Category Archives: Training Opportunities

Some Skills NEVER Go Out of Style!

Posted on AP 27 Nov 18.

In relation directly to this news post over at American Partisan, this two year old, short article, from the Defensive Training Group blog, on why one might want to know Land Navigation and have the requisite equipment is very apropos.

 

 

 

GPS Operation

 

So, you say, you don’t need to know how to use a map or compass, figure declination, or plot coordinates because you’ve got your handy-dandy palm-sized GPS that goes 5 years on a set of batteries, and is accurate to within 1 meter, huh?  If that’s you, you might want to consider that the old story regarding GPS signals being subject to random programmable errors (meaning that your super-accurate GPS can purposely be fed signals to take you off target as far as the programmer wishes) is true.  What’s more, the increased dependency of our society to have our navigation done for us by mini-computers makes us dependent upon that technology, and puts us at the mercy of the machine and people running it.  Add to that mix our national enemies that already have our communications & GPS satellites targeted for best case, jamming, and worst case, physical destruction.  Makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy on getting from point A to B, now don’t it?

The GPS system is now being purposefully jammed in tests by the US Navy [and refer to the link above for another successful GPS jamming exercise, this time by the Russians] to test a new device used specifically for jamming GPS signals.  Remember, if you’re dependent upon GPS and someone jams the signals, you’re screwed.

Read the full story, here.  Below are some key quotes:

“Starting today, it appears the US military will be testing a device or devices that will potentially jam GPS signals for six hours each day. We say “appears” because officially the tests were announced by the FAA but are centered near the US Navy’s largest installation in the Mojave Desert. And the Navy won’t tell us much about what’s going on.

The FAA issued an advisory warning pilots on Saturday that global positioning systems (GPS) could be unreliable during six different days this month, primarily in the Southwestern United States. On June 7, 9, 21, 23, 28, and 30th [2018] the GPS interference testing will be taking place between 9:30am and 3:30pm Pacific time. But if you’re on the ground, you probably won’t notice interference.”

……………………………………………………….

“GPS technology has become so ubiquitous that cheap jamming technology has become a real concern for both military and civilian aircraft [and anyone else using the technology on the ground].”

map and compass 1

The nice thing is that Land Navigation Skills – Old School – work ALL the time!   If you don’t know how, you might want to move it up a bit on your priority list – it’s not that difficult to learn.  I’ll be reposting some older ‘how to’ and ‘why’ pieces in the next couple weeks.

Additionally, if you’re local to my AO, and you want to set up a training class, drop me a line.

Stay tuned!

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From Brushbeater – The Prepper’s Signal Kit: Line of Sight Equipment Suggestions Based on Requests

Read it, here.  And then get your comms up.  While your at it, see if you can schedule yourself into his RTO classes.

Training Opportunity!

How To Develop A Safe And Effective Armed Security Team For Your School

Tue, Mar 6, 2018 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM EST

Distributed Security, Inc. offers armed security training programs for teachers, administrators, and staff. They have helped develop state legislation allowing teachers and administrators to carry weapons in class. Bill Tallen, Executive Vice President of DSI said this about the webinar:
“There is lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding the issue of armed staff in our schools.  The purpose of this webinar is to give school officials, teachers, and staff a clear and concise road map to set up a their owned armed security team.“
Bill Rogers (former State Representative and Chairman – House Appropriations Subcommittee On School Aid and House Appropriations Subcommittee On Education) will be speaking at the webinar and had this to add: “Safe and secure schools are paramount to Michigan’s future. I have teamed up with the DSI organization because of their innovative approach to offering distributed security solutions not only to schools, but also businesses, churches and communities.”
Details for the webinar are:
DATE: Tuesday, March 6, 2018  TIME: 5:30 – 6:30 PM EDT
COST: This is a FREE webinar. This 1-hour webinar will discuss:
1. Training requirements for concealed carry in schools.
2. Smart planning for school security: site surveys and vulnerability analysis.
3. Selecting and managing armed school staff.
4. Michigan law relative to school defense.
Here’s the link.  Sign up now!

Re-Post – Essential Skills: Land Navigation – Get the Best Map You Can Find

topographic map

Originally posted on 12 Dec 2014.

………………………………………………………….

Today, NPT members learning or practicing land navigation have so much more going for them in the way of map accuracy than those of us who learned some years back (like in 1974 for some folks….).  Back then you took what they issued you, and dealt with it.  Declination off?  Oh, well, deal with it.  Contour lines deceptive?  Too bad, deal with it.  Symbols inaccurate?  Ditto previous answers.

No, the snow wasn’t deeper, and we didn’t have to walk the entire route up hill.  However, unless you really paid attention, you could find yourself disoriented very quickly, because of the quality of maps needed wasn’t always there.

Thankfully, today map quality is a quantum leap better than they used to be.  Map studies done before taking to a route or a land nav course can save the navigator a lot of time because what he or she sees on the map will more likely reflect what is being traversed.  Especially if one gets themselves one of the more expensive, up to date satellite maps with MGRS grid and contour lines superimposed on it.  The declination is always the latest available, symbols match what you see on the ground, and the terrain features and contour lines are accurate.

Sure, it costs much more than the basic topographic maps on hand, which are fine for practice, but if you’re serious about your AO, you might consider saving your pennies for an up to date satellite map in 1:25,000 scale.  You can also choose the size of map you wish, which equates to how much territory is covered.  Again, you can get whatever you want to pay for.

My personal, ‘go to’ place for maps is, www.mytopo.com.  I’m sure there are other places out there just as good, but I’ve been very satisfied with mytopo’s offerings, so I stick with them.  So much so that when I teach land nav, the maps I get for the class are from there.  I don’t recommend the satellite version for a beginning class, because the student will be plotting coordinates and azimuths on it, and that’s a lot of cash for practice.  But, to each his own.  You have the scratch?  Go for it.  Otherwise, for a beginner or even an intermediate skilled land navigator, the topographic maps with or without relief shading will do you fine.  Just make sure you get the MGRS lines (option available).

An aside, if you’re watching videos from you tube, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you don’t need to attend a good course or join an orienteering club to learn land nav well.  All the on-line courses or blog posts in the world can only do one thing:  Familiarize you with the concepts, principles, and techniques.  You need time under an experienced instructor to make sure you really gain the skill.  I highly recommend reading/learning everything you can before attending a course.  Doing so makes the class much more enjoyable for the participant, and learning kicks into high gear.

Here’s an Idea…

With all this talk of the POTUS going full retard by telling the Justice Department and ATF to come up with rules to ban a carbine accessory and ‘any device that turns a rifle into a machine gun’ (the ATF once stated a SHOE STRING was a machine gun part), there’s an alternative to ‘buying them while they’re hot’ only to find out later that you have to turn them in….

Range time with your standard, semi-automatic AR carbine or rifle.  Back in my youthful days spent learning the finer points of marksmanship, we were taught that hits count, not noise.

Sooooo, the idea is simple:  Take the money you may have been considering using buying a slide fire or bump stock, and get a case of ammo instead.  They’ve risen in price already due to the forthcoming ban to anywhere from $400 to $500.  You can get a 1200 round case of IMI for that price, easy.

Take that 1,200 rounds and diligently practice the fundamentals out to the farthest range you can shoot on your range or your area.  It’ll keep you busy for a couple months.  When your done, you’ll have increased your personal sphere of influence a bit more than if you had bought that “evil” accessory.  Disclosure:  Not my target, but it could be yours!

 

Land Nav Classes MIGHT Just be What is Needed Here…

GPS Operation

So, you say, you don’t need to know how to use a map or compass, figure declination, or plot coordinates because you’ve got your handy-dandy palm-sized GPS that goes 5 years on a set of batteries, and is accurate to within 1 meter, huh?  If that’s you, you might want to consider that the old story regarding GPS signals being capable of random program errors (meaning that your super-accurate GPS can purposely get bad signals and take you off target as far as the programmer wishes) is true.  What’s more, the increased dependency of our society to have our navigation done for us by mini-computers makes us dependent upon that technology, and puts us at the mercy of the machine and people running it.

The GPS system is now being purposefully jammed in tests by the US Navy to test a new device used specifically for jamming GPS signals.  Read the full story, here.  Below are some key quotes:

“Starting today, it appears the US military will be testing a device or devices that will potentially jam GPS signals for six hours each day. We say “appears” because officially the tests were announced by the FAA but are centered near the US Navy’s largest installation in the Mojave Desert. And the Navy won’t tell us much about what’s going on.

The FAA issued an advisory warning pilots on Saturday that global positioning systems (GPS) could be unreliable during six different days this month, primarily in the Southwestern United States. On June 7, 9, 21, 23, 28, and 30th the GPS interference testing will be taking place between 9:30am and 3:30pm Pacific time. But if you’re on the ground, you probably won’t notice interference.”

……………………………………………………….

“GPS technology has become so ubiquitous that cheap jamming technology has become a real concern for both military and civilian aircraft [and anyone else using the technology on the ground].”

map and compass 1

Land Navigation – Old School – It works ALL the time!  For information on class requirements, fees, dates, and number of people to defensivetraininggroup@live.com.  Our land nav courses are generally conducted in SE Michigan and usually take 2 days (1 classroom and 1 field).

 

Essential Skills: Basic Survival Weekend – Spring 2016

20151204_151743_resized

“Crawl, walk, run, fly!” is an oft times repeated axiom relating to any complex skill set.  It certainly applies to the skills a NPT member needs to not only stay alive, but to protect his ‘precious cargo’ inside his perimeter.  To that end, DTG will offer an overnight weekend survival course (Saturday & Sunday – approximately 30 hours) this Spring in late March or April.   Interested parties should send us a note at ‘defensivetraininggroup@live.com’ and note their availability.  Majority preference will rule on this class; it’s an open enrollment course; those wishing a private course, please indicate that in your note and we’ll see what we can do to accommodate you.

If you’ve not learned or wish to refresh your basic survival skills, this is your chance!  The course will be held in northern Michigan in the middle of a 31,000 acre area with no amenities and temps that typically go below freezing at night during that time of year.  It’s challenging, to say the least.

Cost:  $200 per person; teams of 4 or more $150 per person

Application of Subjects include:

  • The Big Three:  Fire Building (without accelerants or lighters), Shelter, Water (students will live in the shelters they build no matter the weather)
  • Diet Supplementation
  • Emergency First Aid
  • Basic Knots
  • Knife & Tool Selection, handling, and use
  • Survival Kit Construction

Pack list items will be minimal; pack list will be provided upon registration.

 

patrolling survival shelter

Essential Skills: Land Navigation Tools & Training

topographic map

 

UDPATE 2: We’re considering scheduling an open enrollment land nav class, interest dependent, for September.  So, if you want to learn land navigation, using either compass listed below, shoot a note over to us.  We have a 12 slot minimum; cost:  $100 per registrant.

Subjects/skills covered:

      • Navigation tools nomenclature and correct use (USGI Lensatic & Suunto MC2 type compass, protractor, UTM scale, and map).
      • Azimuth and back azimuth determination.
      • USGI Lensatic Compass Bezel Ring use.
      • Natural or manmade occurrences that degrade compass accuracy.
      • Topographical map marginal information identification and use.
      • Correct identification of grid squares by four digit coordinates.
      • Grid Plotting:  Four, six, and eight digit grids.
      • Grid and Magnetic Azimuths.
      • Declination impact on grid azimuths; conversion of grid and magnetic azimuths using provided map declination.
      • Intersection
      • Modified Resection
      • Plot and execute a predetermined route finding each point provided within the given time limit without becoming lost.

Confirmed registrants will be provided a link to purchase their training maps ($9.,95 plus shipping) in 1:10,000 and protractor/UTM scale ($8 each plus shipping).  Release date for information is end of March.

UPDATE:  Originally posted on 4 Nov 13.  Reposting to give prospective students time to acquire necessary tools for the class (if you don’t have them already, which you should).   With the recent uptick in interest in Land Nav at various sites, to include Dan Morgan76, who has an excellent post on why learn, here,  we decided to jump on the band wagon in anticipation of the Spring class we’ll offer in Southeast Michigan.  Details to follow, but right now we’re looking at mid to late April.

Here’s our picks for basic tools necessary for battery-free*  land navigation.  The tried and true ‘manual’ method, a compass:  Don’t get a cheap imitation; get a USGI Tritium Lensatic Compass.  The Cammenga brand is very good and takes rough field use well.  Typical cost for the basic model is around $75.  If you absolutely can’t afford the tritium model, there are phosphorus models, and you can get them in various colors or even camouflaged, depending on your tase.  Bottom line?  Like anything else, get the absolute best you can afford.  You can check them out here:  http://www.greatlakesurvival.com/navigation-products.html

Lensatic Compass

Alternative:  Suunto, K&R or Silva ‘Baseplate’ type compass.  Any of the three will work; we’ve seen reports that the Suunto and K&R are more accurate than the Silva, but your mileage may vary.  These can come very cheap for the base models; the better ones run between $40 and $75 a pop.  I got mine, a K&R, on amazon.  Delivered in 2 days.

KR compass

Protractor:  Ok, it’s technical name is, “Coordinate Scale and Protractor”, but for us dinosaurs, it’s a protractor.  The new and improved model is very nicely priced at $8 with options for bulk pricing if you are going to buy for a lot of friends.  This particular tool will make your map work seem to go a lot faster.  This model also provides quite a bit more flexibility in use on different map scales.  The nicest touch they’ve added, in our opinion, is the addition of bands of white ink underneath the degree and mil roses, making reading the compass rose easier and also keeps the tool from “disappearing” when you place it on the map.   You can get yours at http://www.maptools.com  Get two.

SuperGTAv2_ProductImage

While you’re at it over at maptools.com, consider a UTM slot tool that has 14 scales which will cover just about any map scale you may find yourself using.  We’ve found them to be super accurate and for $8 (just about everything is $8….) you can’t go wrong.  Check it out here.

Map:  A good map is everything in navigation.  We recommend the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) maps in 1 to 25,000 scale as the most readable and versatile for grid plotting followed up with higher scale maps for general AO familiarization (but more on that in class).  DTG teaches and recommends the use of 8 digit grid coordinates, which brings the navigator within 10 meters (33 feet) of his/her target.  Sure, you can use other methods and a 1:50,000 scale map, plot a 6 digit, and add a zero at the end of each element, but you’ll find that method is not as effective as an actual 8 digit grid coordinate.  Just sayin’.   We get our maps at, ‘www.mytopo.com’.  Best place we’ve found to get a good map customized to your personal needs.   We also recommend having MGRS grid lines on your maps.  Makes plotting a lot easier and more precise.  (Speaking of plotting, make sure you have either a couple good mechanical pencils in #2 lead, or some basic #2’s with a pencil sharpener.   The finer the point, the better the plot.)  The folks at mytopo make any map in any scale you wish, so you’re really getting a custom map that will take care of your needs.  For example, when we teach our Land Nav course, we use a 1:10,000 scale map for ease of learning and seeing routes plotted.  You’ll also have the option to get an aerial photograph version of your map.  We’ve found these to be useful when studying a particular area if (and we’ve found they usually are) the photo is more recent than the provided ‘Map Information Date’  (located under the ‘LEGEND’) that indicates the age (read accuracy) of the information used in making the map.  Especially when it comes to changes in urban development, etc.  So, check them out. topoTraining:  The internet is a great source of information, and a lot of good posts are out there for the academic work.  But you can’t get dirt time on the web.  That’s where we come in:  DTG provides more than just a ‘good idea’ of how to perform this essential skill, and you’ll be taught by people who know the subject inside and out and have done land nav in many and various regions throughout the US and Europe.

Stay tuned for more class details in the coming weeks.  See you in class!

Many Thanks!

meetngreet

To the folks who’ve come to DTG for private training and scheduled classes for their folks, THANK YOU!  We truly enjoy the opportunity to meet new folks and bring them into the world of Neighborhood Protection Team planning and training!  From TC3, Land Nav, and NPT AO Basic Security, you’ve kept us busy and we appreciate it.  So much so that we’ve had little time for ‘open enrollment’ classes this year!  We are humbled and awed at the same time.

For those who might be thinking of coordinating some training with DTG, please send a note to ‘dtg@unseen.is’ and describe the type of training you’re after.  If we’re not able to provide it due to schedule or area of expertise, we’ll gladly refer you to those we believe can do so!

Some of the training we can provide:

  • Home Preparedness Assessments & What to Do
  • Introduction to Neighborhood Protection Planning & Individual Skills
  • Neighborhood Protection Planning – Advanced
  • NPTDOC (NPT Defense Operations Center) Set Up
  • Effective NPT Leadership
  • Land Navigation
  • NPT Security Patrolling
  • Basic Rifle Marksmanship
  • FIN (Finish It Now) Combatives
  • NPT Night Operations Fundamentals
  • Primitive Skills Adaptation (Survival) – Basic, Intermediate, Advanced

If you’ve been thinking about it, please get us a note in the next few weeks; our calendar is filling up quickly, and we’d like to help you become more self-sufficient in the event a grid down situation occurs.

family-training1

 

Essential Skills: Land Navigation 1 & 2, 25/26 April 2015

land nav 1

 Gone navigating; back next week!!

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED!

Now that crunch time is here, if you want to attend, first, send your payment via PayPal to ‘defensivetraininggroup@live.com’.  We’ll see it, and expect a follow up email from you to the same email address.  Soon as we get that, we’ll send you out the links you need to get everything ready.

LODGING:  For those coming in from out of state, here are a few local motels you may wish to try.  Our staff has not stayed at these establishments so we have no personal rating for them.  This information provided for attendee convenience.

Closest to the area we’re doing the field work:

Rodeway Inn
1471 N Opdyke Road
Auburn Hills, MI, US, 48326
(248) 370-8100
Holiday Inn Express
3990 Baldwin Road
Auburn Hills, MI  48326
248-322-7000 (Front Desk)
Fairfield Inn
1294 North Opdyke Road
Auburn Hills  Michigan  48326   
248-373-2228
Red Roof Inn & Suites Lake Orion/Auburn Hills
2755 S Lapeer Rd
Lake Orion, MI 48360
248-391-2755
You may also wish to do a web search for lodging in Lake Orion or Orion Township, MI, which is a bit closer (maybe 15 minutes by car)

Not Much Time Left to Register, folks!  Slots are filling FAST!!  This is looking to be a great class with quite a few attendees!  So, if you’re thinking about, STOP, and get an email to us ASAP to get your slot confirmed!!  We’ll help expedite your map/protractor/compass order to the companies we trust, so you can get what you need on time!

DTG will conduct a full length Land Navigation course with the classroom portion taught on Saturday, April 25 with the field work done on Sunday, April 26, 2015, at the Bald Mountain State Park recreation area in Southeast Michigan.  Classroom work will be done at a local venue, most likely a restaurant (for convenient food, beverages, and facilities).  No ‘At the Door’ admittance; pre-registrations only.  Field work will be done rain or shine.  All participants should dress for the weather and have their own food/drink for the field work.

At the completion of this course, the novice will be able to competently plot and navigate a basic route employing dead reckoning and terrain association.  Experienced navigators will find this course to be a great refresher and excellent practice!

If you can’t navigate, you can’t conduct a security patrol around your NPA.  The ability to navigate effectively is a cornerstone of patrolling.

Cost:  $100 per registrant; groups of 4 who register together as a team and IIIPSFA members (with card) receive a 15% discount.

Subjects/skills covered:

      • Navigation tools nomenclature and correct use (USGI Lensatic & Suunto MC2 type compass, protractor, UTM scale, and map).
      • Azimuth and back azimuth determination.
      • USGI Lensatic Compass Bezel Ring use.
      • Natural or manmade occurrences that degrade compass accuracy.
      • Topographical map marginal information identification and use.
      • Correct identification of grid squares by four digit coordinates.
      • Grid Plotting:  Four, six, and eight digit grids.
      • Grid and Magnetic Azimuths.
      • Declination impact on grid azimuths; conversion of grid and magnetic azimuths using provided map declination.
      • Intersection
      • Modified Resection
      • Plot and execute a predetermined route finding each point provided within the given time limit without becoming lost.

Confirmed registrants will be provided a link to purchase their training maps ($9.,95 plus shipping) in 1:10,000 and protractor/UTM scale ($8 each plus shipping).  Release date for information is end of March.