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NovemberWhiskey
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Unit: NER-NY-301

« on: January 19, 2019, 04:26:58 PM »

I saw from some of the National Conference presentations that the communications ES curriculum is migrating to something more aligned with the FEMA typology, and the existing MRO/CUL qualifications will be retired. I also note that NESA has a FEMA COML course advertised for 2019 but without any documentation on the web site.

I did send a note asking about pre-reqs etc. but didn't get a response - was wondering if anyone had specific knowledge about this course for 2019? If it's a replacement for CUL, I would be interested in attending.


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SarDragon
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2019, 04:47:52 PM »

I just checked the FEMA site, and it has this course listed, but not currently available - IS-704: NIMS Communication and Information Management.

And there's also this message - Due to the lapse in federal funding, this website will not be actively managed. So, updates are not forthcoming.
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Dave Bowles
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sardak
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2019, 05:13:33 PM »

COML training is not an IS course.  It is a 3-day, 21 contact hour course. The FEMA course code is E-0969 and here is the course description from FEMA: https://www.firstrespondertraining.gov/frt/npccatalog?courseId=2214#anc-search-results

This is directly from FEMA, so you'll have to find another source for additional NESA requirements.

Mike
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NovemberWhiskey
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Unit: NER-NY-301

« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2019, 09:00:04 PM »

Does anyone have an email address for NESA staff? I did try sending a note by the contact form on nesa.cap.gov to which I didn't receive a response, and I couldn't find a email address from a quick perusal of the site.
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CAPLTC
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2019, 03:24:25 AM »

Does anyone have an email address for NESA staff? I did try sending a note by the contact form on nesa.cap.gov to which I didn't receive a response, and I couldn't find a email address from a quick perusal of the site.

Let me know what you find out.
As an actual COM-L (day job, not CAP), I am curious about the curriculum.
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"Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment (in American democracy) and kill every one of them until theyíre so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact." -- SECDEF Mattis
Airrescue9282
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2019, 10:43:04 PM »

Iím a FEMA COML instructor in my day job, so Iíll help out...

Prerequisites:
ICS100,200,700,800 (online courses)
And ICS-300. (3 day classroom training)

Also be aware that this course requires you to complete a task book, and have it approved by your Stateís Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) before you are Ďcertifiedí. Each State handles the certification differently.
In FL, you have to be a full time employee of a govt agency to get certified. FL will not allow volunteer members to get certified as a COML. Again check with your local State.

This doesnít mean you canít take the course, as there is lots of good info. But to be Ďcertifiedí as a COML, your State makes the rules.
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Holding Pattern
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2019, 09:38:26 PM »

I'm considering going to NESA for the first time because of this course; that said, I'd like to know I'm not wasting my time since my SWIC is NORDO when it comes to talking with volunteers.
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husker
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Unit: NHQ-007

« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2019, 12:49:26 AM »

Does anyone have an email address for NESA staff? I did try sending a note by the contact form on nesa.cap.gov to which I didn't receive a response, and I couldn't find a email address from a quick perusal of the site.

What selection did you make on the "Contact Us" page?  I can track down what happened.  Go ahead and send me your questions, and I'll make sure they get to the right person.

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Michael Long, Lt Col CAP
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nesa.cap.gov
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ctrossen
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Unit: GLR-WI-156

« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2019, 06:24:17 PM »

I took this course back in 2011 when it was still a four-day class, and subsequently became a credentialed COM-L here in Wisconsin (as a CAP member, but as has clearly been pointed out here, YMMV depending on your state). Even if you don't go on to complete the PTB and become credentialed at the state level, if they're teaching from the FEMA curriculum, I'd call this a valuable training opportunity. What we do as a CAP Comm Unit Leader is just a small subset of what an all-hazards COM-L has to deal with and is responsible for.

If you look at the presentations from the last few CAP National Conventions, you keep seeing info that seems to say we're moving more towards the standing position-specific curriculum that FEMA has for the extended ICS Command & General Staff, and I suspect this is a move in that direction - and that is a good thing. As an organization we don't have a good, standardized way to teach members *HOW* to function within an ICS structure other than some standing skills that are somewhat relevant to the job in addition to a lot of OJT that the task books never covered.

On the other hand, if students in this course aren't getting hands-on with a gateway or reprogramming radios, then I would start to worry - while it'll be hard for the average CAP member to attend these two or three or four day position-specific training classes (which they all are), it's also a major disservice if the organization is planning on taking the FEMA curriculum and presenting it in a "lite" manner or otherwise significantly re-engineered for a CAP audience (who likely will not know the difference but will hoot and holler when their state EMA doesn't recognize the training).

If nothing else, after a week in this class, you will be *far* better prepared to work as a CAP Comm Unit Leader, and hopefully aware enough of the bigger picture to work with a all-hazards COM-L in a large-scale exercise or actual incident.
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Chris Trossen, Lt Col, CAP
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Holding Pattern
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2019, 06:31:38 PM »

I took this course back in 2011 when it was still a four-day class, and subsequently became a credentialed COM-L here in Wisconsin (as a CAP member, but as has clearly been pointed out here, YMMV depending on your state). Even if you don't go on to complete the PTB and become credentialed at the state level, if they're teaching from the FEMA curriculum, I'd call this a valuable training opportunity. What we do as a CAP Comm Unit Leader is just a small subset of what an all-hazards COM-L has to deal with and is responsible for.

If you look at the presentations from the last few CAP National Conventions, you keep seeing info that seems to say we're moving more towards the standing position-specific curriculum that FEMA has for the extended ICS Command & General Staff, and I suspect this is a move in that direction - and that is a good thing. As an organization we don't have a good, standardized way to teach members *HOW* to function within an ICS structure other than some standing skills that are somewhat relevant to the job in addition to a lot of OJT that the task books never covered.

On the other hand, if students in this course aren't getting hands-on with a gateway or reprogramming radios, then I would start to worry - while it'll be hard for the average CAP member to attend these two or three or four day position-specific training classes (which they all are), it's also a major disservice if the organization is planning on taking the FEMA curriculum and presenting it in a "lite" manner or otherwise significantly re-engineered for a CAP audience (who likely will not know the difference but will hoot and holler when their state EMA doesn't recognize the training).

If nothing else, after a week in this class, you will be *far* better prepared to work as a CAP Comm Unit Leader, and hopefully aware enough of the bigger picture to work with a all-hazards COM-L in a large-scale exercise or actual incident.

And this is why I'm sitting in "Wait and See" status. I'm not signing up for a class whose page says details are "coming soon."
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Eclipse
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2019, 06:57:18 PM »

If nothing else, after a week in this class, you will be *far* better prepared to work as a CAP Comm Unit Leader

Vs. in-house CAP training?  How?
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chuckmilam
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2019, 07:36:04 PM »

And this is why I'm sitting in "Wait and See" status.

Relevant username. 
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Spaceman3750
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2019, 10:05:58 PM »

If there are variations by state on getting volunteers credentialed, COM-L should have been a non-starter out of the gate unless there is a scheme in the works to credential directly with FEMA.

Wash and repeat for the rest of the FEMA quals. The training may be better but if we canít consistently credential people on a national level using it then itís not a good fit for CAP.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2019, 01:32:37 AM »

Agreed.

Direct credentials are meaningless in a CAP paradigm unless you're taking off your CAP uniform
and putting on the vest from (insert agency here).

Training and info are fine, you can't ever have too much, but anything beyond the CAP curriculum
doesn't put CAP buts in seats, and may well be a detractor to retention, both in the insinuation that
CAP training isn't enough, and by introducing members to other agencies and orgs.

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w7sar
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Unit: RMR-UT-007

« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2019, 04:10:32 PM »

I've been following this thread and was hesitant to chime in, but (maybe stupidity kicked in) perhaps I should offer some insight.  Your comments are right, and wrong.  Some basis for your experience is found in your own states or in things you've heard from others.  Often when we have no solid information, we fill in the void with what makes sense to us at the moment.


Background:


I work as Malcolm's assistant.  My job is to kind-of, sort-of, supervise the volunteer staff at NHQ comm.  When Malcolm first got me to "volunteer" I served as the DOK training division head and spent a number of years getting the training material online in the LMS, etc.  Along that journey I attended a COML event in Maryland and was able to spend time with the guy who oversees the HLS communications unit training (COML, COMT, AUXCOMM, INCM, RADO, etc.).  Over the course of the week I could see great value to having CAP become compliant in the all-hazards communications area. 


This experience matched what I found during another FEMA initiative with CAP in Maryland where, with John Desmarais the NHQ/DO, about 20 of us participated in a FEMA air operations train-the-trainer course for a week.  Some of the conversations with students and John focused on the need for CAP to become all-hazards savvy and train and work to become qualified to either work in CAP IMTs (incident management teams) or with state or federal IMTs.


It's a work in progress.  But let me be communications specific.


Right now one of the CAP comm focus areas is on COML and RADO.  So far the need for incident communications center managers, tactical dispatchers, comm technicians, etc., is limited in a CAP expertise environment.  However COML and RADO bring added value to the current CUL and MRO training.  And, these two are often most critical in an IMT deployment.  So that's our current focus.


It is difficult to find or be admitted to a COML course in some areas.  Some states flat out don't like volunteers of any flavor.  Some states welcome (and use) volunteers and actively embrace volunteers, of all flavors.  In working with HLS/ECD (the emergency communications division) we proposed a way that CAP could teach COML and RADO (and incidentally AUXCOMM)  AND help get the position task books signed off and accepted to the exact criteria that HLS/ECD expects of every PTB signoff.  And we have made great progress!  We've only taught one COML and one AUXCOMM course so far. Another is planned this summer at NESA and we had our pre-approval call this week which got the final approvals started (it's not an easy process).  There is a POTENTIAL for another COML course this summer as well, but that's in the final, get ready to request, stages.


We (CAP) agreed to conduct the courses EXACTLY as defined by ECD.  We are not allowed to skip exams, exercises, chapters, etc., or inject any CAP-only stuff.  Because of that, those that complete the courses that are CAP-taught get a FEMA certificate of completion that's exactly like one you get from ANY other COML course you take.  And that is what takes the time, the completion of the course requirements that HLS/ECD and FEMA have in place.


So.  The class starts you on your journey.  There is a position task book (PTB) that you work through (within 3 years of course completion) that gets you fully qualified as a COML (or COMT or RADO or ??? ).  States (and CAP) have the authority to add to, but not subtract from, the PTB.  In our case, you'll see some reference to HF and cadets and CAP stuff like airplanes, that are not part of the FEMA PTB.  Keep in mind that COML is a management/leadership level and once you are a recognized COML in CAP, you are expected to be able to function in an all-hazards world as well as with CAP missions.


Yes, it's difficult in some areas to get a PTB signed off.  Some states will not work with volunteers.  Some states welcome volunteers.  Yes, the NHQ comm (and ops) team is aware of these challenges.  They do not cast the death spell for CAP members from finishing a PTB.  In the non-CAP world, you may have a PTB from one state and a neighbor state will not accept it because they have state-specific PTB items.  I've been able to participate in some non-CAP IMTs for some events and have been welcomed and had my PTB signoffs done without problem.  We have CAP members, as CAP members, complete PTB signoffs in a number of states.  In a couple of other states, not going to happen and it's not CAP, it's just using volunteers.


Yes, we can work with you for PTB signoff.  I am not at liberty to disclose some future things that could (or could not) happen soon (or not soon).  They are proposals wending their way through the CAP approval process and they take time.  Because a PTB (essentially a credential) done right is key to professionalism and qualification, we want to do it right and have the greatest (i.e. the most state/federal agency) acceptance.  Will every agency in every state accept what we're doing? No.  Just as every state will not accept my COMT not done in their state.


It is going to happen soon?  I hope and plead.  However my 49 years in CAP have not given me a gift of patience, so I champ at the bit just like you.  Am I feeling positive? Yes.


If you can find a local COML/RADO (or ANY all-hazard course) take the time and take it.  I took the Logs Chief class and loved it and have no desire to be an all-hazards Logs Chief.  It was, however a great educational experience.  Next week I'm able to take the all-hazards facilities unit leader course.  Will I be a FACL? Probably not, but I will learn a lot about setting up an ICP or comm section from a hardware perspective (sanitation, food, water, noise, safety, etc.) 


If you cannot find a COML course, the eventual goal is to have HLS approved COML instructors that are CAP members who can teach the class locally.  We have about a dozen CAP members who are instructor qualified and some pre-date our CAP initiative and have taught hundreds of COML courses for HLS/FEMA.  It's a long process of first taking the COML course, completing a PTB, and then taking the FEMA train-the-trainer course and having FEMA decide you can teach, and then being accepted as an instructor (and there are instructor qualifications as well).  We're chipping away at the problem as best we can.  Last year the NESA course was the first CAP-taught COML course.  It was a challenging week and a rewarding week.


If you want to take a CAP-sponsored COML course, you must be a senior member, you will need the online FEMA courses 100/200/700/800,  AND have completed the in-resident IS-300 course.  You must also have communications experience (as required by HLS).  NESA? Yes, it costs you money, you live in an open-bay dorm, you eat in the CAP-staffed chow hall, you wear uniforms, cadets salute you, it's hectic.  It's also one of the best experiences in CAP (other than being an IACE escort) that I've had.  Did I say, it costs you time and money?  Yes, it does.


Can I answer all your questions here?  Not.  Some answers are still pending approval above my pay grade.  Have we stopped trying to do this initiative? No!  We're highly motivated to bring this level of education to CAP communicators.  It has huge value.  This could unlock ES doors to help us work with other agencies.  I can tell you local stories about how this has allowed me to work with some local agencies and be accepted as an equal, not an untrained volunteer wannabe.


Here's the deal.  If you want to know about CAP comm training, just ask.  Email our comm training team at dokt@capnhq.gov.  If you have engineering questions, email doke@capnhq.gov.  For frequency issues it's dokf@capnhq.gov and for OPSEC stuff it's doks@capnhq.gov.  If you have regulatory, plans, retention questions, email dokp@capnhq.gov.  And, for all else you can email dok@capnhq.gov and either Malcolm or I will answer.


Finally, you have permission to email or call me directly.  My motivation in CAP is to see you (primarily communicators) enjoy comms and thrive and shine.  Just reach out and ask.  Speculate all you want.  For those who read the opinions, understand the speculation comes from a person's own experience and understanding.  There's a big CAP world out there and what happens in one wing isn't what happens in another.  Until i began working for Malcolm, I had a lot of LOCAL perspectives that changed once I could see a 52-wing, 8-region, perspective.  Again.  Please contact me for any questions you may have.  I will do my best to answer all the questions i can while staying in my lane.


jerryw
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Jerry Wellman, Col., CAP
NHQ CAP Assistant Senior Program Manager
Command & Control Communications
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Eclipse
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« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2019, 04:38:33 PM »

If COML and RADO are important enough to suggest members spend their time and treasure pursuing it,
then it should be an official part of the CAP lexicon and more importantly curriculum and until it is,
(both) left for coffee-house discussions and curriculum committees.

Otherwise you will get this:

"Who is CUL this eval?"

"Jim's been in CAP for 15 years, a CUL for 10, and has 2 "O's" and an "E" on the ones he ran, plus about
10 real-world extended mission".

"Yeah, but this new guy at Rando Composite says he's COML and RADO, so I assigned him."

~2 years later.

"Why can't we get anyone for the next eval to run Coms?"

"Jim left when you assigned that Rando kid to run the mission before his 101 was dry and everything
went sideways the first hour, and then Rando kid left because we would not let him use his Baefongs."

This is no different then NASAR, CERT, or any of the other "other" credentials or training, if CAP needs it,
then CAP should do it properly, and not in little pieces.

CAP members doesn't get tasked directly, they get tasked as members, with the training CAP certifies.
Having members be COML being nothing to the tabel in that regard unless it's an actual CAP rating and requirement.
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Airrescue9282
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Posts: 4
Unit: Ser-fl-001

« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2019, 03:50:37 AM »

I completely disagree with CAP participating in any All Hazards training and certification. CAP Isnít an all hazards organization. We need to focus on CAP specific training.

You are just spinning your wheels trying to get certified in an area that CAP isnít trained to do. We aren't first responders, or emergency managers. The only experience or insight CAP has is CAP missions, not real world all hazard incidents. We need to stay in our lane.

Letís say average Joe CAP Member gets credentialed as a COML for a State... and An incident happens, what is that member going to do for the incident when they only know CAPís VHF radio system? They donít have any experience or training about trunked radio systems, gateways, satellite networks, deployable systems available in the region.

 The member is going to create nothing more than an officer safety issue, due to lack of real world knowledge in an all hazards environment , and get Someone killed. 

Public safety communications and CAP communications are totally different. If an officer or firefighter canít use their radio thier life depends on it. CAP Members have no business in the roll of COML or any other  all hazards position.


« Last Edit: March 09, 2019, 04:03:06 AM by Airrescue9282 » Report to moderator   Logged
GZCP31
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Posts: 55
Unit: Somewhere

« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2019, 03:21:36 PM »

You may agree or disagree. I have seen where we are asked to participate in state, or national emergencies, CAP is turned away due to us not having credentials recognized by the agency in charge. Having RADO or COML does not state that you know everything about every piece of communications equipment that might be deployed to the incident. This is like saying you have a pilots license, our Gulfstream G100 air ambulance pilot just got sick, you will have to fly it. However, it does let the IC know the training you have been given and your expertise in a crisis.

The RADO and COML are the initial certifications. They teach you some of the technology but importantly, it teaches the proper procedures.  It puts CAP at a level playing field to other agencies. Setup and operation of the deployable equipment would fall under the agency that owns the equipment.

For years I have seen complaints about CAP not being able to "play" because a certain local, state or federal agencies says our training is a joke. FEMA certifications are a good start especially since some of our major customers are DHS and FEMA now.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2019, 04:47:31 PM »

You may agree or disagree. I have seen where we are asked to participate in state, or national emergencies, CAP is turned away due to us not having credentials recognized by the agency in charge.

This is a failure of the wing's ES staff to properly characterize CAP's capabilities and offerings.

CAP should not be asked to participate in something it is not properly credentialed for, and / or
the credential requirement should be challenged.

CAP members can't be going off doing things under CAP's umbrella that >they< are credentialed for
but that the organizaiton as a whole is not.
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Airrescue9282
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Posts: 4
Unit: Ser-fl-001

« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2019, 07:55:27 PM »


For years I have seen complaints about CAP not being able to "play" because a certain local, state or federal agencies says our training is a joke. FEMA certifications are a good start especially since some of our major customers are DHS and FEMA now.

FEMA does not certify or credential. Itís the States responsibility.  FL has had 3 CAP members submit PTBís to get credentialed as COMLís. One used a 6 hour airshow as the only exercise. Another used Oírides as there only exercise, and the third flat out forged signatures, for events they werenít even at. 
 
CAP is not in the All Hazards, and Public Safety business. Stick with airborne SAR. 
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Larry Mangum
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« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2019, 12:42:25 AM »

So what happened to the person who forged signatures? Sounds like a 2B offense for lack of integrity.
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Larry Mangum, Lt Col CAP
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Airrescue9282
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« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2019, 04:49:10 AM »

So what happened to the person who forged signatures? Sounds like a 2B offense for lack of integrity.
it was clearly a photocopied signature, he did a terrible job attempting to fake the PTB.  This person was dead set on being the ĎFirst CAP COMLí.

We sent the info back to the Wing Commander, not sure what happened to him in CAP.

We havenít had another PTB for a CAP member cross the desk at the State since then.

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