Cibola
Search and Rescue

Debrief of 16 December 2000 Land Nav Training

main text written by Paul Donovan

1. Classroom Portion:

I lectured on the use of topographic maps and compasses, magnetic declination, geodetic data and UTM coordinates. Participants practiced plotting resection lines of position to determine a "fix" location.

Classroom Feedback:

Most people appreciated that we kept the academics at a basic level. I highly recommend that future instructors of this lesson do the same. Also, everyone was impressed with the quality of facilities we taught the class at (Wells Fargo Bank Conference Room; Tijeras). Participant's feedback is highly desired-send it to the team's mailbox and it will be incorporated.

2. Field Exercises: Compass bearings/terrain recognition:

Training base was set up at the parking area for Chamisoso Canyon [0374.15,3880.85].

Before teams were sent into the field to run the land-nav course, compass headings were shot to several terrain features to make sure that participants knew how to use their compasses. Also, we converted the magnetic bearings to true bearings for chart plotting use. I overheard a veritable cornucopia of techniques, algorithms, poems, etc. for converting from magnetic to true bearing!

For terrain recognition practice, we worked several examples of looking at 3-D terrain around training base, and locating it on the 2-D map (Tijeras Quad.).

Field Exercise Feedback:

From my perspective, everyone seemed to have a fundamental understanding of map/compass at this point. Once again, submit any feedback regarding this portion of the training to the team's mailbox.

3. Navigation Course:

Four waypoints were placed around the Cedro Peak area (see fig. 1 on next page). I utilized ICS forms/procedures for team composition and field assignment. This was done for two reasons: 1. Familiarize "new" people to ICS forms/procedures, 2. Deconflict teams on the land-nav course. Five teams were created for the training.

[Ed. Note: No map image has been scanned yet for this training yet. When it is done there will be a map under "Fig. 1". In the interim, a map of the same area, marked up for a previous incarnation of this course, appears at the end of this debrief.]

Fig. 1: Land Nav Course

(rectangular section of Sedillo Quad including Cedro Peak, bounded by NAD 83, 13S 0374.600, 3881.700 and 0377.800, 3878.800.)

PointUTMsDescription
TB0374.15,3880.85Training Base-Chamisoso Canyon Parking Lot
A0375.10,3880.05Marker on side slope, west of power lines
B0375.62,3880.00Marker on hill west of saddle
Injury0376.05,3880.05Injury location, litter evac
C0376.16,3880.40Marker on slope near former power line cutout
D0375.37,3881.20Marker near x6687 spot elevation


Team Composition:

Team #Total pers.ActiveProspect.NewWFRHAM
1420202
2431022
3421121
4422012
5421122


I laid out the course in a counter-clockwise position ("A" - "D"). From training base, I utilized the powerline cutout that runs SE from training base to set marker "A". From "A" to "B" it was pretty much a straight shot up the steep slope. For "C", I contoured along the 7000' contour from "B". To set "D", I utilized the NW utility cutout (not shown on the map). From "D", I followed the trail/forest service road to the SW back to training base.

Team 1 was sent into the field at 1035. Their tasking was to start with "D". They secured "D" at 1121 (+46 after start) by utilizing the forest service road/trail and proceeded to "C" via the NW/SE utility easement-secured at 1213 (1+38 after start). Enroute to "B", a team member was injured at 1244 which mandated an immediate end to the training and "spin-up" of mission #000526.

Team 2 was sent into the field at 1040. Their tasking was to start with "A". They secured "A" at 1126 (+46 after start) via the SE powerline cutout. They secured "B" at 1207 (1+27 after start) by following the powerline easement until the wash diverged from it at approximate location (0375.2,3879.8), following the wash east until meeting the drainage at approximately (0375.8,3879.8), and proceeding directly north up to the ridge. They then proceeded toward point "C" by following the 7000 foot contour line to the unmarked northwest utility cutout and were near the location of point "C" at 1244, when training base directed team 2 to the injured subject's location.

Team 3 was sent into the field at 1045. Their tasking was to start with "D". Due to radio problems, they returned to training base to get another radio. Subsequently, they secured "D" via the road/trail at 1235 (1+50 after start). Due to team one's injury, training base directed team 3 to return to training base.

Team 4 was sent into the field at 1051. Their tasking was to start with "A". They secured "A" at 1134 (+43 after start) via the SE powerline cutout. They secured "B" at 1220 (1+29 after start); exact route not known. At 1244 training base directed team 4 to the injured subject's location.

Team 5 was sent into the field at 1100. Their tasking was to start with "D". They secured "D" at 1132 (+32 after start) by utilizing the forest service road/trail and proceeded to "C" via the NW/SE utility easement-secured at 1230 (1+30 after start). At 1244 team 5 proceeded to the injured subject's location.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Radios are your "best friend" and "worst friend". Team 2 had to swap radios/communicators due to minor battery problems. Team 3 had to return to base to get a replacement radio [Ed. Note: this was because the person operating the radio was unfamiliar with its features, and unwittingly engaged the "Push To Talk Lock," rendering it unable to transmit --- your radio isn't your best friend unless you understand its features!]. This roughly equates to 40% of fielded assets experiencing communication problems.
  2. Gear. Your fully equipped SAR pack is your friend. Don't leave home without it!
  3. Team Composition. We did a good job balancing the active/prospective/new member mix on the teams. However, team 1 went out with NO WFR capability while teams 2,3,and 5 had 2 on each team.
MAP [Ed. Note: No map image has been scanned yet for this training yet. The map that appears below is from the first land nav course debrief from 1999, and therefore does not have the waypoints in the same place. It can, however, be used as a reference for the UTMs that appear above.]

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Last Modified: 04/20/15 12:43:08
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