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FlyNavy
Recruit

Posts: 17
Unit: SWR-OK-001

Oklahoma Wing
« on: November 27, 2016, 01:19:37 PM »

Some of our units that are geographically separated from the larger cities in our state, have brought several issues to my attention recently. Chief complaints are a lack of available training opportunities, as well as apathy over a lack of utilization for real world missions. The argument is "Why train for qualifications that we will never use?"

First, to mitigate the lack of training opportunities, we are standing up a small group of highly qualified instructors who are willing to travel to these units and instruct/evaluate.

We are all aware that CAP Search and Rescue missions are increasingly rare in today's technologically advanced society, however disaster relief missions are quite common in our state. Training for these missions solves the first problem.

Secondly however, the challenge remains: How do we incorporate these units into our training exercises that are several hours away from the majority of our wing, and make it meaningful training? Are there any other Wings out there with this same issue?

If anybody needs further clarification here, please ask.   
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Director of Emergency Services, Oklahoma Wing
Qualifications: MP, MO, MS, AOBD, MSA, MRO, MSO, TMP, UDF, WS

arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,139

« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 02:04:03 PM »

Colorado has similar issues.

One solution may be to run a forward operating location in the remote area and include a sortie or two (air or ground) to bring qualified ICP staff to the FOL. Train the folk in the distant areas to operate similarly afterward, but keep sending some qualified ICP folks over to help out, train, or just to provide relief. Build sorties for the remote areas as well - plan on them from the start of the planning process, not as an "oh yeah, we need something for those folks to do as well" last minute addition.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 759

« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 02:09:52 PM »


 "Why train for qualifications that we will never use?"


Our local airport has a manned fire station. I see those guys out often training and using the trucks and gear, keeping them ready. I'm 60 years old and have never known there to be a fire at the airport.  (Maybe there was and I missed one all those years.)

But as I'm coming in to land, its always comforting to know there are folks standing at the ready in case they are ever needed.
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MS - MO - AP - MP
FlyNavy
Recruit

Posts: 17
Unit: SWR-OK-001

Oklahoma Wing
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 02:56:29 PM »

Colorado has similar issues.

One solution may be to run a forward operating location in the remote area and include a sortie or two (air or ground) to bring qualified ICP staff to the FOL. Train the folk in the distant areas to operate similarly afterward, but keep sending some qualified ICP folks over to help out, train, or just to provide relief. Build sorties for the remote areas as well - plan on them from the start of the planning process, not as an "oh yeah, we need something for those folks to do as well" last minute addition.

We are going to need to shift to this type of mindset. In the past we have trained in the Western part of the state, but now we operate in Cental and Eastern Oklahoma almost exclusivly. How do you sell the idea to the majority of members that traveling the extra distance is worthwhile? It would provide some variety.
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Director of Emergency Services, Oklahoma Wing
Qualifications: MP, MO, MS, AOBD, MSA, MRO, MSO, TMP, UDF, WS

Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
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Posts: 27,823

« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 03:18:10 PM »

Traveling for SARExs is the reality of CAP in many (most?) wings.  There's no way around it when the
membership has shrunk down to only major population centers that aren't evenly distributed.

Also, those units or their groups should be seeking out response relationships with local
EMAs for local mission work.  There's generally more then most CAP units can handle once the
phone calls are made.

A "road show" of trained / experienced members who can go and both instruct and task members
is a good idea to get people spun up.

We've also had success with remote operation during major exercises - slowly but surely the idea
that "everyone needs to come to dad's barn just to shake hands and leave" is being dissuaded.
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"Effort" does not equal "results".
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.

PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 5,806

« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2016, 04:14:54 PM »


 "Why train for qualifications that we will never use?"


Our local airport has a manned fire station. I see those guys out often training and using the trucks and gear, keeping them ready. I'm 60 years old and have never known there to be a fire at the airport.  (Maybe there was and I missed one all those years.)

But as I'm coming in to land, its always comforting to know there are folks standing at the ready in case they are ever needed.

The Fire Department example is just about a perfect example of "Disaster Preparedness". The FD doesn't go looking for fires.
And the majority of CAP's ES missions are now in the DP area and not the SAR area.
So training for DP first makes sense. It's the skill that will probably get more use.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 759

« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2016, 05:50:29 PM »


 "Why train for qualifications that we will never use?"


Our local airport has a manned fire station. I see those guys out often training and using the trucks and gear, keeping them ready. I'm 60 years old and have never known there to be a fire at the airport.  (Maybe there was and I missed one all those years.)

But as I'm coming in to land, its always comforting to know there are folks standing at the ready in case they are ever needed.

The Fire Department example is just about a perfect example of "Disaster Preparedness". The FD doesn't go looking for fires.
And the majority of CAP's ES missions are now in the DP area and not the SAR area.
So training for DP first makes sense. It's the skill that will probably get more use.

The point was that if Squadrons start to slack off training for SAR ... and then along comes the missing aircraft where those skills are actually needed .... ? My point was the mindset of anyone who loses interest in SAR because they never get called out. They should be happy there are no crashes, yet always be ready for one.
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MS - MO - AP - MP
PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 5,806

« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2016, 06:42:19 PM »


 "Why train for qualifications that we will never use?"


Our local airport has a manned fire station. I see those guys out often training and using the trucks and gear, keeping them ready. I'm 60 years old and have never known there to be a fire at the airport.  (Maybe there was and I missed one all those years.)

But as I'm coming in to land, its always comforting to know there are folks standing at the ready in case they are ever needed.

The Fire Department example is just about a perfect example of "Disaster Preparedness". The FD doesn't go looking for fires.
And the majority of CAP's ES missions are now in the DP area and not the SAR area.
So training for DP first makes sense. It's the skill that will probably get more use.

The point was that if Squadrons start to slack off training for SAR ... and then along comes the missing aircraft where those skills are actually needed .... ? My point was the mindset of anyone who loses interest in SAR because they never get called out. They should be happy there are no crashes, yet always be ready for one.

We have people who fail to renew every year because they jumped through all of the hoops and then they didn't get called.
Training them in DR first would probably help keep them since they might actually use these skills.
After they get some DR training under their belt then you can start giving them some ES training.
The main thing is to make them feel useful. Otherwise they'll go somewhere else.
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arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,139

« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2016, 06:49:02 PM »


 "Why train for qualifications that we will never use?"


Our local airport has a manned fire station. I see those guys out often training and using the trucks and gear, keeping them ready. I'm 60 years old and have never known there to be a fire at the airport.  (Maybe there was and I missed one all those years.)

But as I'm coming in to land, its always comforting to know there are folks standing at the ready in case they are ever needed.

The Fire Department example is just about a perfect example of "Disaster Preparedness". The FD doesn't go looking for fires.
And the majority of CAP's ES missions are now in the DP area and not the SAR area.
So training for DP first makes sense. It's the skill that will probably get more use.

The point was that if Squadrons start to slack off training for SAR ... and then along comes the missing aircraft where those skills are actually needed .... ? My point was the mindset of anyone who loses interest in SAR because they never get called out. They should be happy there are no crashes, yet always be ready for one.
Volunteers have a limited amount of time for training. If there is no all to use the training, why train? The hypothetical, potential, maybe crashed plane scenario/mission is not reality in many places. It would be different if they're hearing about these in their state, but they're not happening in their area, but that's not happening. When I was a volunteer firefighter, we spent less than 10% of our training time on fire fighting. The rest was spent on medical training/updates, driving the trucks, auto crashes, hazardous materials, the kinds of things we were dealing with.

You're bringing the example of a paid fire department. Of course they're going to train for fire fighting, they have to keep busy and they're paid to be there.
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RiverAux
Too Much Free Time Award
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Posts: 10,903

« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2016, 09:14:49 PM »

Its all about what the locals need.  If you find out that your county or several of the counties adjacent to your county that are your squadron's "area of operations" need skill X, then that is what you ask the roadshow to come train you for. 

I assume that you're talking about ground-related skills since CAP is willing to spend a lot of money to fly people to take part in aerial training and missions. 
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 759

« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2016, 09:21:47 PM »



Volunteers have a limited amount of time for training. If there is no all to use the training, why train? The hypothetical, potential, maybe crashed plane scenario/mission is not reality in many places.

Ah ... so the one size fits all from Hdqs on down ... should maybe start to be modified more along Wing lines or even on Squadron level?

Over the last few months I've talked on several threads asking and discussing if SAR was on the downswing, and usually got my head bitten off. Has the story changed lately?

Maybe have one Squadron per state (or more for large states like Texas) that are equipped and train for SAR , and then all the other Squadrons concentrate on the more localized needs like tornado prone areas, flood prone areas, etc., etc.?
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MS - MO - AP - MP
FlyNavy
Recruit

Posts: 17
Unit: SWR-OK-001

Oklahoma Wing
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 12:33:34 AM »

We are specifically discussing ground related skills, yes. These are all great points; some which I haven't thought of. I like the idea of different squadrons training for different missions based on highest probability of mission utilization. Im going to take this idea and pitch it to the troops and see what they think. Regardless, we might just implement it! Any other great ideas?
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Director of Emergency Services, Oklahoma Wing
Qualifications: MP, MO, MS, AOBD, MSA, MRO, MSO, TMP, UDF, WS

UWONGO2
Member

Posts: 80

« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2016, 06:09:46 PM »

Same geographical challenges here as well. According to our analysis, 50% of our membership is in one urban area, the other 50% is spread out in the much smaller cities and communities throughout the state.

For the last few years we ran an area command concept which included command posts all over the state. Area command would hand out taskings to each command post, which would then execute the tasking. When running three command posts for example, training opportunities tripled compared to when we'd have one mission base run the entire operation.

It works pretty well and it helped engage parts of the state that were extremely interested in getting more local training done.
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 847

« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2016, 09:40:52 PM »

We're a unit in what I would consider a distant outlying suburb of a major city; however, our unit HQ is actually 10 miles south of where most of our members live in a more rural area, at a fairly small airfield (2,300-foot runway). Because of our runway length, it's hard to get a plane in. We have to conduct our O-Flights at other airports 5-10 miles away, and usually our O-Flight pilots want to land at the airport south of us (even further away for our members). It's a real pain in the rear.

Mission wise, I don't think we're all that cut off. But convenience wise, definitely. It is what it is, I suppose.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 759

« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2016, 10:53:34 PM »


... a fairly small airfield (2,300-foot runway). Because of our runway length .... our O-Flight pilots want to land at the airport south of us (even further away for our members). It's a real pain in the rear.


I don't know what Wing you are in, but if its mine, let me know in a PM and I'd gladly bring our C-172 there for O-Rides. 2300 feet is plenty of room for a Skyhawk.
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MS - MO - AP - MP
Paul Creed III
Forum Regular

Posts: 187
Unit: GLR-OH-254

« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2016, 12:08:59 PM »

We're a unit in what I would consider a distant outlying suburb of a major city; however, our unit HQ is actually 10 miles south of where most of our members live in a more rural area, at a fairly small airfield (2,300-foot runway). Because of our runway length, it's hard to get a plane in. We have to conduct our O-Flights at other airports 5-10 miles away, and usually our O-Flight pilots want to land at the airport south of us (even further away for our members). It's a real pain in the rear.

Mission wise, I don't think we're all that cut off. But convenience wise, definitely. It is what it is, I suppose.

Given that your home airport has one runway, flying out of an airport with two runways also ensures that any shifts in wind do not cause any safety concerns with crosswinds that exceed the crosswind component of the airframes used or a tailwind for landing.
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Lt Col Paul Creed III, CAP
Great Lakes Region Cyber Programs Officer
Ohio Wing Group 3 Commander
DakRadz
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,351

« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2016, 03:38:46 PM »

They should be happy there are no crashes, yet always be ready for one.

I have been in full-time ambulance work for 4 years, and volunteer/part-time emergency 911 ambulance work for 5.

In a setting where the call truly could and at this point eventually all have come in, at one level or another- it took me close to 4 years to learn to stop yearning for "something cool/exciting/useful to my skillset"

That's part of the issue. It can be difficult to understand the death, pain, and consequences of an airline crash until you've smelled burning flesh, seem someone die, or very distinctly a separate issue, dealt with the death of a child (families go flying in GA aircraft too...)

It isn't a slam on those of any age who don't understand, but until you do, it's often just a frustrated "they never call me for the *cool* stuff" mindset.


Which, I should add, is precisely why there should be active, legitimate missions to retain folks, and ES kept to a reasonable standard in case it is ever needed.

1st Lt Raduenz
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 03:42:10 PM by DakRadz » Logged
Starbux
Recruit

Posts: 42
Unit: SWR-NM-030

« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2017, 04:32:59 PM »

Colorado has similar issues.

One solution may be to run a forward operating location in the remote area and include a sortie or two (air or ground) to bring qualified ICP staff to the FOL. Train the folk in the distant areas to operate similarly afterward, but keep sending some qualified ICP folks over to help out, train, or just to provide relief. Build sorties for the remote areas as well - plan on them from the start of the planning process, not as an "oh yeah, we need something for those folks to do as well" last minute addition.

We are going to need to shift to this type of mindset. In the past we have trained in the Western part of the state, but now we operate in Cental and Eastern Oklahoma almost exclusivly. How do you sell the idea to the majority of members that traveling the extra distance is worthwhile? It would provide some variety.

That's interesting, when I was a RAPO under SWLR we were pushing for more of a distributed ops mindset.  We wanted to see a more efficient utilization of the assets.  If something occurs in the SW of the state we would expect the IC and AOBD to launch the sortie from Altus versus taking off out of Ok city to waste time transiting.  Due to time constraints I have not been a real active part of the ES world since 2015.  Are they going back to a centralized control construct again?

I know for training its difficult in asset availability.  The less planes at the central location kind of prohibits allowing more to fly.  The problem I have seen, most of the people showing up to get training are going to be at the central large metro areas.  When one airplane is a 120 miles away at a remote unit.  That unit always seems to have two or three qualified pilots.  During the exercise only one guy is able to fly and and the MO is already trained.  You end up having one crew fly all day using up that asset while people who trying to get their quals are stuck on the ground twiddling their thumbs.

Also it is a delicate balance.  I think SAREX's prohibit training sometimes.  They have two purposes, one is to train new crews and the other is to practice for your Op-Eval.  The problem is that you want to practice with your experienced crews, since they are more likely to be flying during the eval.  But you end up sacrificing training new crews.  If you focus training new crews you end up sacrificing running a good practice mission.  Its kind of a double edge sword.  I think the organization needs more funding to run more SAREX's and allow some SAREX's to be eval focused while others are training focused.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2017, 04:43:29 PM »

That's interesting, when I was a RAPO under SWLR we were pushing for more of a distributed ops mindset.  We wanted to see a more efficient utilization of the assets.  If something occurs in the SW of the state we would expect the IC and AOBD to launch the sortie from Altus versus taking off out of Ok city to waste time transiting.  Due to time constraints I have not been a real active part of the ES world since 2015.  Are they going back to a centralized control construct again?

No - the impetus the last several years has been staging areas, remote launching, and not "dragging everyone to dad's barn to put on a show"
even and especially during multi-state exercises, however...

...it's usually the wings themselves that still insist on the "come here, tag the building and leave..." mindset, which CAP-USAF tolerates, etc.,
if that is the wing's plan.

When I was a wing ESO, the former was my SOP and we did everything we could to maintain that, when I left, I think it was about 10 minutes
before things went back to "dad's barn".  Since then the pendulum has slowly come back the other way.

Part of the problem was that for several years CAP-USAF decided all the wings had to work together in multistate evaluations, even though
only one of the states would be getting evaluated.  That worked about as well as you imagine because it did not simulate real-world,
stressed large wings in ways not normally experienced, and generally went sideways.
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"Effort" does not equal "results".
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.

Starbux
Recruit

Posts: 42
Unit: SWR-NM-030

« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2017, 06:03:32 PM »

That's interesting, when I was a RAPO under SWLR we were pushing for more of a distributed ops mindset.  We wanted to see a more efficient utilization of the assets.  If something occurs in the SW of the state we would expect the IC and AOBD to launch the sortie from Altus versus taking off out of Ok city to waste time transiting.  Due to time constraints I have not been a real active part of the ES world since 2015.  Are they going back to a centralized control construct again?
No - the impetus the last several years has been staging areas, remote launching, and not "dragging everyone to dad's barn to put on a show"
even and especially during multi-state exercises, however...

...it's usually the wings themselves that still insist on the "come here, tag the building and leave..." mindset, which CAP-USAF tolerates, etc.,
if that is the wing's plan.

We might have tolerated it.  We did purposely setup scenarios where you would screw yourself over if you had all your eggs in one basket.  We would pick points near a rural squadron's reach to see if they would be utilized.  There was one discussion from our ADO who wanted a simulated fuel truck to explode next to all of the aircraft essentially rendering the entire mission useless.  He was overturned by the LR/CC on that idea.  Although there was some serious consideration to do it for a bit and then remove the scenario to prove a point.  We backed off, because this particular wing was already going to struggle without us making it worse.


Part of the problem was that for several years CAP-USAF decided all the wings had to work together in multistate evaluations, even though
only one of the states would be getting evaluated.  That worked about as well as you imagine because it did not simulate real-world,
stressed large wings in ways not normally experienced, and generally went sideways.

I have seen it go either way.  Large wings don't need mutual support.  California sure does not need Arizona of course there are cross region issues there.  Idaho and Montana do require each other.  Montana benefited from Idaho.  Idaho was able to launch from places closer to some of the scenario points then Montana was able to do.   The whole mindset is within CAP-USAF's own ranks as well.  When I left there were wings without a RAPO.  We started to drift to a multi wing concept within ourselves.  As I no longer was just NM's RAPO.  I also became an asst RAPO for the OK wing along with a Texas guy, after their one and only guy retired.  It was very clear after I got into the job that CAP-USAF was no longer a priority to the AF.  They cut our funding every year to the point I could no longer go to outlying squadrons on a more regular basis.  Our mandays became so restricted to just Op-evals, wing staff visits and SAREX's.  If I did visit an outlying unit, they were surprised we even existed.  Which is crazy, because when I was a CAP member in the 90's there was almost an entire squadron of reservists.  Back then we had a dedicated RAPO to each squadron.  Hopefully at some point they refund the program.  I don't have my hopes up.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 09:14:00 PM by Starbux » Logged
FlyNavy
Recruit

Posts: 17
Unit: SWR-OK-001

Oklahoma Wing
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2017, 07:29:27 PM »

For those curious, our Wing created a DETT (Deployable Emergency services Training Team) that we can send to smaller units to help train them. They differ from normal training apparatuses in that it is comprised of very experienced persons who teach ES Qualifications. In addition to straight quals, they also teach eServices, Operation Qualifications, SQTRs, etc that many members arent familiar with. This may seem rediculous however after some digging we found out that many smaller units needed to start with the basics and then move forward. We have had some great results from our first DETT unit visit, and hope that it will be a good tool to use in the future.
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Director of Emergency Services, Oklahoma Wing
Qualifications: MP, MO, MS, AOBD, MSA, MRO, MSO, TMP, UDF, WS

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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: Geographically Seperated Units
 


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