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wmackirdy
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« on: November 20, 2018, 04:08:46 PM »

Does CAP have an official map reading course? Is it found somewhere in the Emergency Services area?
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Maj Wayne MacKirdy
Chaplain, Major, US Army (retired)
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NIN
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2018, 05:06:26 PM »

Does CAP have an official map reading course? Is it found somewhere in the Emergency Services area?

No, not really. There's the tasks in the task guide, but much like the old SMART book, its more of a "this is what need to know/demonstrate" rather than an actual couorse.

Although, honestly: All I've really done for map reading for ES is essentially the old SMCT/SMART book map reading tasks, with the possible exception of adding Lat/Long alongside UTM
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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wmackirdy
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Unit: RMR-CO-805

« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2018, 05:52:20 PM »

I was afraid that was the case. I am looking for something to teach cadets. I spent 19 years as an Army field artillery officer, starting out in Vietnam as a 2LT field artillery forward observer with a light infantry company in triple canopy jungle (not, rain forest), and rice paddies.

Unfortunately, the Army doesn't use LatLong for navigation, although I am familiar with the system. But, using it for navigation, especially land navigation, is not something I have done. Oh well, I will keep looking.

Thanks for the feedback. Anyone else?
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Maj Wayne MacKirdy
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wmackirdy
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2018, 05:55:12 PM »

So, what have others used to teach cadets? Particularly, ground team land navigation?
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Maj Wayne MacKirdy
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2018, 05:56:51 PM »

Have you tried looking to see what the Boy Scouts use? They use Lat/Long.
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Gunsotsu
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2018, 06:01:16 PM »

Lat/Long should only be used for familiarization purposes, one should never attempt land nav using only lat/long. If you aren't teaching/using UTM in your GT training, you shouldn't be teaching land nav to anyone.

As to resources, there's nothing wrong with good old FM 3-25.26. It's Joe-proof.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2018, 06:03:50 PM »

Lat/Long should only be used for familiarization purposes, one should never attempt land nav using only lat/long. If you aren't teaching/using UTM in your GT training, you shouldn't be teaching land nav to anyone.

Sorry - strongly disagree.  The civilian world lives in Lat/Long, not UTM.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2018, 06:08:49 PM »

Does CAP have an official map reading course? Is it found somewhere in the Emergency Services area?

Yes.

Land Navigation for GTM: http://nesa.cap.gov/s/LNGTM.PPT

Land Navigation for GTL:  http://nesa.cap.gov/s/LNGTL.PPT

The rest of the GSAR Curriculum:  http://nesa.cap.gov/gsar-curriculum/
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wmackirdy
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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2018, 06:10:12 PM »

Gunsotsu,

I am very familiar with UTM, and that aspect of land nav. Does CAP have a source for UTM maps? How do ground teams communicate with air crews? Do air crews use UTM? All my communications with air crews as an MRO has been with LatLong. (BTW - I have only been in CAP for 13 months, so I am still trying to get the lay of the land, so to speak)

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Maj Wayne MacKirdy
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Eclipse
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 06:20:06 PM »

Does CAP have a source for UTM maps?

No.  But then again it doesn't have an official source for any maps.

How do ground teams communicate with air crews?

Via radio. (and sometimes hand signals and panels).

Do air crews use UTM?

No.
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Gunsotsu
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 06:37:25 PM »

Sorry - strongly disagree.  The civilian world lives in Lat/Long, not UTM.

I guess I'll go let my state and country EMA and SAR teams know they're wrong then. Lat/long is an antiquated system that's long past it's usefulness. UTM is significantly more accurate, has less inherent problems, and is a lot easier to learn and use.   

CAP doesn't source maps, that's on the individual. To that end, the USGS has all their maps free online and you can either print them or order them. As to the communications issue, aircrews use lat/long (and shouldn't) so knowledge of both systems are key, but that burden is unfairly put on the ground team. To that end, there is an app called "Coordinate Converter" that will make that easier for you.   
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2018, 06:37:40 PM »

Come on, guys.

MGRS!
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wmackirdy
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« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2018, 06:57:14 PM »

Eclipse,

I know they communicate by radio...I talk with both. But, our pilots all use LatLong. If LatLong is not good for ground navigation, what do the ground teams use to translate LatLong sent by the air crews? Somehow, they have to get on the same sheet of music.

Can someone explain what is standard operating procedure for air crew/ground team coordination?
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Maj Wayne MacKirdy
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Live2Learn
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« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2018, 06:58:55 PM »

Lat/Long should only be used for familiarization purposes, one should never attempt land nav using only lat/long. If you aren't teaching/using UTM in your GT training, you shouldn't be teaching land nav to anyone.

Sorry - strongly disagree.  The civilian world lives in Lat/Long, not UTM.

+1

SAR, DR, Etc. in every one of the western states where I've worked all rely on Lat/Long.  I have never (ever) used UTM for any purpose in any cockpit, nor have I seen it used by other civilian pilots.  Some states use the full degree, minute, second format, but most use either degree-decimal minutes or degree-minute-decimal seconds formats.  Basic map reading skills (incuding accurate interpretation of symbolic terrain on topog maps - digital or paper) is a critical skill for ground teams. 

FWIW, if pilots are flying close and personal to terrain it's a critical skill for them too.   The magenta line has little utility in practical land nav or for low level flight ops. 

Over decades in the woods of the PNW, CA, and other western states I can count on one hand the number of times I used UTM or similar grid systems.  That said, old Land Office township, range, section surveys are still used by wildland fire organizations in all western states, plus they form the basis for land lines (aka "property boundaries).  If training land navigation in the west mentioning that antiquated and qwerky system would be worthwile.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2018, 07:01:29 PM »

Sorry - strongly disagree.  The civilian world lives in Lat/Long, not UTM.

I guess I'll go let my state and country EMA and SAR teams know they're wrong then. Lat/long is an antiquated system that's long past it's usefulness. UTM is significantly more accurate, has less inherent problems, and is a lot easier to learn and use.   

Please do, and feel free to use my name to move things forward.

You're confusing a technical discussion on the relative merits of systems, vs. the reality of what is actually in use.

Every GPS unit a member is going to reasonably own uses Lat / Long, including every cell phone, which
in most cases is all you really need.  That's what the aircraft use as well. And most members are picking
up a Gazeteer at Staples for their mapping.

CAP operates in a +/-5° envelope.  Arguing about which coordinate system is "more accurate" doesn't mean much
in that paradigm.

Your time would be better spent working to standardize CAP between degrees/minutes/seconds vs. decimal degrees.
An issue which still regularly cause issues on CAP missions.

Mil-radians are more accurate as well. Should CAP require artillery compasses for all GTLs and report azimuths in mils?
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Eclipse
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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2018, 07:03:19 PM »

Can someone explain what is standard operating procedure for air crew/ground team coordination?

CAP standard is Longitude and Latitude. With the D-M-S vs. decimal issue established
in the ICP depending on the equipment in the aircraft.

The links provided are to the national standard set by NESA as to land nav for GSAR.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 07:08:47 PM by Eclipse » Report to moderator   Logged


Eclipse
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2018, 07:07:05 PM »

For what it is worth, UTM used to be in the GT taskings, but as I recall it was removed in
the 2004 revision - I don't see it in the GT&UDF task guide any more.

The term never comes up in SARExs, only in philosophical discussions.
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wmackirdy
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« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2018, 07:33:56 PM »

Thanks everyone...this has been helpful, if a bit far ranging. I think I am in agreement that LatLong is pretty standard. Now I need to get up to speed, since all my training, and extensive experience, is with the field artillery.

I have found a site with pdf files for each of the Fieldbook chapters, including chapter 12, Navigation
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Maj Wayne MacKirdy
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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2018, 07:45:44 PM »

As a person that uses both UTM and Lat/Long on a regular basis, both systems have their advantages and disadvantages.  No Geographic Coordinate System is perfect.  CAP has a tendency to use Lat/Long for the simplicity that aviation uses Lat/Long.  That is, the FAA prints the sectionals using Lat/Long and not UTM.  The USGS prints maps using UTM with a general Lat/Long superimposed on.  For common day-to-day use maps, Lat/Long is what is used.  Therefore, it is more accessible to us.  While UTM provides a 10 m x 10 m (in practical sense for printed maps, but in theory 1 m x 1 m when using tools), it is not very accessible to members.  Yes, now we have smartphones, but we know how smartphones perform when we are in a critical phase of an operation.  Unfortunately, carrying around a whole set of USGS maps is not practical, and you cannot always count on phone internet access.  While UTM is great for ground teams, it is not practical for aircrews.  Likewise, while UTM, or even Lat/Long, is not always practical for ground teams, the Lat/Long is typically easier to get from either a smartphone or a DeLorme map.  However, if mission base knows how to use UTM and is willing to work with two geographic coordinate systems (UTM vs Lat/Long), then by all means use UTM.  But I would not expect an aircrew to know how to use UTM, nor would I ever expect them to make the conversion between UTM and Lat/Long.  That conversion would be a better task for the ground team.  Thus, if you are going to convert anyway, might as well use the Lat/Long.  Also, for the work we do Lat/Long gives a decent location for the accuracy we are working in.  That is, it does not matter whether we are 1 m off, or even 10 meters off, our location will be found easily. 

Personally, I like the use of UTM, especially since it is easier to calculate distance for doing ground work.  Our training used to mention UTM and our ground teams were, in theory, trained on UTM from 2001 to 2004.  It disappeared after 2004 because it was not accessible.  Today, even with smartphone technology, most people have a general understanding of what Lat/Long (GPS) coordinates are. 
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NIN
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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2018, 08:01:47 PM »

Come on, guys.

MGRS!

I MGRS quite well (shhh, my GPS is always set to MGRS...). However, you drop a set of MGRS coords on your average "customer," and they're going to give you this



right back.

I recall we used to get lat/long from AFRCC on SARSAT & 406mhz beacon GPS hits. Those of us who spoke MGRS/UTM had to scratch our heads and fire up our lat/long to UTM/MGRS converter (GeoTrans or similar). But not many local outfits worked in UT/MGRS, so back the other way we'd go.

I know how to do lat/long, but I'm rusty as all get out.  Its a skill every GTL should have, at the very least.
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2019 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: ES: Map Reading
 


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