“Tactical” vs “Prepper” radio usage

All Radios3

One of the comments I frequently received when the Signals Handbook, Volume One was released, was that it was to “tactical” and military oriented.   Indeed, it was, because that is the intended audience.   After browsing through many radio and communication threads on various discussion forums, it seems that some folks can’t separate the different ways a radio can be used.   Radios are a valuable tool for “preppers” and other preparedness minded people.   They can be used to monitor the local, and national situation.   They can be used to call for help.   They can be used to notify friends, family, and loved ones of someones status and well being.   In short, they are a great prep tool.   But that is not all they can do.   Radios, and other signal methods can also be used for the protection and security of ones group.   It is this niche application that the signals handbooks are being developed.   Depending on the situation, any small group may face threats from the outside world.   It is this rare, but dangerous condition that the small team can be greatly aided by good COMSEC procedures, proper radio discipline, and a little bit of practice.

For more info on the prepper side of communications, check out Spark31’s “Grid Down Communications”

Link HERE!



Volume 2 Table of Contents

Work on Volume 2 is well under way.

I have the first several chapters done, and the table of contents created to serve as an outline.

As chapters are completed, It may change how I present some of the later material, so the TOC WILL change.

Here is the TOC.. .If you see something you think should be added, let me know.   Keep in mind, SIGINT and Electronic Warefare will be covered in Volume Three.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Security
D) Threat SIGINT Capabilities

Part 1: Administration
I. Define standard operating procedures. (SOP’s)
II. Communication Table of Organization and Equipment
.  A) Category of radios:
.  B) Radio Operation Constraints
III. UHF/VHF Radio Types (and High HF)
.  A) FRS/GMRS portable radios:
.  B) GMRS only portable and mobile radios:
.  C) MURS portable radios:
.  D) Citizens Band (CB) portable radios:
.  E) Citizens Band (CB) Mobile radios:
.  F) ISR and SMR band digital frequency hopping voice radios:
.  G) Business Band analog voice portable and mobile radios:
.  H) Business Band analog voice Chineese import radios:
.  I) Business Band digital voice portable and mobile radios:
.  J) UHF/VHF Ham radio fm analog voice portable and mobile radios:
.  K) UHF/VHF Ham radio SSB mobile radios:
.  L) UHF/VHF Ham radio low usage bands portable and mobile radios:
.  M) UHF/VHF Ham radio digital voice portable and mobile radios:
.  N) UHF/VHF Ham radio digital voice with transverter to low usage bands portable and   .    mobile radios:
.  O) UHF/VHF Ham digital data and packet radio:
.  P) 10m Ham portable and mobile radios:
IV. Range Beyond Handheld
.  A) Relay
.  B) Simplex Repeater
.  C) Duplex Repeater
.  D) Cross Band Repeater
.  E) Multipoint links
.  F) Directional Antennas
V. Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS)
.  A) HF Groundwave
.  B) HF Skywave
.  D) mixed band relays
VI. HF Radio Types
.  A) High Frequency (HF) Ham analog voice radios:
.  B) High Frequency (HF) Ham continous wave (CW) morse code radios:
.  C) High Frequency (HF) Ham digital text mode radios:
.  D) High Frequency (HF) Ham graphic mode radios:
.  E) High Frequency (HF) Ham digital voice radios:
F.  ) High Frequency (HF) Ham digital packet and data radios:
VII. BLOS Less Common Methods
.  A) Microwave relay
.  B) Tropo Scatter
.  C) EME/ Moonbounce
.  D) Meteor Scatter
.  E) HM-mesh/VOIP
.  F) HamSat
.  G) Sat Phone
VIII. Other Means of Communications
.  A) POTS
.  B) Field Phones
.  C) VOIP
.  D) Visual Signals
.  E) Sound Signals
.  IX. Cellular Telephones
XI. OPSEC and COMSEC and Sensitive Materials
XII. Codenames and Codewords
XIII. Generating SOI’s
XIV. Generating OTP’s and Dryad Sheets
XV. Generating Codebooks

Part 2: Mission Planning and Opertaions
I. Spectrum Management
III. Physical Setups
.  A) Organization, Links, and OPORD
.  B) Relay/ Repeater site selection
.  C) CP and CP site selection
.  D) LP/OP and site selection
.  E) Vehicle Setups
IV. Handling Traffic
V. Nets
VI. Supporting Joint Operations

Part 3: Training and Discipline
I. Basics of Training
.  A) Crawl, Walk, Run
.  B) Planning lessons and classroom basics
.  C) Field training basics
II. Classroom exercises
.  A) physically using a radio
.  B) Standard Operating Procedures
III. Field Excercises
.  A) Signals specific drills vs Signals as part of other exercises.
.  B) Using equipment in the field
.  C) Equipment performance testing
.  D) Alternates, contingencies and failover
.  E) After Actions
IV. Recruiting
.  A) Creating a program of continuity and shared responsibilities
.  B) Expanding the signals team, and training its new members

Part 4 Conclusion

Part 5 Appendices

National Patriot Field Day, Floridia/Alabama

April 17, 18, 19 2015

Where? Omega Ranch, Deland, Florida

When? April 17, 18, 19, 2015

Cost? $10.00 per day per person to cover cost of facility use. Camping on site is


Schedule of Events:

Friday, April 17, 2015

1200-2200Hrs Arrival and Registration

Saturday, April 18, 2015

0800-1600Hrs Abbreviated Courses of Instruction

Land Navigation
Patrol Techniques
Radio Communication Techniques
Break Contact
Battlefield First Aid Techniques
9Line Medevac Report
Casualty Evacuation
Instruction will be limited to that necessary for participation in NPFD
1600-1900Hrs Free Time/Meet and Greet

1900-2200Hrs Campfire Program

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunrise-1500Hrs National Patriot Field Day

This will be a team competition event with each team consisting of 4 participants. Teams will negotiate a land navigation course in patrol formation while conducting radio communications with a TOC. Teams will then encounter an ambush, break contact, treat a battlefield wound and coordinate a Medevac.

Team performance will be assessed based on overall time in the following categories: land navigation, radio communication techniques, break contact, first aid techniques, 9Line Medevac and casualty evacuation.

Email secomzone1@gmail.com for additional information.

MDT/DTG JointNeighborhood Protection Team Skills Class

Field training

From 15 to 17 May 2015, MDT (JC Dodge) and DTG (Tom Randall) will conduct a Neighborhood Protection Team skills oriented course as described in, “A Failure of Civility”, by Mike Garand & Jack Lawson, comprised of classes taken from both MDT’s, “Regional Security Forces” and DTG’s “Essential Skills” series at MDT’s training site.   While MDT & DTG will be hosting the class, there’ll be additional ‘guest’ instructors conducting various classes – we’ve got a great line up! Participants will be exposed to various perspectives of NPT operations, skill enhancement methods, and ‘tricks o’ the trade’ that demonstrate a resource and information rich environment for the person who wants to either refresh or learn what might be necessary in a grid down situation they may face one day. Classes will be presented from a ‘Train the Trainer’ perspective.

Arrival, Meet & Greet: 1000 15 May

Class start: 1200 15 May

Class end: 1700 17 May

Location:  Echo Valley Training Center, WV – http://www.echovalleytrainingcenter.com/

Participants will live in a field environment the entire class period and provide their own food & water. Recommend getting individual fitness levels as good as can reasonably be expected by class start in order to get the most out of the class as the participant possibly can.

Cost: $300 per person; Teams (6 people registering together) $250 per person

Hand Outs on various classes will be provided to all attendees.

To confirm attendance, contact either MDT or DTG via email for specifics on payment. Once attendance is confirmed by course fee payment, each participant will be sent a Release of Liability, a recommended pack list, a link to purchase a MGRS map of the training area (optional), and directions. The Release of Liability must be executed per the instructions provided and presented on upon arrival at the training site.

Class size is limited to 36 people, so don’t hesitate if you want your team to attend.

Subjects include:

  • Proper Wear – Clothing/Equip
  • Rucksack Packing/Waterproofing
  • Basic Survival (Shelter, fire, water, etc.)
  • Edged Weapons Selection & Familiarization
  • Field Hygiene
  • Land Navigation Review & Practicum
  • Individual/Team Movement
  • Small Team Patrol Base Ops
  • Night Operation Fundamentals
  • TC3 Orientation
  • Basic Field Fortifications (Hasty Positions)
  • Camouflage, Cover & Concealment
  • Basic Patrolling Walk Through

This is going to be a great class!