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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: Search and Rescue Training Ideas
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Cadet Aviator
Recruit

Posts: 7
Unit: NER-PA-045

« on: July 17, 2017, 10:05:50 PM »

Good Evening Everyone,

This is my first post on CAPTalk and I wanted to see about getting some fresh perspectives on several things regarding SAR trainings. Firstly, I would like to hear some ideas on involving outside agencies (were working with several dog teams already) including the military. Secondly, I wanted to hear some ideas about getting mission numbers for training missions (primarily unfunded). Lastly, is there any tips and suggestions on how to make my SAREXs more real life like and how to adjust in terms of changing weather (at least for Pennsylvania).

Here is some background on my situation. I am currently the Cadet ESO, PAO and Comms Officer for the Harrisburg squadron in Pennsylvania. I transferred to the unit about eight months ago and fully started up the Emergency Services program there with help from an Air Force Paramedic who was active at our squadron for several months. We went from having only one GTM1 (me) to having nine GTM3's and with me receiving various ratings such as GTL, MRO, UDF, MS, etc... We have also had at least two trainings a month (most of them unfunded and without a mission number) and we even did extremely well on our OPSERVAL in which myself and several members from my squadron attended. I want to get my people trained up for more complex missions and work on having them get their higher GTM ratings and other ratings such as UDF and MRO.

At our last unit SAREX we had a downed CAP aircraft in which myself (the event organizer) and my squadron commander were the aircrew. We had two seniors at base and a ground team of only four people however we made due. We had the ground team use an LPER and use physical clues such as fuselage from the aircraft to track down its location. They had to treat the injured squadron commander once they found the crashsite for facial injures such as a broken nose and then help him to the nearest road for evacuation. They split up the team evenly to do this and so the two who rescued the commander had to come after the pilot (myself) and you guessed it, who ran off from the crashsite about a kilometer away. They had to treat me for severe head injuries (I had a smashed in head from hitting the yolk on the way down) and then carry me to the road for an "evac". Ive been trying to train my guys to work around the "whole" mission and not just finding the guy and then yay were done. Finally, would any of you have any suggestions on training for GTL's. I just got my GTL back in June and I would like to suggestions on how to keep bettering myself. All of my training as been at the local, group and state level and not really with any national programs such as NESA (and I refuse to go to HAWK...).

Thank you for your time
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Cadet Captain Joseph P. Mannion
Cadet Emergency Services, Public Affairs, Communications Officer
NER-PA-045 Harrisburg International Airport Composite Squadron
GTL, GTM1, MS, UDF, MRO, MSA
Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 963
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 11:07:13 PM »

Hi cadet. Love the attitude/laughed at your tag line.

Suggestions to address your questions:

1/ Outside agencies. I've played this two ways: one, cooperative individual/team level skills training not on an AFAM training mission, just to meet and greet and work with other SAR/DR teams on local levels purely to share notes and classes. Such activities are the building blocks of ops training and focus on the interpersonal and organizational relationship building necessary to grow trust and mutual respect, and may include formal classes (first aid, FEMA courses, ICS courses, etc.) as well as unit training day events focused on individual skills/signoffs/practice. Second, joint participation in a full up, dress rehearsal SAREX/DREX (called a "drill" in FEMA terms) in which you plan for (funded or not) a full up practice mission with CAP mission staff (an approved IC as a minimum) and in which you don't focus on skills signoff, but on a soup to nuts real mission from callout to after action reviews.

2/ Training missions and funding. All Wings are required (this time of year, actually) to submit an ops training plan to NHQ and CAP/USAF. All numbered AFAMs (SAREXs, DREXs, and Command Post Exercises (CPXs), etc.) should be on that plan if funded, although additional AFAM mission requests may be added if you can (a) find an IC and staff (IC, minimum) and (b) come up with a plan. Having a plan is a key element - and you should ideally be exercising A PLAN, rather than PLANNING AN EXERCISE. So, putting some skull sweat into "hey how would we actually deploy, and how would we really work with Keystone Dog SAR Teams" are great questions to answer and write down before actually writing a script and an Ops Order for the exercise.

3/ Training AFAM conduct. I recommend, as I say, writing a plan down first. I suggest first designating an exercise "White Cell" to plan and conduct the drill; these will ideally be the patch-wearing school graduates with senior ratings who stand apart from the IC and staff, and manage/throw the scenario at the participants, and monitor for safety. They should schedule a CPX (aka table top mission) a month out on a SAT where they choose a realistic scenario, game out and write down the best planned steps for deployment, and then write the twists and turns (chaos, as in a real mission) into the playbook. They should publish a detailed Ops Order publicly at least two weeks out with command and signal, logistics, etc. The players should deploy and sign in per process, to face the playbook script handed to the IC by the White Cell exercise managers, and off you go. Do not forget to plan for an AAR - after action review - to get player feedback and to write that down into the plan/playbook for next time.

4/ Train to Real Conditions. When bad things happen, you need to follow that rehearsed/exercised plan which you've tested and updated. A good plan will include procedures for weather, etc. In a real operation weather happens (particularly if its a DR scenario, or a crash related to weather). So, just as you wouldn't cancel the DR mission for weather, you need to get experience making smart decisions about operating in and around weather, so plan for it and press on smartly and safely, with proper ORM. The Greek, Thucydides, said, “We must remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school.” To then avoid potential catastrophe in an actual scenario, my strong recommendation is to train like you intend to operate, and operate safely as you have trained - in realistic (bad) conditions, not always in sunny weather. In bad weather, you may go slower. You may limit ops. You may approve some personnel to fly/drive, but not others - and that should NOT be given or taken personally. You must require and train to using ORM as a regular tool in the toolkit at every SAREX/drill, to ensure that in real life, you do the same when it counts.

Making any sense?

Lastly, never say never. You may find with the benefit of experience that formal schools, despite your possible experience with individual graduates, are immensely important to learn your (volunteer or paid) trade. So, I urge you to keep an open mind and be willing and open to try NESA and Hawk where you'll have the opportunity to soak up knowledge vicariously through the sages, leaving the chaff behind when you take the wheat home.

V/r
Spam

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Ozzy
Seasoned Member

Posts: 320
Unit: NY

NY-288 Squadron Website
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 11:18:12 PM »

Firstly, I would like to hear some ideas on involving outside agencies (were working with several dog teams already) including the military.
Involving outside agencies is a lot easier when you have members in those agencies, especially when they are higher up. On our last Air Force evaluation, one of the AF guys was a local fire chief and he was able to inject some outside agencies to see our response and how we handled it... we did very good in that regard (See the Helicopter video somewhere on ES board!) and those agencies said that they actually want to work with us more in the future as they saw that we worked well with them and were an asset.

Secondly, I wanted to hear some ideas about getting mission numbers for training missions (primarily unfunded).
Getting mission numbers for training missions isn't hard. Work with your group ES officer on pairing with an IC that would like to be the go-to IC for your training missions... they have the access to get the mission number easily. They don't need to be there, they just need to know what's going on.

Lastly, is there any tips and suggestions on how to make my SAREXs more real life like and how to adjust in terms of changing weather (at least for Pennsylvania).
It sounds like you did do a pretty good job. A kind of peeve of mine is that we tend to train a lot of missions we don't really get that often, such as an actual crashed plane, verses what we normally get, lost hiker, disaster relief, ELT at the airport. Yes it is good to train for the worse case scenario, but if 99.9% of your missions are other, you should do the bulk of your training on perfecting that. YMMV of course.

+1 on what Spam said
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 11:23:35 PM by Ozzy » Logged
Ozyilmaz, TSgt, CAP
C/Lt. Colonel (Ret.)
SGT, ARNG (Out!)

NYWG Encampment 07, 08, 09, 10, (17)
CTWG Encampment 09, 11, 16
NER Cadet Leadership School 10
THRAWN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,809

« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2017, 08:07:44 AM »

Find out who is your wing rep on the PA SAR Council. They already have a working relationship with the players and should be able to bring some of them out for exercises. Same goes for the state level emergency management association/council/organization. This is typically made up of EMA/OEM types from the state, county and local levels.

Dovetailing on what Ozzy said, go by the old adage of "train how you fight". Training when it's not 65 and sunny is beneficial, if for no other reason than you get to use some of your foul weather gear and make sure it works. Before putting together a plan for an exercise, take a look at your most frequent missions, their AARs, and identify the areas that need improvement. Design scenarios that are realistic, task oriented and beneficial to participants. If you are unsure how to design an exercise, FEMA has a IS course that will give you the tools to do so.
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Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
NSS ISC 05-00
USAF SOS 2000
USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 28,072

« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2017, 09:01:33 AM »

You'll need more senior members involved from either your unit or surrounding / higher HQ in order to get mission numbers.

It sounds like you are on a right track, continue to work with the cadets who are interested on building
their skills to at least they can be assets as part of a larger whole.

Without a fully-engaged and experienced unit DOS, it'll be hard to get the seniors engaged.
Who tasked all those GTM3s?
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"The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does." - Napoleon Hill.
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.

stillamarine
400,000th Post Author
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 812
Unit: SER-AL-134

« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 09:49:26 AM »

Firstly, I would like to hear some ideas on involving outside agencies (were working with several dog teams already) including the military.
Involving outside agencies is a lot easier when you have members in those agencies, especially when they are higher up. On our last Air Force evaluation, one of the AF guys was a local fire chief and he was able to inject some outside agencies to see our response and how we handled it... we did very good in that regard (See the Helicopter video somewhere on ES board!) and those agencies said that they actually want to work with us more in the future as they saw that we worked well with them and were an asset.

Secondly, I wanted to hear some ideas about getting mission numbers for training missions (primarily unfunded).
Getting mission numbers for training missions isn't hard. Work with your group ES officer on pairing with an IC that would like to be the go-to IC for your training missions... they have the access to get the mission number easily. They don't need to be there, they just need to know what's going on.

Lastly, is there any tips and suggestions on how to make my SAREXs more real life like and how to adjust in terms of changing weather (at least for Pennsylvania).
It sounds like you did do a pretty good job. A kind of peeve of mine is that we tend to train a lot of missions we don't really get that often, such as an actual crashed plane, verses what we normally get, lost hiker, disaster relief, ELT at the airport. Yes it is good to train for the worse case scenario, but if 99.9% of your missions are other, you should do the bulk of your training on perfecting that. YMMV of course.

+1 on what Spam said

Unless the Wing doesn't wanna play with those agencies. The county EMA director is a personal friend that approached me about working with CAP and I have passed his information on to everyone I can think of at the Wing level to include the last two Wing CCs.
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Tim Gardiner, 1st LT, CAP

USMC AD 1996-2001
USMCR    2001-2005  Admiral, Great State of Nebraska Navy  MS, MO, UDF
tim.gardiner@gmail.com
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 28,072

« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2017, 10:26:10 AM »

Unless the Wing doesn't wanna play with those agencies. The county EMA director is a personal friend that approached me about working with CAP and I have passed his information on to everyone I can think of at the Wing level to include the last two Wing CCs.

Unless someone has told you not to, you don't need wing permission to work with local agencies, in fact it's supposed to the
be the responsibility of the unit or group in that respective AOR to establish and maintain those relationships, not the wing.

If someone told yo not to, then it needs to be addressed on that level.
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"The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does." - Napoleon Hill.
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.

stillamarine
400,000th Post Author
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 812
Unit: SER-AL-134

« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2017, 10:33:38 AM »

Unless the Wing doesn't wanna play with those agencies. The county EMA director is a personal friend that approached me about working with CAP and I have passed his information on to everyone I can think of at the Wing level to include the last two Wing CCs.

Unless someone has told you not to, you don't need wing permission to work with local agencies, in fact it's supposed to the
be the responsibility of the unit or group in that respective AOR to establish and maintain those relationships, not the wing.

If someone told yo not to, then it needs to be addressed on that level.

Well my squadron is not in said county. Although that may be changing.
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Tim Gardiner, 1st LT, CAP

USMC AD 1996-2001
USMCR    2001-2005  Admiral, Great State of Nebraska Navy  MS, MO, UDF
tim.gardiner@gmail.com
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 28,072

« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2017, 11:11:59 AM »

Well my squadron is not in said county. Although that may be changing.

Well, that's an issue then, but whatever unit is nearest, or the Group shoudl be making those connections.
If that area is a dark spot on the map, then yes, it would usually fall to wing, however for that
same reason, there would likely be no one to respond, so no point in the conversations.

Planes can usually go (over) anywhere, but my state has 102 counties, and only ~25 units, plus the groups.

There's very large areas with no CAP presence and thus not much point in talking about DR or other ground
activities, and anything airborne would usually be covered by an agency already engaged (or alienated).
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"The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does." - Napoleon Hill.
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.

Cadet Aviator
Recruit

Posts: 7
Unit: NER-PA-045

« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2017, 11:29:34 AM »

Eclipse I am the one who has tasked the GTMs and I have been the only one planning unit trainings as we do not have a senior ESO
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Cadet Captain Joseph P. Mannion
Cadet Emergency Services, Public Affairs, Communications Officer
NER-PA-045 Harrisburg International Airport Composite Squadron
GTL, GTM1, MS, UDF, MRO, MSA
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 28,072

« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2017, 12:56:47 PM »

Eclipse I am the one who has tasked the GTMs and I have been the only one planning unit trainings as we do not have a senior ESO

Well, good on 'ye for getting something done in the face of a vacuum, but without adult members involved, your
scope will be very limited and you won't likely be able to get any training mission w/ numbers, since at a minimum you
have to have an IC, and of course senior-member supervision.

A discussion with your CC about either getting that job filled, or venturing out to work with other units / group / wing
to get access to those missions, etc.
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"The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does." - Napoleon Hill.
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.

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