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Author Topic: National Convention Notes  (Read 1821 times)
UWONGO2
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Posts: 111

« on: August 13, 2019, 12:17:52 AM »

Here are some of my notes from the national conference. I'm not a reporter and this is the internet, so check your facts before making any grand decisions based upon what I jotted down and now can barely read:

Operations Briefing

  • Airplane hours are trending way down. We used to fly more hours with fewer planes, drop from 112,700/yr to 83,000/yr hours in the past 8 years. Number of aircrew members is also dropping, even with increased funding for training.
  • Proficiency training money is meant to be 2-3 hours per year, per pilot. Seeing some pilots getting 10-15 hours a year, which is not the intent of the funding.
  • Publication reorganization to match how the AF breaks up their ops-related documents. Looking to create more flexibility to allow changing the rules without changing regulations each time (requiring extensive time and coordination). I think this had something to do with regulations tell you what must be done, they want to be able to provide the how as well, without it being in the regulation.
  • ReadyOP is coming. Wings need to locate secure facilities with automatic switching power and dirty internet access to install these boxes/radios. They stressed the boxes will not be placed in member's homes. There are 1,000 licenses to access the system, all ICs, wing commanders, vice-wing commanders, and I think a couple others will get accounts. It's not a system meant for everyone to use.
  • sUAS, Air Force realizes we're falling under AF UAS rules while at the same time, have a very different uses. Reading between the lines, it was how the AF can get out of our way to speed things up. Wings need DOUs that are there to train other people, not just play with the drones. The sUAS program is not intended to be related to MP/GT quals or programs (one wing was requiring all drone pilots to be MPs first).
  • JROTC/ROTC flying is now part of the baseline budget. Start flying them right away! I think I saw it was 300K in funding.
  • 650 hours of AF pilot prep program flying, took Air Force officers and did some sort of pilot training in our planes with our CFIs. It was to help some sort of test scores within the AF (I'm not sure what this program is really).
  • About 900 CFIs in CAP. Looking to how CAP can generate more CFIs where it needs them[/i] based on pilot need and cadet wings program needs
  • GIS development. Looking for GIS experts. I later heard there will be a SQTR for GIS. Lots of movement in this area.
  • Operations Evaluation 3.0. We're essentially running wings through evaluated exercises on what missions we had 20 years ago. Moving to region-level evaluations, tailored to what missions are actually being done (such as how does a wing do cadet orientation flights).
  • Big slide on HSOs and how they are mission enablers. Lots of plans on how HSOs will develop medical response plans, brief on medical topics, handle all things medical. No change to our rules that I saw that we are not health care providers and can't provide health care beyond life-saving efforts. Didn't address how all HSOs don't have the same medical background.
  • 24 planes coming out of Kansas in the very near future
  • 563 planes in the fleet, 30 to be retired. 40 left for ADSB.

Health Services Briefing

  • Teaching HSOs to become experts in specific topics that they will then present on to the membership.
  • Liaison with cadets/parents regarding special accommodations for everything from learning disabilities to amputees.
  • Everything about the program is being revamped, however anyone with a current rating will be grandfathered in.
  • Developing a PowerPoint presentation for every HSO to present during a "sit down" with their commander to explain the HSO program.
  • Increase in medical planning. Example was for an exercise, the HSO would stop by the local fire department and let them know about the exercise in case there is a medical response.

Cadet Programs

While I sat in on the briefing, they produced an awesome flyer which covered most of what was discussed: https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/media/cms/2019_Booklet_BBBBB71B17FA4.pdf

  • The CP shop is considering stopping the program where they send the paper books to new cadets, instead focusing on eBooks and PDFs (the books would be available for purchase for $75). The program costs $400K a year. Discussion in the room didn't seem to support the plan, especially for low income areas with limited internet.
  • Applying for CEAP funding right before encampment hampers your chances of receiving funding
  • CP has reviewed the "Cap Doc" website and apparently at least one wing has used it. CP had no endorsements or partnerships to announce.
  • Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings are two programs we're apparently really tight with.
  • CAP-USAF has said that they plan on having their CAP-RAP folks utilize at least 50% of their man days on cadet programs.
  • Less than 100 hours of cadets PIC time last year, now this year 28 cadets have received their PPL through CAP.
  • Sending seniors to other wing encampments was pushed. There is no funding for this program, wings are expected to use their own encampment budget to send their people elsewhere.
  • During a safety session earlier in the week, NHQ/CP got a few minutes to talk and mentioned there is a new Cadet Protection Policy coming 1 Oct that closes a "big loophole" related to flight training. No idea what that loophole is though.

Communications

  • New radios means a new tagging system. There will now be two tags on every mobile/base radio, including one that is visible to the front (in case it's mounted in something which makes the other label impossible to read).
  • GPS antennas for vehicles since the radios are GPS enabled. There is no plan however for how to use the GPS coordinates being transmitted by the radios.
  • Mobiles being installed in new vehicles only, being done by a professional shop. No member installs. 60-70 vehicles a year, if there is left over money they'll do some older vehicles too.
  • New portables are $850 each, APX4000. For ground teams only. Wings will receive a kit of 6 portables and a gang charger for each ground team. Nice cases that hold all the radios and the charger. No clamshells available, then a spirited discussion ensued if that was a viable option anyway.
  • Wings can request to keep EFJ equipment, but then all maintenance becomes the wing's responsibility.
  • NHQ is working with the vendor (Ewing) to allow wings to purchase radios off the NHQ contract for the NHQ price. I did stop and talk with the Ewing folks, they said they are working on this and that other, more expensive models (tri-band, fancy displays, etc) will also be available.
  • NHQ chose the APX4000 model because they could buy 6 portables for the price of two of the more expensive model.
  • Laptops will be sent to the wings as "Programmers" not as laptops in ORMS. This is because they will have no network capability and the only software installed will be to program the Motorola radios. They will be sent back to NHQ at least once a year for software updates. 150 laptops already purchased, minimum 2 per wing will be issued.
  • Spent $27,000 on redoing all the shelving at the NTC, tripling the number of pallet spots. Hired a new full-time person to work in the NTC, is to focus on efficiency and logistics.
  • Working on getting a letter from Air Combat Command supporting the ReadyOP project to use when approaching facilities to install the equipment there. Someone suggested one from FEMA as well, the DOK said he would look into that.
  • Working on a new HF data system. Working with a software developer to create a "user friendly" program that meare mortals can use, instead of needing comm experts. Users will have to take a DOD OPSEC course and sign a NDA to use the system. Threats were made how DOD's OPSEC program is a bit more enforceable that CAP's. Includes a laptop that is like the radio programmer - single use, no network/office software.
  • Man, those comm guys can't go more than 10 minutes before some sort of argument ensues...

Safety Session

  • Lots of dumb examples of basic common sense not being applied.
  • Garmin ESP addition coming, will automatically try to fight stall conditions, stop banks over 45 degrees. Not made by Boeing.... and can be disabled
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etodd
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 01:02:43 AM »


sUAS, Air Force realizes we're falling under AF UAS rules while at the same time, have a very different uses. Reading between the lines, it was how the AF can get out of our way to speed things up. Wings need DOUs that are there to train other people, not just play with the drones. The sUAS program is not intended to be related to MP/GT quals or programs ...


Very interesting. Thats "me" ... the DOU that is training the trainers. Not here to play ... lets train.

Quote
GIS development. Looking for GIS experts. I later heard there will be a SQTR for GIS. Lots of movement in this area.

That could play into the sUAS Mapping area well.

Quote
During a safety session earlier in the week, NHQ/CP got a few minutes to talk and mentioned there is a new Cadet Protection Policy coming 1 Oct
 that closes a "big loophole" related to flight training. No idea what that loophole is though.

Hope that doesn't mean we need a Senior in the back seat, as a CFI teaches a Cadet. Having to schedule another person would certainly slow things down.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 01:20:19 AM by etodd » Report to moderator   Logged
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO - ESO

sUAS MP - sUAS Instructor - sUAS Check Pilot
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time With Silver Clasp
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Posts: 30,437

« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019, 01:48:28 AM »

1999 Me: "This is exciting to hear, I can't wait to get started."

2019 Me: "The majority of this will never leave the conference room, and the stuff that does will be poorly implemented unfunded mandates that
just makes things harder for the shrinking volunteer pool."
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Fester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 350

« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019, 01:57:44 AM »

CP has reviewed the "Cap Doc" website and apparently at least one wing has used it. CP had no endorsements or partnerships to announce.

What in the world is the "Cap Doc" website?
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1stLt, CAP
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Eclipse
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2019, 03:06:56 AM »

CP has reviewed the "Cap Doc" website and apparently at least one wing has used it. CP had no endorsements or partnerships to announce.

What in the world is the "Cap Doc" website?

https://www.campdoc.com/

It's used by several wings, quite effectively, for encampment and similar activity registration and payment.
For those of you using it...You're welcome.
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Holding Pattern
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Unit: Victory

« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 06:34:29 AM »

"ReadyOP is coming. Wings need to locate secure facilities with automatic switching power and dirty internet access to install these boxes/radios. They stressed the boxes will not be placed in member's homes. There are 1,000 licenses to access the system, all ICs, wing commanders, vice-wing commanders, and I think a couple others will get accounts. It's not a system meant for everyone to use."

So what incentive is there for squadrons to help hunt down these secure facilities?

Also, what benefit does this system bring to the table that our current radio network can't support?

I feel like someone sold us a system before we even had a plan for it...
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Fubar
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 08:09:42 AM »

So what incentive is there for squadrons to help hunt down these secure facilities?

Nothing specific was mentioned, although I suppose having the ability to reach any of your repeaters via an internet connection would be handy and could be an incentive in itself. Working these agreements out is a tremendous amount of work, I suspect many wings will ignore it.

Also, what benefit does this system bring to the table that our current radio network can't support?

The main feature being pushed right now is having a ReadyOp device within the footprint of a repeater. Those with access (ICs, Wing Commanders, etc) are then able to access that repeater remotely through a webpage or phone app. Out west where repeaters are really spread out, running an ELT mission from your kitchen table talking to an aircraft that's a few hundred miles away via the local repeater could be handy. There are future plans of placing ReadyOp boxes around the country on CAPGUARD as well.

Down the road, I suspect we'll start to utilize some of the other ReadyOp features, such as mass notification, mission planning, remote data capture, and documentation sharing.
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usaf730
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2019, 09:48:38 AM »

Thank you very much for taking the time to type this up. Very informative.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2019, 01:12:09 PM »

Thank you very much for taking the time to type this up. Very informative.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

+1

Really appreciate it
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xyzzy
Member

Posts: 77

« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2019, 01:17:37 PM »


Also, what benefit does this system bring to the table that our current radio network can't support?


There are often operations that are too far from wing HQ for the wing leadership to hear the local repeater. So some radio operator must be assigned the task of constantly summarizing what is going on to wing HQ. This gives the option for the person doing the summarizing to be located at wing HQ rather than the mission base or incident command post. Near the scene of the mission, qualified radio operators might be in short supply and there might be a greater number available at wing HQ.
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arajca
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2019, 01:40:44 PM »


Also, what benefit does this system bring to the table that our current radio network can't support?


There are often operations that are too far from wing HQ for the wing leadership to hear the local repeater. So some radio operator must be assigned the task of constantly summarizing what is going on to wing HQ. This gives the option for the person doing the summarizing to be located at wing HQ rather than the mission base or incident command post. Near the scene of the mission, qualified radio operators might be in short supply and there might be a greater number available at wing HQ.
Or in another area of the wing. Wing HQ is not the ultimate command post.

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Eclipse
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2019, 06:56:08 PM »

If NHQ was serious about ReadyOP, they would just contract with secure data center(s) in each wing
and call it done.  Co-location is not that expensive, and it eliminates the need for Unit CC's to be doing this
legwork, which considering the high number of Unit's not in any way involved in ES, and
the small number of licenses, escapes me why this would be a "below wing project".

This idea that CAP is going to find the kinds of locations requested, at apparently zero cost, in a
world where Units can't even find meeting space, and most HF stations are in member homes,
seem to be wishful thinking at best, and FWIW, I would hazard any Comm guy with an HF station
today actually has the facilities, power and data wise, to meet the need.

If there's no hosting budget, then the only option is going to be local government, which after the
Florida debacle are not going to be excited about parking a blackbox in their data center, or private
business "under Jim's desk", ala the early days of CAP websites.

At least at a paid datacenter, CAP would have QOS and SLA's to hold someone's feet to the fire.

The other question is how cheesy is this that it needs endpoints?  Why isn't this just a cloud service?
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arajca
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2019, 07:19:19 PM »

The endpoints connect the repeater to the internet. Very few repeater sites have internet at the site, at least out west.

What they're looking for from local units isn't to make all the arrangements, but to provide a recommendation to contact. A local unit would have a better idea of which agency to contact than folks at wing 75 or more miles away.
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NovemberWhiskey
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Unit: NER-NY-301

« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2019, 07:28:43 PM »

The ReadyOp box has to be collocated with a base-station radio that that can hit the local repeater (or cover a useful area on a simplex frequency?); so it is a bit more complicated than just placing it into a data center.

From the 2018 presentations, the TA for ReadyOp boxes was 545, with 1191 base station radios: this seems to imply half of all base station radios will be paired with ReadyOp boxes. I haven't seen the 2019 materials yet, so that may have changed.

This is supposed to represent an opportunity to reduce our fixed repeater fleet by half. I'm not entirely sure I understand the theory of operation in that regard: a ReadyOp box with an attached base-station on a simplex frequency allows a remote ICP to be in contact with mobile/portable radios within its footprint (assuming benign internet conditions), but the mobile/portable units will be restricted by their own transmit range when contacting other units on the same mission.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2019, 07:42:46 PM »

OK, I understand now, and that makes the idea even more wishful.

Having been involved in discussions and negotiations regarding repeater sites, and antennas,
etc., etc., the Wing DOKs are going to be the ones with this knowledge, and in member homes
is probably literally where these belong.

It's one thing to have a "best practice" of being "not in Jim's mom's basement", but to make it
a tenant seems to indicate a lack of understanding of the where's and how's of CAP's Comm
"network" such that it is, today.

Maybe in Rural Arkansas you can just ask the Chief if you can "climb up there and put up and antenna"
but in the places where the FSM intended people to actually live, these negotiations take years,
and even the most benevolent hosts aren't excited to do it for free.
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NovemberWhiskey
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2019, 07:49:32 PM »

GPS antennas for vehicles since the radios are GPS enabled. There is no plan however for how to use the GPS coordinates being transmitted by the radios.

The last time I checked, in order for any of that to work in a supportable way, it more-or-less required a Motorola trunking system with a bunch of expensive options which is about a million miles from what we have in CAP.
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xyzzy
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2019, 08:01:11 PM »

@NovemberWhiskey I'm equally mystified about how these stations could reduce the need for repeaters by half.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2019, 08:06:30 PM »

@NovemberWhiskey I'm equally mystified about how these stations could reduce the need for repeaters by half.

If that's the assertion, I don't understand it either. Are these pseudo repeaters that "transmit" via the
internet backhaul?

Otherwise putting a bunch of simplex stations around doesn't do anything unless you're counting on
bio-repeaters to be passing traffic.

My whole wing only has a handful now, and there's plenty of "in-betweeners" that can't hit any of them.
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Holding Pattern
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2019, 09:09:32 PM »

And I seem to recall there were limitations on what missions they are allowed to be used on, further confusing the issue.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2019, 09:28:06 PM »

And I seem to recall there were limitations on what missions they are allowed to be used on, further confusing the issue.

Of course there are...
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