How to decrease CAP's spin-up time for disaster response

Started by Holding Pattern, January 16, 2020, 05:39:26 pm

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Holding Pattern

In my CERT thread, one comment was made about CAP's long spin-up time for response.

Anyone here have thoughts on how to decrease that spin-up time?


jeders

The biggest problem CAP has, at every level, is we wait until the disaster is headed for us to start building relationships; which just gets us left out in the cold. Squadrons need to reach out to their city/county/regional EMAs and develop those relationships beyond the, "here's my card, call me in an emergency" stage. Once those local relationships start getting built, wing needs to carry the ball the rest of the way to get MOUs in place as needed, or at the very least to not stand in the way every time something new or different comes down the line.
If you are confident in you abilities and experience, whether someone else is impressed is irrelevant. - Eclipse

NIN

More importantly, CAP needs to exercise those relationships on a regular basis, and definitely pick up the phone when the MOU'd agencies call.

Its not enough to even have a relationship:  your partner agencies need to know that if they call 1-XXX-YYY-1234  that someone is going to answer the phone and make the wheels turn that spits out whatever the MOU says its supposed to spit out: aerial photography, airborne repeaters, ground teams, whatever.

Its not the MOU'd agency's fault that 1-XXX-YYY-1234 isn't the wing's alerting phone number anymore. Or that the process changed. Or that the wing's POC is Captain Schmuckatelli instead of Major Bagodonuts. They want to activate a resource that can support them.

So it incumbent on us to exercise all of that, from "State EOC calls" to "units alert their resources" to "Cadet Smith signs in at the mission base" to "We need to apply for the appropriate reimbursement for this exercise against the state/FEMA/whomever."

So that the first time they call when the balloon goes up, its not the first time we've ever been called.

Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
Nothing posted on CAPTalk should be considered policy unless otherwise stated
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2020 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

Майор Хаткевич

I see the signature has been updated, your Royal Eagleness!

Congrats Col. Nin!

etodd

Quote....  long spin-up time for response ....


Seems to me the answers above are only semi related to "spin-up time for response".

My first thoughts are what type of call is it?

We seem to be fairly quick at getting in the air for the most part.  AFRCC calls a Wing DO, and the DO then sends out a text message or favorite method to to all the Squadrons to see who can get a team assembled. First one thats says 'headed to the airport" usually gets the mission. Spin-up time is related to who is at work, has to try and get off, run home to get into uniform, and then head to the airport and pre-flight the plane, get a release, etc., etc. Anyone sitting at home ready to jump, has a heads up on the others.     FIRST RESPONDERS do not usually have all those issues. They are already at work, in their uniform, and maybe even in their vehicle or aircraft, with all gear with them.

Ground teams.   We had an ELT mission a month or so ago. We had a plane circling the spot, found by the Becker, for over 30 minutes before all the parents of the Cadets could get them to a meeting point.

Tornado or Hurricane?  We are usually ready to go, long before we get tasked. Its usually a day or two after the disaster, so we all have been forewarned and are ready.

Maybe I'm missing the OP's point of  "long spin-up time for response"?

MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO - ESO

sUAS MP - sUAS Instructor - sUAS Check Pilot

PHall

Have the State EOC call the National Operations Center (NOC) which IS manned 24/7.
They can call the Wing in question. Because they do have the current numbers.

LSThiker

Quote from: PHall on January 16, 2020, 07:43:51 pm
Have the State EOC call the National Operations Center (NOC) which IS manned 24/7.
They can call the Wing in question. Because they do have the current numbers.


Had a phone call to the NOC on a weekend once. It took 3 hrs for the NOC to return the call. 

The emergency was resolved by then.

Manned 24/7 is nice to say, but response time is poor. 


TheSkyHornet

To etodd's point, we have a similar response process when it comes to airline accidents where we have an expected time to respond.

If we're in the office, we can walk into our Emergency Operations Center within a matter of minutes. Take in the initial information, and start preparing to deploy if appropriate. We want to be ready to roll out within 3 hours to head to the accident.

If we're not in the office, say, 10pm on Thursday evening, good luck. It'll be hours, if not tomorrow, but the time people find out and make it into the EOC.

It's one thing to be on Ready Alert status at a launch base, let alone on Ready Alert from your living room (or place of recreation). It's another to respond to a call that you're not waiting for and not expecting. Sure, a Go Bag is great when you're in the kitchen making breakfast, but try being out to dinner on Friday evening and your phone is in your back pocket, and you don't hear it go off.

TheSkyHornet

Just want to separate my talking points in my comments--

We had a case where our Ground "Team" was called up. We only have one member in the squadron who is current in their GT operational status. My understanding, based on how it was explained to me, is that when the call came in, it went to our Commander and Emergency Services Officer. Our Commander figured the ESO was handling it. The ESO didn't pass on any more details because there was nobody available per the "Call Me" roster.

Our GT guy said "Nobody called me. I was available."

#Covfefe

etodd

Quote from: TheSkyHornet on January 16, 2020, 08:04:46 pm


...  nobody available per the "Call Me" roster.



My Squadron doesn't  use a "call me roster".  We send out texts or calls to everyone who has the qualification needed. They can always say no, or ignore. 
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO - ESO

sUAS MP - sUAS Instructor - sUAS Check Pilot

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: etodd on January 16, 2020, 08:13:37 pm
Quote from: TheSkyHornet on January 16, 2020, 08:04:46 pm


...  nobody available per the "Call Me" roster.



My Squadron doesn't  use a "call me roster".  We send out texts or calls to everyone who has the qualification needed. They can always say no, or ignore.



That was the catch-all/blockade:
Nobody knows what the protocol is.

The question that was brought up was "Why is this going through a mediator rather than a direct notification system to the individual?"

Makes me happy to work in Cadet Programs  :D

Spam

Quote from: TheSkyHornet on January 16, 2020, 08:04:46 pm
Just want to separate my talking points in my comments--

We had a case where our Ground "Team" was called up. We only have one member in the squadron who is current in their GT operational status.



So, Hornet, being impersonally blunt but honest:

= your unit does not in fact have a Ground Team.
= based on web provided information, your Wing alerting system should not have pinged your unit.


The competency of your Wing level alerting officer wasn't up to the task of verifying currency before tasking, and
The competency of your local unit wasn't sufficient to coordinate (let alone train/maintain currency for a team) on a local level.


This sadly is how it goes more often than not with many volunteer organizations, unless we are impersonally blunt and honest with our self examinations and corrective actions. This really is a case example for why the spin up time for DR (and any other missions) can be unsat: lack of a coherent process to verify currency, coupled with lack of adherence to an exercised notification plan. Either are leading indicators of a systematically broken ops community.


V/r
Spam



Spam

Separate issue: DR staging awareness, coordination, and cooperative planning.


As part of a cooperative SER/MER team which plans to respond to hurricane DR missions, a series of Area Command conference calls are typically initiated upon the elevation of an alert status (typically strike minus x days). Task flows typically include (from a Georgia Wing example plan):

1. Coordination calls. A Wing stakeholder call to ensure we were on the same page before routing in the area command, etc.  This included CC, CVs, DC, LG, DES, DOS, and the IC for round one.  Goals included ICP options, status of assets, general plans of action, and expectation setting.  An item to make very clear is the division of duties between the wing staff and the mission base staff - we set up resources and OPTIONS for the ICs to use, paving roads, and the wing staff will then take a back seat to the mission base when the ICP is set up, unless signed in to the mission, and will be available to pull resources for the IC as needed.  Second item of clarity is resourcing proper qualified staff and assets, with delegations, including full staffing of mission base and plans to pass the torch after operational periods (this includes planning for qualified PSCs, etc.).

2. Identification of logistics.  Using past effectiveness data, we try to ID possible ICPs and/or staging areas pending actual landfall.  For an example hurricane strike on coastal GA, Plan 1 is to set up an ICP at Augusta (Daniel Field) - likely strike -2d.  We have a squadron there that can provide host facilities, large ramp space for aircraft, and space for the MCV.  The squadron commander contacts the airport and airport is happy to have us.  Again, pending landfall, Macon and Statesboro are options for staging areas.  The goal is to keep us 'out of the muck' where we can provide adequate ICP facilities, fly crews in to stage/deliver SD cards, keep us out of the flow of traffic, hotels, etc. and the local team was on board.  Augusta also provides a good base to launch to assist SC if needed.  Alternatively, the team works plans 2 and 3 for a Macon and Statesboro bed down and support plan, keeping in mind the logistics of working in an area with massively displaced population (full hotels etc).

3. IC and Agency Liaison get most of the key mission base staff requested and they're standing by *with plans for follow on shifts.  They reach out to a contact at GEMA (Georgia state EMA) to do a soft inquiry regarding assistance request

4. Wing staff LG report back on staging. Wing staff stakeholders provide up to date lists of vehicle status/location, aircraft status/location, camera kit status/location to IC shorten leg work for section chiefs and branches.  They closely track aircraft maintenance status (i.e. coming up on summer hurricane season, staff may plan/schedule PM: fresh annuals to prevent aircraft going down when needed).  The Wing staff execute either a bed down or HURREVAC (Hurricane Evacuation) plan - aircraft based on the coast/islands are hangared or flown inland.  Vehicles on the coast are driven inland before the state issues mandatory evac orders (strike - 3 days or so).

5. Set up Area Command and C3I links, and initiate coordination on tasking requests. Create a joint mailbox has been created at (for example),  hurricanenamegawg.cap.gov.   Add members of the area command.  Set up a phone line via the Wing digital phone system (with mailboxes) and place it in the ICP as well. Plan the Area Command call, inviting key SER CC team, MER stakeholders, and whomever the IC wishes to include as well.  The team keeps this as a standing call as required per OP, as the ICP stands up and executes taskings.

//example ends


So, from my perspective as a recent Wing/CV, there are a multitude of factors and tasks which impact spin up time for a full DR mission response. I thought I'd share some of these examples, to help frame some of the discussion. Having a CONOPS, updating it, and exercising it is paramount. A wing level CONOPS Playbook should provide a set of Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) via action plans, checklists, and resource lists. These plans should be:
(1) Negotiated - with our federal, state, and local customers
(2) Exercised - as the basis for numbered SAR/DR Exercises (SAREX/DREXs).
(3) Updated - based on changes in agreements and as a result of exercises.

Every good team needs a playbook so that all the players start the game with a common vision. Playbooks are in standard use in the military and emergency communities. State and local preplans and supporting data are recommended in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National SAR plan, and are also recommended through the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) SAR School. A DR Playbook sets forth common preplans guiding the conduct of prompt and sustained Disaster Relief (DR) and Search and Rescue (SAR) operations, and provides job aids and resources to execute those plans. See CAPR 60-3 26 DECEMBER 2012, Section 1-5(b)2 requirements for Wings to write and execute preplans based on local history.

That's my best recommendation on how to decrease spin up time and proper customer focused response (as opposed to a FLAILEX).


V/r
Spam


NIN

The other aspect to "long spin up time" is strictly economic:  We're not going to do a lot of prepositioning, etc, of resources that's going to incur costs until you're sure you're going to employ those resources.

You spend a bunch of money to pre-position airplanes and crews, for example, and the impending hurricane peters out in the Gulf, that money has to get paid from someplace.

So CAP often doesn't turn a blade or a tire until there's an actual situation that we're going to be involved with.
Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
Nothing posted on CAPTalk should be considered policy unless otherwise stated
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2020 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

NIN

Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
Nothing posted on CAPTalk should be considered policy unless otherwise stated
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2020 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

Holding Pattern

Quote from: Spam on January 16, 2020, 08:53:53 pm
Separate issue: DR staging awareness, coordination, and cooperative planning.


As part of a cooperative SER/MER team which plans to respond to hurricane DR missions, a series of Area Command conference calls are typically initiated upon the elevation of an alert status (typically strike minus x days). Task flows typically include (from a Georgia Wing example plan):

1. Coordination calls. A Wing stakeholder call to ensure we were on the same page before routing in the area command, etc.  This included CC, CVs, DC, LG, DES, DOS, and the IC for round one.  Goals included ICP options, status of assets, general plans of action, and expectation setting.  An item to make very clear is the division of duties between the wing staff and the mission base staff - we set up resources and OPTIONS for the ICs to use, paving roads, and the wing staff will then take a back seat to the mission base when the ICP is set up, unless signed in to the mission, and will be available to pull resources for the IC as needed.  Second item of clarity is resourcing proper qualified staff and assets, with delegations, including full staffing of mission base and plans to pass the torch after operational periods (this includes planning for qualified PSCs, etc.).

2. Identification of logistics.  Using past effectiveness data, we try to ID possible ICPs and/or staging areas pending actual landfall.  For an example hurricane strike on coastal GA, Plan 1 is to set up an ICP at Augusta (Daniel Field) - likely strike -2d.  We have a squadron there that can provide host facilities, large ramp space for aircraft, and space for the MCV.  The squadron commander contacts the airport and airport is happy to have us.  Again, pending landfall, Macon and Statesboro are options for staging areas.  The goal is to keep us 'out of the muck' where we can provide adequate ICP facilities, fly crews in to stage/deliver SD cards, keep us out of the flow of traffic, hotels, etc. and the local team was on board.  Augusta also provides a good base to launch to assist SC if needed.  Alternatively, the team works plans 2 and 3 for a Macon and Statesboro bed down and support plan, keeping in mind the logistics of working in an area with massively displaced population (full hotels etc).

3. IC and Agency Liaison get most of the key mission base staff requested and they're standing by *with plans for follow on shifts.  They reach out to a contact at GEMA (Georgia state EMA) to do a soft inquiry regarding assistance request

4. Wing staff LG report back on staging. Wing staff stakeholders provide up to date lists of vehicle status/location, aircraft status/location, camera kit status/location to IC shorten leg work for section chiefs and branches.  They closely track aircraft maintenance status (i.e. coming up on summer hurricane season, staff may plan/schedule PM: fresh annuals to prevent aircraft going down when needed).  The Wing staff execute either a bed down or HURREVAC (Hurricane Evacuation) plan - aircraft based on the coast/islands are hangared or flown inland.  Vehicles on the coast are driven inland before the state issues mandatory evac orders (strike - 3 days or so).

5. Set up Area Command and C3I links, and initiate coordination on tasking requests. Create a joint mailbox has been created at (for example),  hurricanenamegawg.cap.gov.   Add members of the area command.  Set up a phone line via the Wing digital phone system (with mailboxes) and place it in the ICP as well. Plan the Area Command call, inviting key SER CC team, MER stakeholders, and whomever the IC wishes to include as well.  The team keeps this as a standing call as required per OP, as the ICP stands up and executes taskings.

//example ends


So, from my perspective as a recent Wing/CV, there are a multitude of factors and tasks which impact spin up time for a full DR mission response. I thought I'd share some of these examples, to help frame some of the discussion. Having a CONOPS, updating it, and exercising it is paramount. A wing level CONOPS Playbook should provide a set of Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) via action plans, checklists, and resource lists. These plans should be:
(1) Negotiated - with our federal, state, and local customers
(2) Exercised - as the basis for numbered SAR/DR Exercises (SAREX/DREXs).
(3) Updated - based on changes in agreements and as a result of exercises.

Every good team needs a playbook so that all the players start the game with a common vision. Playbooks are in standard use in the military and emergency communities. State and local preplans and supporting data are recommended in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National SAR plan, and are also recommended through the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) SAR School. A DR Playbook sets forth common preplans guiding the conduct of prompt and sustained Disaster Relief (DR) and Search and Rescue (SAR) operations, and provides job aids and resources to execute those plans. See CAPR 60-3 26 DECEMBER 2012, Section 1-5(b)2 requirements for Wings to write and execute preplans based on local history.

That's my best recommendation on how to decrease spin up time and proper customer focused response (as opposed to a FLAILEX).


V/r
Spam


I'm going to file the serial numbers off this and use it as a template for a wing presentation.

Spam


Feel free, Sir. SER/CC should get credit.

FLAILEX - also public domain. Have at it (LOL)

On the barrier of economic cost: we faced some lessons learned four years ago when we ended up with aircrew on a bare airstrip in the country, with no support, no meals and no water. Based on that we pushed for a CONOPS (ok - I was a bit of a pest about it, lol) wherein we budgeted and planned for fall and winter local (Group) SAREXs to practice skills as individuals and teams (singing lessons) building up to planned springtime DREXs (DR Exercises) cooperatively with state agencies before hurricane season started (choir practice). It was very tough to sell to northern units why they needed to practice deploying rather than spending cash locally for more tactical flying in their back yard, but once we got a couple of crews to participate it built up intertia and made sense. You can't just tell people drop it and deploy for a week, without having had some practice in actually deploying. Don't assume. Talk to your customers, practice, document, fix, repeat.

I say having received aircrews from 32 Wings on a flooding mission (1993), having deployed on carriers myself, and now that as we've got people on the deployment list to head to PR WG now, the same planning and practice process works.


"We did not anticipate that airliners would be commandeered and turned into guided mssiles; but the fact that we practiced for other kinds of disasters made us far more prepared to handle a catastrophe that nobody envisioned."
--Rudolph W. Giuliani, former mayor of New York City


V/r
Spam



xyzzy

I notice a different point of view between how CAP writes about starting up a mission vs. how first response agencies write about starting a response.

For CAP, an early step in the process is contacting the wing commander. So what if the wing commander doesn't answer the phone? Perhaps various wings have contingency plans for that, but national policies don't spell out what happens. Wing websites don't spell it out so all the members know who who to call when the wing commander can't be reached.

A somewhat later step is to appoint an incident commander, who must have an incident commander qualification.

For first response organizations the alert usually goes out to everyone concerned; if the assigned person doesn't notify the dispatcher that he/she is handling the incident, someone else steps up or is assigned. For those organizations that rely on phones, there is a call down list. The first eligible person who is reached is in charge of organizing the response until relived by a superior.

Similarly for incident command, the first eligible person, from any first responder agency, is the incident commander until relived by either a superior, or a person from a more appropriate agency. For example, an ambulance is driving down the street and sees a house on fire, so the crew chief is the incident commander until the fire department arrives.

So the basic CAP approach is dot the i's and cross the t's first; if and when that's accomplished, respond. The first response agencies mount some kind of a response with whatever resources can be found, even if that response amounts to "isolate and deny entry".

NovemberWhiskey

Quote from: xyzzy on January 17, 2020, 11:47:51 am
So what if the wing commander doesn't answer the phone? Perhaps various wings have contingency plans for that, but national policies don't spell out what happens.


CAPR 60-3 does contain some guidance on this at least for C911 missions. The authority is the wing commander or their designee; but in the absence of the wing commander, the vice commander, the director of operations or the director of emergency services can authorize the mission. (CAPR 60-3 1-19(a))

CAP9907

Quote from: xyzzy on January 17, 2020, 11:47:51 am
I notice a different point of view between how CAP writes about starting up a mission vs. how first response agencies write about starting a response.

For CAP, an early step in the process is contacting the wing commander. So what if the wing commander doesn't answer the phone? Perhaps various wings have contingency plans for that, but national policies don't spell out what happens. Wing websites don't spell it out so all the members know who who to call when the wing commander can't be reached.

A somewhat later step is to appoint an incident commander, who must have an incident commander qualification.




This is not the case, at least as far as the regulations are concerned. Your Wing may do it that way, but the Wing Commander need not be the first call, or any call at all to start an AFAM. I'd refer you to 60-3 and the C-1 tab of the CI process (on the NHQ IG page). I'm not a CC or deputy at any level, but I am a WAO and IC. When I get the call from AFRCC, I am able to commit the Wings resources and accept the mission on behalf of the CC without involving him. WMIRS 1.0 has every Wings alert roster, and that's what they use to alert. Go check your Wings roster, I'd bet your CC is not on that alert list, as most are not.

Of course I'd give him a courtesy call to keep him advised about the event, but the missions do not stop because the CC is in the john , at work, or on a safari.

~9907

Edit: and what NW said also
21 yrs of service

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