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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: Local Ground Teams or Wing "Pool" Teams
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♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,836
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« on: April 14, 2014, 05:32:08 PM »

So I learned something new about ILWG over the weekend during a joint SAREX with WIWG and MNWG. For those of you from ILWG, feel free to correct me if I have this wrong.

From what I understand, our noisy neighbors to the south don't organize their ground teams by squadron. They just have a mass pool of GTMs and GTLs and build ad hock teams out of that pool at each particular mission. This varies greatly from WIWG where our members form teams at their squadron. For example, when WIWG requested how many ground teams ILWG was sending for the SAREX we received just a list of people and their qualifications. Ask that withing WIWG and you'll get a list that says "Milwaukee GT with 4 people, Madison GT with 7 people, Steven's Point team with 5 people, etc." Generally, we only attach people to other GTs when they don't have enough people from their squadron to form their own.

It all really confused me when the two ILWG GTs started talking about trading people upon demobilization to get everyone closer to home. Didn't you all come from the same two places?? It wasn't until later that I found out how they work their team setup.

How normal is this within other wings? Each wing is it's own kingdom, and if this works for ILWG more power to them, but it still seems pretty strange to me.
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
..
                WI-204/CC
.
Garibaldi
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,325
Unit: SER-GA-045

Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2014, 05:53:26 PM »

Well, we are pretty coherent as teams within units but we do a lot of inter-unit training so we know each others' capabilities pretty well. None of this throwing together people who don't know each other's capabilities stuff.
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You can't take the sky from me. Also, I can kill you with my brain. No power in the 'verse can stop me.
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,073

« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2014, 06:33:15 PM »

You are correct in your understanding.  We organize teams from those that respond.

You can't "organize by squadron" assets that don't exist.  I would say that less then 1/3 or the wing's units have anything close to
a full team, and there's no assumption every one of those people play on a given day.  I'd hazard 1/3 of the wing doesn't participate in
ES in any way meaningful, or only has aircrew assets.  To say this was a "frustration" of mine in my previous posting would be an understatement.

The preference, of course, is to have people who have worked together form teams and deploy as a unit, but there might be 3-4 units
in the wing that have a "team" of any kind, and in many cases, those team leaders were filling other billets last weekend.

The peak of our ability the last decade or so was probably about 3 years ago when we had a strong showing on both the air and ground side
for the last Eval.  As I recall we had in excess of 45 fully qualified GTM & GTLs, none of which were double-billetted, and we put together something
like 7 or 8 teams, all well above minimum strength, and that didn't include other ground assets who deployed direct and never came to the ICP.

Few and far between are wing-level missions these days where you're running teams to Hotel and considering if you need India and Juliet.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 06:42:37 PM by Eclipse » Logged


ol'fido
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Posts: 1,887
Unit: DOTCOTE.

« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 07:21:12 PM »

In my group, we have one squadron that has a fully qualified ground team and they can and have responded to missions from the southern to the northern part of the group. We have one more squadron that is in the beginning stage of organizing their team. We also have several "aircrews" that usually work together but during our recent SAREX we shuffled things up during the day to learn to work with each other and to get several people into different seats to update quals. Our ES capability has stagnated down here for a while, but we are working to get it back up to speed.

I too am against the "pool" solution unless there is no other choice. A ground team should be just that a "team" and not a collection of individuals who have never worked together before.

Almost 20 years ago, during one of our training bivouacs, myself and another ground team leader were leading two separate teams that had been inserted into opposite ends of a search area. We were supposed to meet up and search another area together. The other team ran into some difficulty and had to turn back. The mission staff was panicking thinking that they had to locate my team since I didn't know the other team had turned back. My buddy who was leading the other team and I had been working together for as GT for nearly 15 years at this point. He told them not to worry, that I would probably come walking into camp anytime. They didn't believe him. They were getting ready to go into full mission mode when I walked into camp.  They kind of had dumbfounded look on their faces when I explained my thoughts about what had happened. It turns out that I told them almost verbatim what my buddy had told them. They couldn't believe that two people would think that much alike. Like I said, we were a team. We knew pretty much what each other would do in any given situation and it gave us a big advantage in the field.
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Spaceman3750
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Posts: 2,650

« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 08:26:26 PM »

The OSC and I had a conversation about this over lunch on Sunday. I gathered pretty quickly that you guys had local teams when I started hearing radio calls from "Madison Ground Team" on the same designator as our "Ground Team Alpha". Most of our units don't have the numbers to support a local ground team. I had it once but the members trickled-out and I didn't have the leadership skills at the time to keep it together. We could probably do it at the group-level without an issue in most places, though my group covers something along the lines of 1/3 of the state after the consolidation so that would be an issue.

I love the idea of having local teams. I really, really do. As a GTL, I would much rather go out for a few hours every couple of months with the same group of folks and train new people/maintain proficiency. Instead I start every exercise from ground zero because I have to show up at mission base and hope the GBD doesn't give me a vanload of goobers. But even if I had the numbers I can't keep people's attention spans long enough to get them to do GES, let alone GTM3.

Sincerely,

White Cell 1
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The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
Sapper168
Seasoned Member

Posts: 336
Unit: GLR-IL-036

« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2014, 01:13:55 AM »

The OSC and I had a conversation about this over lunch on Sunday. I gathered pretty quickly that you guys had local teams when I started hearing radio calls from "Madison Ground Team" on the same designator as our "Ground Team Alpha". Most of our units don't have the numbers to support a local ground team. I had it once but the members trickled-out and I didn't have the leadership skills at the time to keep it together. We could probably do it at the group-level without an issue in most places, though my group covers something along the lines of 1/3 of the state after the consolidation so that would be an issue.

I love the idea of having local teams. I really, really do. As a GTL, I would much rather go out for a few hours every couple of months with the same group of folks and train new people/maintain proficiency. Instead I start every exercise from ground zero because I have to show up at mission base and hope the GBD doesn't give me a vanload of goobers. But even if I had the numbers I can't keep people's attention spans long enough to get them to do GES, let alone GTM3.

Sincerely,

White Cell 1

Spaceman, with my SET approval I am working on getting people qualed for both GTM3 and UDF here in Springfield.  Need to get with you though to borrow an lPer and practice beacon sometime this summer.
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Shane E Guernsey, TSgt, CAP
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lordmonar
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,651

« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2014, 01:17:08 AM »

The only question I have about a wing "pool" concept is.......who brings the "team" gear?

Is every member supposed to have a complete team set up.....just in case they are the only one who shows up?   Is it just the GTLs?

Does wing have a few kits per-positioned?
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Pacific Region
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,073

« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2014, 01:34:09 AM »

This "list" doesn't exactly require a sherpa.

All GTLs should have it, and most GTMs I've encountered do, anyway.
And no GTL, no team, so there you go.

LEADER’S EQUIPMENT  - only required of Ground Team Leaders
• Protractor -- for map work.
• Map Case
- Large Zip-Loc bags can be used if necessary
• Pencil, with eraser
• Alcohol Pens, fine tip, at least 2 colors
- neither the color of your colored flashlight lens)
• Some way to erase alcohol pens marks on the map case, such as alcohol swabs or a special alcohol pen eraser.
• A straightedge ruler, at least 6” long
- Some protractors may have a ruler as well
• Ground Team Leader Handbook


Did I miss something?
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♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,836
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 02:09:59 AM »

What I'm gathering is that not having enough peeps at each squadron to form a team is the primary driving force for the pool concept. Maybe we're lucky in Wisconsin, but as far as I know any squadron that wants to stand up a team has had enough people to do it. I'm a fan of smaller teams anyways (4-6) so it doesn't bother me to have less people.

Ditto on Lordmonar. The team gear isn't the leader gear - it's the LPers, GPS unit, maps, radios, laptops, etc.

There's also no reliability on specific teams. Here in WIWG, we know the idiosyncrasies of certain teams. Who has strengths, who has weaknesses, who's effective, and who isn't. That plays into how they get tasked, and is lost in the pool version.

Sincerely,

White Cell 1

Didn't expect to see that, lol.
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
..
                WI-204/CC
.
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,073

« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2014, 02:22:55 AM »

it's the LPers, GPS unit, maps, radios, laptops, etc.

I don't really consider that "team gear" - every body has that stuff, with the exception of the L-Pers which are assigned to
groups or units, not teams.

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lordmonar
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,651

« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2014, 03:46:38 AM »

This "list" doesn't exactly require a sherpa.

O-0006 17-MAR-04
GROUND TEAM EQUIPMENT LIST
MANDATORY EQUIPMENT
Vehicle- Mounted FM transceiver
Handheld FM transceiver
Signal Panels, (2'x6'), 6
Water, 5 gallons
Blood Borne Pathogen Kit (s)
Shovel/E-Tool
Camera with film (instant preferred, 35mm
acceptable)
MISSION KIT
CAPF-78, 5
CAPF-106, 25
CAPF-109, 10
ICSF 214, 10
Road Map
Aeronautical Sectional Chart
Ground and UDF Team Task Guide
DISTRESS BEACON-DF KIT
Direction Finding Unit With Antennas
1/4 Wave Vehicle Antenna
Rubber Or Telescoping Antenna
Spare Batteries, Tools To Install Them
CRASH SITE SURVEILLANCE KIT
Staple Gun with Spares
Warning Placards, 20
Binoculars
Instant Camera
Barrier Tape, 500 meters
FIRST AID KIT
Backpack-Type Bag
4"X4" Gauze Pads, Wrapped, 25
Eye Pads, Wrapped, 5
Trauma/Combine Dressings, 10
Triangular Bandages, 10
Kling Roll Bandage, 3 And 6", 10
Handi-Wipes/Alcohol Pads
Latex Gloves
Antiseptic Swabs, 20
Adhesive Tape, 1” X 10 yd, 2
Adhesive Tape, 2î X 10 yd, 2
Triage Tags, 10 (opt.)
Notepad, Pencil
Cold Packs, 4 (opt.)
Hot Packs, 4 (opt.)
BP Cuff, Stethoscope (opt).
Bandage Scissors (opt).
Forceps (opt).
Utility Scissors
Penlight
ADVANCED EQUIPMENT
Litter, stokes or folding
Spotlight, vehicle
Cyalume Lightsticks
Global Positioning System
Tape Recorder
Public Address System
Radiological Monitoring Kit
Night Vision Devices
Nylon Rope, 1/2"x100'
Generator/light Set
URBAN DF TEAM EQUIPMENT LIST
Vehicle-Mounted FM transceiver, Handheld
FM transceiver, or Cellular Phone
Signal Panels, (2'x6'), 6 (Optional)
Camera with film (instant pref
erred, 35mm acceptable, Optional)
Appropriate local Maps and Charts
Ground and UDFT Task Guide
Flashlight with spare batteries
Spare Notepad with pens/pencils
Direction Finding Unit With Antennas
1/4 Wave Vehicle Antenna
Rubber Or Telescoping Antenna
Spare Batteries for DF unit
and Tools To Install Them
Global Positioning System (Optional)


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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Pacific Region
JeffDG
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,157

« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2014, 07:32:06 AM »

What I'm gathering is that not having enough peeps at each squadron to form a team is the primary driving force for the pool concept.

I wouldn't necessarily agree.

The pool concept should be used sometimes.  The issue is when the fecal matter hits the oscillating blades, you're going to end up without all the resources that you train with.  Leaders need practice and experience in forming ad hoc organizations, and recognizing specific skillsets in their team members, even if they've only just met them a few minutes ago.

While having a team that exercises together is nice, I wouldn't expect to be able to perform actual operations with such a team.  Disaster situations tend to scramble such plans rather rapidly and thoroughly, and if all you've ever done is work with one team, you're another step behind the curve in adapting to the situation.

Semper gumby.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,073

« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2014, 08:55:37 AM »

This "list" doesn't exactly require a sherpa.

O-0006 17-MAR-04
GROUND TEAM EQUIPMENT LIST
MANDATORY EQUIPMENT
Vehicle- Mounted FM transceiver
Handheld FM transceiver
Signal Panels, (2'x6'), 6
Water, 5 gallons
Blood Borne Pathogen Kit (s)
Shovel/E-Tool
Camera with film (instant preferred, 35mm
acceptable)

The only "mandatory" items on the O-0006 list are above.  Again, not exactly an onerous list.

I have no doubt, though, that there are some GTLs out there with Polaroid or 35mm instant cameras in their gear.

CAP really REALLY needs to update this curriculum.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 09:02:33 AM by Eclipse » Logged


Garibaldi
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,325
Unit: SER-GA-045

Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2014, 09:04:56 AM »

This "list" doesn't exactly require a sherpa.

O-0006 17-MAR-04
GROUND TEAM EQUIPMENT LIST
MANDATORY EQUIPMENT
Vehicle- Mounted FM transceiver
Handheld FM transceiver
Signal Panels, (2'x6'), 6
Water, 5 gallons
Blood Borne Pathogen Kit (s)
Shovel/E-Tool
Camera with film (instant preferred, 35mm
acceptable)

The only "mandatory" items on the O-0006 list are above.  Again, not exactly an onerous list.

I have no doubt, though, that there are some GTLs out there with Polaroid or 35mm instant cameras in their gear.

CAP really REALLY needs to update this curriculum.

I have a large camera on a wood tripod that requires a powder flash. It takes up a lot of space in the wagon.
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You can't take the sky from me. Also, I can kill you with my brain. No power in the 'verse can stop me.
THRAWN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,874

« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2014, 09:43:15 AM »

This "list" doesn't exactly require a sherpa.

O-0006 17-MAR-04
GROUND TEAM EQUIPMENT LIST
MANDATORY EQUIPMENT
Vehicle- Mounted FM transceiver
Handheld FM transceiver
Signal Panels, (2'x6'), 6
Water, 5 gallons
Blood Borne Pathogen Kit (s)
Shovel/E-Tool
Camera with film (instant preferred, 35mm
acceptable)

The only "mandatory" items on the O-0006 list are above.  Again, not exactly an onerous list.

I have no doubt, though, that there are some GTLs out there with Polaroid or 35mm instant cameras in their gear.

CAP really REALLY needs to update this curriculum.

Film? Like tape? In all seriousness, find out what would be an acceptable medium to investigators, at all levels of government, in your area. Some juristictions just plain distrust digital photos. With the availability of digital manipulation software, they have a point. Not saying it's difficult to manipulate a film print, but it's good to know what will be acceptable from a legal stand point. Take a course in crime scene/accident investigation photography. Just whipping out the cell phone and snapping a bunch of pics might be useless, unless you know what you're shooting. It doesn't take a lot of time to learn, but it is a good practice and will save you and the investigations team a lot of headaches in the long run. something like this: http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/fet-ol.html is a good start...
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Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
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Garibaldi
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,325
Unit: SER-GA-045

Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2014, 10:06:13 AM »

This "list" doesn't exactly require a sherpa.

O-0006 17-MAR-04
GROUND TEAM EQUIPMENT LIST
MANDATORY EQUIPMENT
Vehicle- Mounted FM transceiver
Handheld FM transceiver
Signal Panels, (2'x6'), 6
Water, 5 gallons
Blood Borne Pathogen Kit (s)
Shovel/E-Tool
Camera with film (instant preferred, 35mm
acceptable)

The only "mandatory" items on the O-0006 list are above.  Again, not exactly an onerous list.

I have no doubt, though, that there are some GTLs out there with Polaroid or 35mm instant cameras in their gear.

CAP really REALLY needs to update this curriculum.

Film? Like tape? In all seriousness, find out what would be an acceptable medium to investigators, at all levels of government, in your area. Some juristictions just plain distrust digital photos. With the availability of digital manipulation software, they have a point. Not saying it's difficult to manipulate a film print, but it's good to know what will be acceptable from a legal stand point. Take a course in crime scene/accident investigation photography. Just whipping out the cell phone and snapping a bunch of pics might be useless, unless you know what you're shooting. It doesn't take a lot of time to learn, but it is a good practice and will save you and the investigations team a lot of headaches in the long run. something like this: http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/fet-ol.html is a good start...

When I worked for AT&T part of our mandatory gear was a disposable 35mm camera that was to be used if we were in an accident. We HAD to use up all the shots available, and the manager would come and take digital photos. Not sure why we couldn't take photos with our issued iPhones, but I guess they needed hard copies that were unalterable. I can see Thrawn's point, but who has the time to manipulate photos in the field? And more to the point, why? The GTL would be the only person to take "official" photos anyway. Cadets would be too busy taking selfies. "Me at my first crash site! Duckface!"

On reflection, I think I can see a problem. Social media. Cadets would be so interested in posting crash site photos as soon as they were in range of a cell tower that all kinds of propriety would go out the window. Even Cadet Joe sharing photos with Cadet Bob via text could end up in the inbox of a TV news producer or a reporter. GTL says "No pics!" and that is an open invitation for mayhem. "Oh, we were just fooling around. I didn't see the dessicated body in the background when I sent the pic to my TV news reporter brother. Oh, well."
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You can't take the sky from me. Also, I can kill you with my brain. No power in the 'verse can stop me.
lordmonar
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,651

« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2014, 10:09:39 AM »

So....back to my original question.

If it is a wing pool.....who is responsible for bringing the "team" gear?

Who's got the ELPER?
Who's got the VAN?
Who's got the radios?

And yes.....CAP needs to update the list a bit......but that's another argument.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Pacific Region
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,073

« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2014, 10:14:58 AM »

Who's got the ELPER?
Who's got the VAN?
Who's got the radios?

The people who have them, and in many cases, they might not even be involved in ES.

It seems to work itself out.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,073

« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2014, 10:19:45 AM »

When I worked for AT&T part of our mandatory gear was a disposable 35mm camera that was to be used if we were in an accident. We HAD to use up all the shots available, and the manager would come and take digital photos. Not sure why we couldn't take photos with our issued iPhones, but I guess they needed hard copies that were unalterable. I can see Thrawn's point, but who has the time to manipulate photos in the field? And more to the point, why? The GTL would be the only person to take "official" photos anyway. Cadets would be too busy taking selfies. "Me at my first crash site! Duckface!"

On reflection, I think I can see a problem. Social media. Cadets would be so interested in posting crash site photos as soon as they were in range of a cell tower that all kinds of propriety would go out the window. Even Cadet Joe sharing photos with Cadet Bob via text could end up in the inbox of a TV news producer or a reporter. GTL says "No pics!" and that is an open invitation for mayhem. "Oh, we were just fooling around. I didn't see the dessicated body in the background when I sent the pic to my TV news reporter brother. Oh, well."

If only it was just the cadets.  I am frequently disappointed, but no longer surprised, by the number of adults who seem
incapable of following simple rules about photos.  Bad enough to take them, but posting them is just literal stupidity.
Up at the Navy base, we hammer the "no photos" rule, yet every year there's some goof who just can't restrain himself
from a selfie, etc., and it gets back to us through some embarrassing channel.

To the point about cameras, we're not an investigating agency, so we're not charged with gathering evidence. 
If photos we happen to have are helpful, so be it, but I wouldn't get tied up in knots about "chains of evidence", etc., unless
you've been formally tasked with doing something official, which is unlikely.

CAP points at the big smokey thing and then gets out of the way.
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THRAWN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,874

« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2014, 10:27:13 AM »

When I worked for AT&T part of our mandatory gear was a disposable 35mm camera that was to be used if we were in an accident. We HAD to use up all the shots available, and the manager would come and take digital photos. Not sure why we couldn't take photos with our issued iPhones, but I guess they needed hard copies that were unalterable. I can see Thrawn's point, but who has the time to manipulate photos in the field? And more to the point, why? The GTL would be the only person to take "official" photos anyway. Cadets would be too busy taking selfies. "Me at my first crash site! Duckface!"

On reflection, I think I can see a problem. Social media. Cadets would be so interested in posting crash site photos as soon as they were in range of a cell tower that all kinds of propriety would go out the window. Even Cadet Joe sharing photos with Cadet Bob via text could end up in the inbox of a TV news producer or a reporter. GTL says "No pics!" and that is an open invitation for mayhem. "Oh, we were just fooling around. I didn't see the dessicated body in the background when I sent the pic to my TV news reporter brother. Oh, well."

If only it was just the cadets.  I am frequently disappointed, but no longer surprised, by the number of adults who seem
incapable of following simple rules about photos.  Bad enough to take them, but posting them is just literal stupidity.
Up at the Navy base, we hammer the "no photos" rule, yet every year there's some goof who just can't restrain himself
from a selfie, etc., and it gets back to us through some embarrassing channel.

To the point about cameras, we're not an investigating agency, so we're not charged with gathering evidence. 
If photos we happen to have are helpful, so be it, but I wouldn't get tied up in knots about "chains of evidence", etc., unless
you've been formally tasked with doing something official, which is unlikely.

CAP points at the big smokey thing and then gets out of the way.

WHAT?!!? NO! We do search and rescue! We have Rangers! We do 85% of all search and resue in America! We sank a submarine!

Lots of truth in the big smoky thing comment. We may not be specifically charged with gathering evidence, and in most cases the I-team will use what we present. My point being, in some places, it's an exercise in administrative self pleasure if you are taking photos that don't meet the standard or medium.
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Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
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Garibaldi
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,325
Unit: SER-GA-045

Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2014, 10:31:27 AM »

The only question I have about a wing "pool" concept is.......who brings the "team" gear?

Is every member supposed to have a complete team set up.....just in case they are the only one who shows up?   Is it just the GTLs?

Does wing have a few kits perpre-positioned?

FTFY.

Anyway, if the "team" gear is assigned at the unit level, and it should be, then each responding unit should bring theirs with. The local unit  GTL, if available, should ensure that the team is equipped in case they have to strike out on their own, but also plan to be split up at the ICP. A couple months ago, as GBD-T I should have re-assigned assets because we had a huge turnout (80 something participants or so) but it was decided to leave the squadron assets in place. Everyone had their own LPer in any case, as well as radios. Made it easier to out-process when the individual units left on Sunday after a brief outbound sortie. Could have merged teams on Saturday, but did not. If the gear doesn't get used it doesn't get used. Better to have it and not need it, etc. etc. ad nauseum. Point is, both systems have their merits. I prefer unit cohesion but plan for the split. I always warn my team that it could happen and that, given their high quality of training by me (just broke my arm patting myself on the back), they should be prepared to help out whenever they can and to be on their best behavior. Honestly, I have never had my team split up except for once, and it was a giant Charlie Foxtrot, perpetrated by the GBD who really did not know their posterior from a hole in the ground. They were aware of a potential problem yet proceeded anyway despite my objections.
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You can't take the sky from me. Also, I can kill you with my brain. No power in the 'verse can stop me.
THRAWN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,874

« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2014, 11:07:13 AM »

The only question I have about a wing "pool" concept is.......who brings the "team" gear?

Is every member supposed to have a complete team set up.....just in case they are the only one who shows up?   Is it just the GTLs?

Does wing have a few kits perpre-positioned?

FTFY.

Anyway, if the "team" gear is assigned at the unit level, and it should be, then each responding unit should bring theirs with. The local unit  GTL, if available, should ensure that the team is equipped in case they have to strike out on their own, but also plan to be split up at the ICP. A couple months ago, as GBD-T I should have re-assigned assets because we had a huge turnout (80 something participants or so) but it was decided to leave the squadron assets in place. Everyone had their own LPer in any case, as well as radios. Made it easier to out-process when the individual units left on Sunday after a brief outbound sortie. Could have merged teams on Saturday, but did not. If the gear doesn't get used it doesn't get used. Better to have it and not need it, etc. etc. ad nauseum. Point is, both systems have their merits. I prefer unit cohesion but plan for the split. I always warn my team that it could happen and that, given their high quality of training by me (just broke my arm patting myself on the back), they should be prepared to help out whenever they can and to be on their best behavior. Honestly, I have never had my team split up except for once, and it was a giant Charlie Foxtrot, perpetrated by the GBD who really did not know their posterior from a hole in the ground. They were aware of a potential problem yet proceeded anyway despite my objections.

This brings up a good point. Everone, should (I know, that's the land where unicorn ponies and gumdrop houses are from) be able to "click in" to any team. Just because the people have never worked together before, doesn't mean that the positions are any different. I know in the real world, people try to build cylinders of excellence, but when the balloon goes up, each operator needs ot be aware that they might not be working with the people that they always work with. This is especially true in multi-unit operations. A GTM is a GTM is a GTM. Take a FLWG GTM and put him in NJWG, and he should be able to operate the same, because he has had the same training. This is unfortunately, one of the areas that CAP is weak in.
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Strup
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Spaceman3750
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« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2014, 11:26:16 AM »

If you go in with the expectation of being split up, there's no point in building the cylinder of excellence in the first place. I don't know why a GBD would split a team that's trained together for months or years. It's just going to upset people and break what is known to be a working unit.
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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2014, 11:37:28 AM »

If you go in with the expectation of being split up, there's no point in building the cylinder of excellence in the first place. I don't know why a GBD would split a team that's trained together for months or years. It's just going to upset people and break what is known to be a working unit.

For starters, that training and excellence may make them the best candidates to lead the other teams.

As you know, in our wing most active GTs are adults, certainly on real-world missions, and in many cases
everyone on the team is a GTL.

Given the choice I'd prefer to work with the 5-10 guys I've been working with for a decade, but mission
mandates come first.

This is a reason the training is supposed to be standardized at all levels.
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JeffDG
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« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2014, 11:47:03 AM »

If you go in with the expectation of being split up, there's no point in building the cylinder of excellence in the first place. I don't know why a GBD would split a team that's trained together for months or years. It's just going to upset people and break what is known to be a working unit.

Why would a GBD do that?

Perhaps to give a GTL experience with working with an ad hoc team?  In a actual mission, you often have to scratch together a team from what you have on hand, and as such, I think GTLs having experience doing that is incredibly valuable.
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THRAWN
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« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2014, 11:54:47 AM »

If you go in with the expectation of being split up, there's no point in building the cylinder of excellence in the first place. I don't know why a GBD would split a team that's trained together for months or years. It's just going to upset people and break what is known to be a working unit.

For starters, that training and excellence may make them the best candidates to lead the other teams.

As you know, in our wing most active GTs are adults, certainly on real-world missions, and in many cases
everyone on the team is a GTL.

Given the choice I'd prefer to work with the 5-10 guys I've been working with for a decade, but mission
mandates come first.

This is a reason the training is supposed to be standardized at all levels.

Aye, "supposibly"....in a lot of places it is. In far too many, it is not, even in the same wing.
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Strup
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a2capt
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« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2014, 12:35:50 PM »

My first experience on joining and trying to participate in ES was that not only was it a "wing" pool, it was a "pre-determined" pool in very much a clique like way.

With mostly a certain IC taking nearly every mission and calling on his select few. If you were lucky enough to get called and you said "I can't" you never got called again. They were probably looking for Commanders Commendations for narrowing down their pool to draw from significantly, making ES response on par with paid first responders on call with their turnouts at their bedside.
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TSEEKER
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« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2014, 03:28:57 PM »

Our wing uses a quasi wing/local pool.  It stands to reason that if you get an ELT search with no aircraft on the far end of the state you will want to use the unit/or units closest to the probable area to cut down on travel time.  I've seen it work well with within unit and put together but geographically near UDF teams.
As far as the typical ground teams, how many missions do we really need a full ground team for?
JH
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ol'fido
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« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2014, 08:08:26 PM »

In an ideal world,  every wing would have enough organized, unit-based teams to cover the entire state without a team having to travel an inordinate amount of time/distance to reach a mission base or search area. On the other hand, you can also have some very dedicated and talented individual GTM/Ls in units that otherwise have no appreciable ES capability. The key is too not be too parochial about one approach or the other and blend them into a working whole. If you do enough training in your wing/group, everyone will be familiar with the "usual suspects" and they can seemlessly integrate into an established team that may be short a few members for one reason or another or form an effective team from the "individual augmentees"  who respond to the call out.

I don't believe that ICs should just call on the GOBN when their is a call out. That is unfair to the rest of the people who have trained hard and want to contibute. It is, however, more of a "sure thing" to be able to make one or two phone calls and get a team rolling than to put out a text/email alert and sit and hope for someone to reply. If I was an IC, again I would blend the approach. If I knew of a team that was within reasonable distance of a mission, I would call and get them rolling and then put out a general call for anyone else. That first team may get the job done, but they may also need some bodies and they may need relief for the next operational period.
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Lt. Col. Randy L. Mitchell
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« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2014, 08:27:20 PM »

While I think everyone recognizes the need to occasionally shuffle team members around when composing the team before hand or after reaching the scene, I have a hard time understanding why it would be advantageous to use a "pool" as a standard practice.

I would assume that even there, most units that want to do ground team stuff have enough folks for a ground team or are working towards that goal.  I can also understand that there may be some stray ground team folks "stranded" in units that aren't interested in doing it as a unit and whom might have to link up with other teams in order to train and deploy. 

That being said, I have no problems with putting out a general call for ground team members when they are needed in addition to trying to deploy specific squadron-based teams.  But at some point trying to organize 3 teams with vans from 3 squadrons and 10 random people around the state into a coherent force is going to be a logistical challenge.  At some point its not going to be worth the effort to get that one last guy who is going to drive across the entire state by himself to participate. 

 
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Eclipse
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« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2014, 09:10:40 PM »

It's not "advantageous" it simply "is".

When you have zero expectation of response or performance, people will do what they feel like doing, and
you have no way to control the location or readiness of a given asset or member.

With no national, regional, or wing personnel requirements (which would be meaningless anyway since we don't slot
or billet people beyond "interested?") there isn't even a way to keep people current.  People show up when they feel like it,
do what they feel like doing, and increasingly there are less of them to pick from.  The active members have 12 jobs and
can't keep up with qualifications on all of them.  I was the Wing ESO, active all over the place, and couldn't get my own GTL/GTM
requaled for the last three years because I was locked in the ICP doign GBD, PSC and LO stuff.

Vans are not generally located based on central availability or ES preparedness, they are issued based on "a place to park it",
or "it goes with the trailer", etc.  And in my wing, anyway, the use of COVs on missions, especially ELTs is pretty unusual because
of the hassle factor.  Unless a COV POC is also coincidentally a GTL, few are reaching for a COV when they
have their own car and will get reimbursed.  We also have a couple who have CAP DLs but simply don't like driving
those 8MPG beasts.

Having a "full team" from a given unit is potentially meaningless if the majority are cadets, especially for the late night call outs,
or the GTL is not available, doesn't have an L-Per, has a full Tivo queue, or whatever.

Also, in my wing, it's not unusual that the members live nowhere near their unit of assignment.
We have wing staff that live 90 minutes to 6-hours from Wing HQ, and a LOT
of members drive an hour to a meeting from the major metro area to the suburbs, so putting
gear at the unit would require driving there first unless the ELT was going off in the parking lot.

We also have an increasingly large swath of dark patches where there is simply no CAP presence.
My wing has lost two units and  group in the last calendar year and there are others struggling for viability.
We have (or had) some GTLs who lived in the metro area and didn't own a car. At one time
this was actually a fairly significant problem as 2-3 or more of our A-Team GTLs were in this situation.

The team concept is great, but then it also requires an alert infrastructure that has to be followed and maintained
all the way down the chain as well, and not really necessary in this day and age.

The SOP has been that if a given unit wants its people to respond as a team, they establish that
when the REDCAP messages go out, one person from that unit does the team configuration and then
reports in to the IC when they are ready.  Works about 30% of the time for one or two units.  Looking
back anecdotally over the last couple of years, I'd be surprised if there were more then one or two times
a coherent "team" was even available, let alone responded as such.

We had one situation where the only assets available were two hours away, even though
the ELT was going off near an airport that has a large CAP unit. 

Otherwise the flag goes up, people call in or email the IC, and then respond from whereever they are with
whatever they have.  Any mission that expands beyond one aircraft and a couple of ground teams will generally
get expanded ICS staff and be handled more formally.

I just ran some reports.

My wing currently has 28 Units and 5 Groups.

24 Qualified GTLs as of today, but that includes a number who are from the same unit.

Only 10 GTLs are from distinct units which are not Group HQs, and these are not geographically
distributed in anything but a shotgun fashion. 

Running a GT3 list, with the assumption this would be the lowest level of call-out,
there are 85 total, however a number of those are also the GTLs, and again there
is no planned distribution, they are where they are.

I also noticed that in several cases, there is a GTM but no GTL at that unit.

At the micro there are trainees to add-in, but others who do nothing but qualify
would probably balance those.








« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 09:38:50 PM by Eclipse » Logged


Fubar
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« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2014, 11:00:52 PM »

I don't really consider that "team gear" - every body has that stuff, with the exception of the L-Pers which are assigned to groups or units, not teams.

Well, you're forgetting the stokes basket, the med bag with enough crap to fill an ambulance, IR chem lights for the aero ambulance response, and police radios to contact Buford T. Justice.
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Walkman
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« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2014, 08:04:14 AM »

A couple of years ago, MIWG had a big missing person mission in the UP. The alert came to the entire wing that whomever go go and plan on being in up there for at least three days should report. All the team, both air & ground, were made up from the people that could make it. 2 Saves, BTW, on that mission!

Our Group has its own alert roster so we can pool the resources somehwat locally. My unit doesn't have pilots or AC, but we've got a few MS/MO people. There is a unit ~30 minutes east with a plane. Our Group CC is an IC, so he can pull together an aircrew from both units in a pinch.

I just finished GTL, so now my unit has a full GT. We'll train together, but I suspect that the upcoming Wing SAREX we'll have some people from other units join us for sorties.
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BFreemanMA
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« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2014, 01:40:56 PM »

MAWG also does the pool of GTMs and aircrew. I haven't been in an actual mission yet, but all members from my wing convene together and teams are formed from there. The bigger squadrons in the area have the L-PERS and any other expensive items, but each team member has their own gear. For aircrew, it looks like the same deal is in place.
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Brian Freeman, Capt, CAP
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« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2014, 01:49:40 PM »

While I think everyone recognizes the need to occasionally shuffle team members around when composing the team before hand or after reaching the scene, I have a hard time understanding why it would be advantageous to use a "pool" as a standard practice.

I would assume that even there, most units that want to do ground team stuff have enough folks for a ground team or are working towards that goal.  I can also understand that there may be some stray ground team folks "stranded" in units that aren't interested in doing it as a unit and whom might have to link up with other teams in order to train and deploy. 

That being said, I have no problems with putting out a general call for ground team members when they are needed in addition to trying to deploy specific squadron-based teams.  But at some point trying to organize 3 teams with vans from 3 squadrons and 10 random people around the state into a coherent force is going to be a logistical challenge.  At some point its not going to be worth the effort to get that one last guy who is going to drive across the entire state by himself to participate.

I've seen plenty of instances where pooling members is handy/advantageous.

I've also see it where people got parochial and refused to play. ("We don't want to go on a joint sortie with that team. They're not as good as us.." Wait, what?)

I haven't played ground team in a number of years, but when I was a GTL, I pretty much had the personal policy that as long as I could accommodate someone, no matter where they were from, they could ride with us.   Sometimes it was Joe Rando cadet who is a newly minted GTM and he's at a mission sans team.  Sometimes it was "These guys came to the mission, but we need their GTL to work in the ground branch, and their other guy is covering the comm shack until 1400.  Can you take their 3 cadet ground team members on your sortie?" 

I always taught my teams, both here and in my previous wing, to avoid being fixated on a "hard" team concept.  Sure, it is good to know each other and your capabilities, but don't be so closed off that you can't pick up a strap-hanger or two and be all thrown off.

Many, many years ago (1992?) there was a "region" mission that was run out of Valpariso, Indiana.  There were a metric crapload of people from IN, IL, WI, OH & Michigan at that mission.  We got a LOT of taskings jointly with other teams. 

If you're all carrying 101 cards, in theory you're all trained to a certain baseline standard.  (in theory)

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THRAWN
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« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2014, 03:16:18 PM »

"I always taught my teams, both here and in my previous wing, to avoid being fixated on a "hard" team concept.  Sure, it is good to know each other and your capabilities, but don't be so closed off that you can't pick up a strap-hanger or two and be all thrown off."

Great point. And people need to keep in mind that we are, overall, a fairly small community. GTers tend to know eachother by name, if not by sight. So not only do we, mostly, know each other, we are trained and equiped in a similar manner. In theory...  :)
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Strup
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« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2014, 04:09:09 PM »

I would submit that if an entire Wing is so poor in ground forces that it has to count on 1 or 2 individuals each from many far-flung units to band together with other mini-groups of similar size in order to put together a usable ground team (or multiple ground teams), that they may as well get out of the GSAR business. 

It actually pains me to say that since as many of you know, I believe the most promising area for increasing our ES workload is on the ground. 

Either doing a poor job at recruiting potential GT members, training potential GT members, or retaining actual GT members or perhaps all three.

At some point it just becomes too cost-prohibitive, in terms of money and volunteer time, in order to retain the vestiges of a real ground team program. 

If a Wing has to go to such great lengths to put boots on the ground they are better off just letting the locals handle that part of the mission.  A better use of time of those CAP members interested in GT work may be in training them to work primarily with the locals to assist in air-ground communication (for example like AF people they put on the ground to guide air strikes -- if they still do that). 

Heck, having the CAP folks spending the time developing relationships with the locals in preparation for that sort of mission would actually probably result in an increase in requests for CAP services and maybe, just maybe, over the long run cause enough interest in CAP GSAR to reactivate our own program in that area.   
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Eclipse
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« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2014, 04:18:13 PM »

Heck, having the CAP folks spending the time developing relationships with the locals in preparation for that sort of mission would actually probably result in an increase in requests for CAP services and maybe, just maybe, over the long run cause enough interest in CAP GSAR to reactivate our own program in that area.

Which was / is exactly my wing's current training framework.

Recruit heavily, incorporate ES into your 13-week calendar (calendar?  What calendar?), develop local relationships, and
have extra-meeting activities driven by the unit and group.  The intention being to build a ground swell of members and customers
that would then drive the training and additional recruiting and growth.

/crickets
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RiverAux
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« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2014, 05:45:05 PM »

Uh, actually I was suggesting that the GT program basically be shelved and whatever momentum that was in it be re-directed towards just providing CAP support to other local SAR teams/Sheriff's Offices or whoever the relevant agency is. 

In other words, dump the pool system in so far as trying to assemble CAP ground teams.  Don't try to field a ground team except from units that actually have functioning programs and adequate personnel.  Re-train and equip the existing isolated GT folks to be air-ground liaisons. 

If you've got a Wing or Group staff member gung ho enough to even try to re-vitalize the program, tell them to spend their time going to meet with local sheriffs, etc. and promote CAP air SAR capability, be honest about very limited CAP GT capability, and instead offer liaisons to their own teams. 
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Eclipse
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« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2014, 05:52:17 PM »

My only comment to that is that somehow we've managed to get things done for the 15 years I've been in.
However I acknowledge that, while our ability to brute-force things is a credit to the people involved, but it isn't scalable, nor sustainable.

The majority of the same 150-200 people who were the active players 15 years ago are still the majority today,
but they are now 15 years older without a 1-2 or even a 1-2 set of replacements.  Many have moved up the ICS food chain
with no one backfilling them as field assets.

We're fine on the normal mission curves, the major challenges are in expansion or depth at position, from direct
in-person experience, discussions with NHQ staff, CAP-USAF, and other Ops staff in other wings and Regions,
our capabilities tend to float towards the top on the organization, and are certainly typical of the Region, if not
many wings nationally.

Frankly, while old-timers speak of sustained / self-contained ES response at the unit level "BITD"  the CAP
I've been in has never had that capability or expectation.  It's great when units are able to do it,
but it's because of self-actualization, not any higher mandate or expectation.

And for full disclosure's sake, I am both defensive on this and in agreement, at least at the high level.
A lot of this was my responsibility, and my frustration at the inability to get anything to change without
command imperative is one of the reasons it's >not< my responsibility anymore.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 06:04:23 PM by Eclipse » Logged


RiverAux
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« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2014, 08:06:51 PM »

our ability to brute-force things is a credit to the people involved, but it isn't scalable, nor sustainable.
Agreed to all parts of the sentence.

Unfortunately, our ground SAR team numbers are one of our greatest weaknesses at a time when they could be the fastest growing and most-utilized assets of the organization were some attention paid to them. 

What also saddens me is that many squadrons not only can't field an entire ground team at one time, but that we're really beginning to see that we have so few aircrew members that we have to pool folks to put three people in a plane.  Instead of having 4-6 members available in a unit for each seat on the airplane, which is what it takes to have a good chance of availability 7/24/365, we get in trouble if one guy goes on vacation. 
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Eclipse
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« Reply #41 on: April 16, 2014, 08:20:04 PM »

Yep.

Meanwhile the focus is elsewhere.
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