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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: What happens if you run out of flagging tape?
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Author Topic: What happens if you run out of flagging tape?  (Read 1166 times)

Posts: 5

« on: November 04, 2016, 10:19:50 PM »

I currently have 150 feet of flagging tape. How much should I be expected to carry as a GTM3? What happens if it runs out during a search?
Al Sayre
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,515
Unit: SER-MS-001

Mississippi Wing
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2016, 11:02:49 PM »

Hopefully you aren't the only one with tape.  If there are 10 people in your search team and each has 150 ft, that's over 1/4 mile of tape...
Lt Col Al Sayre
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Admiral, Great Navy of the State of Nebraska
GRW #2787
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Posts: 1,023
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2016, 11:03:50 PM »

You won't.  You'll be with a team, who collectively will have more than enough.

One roll is enough for you to carry as a GTM3*.



Posts: 1,044

my personal website, yo!
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2016, 11:04:57 PM »

The book says "1 roll".  A standard roll is either 150 or 300 feet depending on manufacturer and color.  Unless you're taping off a perimeter, it's highly unlikely that you'll need more than 150 feet.   And, should you need more... the rest of your team should also have tape.  ;)

Edit: beat twice while typing this!
Jerry Horn
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Posts: 3,626
Unit: Of measure

« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2016, 11:18:31 PM »

In my 10 years of being in Ground team, I've never run out. . .

GRW 3340
[Insert Cool Title Here]
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Posts: 4,518

« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2016, 08:37:55 AM »

In my 10 years of being in Ground team, I've never run out. . .


I usually carry two colors, but never used a ROLL on a mission.  That's a lot.  I think that at least one of the rolls is many years old now, even after hundreds of hours of missions.

What would HAPPEN?  I guess if you really had to, you could blaze a trail traditionally. 
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,177
Unit: SI

« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2016, 02:14:47 AM »

The simplest solution if you are terribly concerned about this is to make sure your 72 hour bag has spare rolls.
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,006

« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2016, 02:41:55 AM »

"Flagging Tape" is pretty cheap. And you can get red and yellow danger and caution tape at the home remodeling chains for pretty cheap. As in less then a dollar a roll.
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,023
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2016, 12:41:41 PM »

If you're more concerned about the mission fail of running out than the cost:

I think I've posted here about another option before. What our unit did several years ago was to field test a group of GPS units, and settled on a pair of Garmin RINOs with integrated FMS freq data links as an integrated logging, marking, debriefing and AAR tool (as well as a backup emergency radio and monitor should the victim be transmitting on FMS freqs).

The CONOPS is that the team lead and assistant GTL each don one unit on a 'biner on their shoulder harness, switch it on and ops check it. They each key the mike to send a bread crumb waypoint to log current position. As the team moves out, performing a route, contour, or other search task, they periodically key the mike to drop a waypoint, thus marking the ends of their search line. The search coverage is graphically visible to each on their display without having to stop and mark a map, stop the line to mark a tree, etc. (in the case of bare fields or swamps with nothing to tie a flag tape, this is invaluable). Any gaps in coverage are visible graphically for corrective search. After the sortie for a debrief, the map file is downloaded to a laptop and saved as a DTED terrain overlay with routes and waypoints marked (and field notes entered for waypoints via the unit, if desired). The full, marked, annotated route is available to the GBD for review and further planning. During the sortie, the GTL/GTL(A) monitor FMS freqs for any victim transmissions. The team still equips with backup tape (1 roll per, per standard) and trains with it (but hasn't used it operationally in years and years).

Total cost as of five years ago or so was about 1200 bucks, which wasn't bad for us at least. There are better units on the market now, surely.

Update: the 650 model is on a black Friday sale right now at Cabelas for $299 each, which is fantastic. Their blurb includes: "The 650 has a weather radio, a barometric altimeter, a three-axis compass and a strong transmitter. Its high-resolution, 2.6" touch-screen LCD offers smooth, responsive operation and brilliant, 65K-color maps..." yadda yadda... 1.7GB memory, road autorouting, USB interface, etc etc.  Hmmm... maybe we should upgrade... wonder if I can convene a unit Finance Committee by email real quickly?


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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: What happens if you run out of flagging tape?

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