September 27, 2021, 12:57:36 pm

GTM/L: Then vs. Now

Started by Stonewall, March 24, 2021, 02:32:57 pm

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Stonewall

Not to argue our current training requirements to become a Ground Team Member (or Leader) as being inadequate or overly burdensome, this is just an observation and maybe a question.

I was recently working with a GTL Trainee and realized all the hoops a member has to go through to become a GTL as our participation in ground team type missions have decreased to mostly involve non-distress ELT searches (at least in our AOR). Of course, every geographical area differs with regard to ground team participation and level of activity, so your mileage may vary.

I'm going back before the current Ground Team standards were in place, so let me go to 1995; a time when my squadron was averaging at least 10 missions per year, with one or two being legit missing aircraft or missing person missions.

To become a GTM in 1995:
1. Complete ES Questionnaire
2. First Aid/CPR Card (we called it Basic or Standard First Aid)
3. Radio Operator Permit (ROP) - preceded ICUT
4. Participate in two missions (real or practice) as GTM-Trainee
Did I miss something?

To become a GTM in 2021:
1. Complete ES Questionnaire (online)
2. Complete CAP Test 117 Continuing Education Part I (online)
3. Complete Introductory Communications User Training (online)
4. Complete FEMA's IS-100.c (online)
5. Complete FEMA's IS-700.B (online)
6. Basic First Aid Training or Equivalent (on your own or organized via CAP)
7. Using the SQTR complete 11 "Familiarization and Preparatory Training" tasks
8. Using the SQTR complete 19 "Advanced Training" tasks
9. Participate in two missions (real or practice) as a GTM-Trainee

That's a lot of hoops to jump through and the end result is what?

In 1995 (and for many years, decades even) we became ground team qualified (member or leader) by checking off a few boxes (first aid, ROP, take a test) and then a couple of missions as a trainee. THEN, we went out on a lot of missions, so what we were doing seemed to work.

Today, and going back almost 20 years, we have only increased the number of boxes to check, many of which are not even in-person, then have to complete hands-on check-offs from a trained evaluator, and the most likely mission is a non-distress ELT.

Bottom line is we do more to get qualified, only to do less.

Is it worth it?
Serving since 1987.

etodd

As mentioned elsewhere, while they are a couple or so Wings that are fairly active in SAR, the vast majority of Wings  train for the phone call that never comes.  So to keep people busy, lets add more training steps, to make it seem like we are actively doing "something".  LOL

New directions, new missions. Temporary missions, like the Army ATC training missions, the Reaper Chase missions, the COVID delivery missions. Its the new CAP. Looking for places where we can fit in here and there, even if just temporary.
"Don't try to explain it, just bow your head
Breathe in, breathe out, move on ..."

jeders

Quote from: Stonewall on March 24, 2021, 02:32:57 pmDid I miss something?


I can't speak to the requirements in 1995, but in 2000/2001 (still prior to the current SQTR method), in addition to the other items you listed was a 40-hr syllabus (per the PL authorizing my initial GTM qual) that had to be completed in order to get qualified. After that, when they introduced the SQTRs, GTM qualification required the completion of all tasks currently spread across GTM 3, 2, and 1 as well as additional tasks which have since been removed.

Today, I can easily get someone trained and signed off on GTM 3 (assuming that they complete GES, ICUT, FA, and IS 100/700 prior) in a single day. Not saying that they would be the best GT members, but the training and sign off could all be done in one 10-12 hr day.
If you are confident in you abilities and experience, whether someone else is impressed is irrelevant. - Eclipse

Stonewall

Quote from: jeders on March 24, 2021, 03:03:38 pmI can't speak to the requirements in 1995, but in 2000/2001 (still prior to the current SQTR method), in addition to the other items you listed was a 40-hr syllabus (per the PL authorizing my initial GTM qual) that had to be completed in order to get qualified.

What 40-hour syllabus? Perhaps my old mind has forgotten, but I vaguely recall some sort of "required" classroom training, but can't recall what it was, or if it was a NHQ level requirement.

We put together a small GTM handbook (I still have both from the early 90s) and put together our own unit level "ground ops curriculum" that later turned into a wing level thing back in the day. Ultimately, we went on to teach this at the Region level at the MER MAR SAR College.
Serving since 1987.

jeders

Quote from: Stonewall on March 24, 2021, 03:33:36 pm
Quote from: jeders on March 24, 2021, 03:03:38 pmI can't speak to the requirements in 1995, but in 2000/2001 (still prior to the current SQTR method), in addition to the other items you listed was a 40-hr syllabus (per the PL authorizing my initial GTM qual) that had to be completed in order to get qualified.

What 40-hour syllabus? Perhaps my old mind has forgotten, but I vaguely recall some sort of "required" classroom training, but can't recall what it was, or if it was a NHQ level requirement.

My understanding is that it was a NHQ level requirement as our course leader/instructor was a graduate of the train the trainer course at what has since become NESA. That said, the ink was still wet on my membership card when I got my GTM rating, so take my equally foggy word for what you will.
If you are confident in you abilities and experience, whether someone else is impressed is irrelevant. - Eclipse

Stonewall

Quote from: jeders on March 24, 2021, 03:42:58 pmMy understanding is that it was a NHQ level requirement as our course leader/instructor was a graduate of the train the trainer course at what has since become NESA.

The stuff I'm talking about was all pre-NESA. Well, NGSAR (then NESA) was still evolving and not pushing out nationwide GSAR standards at that point. Once NESA moved to Camp Atterbury it did a good job of pushing out standardized requirements for the different levels of GTM.

BTW, here is a pic from the precursor to NESA, NGSAR in 1996 at the Miller School, VA.



Later, in 1999, at Camp Atterbury, I was Commandant of the Advanced NGSAR Course during its first running.

Serving since 1987.

Jester

I prefer the idea of a standardized task listing. The notion that you could just have a couple of exercises or missions and call it good seems like a problem.  What if none of those missions require the use of DF gear?   What if the only thing the local unit likes to do is UDF?  Leaving that up to interpretation is asking for a giant skills gap, and we have a large enough one already.

I do agree that the burden of entry is too high.  A GTM3 has literally zero need for FEMA courses.  That stuff gets covered in 116 (and I argue that 116 needs to be revamped).  My only idea for why it would be a valid requirement is that it checks some box to allow us to work with FEMA. 


PHall

Part of the problem is that Ground SAR is pretty much a local thing, i.e. CAP has 52 Wings and 52 state/territorial laws to deal with. These days full up Ground Teams are the exemption, not the rule.
The one mission we can do everywhere is UDF, so maybe that should be our focus.
All of our most current ES operations are pretty much either UDF/Electronic Search and Disaster Relief stuff.
So maybe that should be where we focus our training efforts.
Training people for missions we don't get called for just builds frustration and usually results in people drifting away from CAP.

coudano

Prior to the ESCP, there was no real standard for GT...
Sit in the back of the van for two rides and you could technically be 'qualified'.

I think it's better now than it was then.



Yeah between 1999ish and 2004, there was no GTM3...
Just GTM and GTL.

So GTM had everything that GTM1,2,and 3 currently have,
PLUS several fieldcraft tasks that have since been eliminated from the SQTR (i.e. knots, etc)

IIRC, the circa-2000's GTM qual had 54 tasks, plus 2 missions.



Don't forget the continuing education part (3?)

Spam

Quote from: Stonewall on March 24, 2021, 02:32:57 pmTo become a GTM in 1995:
1. Complete ES Questionnaire
2. First Aid/CPR Card (we called it Basic or Standard First Aid)
3. Radio Operator Permit (ROP) - preceded ICUT
4. Participate in two missions (real or practice) as GTM-Trainee
Did I miss something?
Here's what 50-15 said:
j. GTM
(1) Complete ES questionnaire.
(2) Possess the following:
(a) Current standard first aid card.
(b) FCC restricted ROP
(c) ROP (CAPF 76)
(d) Current state drivers license if a SM, or cadet 18-20 who has met the provisions of CAPR 77-1 to operate general purpose vehicles.
(3) Complete the classroom instructions listed in para 5c
(4) Satisfactory participation in a minimum of two missions as a GT trainee.

The classroom instruction was a list including, quote:
(1) Basic firefighting techniques
(2) Use of forcible entry tools, if available.
(3) Use of ground rescue equipment, rescue techniques.
(4) Team safety.
(5) Survival techniques.
(6) Radiological monitoring.
(7) Radiological decontamination procedures and equipment.
(8) Radio and auxiliary ground equipment.
(9) Interviewing techniques.
(10) Map reading and use of compass.
(11) Ground search techniques.
(12) First aid.
(13) Local laws applicable to ground search, rescue, and administration of first aid.
(14) Local traffic laws.
unquote.

I remember that going through formal radiological monitoring training at Dobbins AFB (with a Reservist instructor who worked for the NRC) was surprisingly one of the best parts of the training, even though I joined to go into the woods... I would suspect that few of my era of "qualified" GTMs/GTLs actually got hands-on practice with decontam equipment and procedures, as we did. Decades later, the gloving/donning/doffing procedures came in handy for BBP protection and keeping the family safe from the 'vid... but other than that it was meaningless and unneeded. The gear was all locked up in a FEMA CD warehouse on Confederate Avenue downtown, which would obviously take a 2 megaton hit in any soviet strike.  I had the same opinion of the forcible entry training (you want us to do what?). Nowadays, certification and requal on that, and the liability associated, put us out of that game entirely. We're light search only, no "R" in SAR.

Good question about a "40 hour" requirement. The above topics easily could take 40 hours, if trained to the level of proficiency necessary, but the explicit 40 hour requirement I remember was for GTL, not GTM:  you needed to have ARC Advanced First Aid, which was defined as a 40 hour course as opposed to GTM which required ARC Standard (8 hour) first aid.

Oh, and two missions meant two missions, at least in my AO, back in the day. As a cadet it actually took me four (three T plus an actual missing A/C mission) to meet the standards of the tough guys running our programs. But today, every one gets a trophy like in youth soccer... if you'll never be used, why not, I suppose.

R/s
Spam

Stonewall

Quote from: Spam on March 26, 2021, 04:47:49 pmHere's what 50-15 said:
j. GTM
(1) Complete ES questionnaire.
(2) Possess the following:
(a) Current standard first aid card.
(b) FCC restricted ROP
(c) ROP (CAPF 76)
(d) Current state drivers license if a SM, or cadet 18-20 who has met the provisions of CAPR 77-1 to operate general purpose vehicles.
(3) Complete the classroom instructions listed in para 5c
(4) Satisfactory participation in a minimum of two missions as a GT trainee.

The classroom instruction was a list including, quote:
(1) Basic firefighting techniques
(2) Use of forcible entry tools, if available.
(3) Use of ground rescue equipment, rescue techniques.
(4) Team safety.
(5) Survival techniques.
(6) Radiological monitoring.
(7) Radiological decontamination procedures and equipment.
(8) Radio and auxiliary ground equipment.
(9) Interviewing techniques.
(10) Map reading and use of compass.
(11) Ground search techniques.
(12) First aid.
(13) Local laws applicable to ground search, rescue, and administration of first aid.
(14) Local traffic laws.
unquote.

I remember that going through formal radiological monitoring training at Dobbins AFB (with a Reservist instructor who worked for the NRC) was surprisingly one of the best parts of the training, even though I joined to go into the woods... I would suspect that few of my era of "qualified" GTMs/GTLs actually got hands-on practice with decontam equipment and procedures, as we did. Decades later, the gloving/donning/doffing procedures came in handy for BBP protection and keeping the family safe from the 'vid... but other than that it was meaningless and unneeded. The gear was all locked up in a FEMA CD warehouse on Confederate Avenue downtown, which would obviously take a 2 megaton hit in any soviet strike.  I had the same opinion of the forcible entry training (you want us to do what?). Nowadays, certification and requal on that, and the liability associated, put us out of that game entirely. We're light search only, no "R" in SAR.

Good question about a "40 hour" requirement. The above topics easily could take 40 hours, if trained to the level of proficiency necessary, but the explicit 40 hour requirement I remember was for GTL, not GTM:  you needed to have ARC Advanced First Aid, which was defined as a 40 hour course as opposed to GTM which required ARC Standard (8 hour) first aid.

Oh, and two missions meant two missions, at least in my AO, back in the day. As a cadet it actually took me four (three T plus an actual missing A/C mission) to meet the standards of the tough guys running our programs. But today,

Yeah, that all looks familiar now.

The difference is it was left up to the local area/leadership to conduct that training to a proficient level, but who blessed what was a proficient level and what curriculum was used?

In DCWG in the 90s, the seasoned ground ops folks were pretty legit on getting members onboarded into ground teams without cutting corners. Thankfully, all training and sign-offs were held to a high standard and no one was cutting corners with regards to being able to function as a GTM/GTL in our AOR (all AORs are different).
Serving since 1987.

coudano

Quote from: Stonewall on March 27, 2021, 12:35:55 ambut who blessed what was a proficient level and what curriculum was used?

Well if you will recall, you submitted a CAPF2a (i think) with whatever support,
up the chain of command, to wing/es
who cut you a paper card (before wmt or whatever the software was that existed before e-services and wmirs)

Now it's all just clicky clicky

wacapgh

Quote from: coudano on March 27, 2021, 01:23:16 am
Quote from: Stonewall on March 27, 2021, 12:35:55 ambut who blessed what was a proficient level and what curriculum was used?

Well if you will recall, you submitted a CAPF2a (i think) with whatever support,
up the chain of command, to wing/es
who cut you a paper card (before wmt or whatever the software was that existed before e-services and wmirs)

Now it's all just clicky clicky

CAPF-100. And attach all the training records, certificates, logs, etc. You could routinely hit an 1/8" thick stack.

At least three copies of everything. One to submit initially, another to keep, and the third to re-submit when the original couldn't be found months later ;D

Eclipse

Mission Scanner BITD was an ECI test and a business card with signature slots for two pattern rides.




Stonewall

Quote from: Eclipse on March 29, 2021, 10:00:44 pmMission Scanner BITD was an ECI test and a business card with signature slots for two pattern rides.

Yup, still got all that documentation from 1994.
Serving since 1987.

Spam

Quote from: Stonewall on March 31, 2021, 10:56:00 pm
Quote from: Eclipse on March 29, 2021, 10:00:44 pmMission Scanner BITD was an ECI test and a business card with signature slots for two pattern rides.

Yup, still got all that documentation from 1994.

Not when I earned my MS and MO... from memory the two ECI courses were 2130A and B (MS and MO formal courses with locally administered closed book exams), plus under CAPM 50-1 (Observer Training) they had me complete a five hop, discrete tasks practical series under a qualified instructor. Two hops for MS, plus two actual missions (not sure if you call those "pattern rides). Then for MO the last three focused flights and then two more full front seat AFAMs, plus ARM training, and a flightline practical.

Not that I'm arguing for a reinvention of ARM training mind you. Same comments as with GTM/L.

V/r
Spam

Eclipse

^ Mine would have been '99ish, and even as newb I thought it seemed a little "light".
Of course we were still rockin' slow-scan video as if it was a "thing" - no one had a clue
how it worked, but it was always touted as a capability.

Anyone else remember METLS?



Slim

Quote from: Spam on March 31, 2021, 11:10:43 pm
Quote from: Stonewall on March 31, 2021, 10:56:00 pm
Quote from: Eclipse on March 29, 2021, 10:00:44 pmMission Scanner BITD was an ECI test and a business card with signature slots for two pattern rides.

Yup, still got all that documentation from 1994.

Not when I earned my MS and MO... from memory the two ECI courses were 2130A and B (MS and MO formal courses with locally administered closed book exams), plus under CAPM 50-1 (Observer Training) they had me complete a five hop, discrete tasks practical series under a qualified instructor. Two hops for MS, plus two actual missions (not sure if you call those "pattern rides). Then for MO the last three focused flights and then two more full front seat AFAMs, plus ARM training, and a flightline practical.

Not that I'm arguing for a reinvention of ARM training mind you. Same comments as with GTM/L.

V/r
Spam


My experience with MS was similar in 1988-1990, and also MO around 93-94.  MS was an ECI course, about 20 classroom hours, and a couple of practical flights to get to trainee status, then two missions (not sorties, separate mission numbers) to get to MS-Q.  MO was similar, though I recall it being 5 practical flights and about another 10 classroom hours, plus ECI 2130-B to get trainee status, then two more missions to be qualified.



Slim

Eclipse

Not surprising to hear how uneven execution / standards were 20+ years ago. 
Heck, they are uneven now and everything is supposed to be standardized.

This, of course, is the era of the "Monthly Membership Report" (MMR) where the CC
simply wrote directly on it near a member's name to indicate completion of
Professional Development levels.

This when I learned the phrase "P51 Hours".

Good times.



Eclipse

This was also the era where going to NESA could earn you the GTM badge, but
not actually the rating (usually because of First Aid).  Which was fun.