2017, 01:54:02 AM »

Interesting.

I have Observer on my 101 card that expires 31 Jan 1974, and I was only Ground Radiological Monitor qualified. I never got the airborne part. It's also on my 101 that expires 31 Jan 1982.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
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Spam
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Posts: 885
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2017, 03:08:36 AM »

I qualified as MO in the mid/late 80s after turning senior member (indeed, it was the main reason I turned SM on going to college, as cadets couldn't fly on operational missions in those days) and did the ARM training. I had done the GRM training in GA Wing as a cadet at Dobbins AFB.


Sardak, I recall my CO of the time required me to complete the 50-5 training which included a checklist on or near the back cover. If you have th manual, could you check: didn't that performance checklist set (which included a series of hops for both MS and MO) include practical flight checks?  I recall that this presented a problem by the late 80s, in that I'd passed the book learning and the practical, on-aircraft equipment checks, but for actual DREXs the gear wasn't allowed to be signed out/installed/flown (which was nuts, if you're going to train, fight like trained, and train like you intend to fight). 


Taking the Ground ARM training as a cadet was stressful, with the videos and the statistics and the grim facts presented. We all fully expected in the early 80s that we would need this when we entered the service, as we expected to be fighting the Soviet assaults in MOPP IV in the final war (no kidding, it was a different mindset as a cadet then). Yet, the Ground ARM gear (once we'd all trained on THAT) was all kept locked up in a warehouse in the middle of Atlanta on Confederate Avenue, which was likely to be ground zero of a Soviet strike, we all joked. Not a lot of sanity in the decaying CD program of the late cold war.  I just do not see us ever, ever, ever, regaining this mission set now that we better know what ionizing radiation does to two of CAP's biggest demographics: youth and the older generations who are most vulnerable to injury.


V/r
Spam


PS, Luis, on decontamination, UAS systems which accumulate a dose will be disposable, and won't be decontaminated. When DoD considers a CONOPS of just dumping tactical jets over the side from the flat tops rather than dose the hangar deck by taking them below for mx, then you know that dirty UAVs are disposable commodities!

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