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mawr
Member

Posts: 93

« on: October 30, 2006, 10:10:34 PM »

Are we too focused on technology to the point losing basic SAR skills? 

I'm a fan of technology but often I feel that our skills end up amounting to memorizing an operator's manual instead of possessing true skills.

Fancy toys can lead to additional funding from various agencies which is a good thing, but are we sacrificing our souls, so to speak?


« Last Edit: October 30, 2006, 11:17:28 PM by mawr » Logged
Rick Hasha, Lt Col CAP
DNall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,721

« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2006, 12:28:55 AM »

Just cause I have nothing better to do right now... It's a fine point. On a certain level I question if mark I eyeballs are good enough for the work. However, the gear can only do so much. A DF or imaging system or whatever MIGHT get you in the ballpark, but you're going to have to apply some critical thinking if you want to actually locate it most of the time. If that's what you mean, then I agree. I think that's what training should be about. Ultimately you probably need the gadgets, but you can't put them in the hands of an idiot either. You have work on situational awareness, attention to detail, & critical thinking/problem solving.
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afgeo4
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Posts: 1,566

« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2006, 12:31:09 AM »

DF will become absolete in a few years as new ELT's with GPS built in become the norm, rather than the splurge.  Technology, if kept current, will not dissapear.
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GEORGE LURYE
ande.boyer
Member

Posts: 81

« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2006, 01:06:09 PM »

I'm sure this same discussion has been held in regard to what's in an airplane cockpit over the last 40 years..... ie:

~1970 - VOR's?!? Those will make it too easy! Pilots will not learn/practice proper map reading, compass, & stopwatch navigation skills

~1985 - LORAN ?!?! This makes it too easy! Pilots will neglect learning how to use vital navigation equipment like VOR's and NDB's!

~1995 - GPS !?! (rinse, repeat)

The simple  truth is that planes will still fly around, despite what's in the cockpit, and sometimes those planes don't make it. Technology, no matter what the context, is a tool.  Tools require skills to use and when properly used make the job easier and more efficient. (This includes UAV's, Midway 6)
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DNall
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Posts: 3,721

« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2006, 02:54:35 AM »

I don't know the original intent, but I wasn't so worried about nav or comm gear, in a plane or otherwise. I was thinking more of search tools, DF to FLIR or even NVGs on the ground, that kind of thing. I don't view any of it (UAVs included) as a threat, and think with a (unpaid) professional well-trained force you can operate some pretty complex tools to make the job faster cheaper safer etc. The nail won't drive itself though & certainly not in the right place, regardless if you're using an old fashion hammer or a hi-tech nail gun. You have to put some smarts behind the toy just to get in the ballpark & still ultimately have to find the thing yourself.
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Johnny Yuma
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 612

« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2006, 12:35:38 PM »

IMHO all the new technology is great, it's just that as volunteers it's taking CAP forever to bring it all online.

Take a look at ARCHER: ARCHER's been in the inventory for what, 2-3 years now? I just heard that the very first FIND credited to the use of ARCHER was down in OKWG last month using the NCR GA-8 and ARCHER equipment.

SDIS is great, but the problem is the satellitte service we use has been oversold and there's about 3 times as many users than what the satellite service can handle. This means continuous dropded calls and slow (9600bps or slower) connect speeds. Try sending a 1Meg image over a 9600baud dialup connection and you're better off landing and delivering the camera to the end user by motor vehicle.

Don't expect the 406Mhz ELT's and EPIRBS to reduce our missions. These are being marketed by some vendors as a poor man's OnStar and very few folks (even pilots) are registering them. Someone's gonna have to turn these things off.


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"And Saint Attila raised the Holy Hand Grenade up on high saying, "Oh Lord, Bless us this Holy Hand Grenade, and with it smash our enemies to tiny bits. And the Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs, and stoats, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and lima bean-"
 
" Skip a bit, brother."
 
"And then the Lord spake, saying: "First, shalt thou take out the holy pin. Then shalt thou count to three. No more, no less. "Three" shall be the number of the counting, and the number of the counting shall be three. "Four" shalt thou not count, and neither count thou two, execpting that thou then goest on to three. Five is RIGHT OUT. Once the number three, being the third number be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade to-wards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuffit. Amen."

Armaments Chapter One, verses nine through twenty-seven:
DNall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,721

« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2006, 01:49:32 PM »

I understand it will become mandatory to register them, and that they are MUCH less sensitive to being bumped, versus will survive a higher g-load on impact. The whole point of the thing is to take away this mission.

At root, I have to say that CAP is not a SAR agency. Inland SAR is assigned to the AF, & they've delegated most of it to us for 60 years. HOWEVER, they can take it away at any time, &/or replace it w/ some totally different non-combat mission of the AF. Kind of like how technology is making most of it go away now, but here's 1AF getting into the homland defense business (read civil defense of old, even doing missions right out of WWII border patrol).

I like adaptable technology, & a force that is professionalized & stabalized so it is capable & will hang around for a while after we invest in them learning the stuff.
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Hoser
Member

Posts: 97

« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2006, 08:41:37 PM »

Regarding the ARCHER find in OK, I was the operator on that mission and to set the record straight, the biggest part of the wreckage was found prior to our arrival by OKWing and the OK Highway Patrol. The wreckage was a few miles from the Antlers airport. We did find previously undiscovered debris which helped the NTSB. When MOWing arrived with ARCHER, the targets of interest were the remains of the 4th person and the powerplant that departed the aircraft. Considering the terrain and vegetation both were non findable items. However,  the thought driving data analysis was this.."is this a piece of debris, and is it large enough to contain a body?" The point here is this, hits by ARCHER AREN"T going to jump out and say "hey I'm a turbine engine" or "hey, I'm a bunch of fuselage debris" It WILL register things that are out of place and the operator(s) must make a determination as to the potential value of the target. A pile of airplane debris does look alot like Jim Billy Bob's junk pile and making that determination is NOT a technology issue. Much akin to deciding if the goomba in someone's brain that was found by MRI is a glioma or GBM, as much art as science, experience and reasonable deduction.

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DNall
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Posts: 3,721

« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2006, 10:08:35 PM »

I hate to drag this off on ARCHER specifically. I know a bit about the tech but not enough to speak intelligently. I got no problem with the sensor, the problem with the system is it cost 20million to field & with only a handful out there you just aren't going to get it on site fast enough with a trained current & available crew.
(NOTE: 20mil comes from 200k a system times 20 is 4mil, plus 495k per GA8 times 28 is 13.86, equals 17.86, that's in the ballpark give or take a few mil). My issue with is for the same kind of money you could have put FLIR on every single 182 in the fleet & had a lot left over. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for doing both, but there's only so much money to go around.

All that & frankly a lot more is & would be great for us from both the air & ground (talked about some SDIS assement type stuff from GTs), but ultimately you have to invest inthe brain behind the tool, and I'd agree we need to spend more effort on that in ES & on the professional development foundation we build ES on top of.
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ande.boyer
Member

Posts: 81

« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2006, 12:08:05 AM »

My issue with is for the same kind of money you could have put FLIR on every single 182 in the fleet & had a lot left over. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for doing both, but there's only so much money to go around.

The thing is though, ARCHER is a much more capable system than a 182 w/FLIR or an SDIS system.  The biggest drawback atm to ARCHER is the availability of systems and crews....but these hurdles will come down as time passes.
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DNall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,721

« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2006, 12:52:34 AM »

See that's what I mean. Head-to-head there's no doubt ARCHER's more capable, but would you rather have 20 ARCHER equipped GA8s or 375 FLIR equipped 182s for less money? I'm not saying ARCHER isn't great, I think it is, but the trademark of CAP has always been the widely deployed nature that allows us to put trained people in the AO fast cause they're already close by with the tools for the job. I'm all for having both really, but if it'd been me up there picking option A or option B, I'd have gone with day/night FLIR for now & kept ARCHER on the board for further development.
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Johnny Yuma
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Posts: 612

« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2006, 02:54:59 AM »

I understand it will become mandatory to register them, and that they are MUCH less sensitive to being bumped, versus will survive a higher g-load on impact. The whole point of the thing is to take away this mission.

At root, I have to say that CAP is not a SAR agency. Inland SAR is assigned to the AF, & they've delegated most of it to us for 60 years. HOWEVER, they can take it away at any time, &/or replace it w/ some totally different non-combat mission of the AF. Kind of like how technology is making most of it go away now, but here's 1AF getting into the homland defense business (read civil defense of old, even doing missions right out of WWII border patrol).

I like adaptable technology, & a force that is professionalized & stabalized so it is capable & will hang around for a while after we invest in them learning the stuff.

I know it's supposed to be mandatory, but it's not happening. Hell, Cabela's in Kansas City has 2 PLB's in the Bargain cave for sale with no paperwork.

I honestly believe we're going to get 406 missions where we find on the other end a very pissed off soccer mom who wants to know why it took us 6 hours to come change her tire. 
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"And Saint Attila raised the Holy Hand Grenade up on high saying, "Oh Lord, Bless us this Holy Hand Grenade, and with it smash our enemies to tiny bits. And the Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs, and stoats, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and lima bean-"
 
" Skip a bit, brother."
 
"And then the Lord spake, saying: "First, shalt thou take out the holy pin. Then shalt thou count to three. No more, no less. "Three" shall be the number of the counting, and the number of the counting shall be three. "Four" shalt thou not count, and neither count thou two, execpting that thou then goest on to three. Five is RIGHT OUT. Once the number three, being the third number be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade to-wards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuffit. Amen."

Armaments Chapter One, verses nine through twenty-seven:
DNall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,721

« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2006, 04:25:44 AM »

So, change her tire & leave her a bill for the sat time all the way down to your gas. That should make it a couple grand right anyway. That & stick one of those 10year/10k fine stickers on her window, you know the ones that never completely come off. I don't know how it's going to go down yet, but I'm not counting on there being very many of those missions for the future. I want to be on to other things & if we're still getting ELTs then that's just bonus.

Far as speculating though. When they got actual GPS on it, I think they're going to call the cops first to check the location, and when they can't find anything THEN they'll call CAP for a confirmed non-distress beacon. You can burn a lot of gas looking for something that MIGHT be a crash, but what limits do you operate under if you know it isn't? Just playing a little devil's advocate in saying we can't count on that traditional mission being around & need to redefine ourselves as we;ve done in the past when times changed.
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Major_Chuck
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Posts: 557

« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2006, 12:22:55 PM »

I feel that we are relying too much on expensive technology that only a handful of users within the organization are trained to use.  Technology is great and should be used to supplement the skills and abilities of our members but...

If that technology is too complicated and difficult to use then we will never fully see the benefit of that particular item.  ARCHER and SDIS are two prime examples of a technology limited to only a handful of users.

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Chuck Cranford
SGT, TNCO VA OCS
Virginia Army National Guard
DNall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,721

« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2006, 05:47:59 PM »

I feel that we are relying too much on expensive technology that only a handful of users within the organization are trained to use.  Technology is great and should be used to supplement the skills and abilities of our members but...

If that technology is too complicated and difficult to use then we will never fully see the benefit of that particular item.  ARCHER and SDIS are two prime examples of a technology limited to only a handful of users.
The tech is useless w/o the smarts behind it. I'd use the word enhance rather than supplement.

As far as too complicated tech, IO sympathize with you, but there's two sides to that. Certainly you should make the system as user-friendly as possible (KISS). SDIS as an example is far too complicated (and expensive) for the very simple task it's doing. On the other hand, we shouldn't be limiting ourselves to what trained monkies can operate. We may need to go to more complicated stuff in the future & we need to invest in the brain behind them. To an extent that's member development, but there's also an element of enforcing appropriate standards (in recruiting, promotions, & vital ES roles).
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Major Lord
Suspended

Posts: 1,817

« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2006, 09:07:40 AM »

I have been trying to learn how to smell ELT's, but for now, I guess I will just have to keep using that new fangled L-per!

Seriously, the new technology has not replaced the role of the Groud-pounder. Our real complaint should be that CAP is being phased out as the local agencies take control of local searches. They can buy L-pers too, and don't turn down missions to go watch the footbal game or because they are just too tired, or whatever.

If we are not on the cutting edge of technology, we have little to offer except airplanes, so we are an agency in desperate search of a mission. Our National Commander obviously is steering us towards Homeland Security, but we are not really a fully accepted memeber of that group...

With our network of volunteers, Comms, and Airborne Search capabilities, we are ideally suited as a law-enforcement support agency. Naturally, that is the role they are least interested in promoting.

We hava adopted the position that the Posse Comitatus act applies to CAP, which is highly debateable.  An example of this thinking is that ARCHER does not include thermal imagery, and element that would increase our ability to distinguish survivors on the ground. At  the national conference in St. Louis, they told us that Thermal Imaging was omitted because it is too "active" and we don't want to be seen as a LE agency looking in to peoples homes, pot farms, etc.

In my opinion, we are foolish to argue for our limitations. It has been said that if you argue for your limitations, sure enough, there yours!

Capt. Lord
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"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."
DNall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,721

« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2006, 01:38:51 PM »

I think it's if you CAN argue your limitations, as in there are things we can debate are limiting factors then they are limiting factors. Denial doesn't make them go away.

You can cruise over to CAPBlog & get teh Posse Comitatus bit straight from the CAP-USAF CC's mouth, which is based on the AF & CAP lawyers, and what congress has said to date. In short, CAP is under PCA when flying for the feds (AFAM), & debatably not when on a corporate mission.

For my part, there is no way I want CAP participating in LE. You can never draw a line between what's ok & what's not, & situations tend to deteriorate in front of you to force you over that line when you don't want to go. PCA is there for OUR protections as much as it is civil rights of the people. There's absolutely no chance in hell Congress lets CAP out from under PCA, in fact I think they may clarify that CAP very much is under it at all times & als clarify how border protection applies to the military under PCA so that those missions can happen.

We're not going to become a LE or LE-support agency. We will do "active" searches for survivors, disaster, & HLS work in support of the AF.

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