Back to Basics: Everything That’s Old Is New Again

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A couple of articles that were sent to me by different sources:

Operation Lone Wolf: Sniper Leader Course Trains and Tests US and Allied Forces

QRPX-2017 First Place Winner – How the Army Does HF Radio

Although a little over a year old, they both indicate a (welcome) re-emphasis on basic small unit thinking and skill building. From the first article:

Focusing on teambuilding, highlights of the first weeks training on field expedient antenna included U.S. Snipers providing instruction to Dutch and Polish Snipers on how to extend the range of their communications equipment by 3-4 times by building wire antennas out of spooled wire, insulators, resistors, and antenna port connectors. These skills were new concepts for the foreign snipers and helped to validate tactics, techniques and procedures, or TTPs, for U.S. snipers. This skill is particularly important for snipers because they often operate forward of the main battle area and out of communications and supporting range of the unit’s main body.

The old skills are coming back in many ways- getting back to core skills that really make effective warfighters. One might wonder where this emphasis might have come from- if you’ve read this blog any length of time you’d know. Small Unit Communications, especially of an improvised nature, absolutely must be a cornerstone of an effective training program.

From the second, coming by way of the Army MARS program PAO office:

SFC XXXXX’s team took their equipment to the field, built a variety of antennas, and used the QRPX weekend to train long range communications.

There’s some great shots of the wire antennas they built out at Harmony Church. For anyone who’s taken my RTO Course, these scenes should look familiar. The Army is returning to the basic skills which are at the heart of capability. Technology only augments but never replaces them. They’re shifting to a potential battlefield without SATCOM or even retrans points- training instead on how to maximize range of the SINCGARS system (low band VHF) and HF.

The RTO Course offers these skills to civilians in a way that you’re not going to get anywhere else, save for enlisting and being fortunate enough to attend the schools that teach it. You’ll learn the fundamentals of solid communications and do it using the most common off the shelf equipment, while learning how to improvise equipment to meet your group’s needs along the way.

There’s a couple of open enrollment dates for NC on the ledger with some open spots:

  • 14-15 JUL
  • 11-12 AUG

Contact me directly at [email protected] for more details.



12 thoughts on “Back to Basics: Everything That’s Old Is New Again

  1. Rod

    Graf…the only place in Germany were you can freeze to death in the morning, and die of heat by noon! Great place to train for some Really long shots. Thanks for Posting the story!

  2. Daniel

    How do these deep teams usually talk? Voice in the clear via low wattage & maybe small directional Yagi? Morse? Brevity codes? Digital ala FT8?

    1. Low power is always the rule of thumb. Directional antennas are built using wire and resistors. For HF the primary means these days is ALE.

  3. Tim

    Oops. Sorry. Meant to ask, “can you recommend a weather proof “speaker mic” for the ICOM V80.

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