ALCON Please make sure that this information is disseminated to lower units and personnel as well as relevant mailing lists. All CAP members are invited to attend the North Florida Communications Camp from may 26-Jun 3, 2007. At 9 days long, distance should not be a huge barrier to attendance, and we do pick up at local bus and airline terminals. More information is available on the web at _http://www.tallahasseecap.org/commcamp_ (http://www.tallahasseecap.org/commcamp) or by contacting Capt Gene Floyd, info in signature. First, we do need to clear some misconceptions. Contrary to popular belief, while the Communications Camp is sponsored by the North Florida Ranger School (and if you need a Ranger-approved evaluator to sign you off on specific tasks, we will be glad to assist), it is NOT Ranger Training. Back before there was a North Florida Ranger School, the FL Wing Ranger Training Officer simply thought that advanced communications training was a good idea for folks who need to communicate in field conditions and offered sponsorship of the camp in order to make it happen. Our most recent information can usually be found at _http://www.tallahasseecap.org/commcamp_ (http://www.tallahasseecap.org/commcamp) . While the curriculum and concept has been played with a little since it's first inception, the bottom line is that this is first and foremost an advanced communications school. We will not be doing PT till we drop, or running around in the mud with our hands over our heads till we fall down, nor will there be 4AM wake-up calls to go run the obstacle course - not that any of that goes on in the regular Ranger program (or at least not at the North Florida School) anyway. The closest we will come to being a Boot camp experience is if you want to compare us to an _MCSE Boot camp_ (http://www.unitek.com/training/bootcamp.php) . Since there will be no Expert Rangers in attendance that we know of, we will be waiving the requirement to not wear black shirts in order to make it easier for folks to have enough t-shirts to last the week. If an Expert Ranger does show up, perhaps we will decide on another way to mark him (maybe a black ballcap), although they are so rare that everyone in the camp will know who they are and he would probably be here as a student anyway. What we will be doing is learning far more in a week of training about field and tactical communications than most folks even realize exists. It will still be tough, but not in the physical sense. Hopefully you will leave Fort McGee with a much better understanding of what it takes to get information from point A to point B in an emergency type scenario quickly but even more importantly, accurately and how to survive and operate effectively in a disaster zone. Most of our instructors volunteer with and are certified by the FL State EOC to provide communications in emergencies and have deployed to disaster zones several times already ranging from Pensacola, FL to Waveland, MS and West Palm Beach; a couple of them even spent time on a New Orleans rooftop coordinating a hospital evacuation via helicopter. There is a lot of collective emergency communications experience here and this is a great chance to learn how it's done from those who have been there and done that; in addition, you get a chance to earn your ham license. Planning for the Comm Camp is coming along very well with the exception that we really need students. We have our books, and are working on obtaining some of our academic supplies (clipboards, calculators) that are a must for this type of training along with some decent gifts for our volunteer instructors. We still need an LCD projector, but are quite confident that one will materialize in time, preferably on a permanent basis so that we don't have to repeat this scramble. If you are interested in this training, we really do need you to sign up on the registration page at _http://www.tallahasseecap.org/commcamp/register.shtml_ (http://www.tallahasseecap.org/commcamp/register.shtml) as we may have to consider canceling if there are not enough names on the list by mid-May. Please be sure to ask your buddies along too; $90 is about as cheap as it gets for a 9-day activity considering everything that is included in the package (in order of price: about $50 worth of books, testing fees inc one re-take if needed for each paid test, clipboard/calculator/storage container combo, t-shirt, BBQ dinner, swimming party, use of rented porta-pots plus more).If you are not sure about how to register, please feel free to email us and let us know so we can help you. We have received approval as an Air Force funded mission, so gas should be reimbursable. We can also pick up at the Greyhound station, which is often the cheapest way to travel into Tallahassee. To go over what will be taught, we have: * Amateur Radio Technician License * ARRL Emergency Communications Level 1 (very similar to CAP comm, especially after we modify it) * FEMA IS 200 and 700 (200 required for CUL, 700 soon to be required for everyone for NIMS compliance) * How all this knowledge ties into CAP communications (radio an antenna theory and emergency operating practices modified for CAP mainly) * MRO tasks * CUL tasks * Exercise till your ears bleed. If you can imagine what it might be like to have a radio and a roll of wire to build an antenna with, then add in a stack of both formal and informal messages, plus several sealed envelopes with opening times written on them and no idea of what is inside, you have an idea what our exercises are like. On top of all that, you have 30 people trying to use the same channel at the same time for 8 solid hours and their messages are just as important as yours. Everyone has to cooperate and use the techniques you will learn for it all to work and for all the messages to be delivered accurately, but with the training, this will be possible. After this, a basic SAREX or Disaster Drill will seem like a calm and relaxing walk in the park. Believe it or not, this isn't too far off what a real working disaster scenario can seem like at times as anyone who has been there can tell you. Through it all, the instructors will be offering feedback and helping you learn on the job. Oh yeah, did I mention that there's no AC or electricity from the wall plugs? Welcome to Southern Mississippi or Punta Gorda, FL all over again. In the real world, real lives might be hanging on the real messages you pass, so we train like it's the real thing. Why so intense? Experience has shown that one of the primary problems facing emergency responders in search and rescue and disaster operations is communications or lack of communications. Even our CAP ground teams in Katrina and South Florida had problems communicating with each other once they were out of direct VHF range using the installed antennas on their vehicles as there were no working repeaters or cell towers left. At the same time, the places that we are most likely to be sent to look for a missing airplane are not as likely to have cell service or be close to the mission base; if it was, someone would have probably already called 911 to get the airplane out of their yard. We need to know how to overcome these limitations if we are to do or jobs effectively. In addition, with the limits put on cadets working in disaster zones, this is a great way for a cadet to gain the necessary training to be useful in such a scenario. By making themselves indispensable around a mission base, they increase their chances of being invited to work at the ICP in even the worst of disaster zones rather than sitting at home watching it all unfold on CNN. With this knowledge and experience, you will be much more prepared to set up mission base for a SAR mission, accompany a ground team as an MRO who actually knows how to get the word back to Mission base regardless of the conditions, or to go into a hurricane zone with a RECON team and somehow or another make communications happen even without any infrastructure left. We aren't teaching a rigid set of "thou shalts" and "thou shalt nots" other than the rules that the FCC, NTIA, and CAP have already given us, but we are helping you understand a lot of basic laws of physics so that you can figure things out on your own according to your unique situation. We are going to be encouraging our people to think on their feet. We look forward to seeing you there. Gene Floyd, Capt CAP CAP Communications Camp (850)284-3677 _http://www.tallahasseecap.org/commcamp_ (http://www.tallahasseecap.org/commcamp) _commcamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:commcamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) ************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com.