January 2018 Notes

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January FTX will be a one-day event commencing at 1500Z on the 27th,  at  Training Area North.  Gear check and a little target practice, followed by a briefing on this years events and training goals.



Happy NewYear.  Expecting great things to happen this year.  Also expecting more “great moments in cultural enrichment”  this year.  Undecided whether to write the book now myself or wait till the historians write it 400 years from now.



Ol’ Remus over at the Woodpile Report offers this tidbit for us to ponder while warming our feet around the pot-belly stove.



“There’s an ugly, unavoidable reckoning building. The cynic in me says however remote you are, or self-sufficient you are, however well-appointed your hidey-hole, however much ammo you have, however deep your deep larder, however much training and comms and meds you have, it probably ain’t enough for what’s coming.”


Beyond the scope of the “Alamance Ranger Notes” to delve into the whys and wherefores of the culture wars.  Only to point towards the planning and preparing for the day it gets “past resolution by normal means”.  For now, for most folk, this is just a small sore spot that makes suitable material for humor.







To that end, this spring we’ll be adding some ideas from the GO-RUCK people to our road-work and trail-work.  Seems they sell some real pretty gear for those city-dwellers that want the experience of getting outdoors for the day and can afford to look good while doing it.  For those of you that already have a nice sturdy pack filled with 30-80 pounds of important crap, ( yes, looking right at you) you can skip the shopping on their site.  But do look at their chart for “rucking”.






Max has amended his training classes to now include a minimum level of fitness as a condition for enrollment.  Maybe a good idea when you’re training 20 people who have paid real dollars and expect to get the most for that money.  Bear in mind that “others” have also altered their training standards to achieve their new goals, though not necessarily for the better.  No insult taken here.


Brushbeater has pointed out that while low-power portable radios are highly desirable for field operations, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for us noobs to learn basic skills on one of the standard 100 watt hf rigs.  And this type of radio can be had, used and in very good condition, for not a huge investment.  Some examples from ebay —



A used Kenwood TS-440 for just $270.



A used Yaseu FT-897 for $395.


And a used Icom IC-706 also for $395.


There are many other sources of used equipment in good shape.  Most Hams take very good care of their equipment and most is very well constructed and nearly idiot proof.   Well suited for those just learning to operate a radio, especially in digital modes.


And ITS Tactical has a good background story that tells you some of the basics for when you go shopping for your gear.



And, and, and….. you’re in such luck.  Winter Field Day 2018 is the weekend of the 27th and 28th.  Imagine that.  Mostly aimed at the lower bands and any/all modes with the point of making as many contacts as possible without really caring who is on the other end, or what kind of antenna they’re using, or if they’re running 10 watts or a thousand.  Just like most contests.  It’s an exercise in listening too!





Finally,  just a reminder — these cold winter nights sure would be a good time to work on some of that free FEMA training and/or studying for that General class exam like you’re supposed to be doing.  Just saying….





December 2017 Notes


As is tradition, there is no December FTX. However, the 2018 Training Schedule is complete and we will once again  get busy out in the field working on both old skills and new.  Until then, celebrate the Christmas season whenever you can.





Had a wee bit of snow early this month.  First time in seven years according to that weatherman.  The best kind of snow for these parts is just enough to be pretty to look at,  but be gone in a few days. 



Things you can still  study on in the meantime —



A fellow Ranger has a box full of some mighty fine, top of the line Safariland drop-leg holsters made under Government contract, and a favorite of many contractors because they fit about any pistol, from John Brownings‘s original to a more modern Glock of HK.  Makes a good Christmas gift at half the original price.   And looks good with those Khakis.  Jump over to Armslist and buy a couple.





ITS Tactical has a good story about learning to see your surroundings and sketch like a sniper.  Only in the movies does it ever work when your plan is to just walk up to the front door and blast your way in (or out).  By learning to pay attention to how things are laid out, with an eye to traffic, natural funnels, and dead ends, you can make a plan on where to move to when”something sudden and unexpected” happens.  The seconds spent figuring out an exit plan before you go in may be the seconds that save your life on the way out.





That girl with a great pair of Glocks had a short post of some good quotes just before Thanksgiving.




“That nation is surest to live in peace, that is most capable of making war; and a man with a sword always by his side, shall have least occasion to make use of it.”

John Trenchard




“Given power over their fellow men, most discover within themselves evil impulses, of which they had been previously unaware.”

Arthur Custance



And something from the 1989 farewell speech of Ronald Reagan is a timely reminder for today.  He definitely had a good understanding of how a culture of people made a political system work and that any threat to that was far worse than any gun or bomb.



1950s Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan (Close up) posing leaning against a fence at their Malibu Canyon Ranch “Yearling Row”



“Finally, there is a great tradition of warnings in Presidential farewells, and I’ve got one that’s been on my mind for some time. But oddly enough it starts with one of the things I’m proudest of in the past 8 years: the resurgence of national pride that I called the new patriotism. This national feeling is good, but it won’t count for much, and it won’t last unless it’s grounded in thoughtfulness and knowledge.


An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn’t get these things from your family you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties.

But now, we’re about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom — freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs production [protection].


So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important — why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D – day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, “we will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.” Well, let’s help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual.

And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.”


More next month.  Celebrate Christmas like it was your last.  Or learn to celebrate Eid al-Fitr like you’ll have to do it the rest of your life if you want to live.  Take your pick.  Choose wisely.  See you at the Cafe Van Gogh.









November 2017 Notes

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FTF for November will be held at 1400 on the 26th in the park.  The major topic for discussion will be the 2018 Training Schedule.  Somehow we need to work in more of the things we had fun with this past year AND work on those things that we struggled with AND not go to four FTX’s each month.




Deer season (gun season anyway) just opened.  Opening day was really cold but windless.  Way too many people are waiting all year to hunt on this one day and not making the time to practice their hunting and shooting skills.  Trail cameras are worth every penny and should be put out in August right after your deer food plots get cleaned and planted.  In these parts, bucks will get noticeable antlers in August, and does have fawns three or four times each year.  Scrapes and rubs can be easily found in September.  The Wildlife Commission estimates there are a million deer in the state and hunters spend $300 million each year hunting them. Both Alamance and Caswell Counties are estimated to have deer populations of over 45 animals per square mile.  Trail cameras  show there are three herds that regularly make their circuit here around the lake.  One has 3 generations of does with one young buck and one old buck.  Healthy critters all.




Poor planning still makes for poor performance.  Never forget there are many other animals living along that creek near the pond.



And one missed shot may be all you get some days.





Some folk like to go four-wheeling down the forest roads scouting the deer trails.  “Keep the shiny side up!” is hard to do in the very early light some days.




In other news……. back around Halloween, what started off as a sophomoric prank took on a life of its own, apparently hitting a nerve on some college and university commons.  The backlash was unpredictably off the scale and only added hilarity to the episode.  The socialists can be so entertaining some days.





Meanwhile, in Poland, they were celebrating their 100th National Independence Day.  A yearly event, but this year took place just after the very well received visit from President Trump.  The 60,000 person march by Poland’s far-right was spectacular to say the least.  And there-in lies another lesson to be learned.  Study it well.  There will be a test later.  Tommy Robinson can’t do it all by himself.









And even more recently, a group of European intellectuals published a conservative manifesto with 36 tenets defending ‘old Europe’ and its values, and it was posted over at Zerohedge.  Very much worth the read.  You can start at the end, then work your way back up to the top.

36. We must take responsibility.

In this moment, we ask all Europeans to join us in rejecting the utopian fantasy of a multicultural world without borders. We rightly love our homelands, and we seek to hand on to our children every noble thing that we have ourselves received as our patrimony. As Europeans, we also share a common heritage, and this heritage asks us to live together in peace as a Europe of nations. Let us renew national sovereignty, and recover the dignity of a shared political responsibility for Europe’s future.


This seems like a logical evolution of several speeches made by Kai Murros starting back in 2010 in Moscow.  He deserves more credit for taking the lead on this subject with his classic style speeches.






Eventually – eventually we will be standing at the head of this footpath, here in these parts, that the Europeans have tread for many years.  The luxury of ignoring these problems (and there are many) has evaporated.  Or just maybe, we’re already a ways up that path.













October 2017 Notes

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October FTX will begin at 1200 on the 28th at Training Area North and run thru the 29th at 1500. Subjects to cover are radio communications as a function of small unit tactics and movement, Recon Patrol, and of course more Map and Compass work with Land-Nav.  HF and VHF Communications will be set up so we can get back into routine communications.  Our Aerographer is predicting a soggy weekend starting about sundown, so would be good to bring a hat.


The fuss and mess in Iraq and Syria, which some of you are very familiar with, is once again winding down to rest on its laurels thinking that there is finally an end to the mission in sight.  Just a little review of nearly 40 years of history will tell you otherwise.  Of all places, USA Today has a piece explaining how al-Qaeda and ISIS are moving to where their work is easier.  Egypt, Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Mali.  Might want to dig out your old maps of Mogadishu.  And of course around that “secret drone base” in Niger from where most of the drone strikes over the past five years in the area originate.




If you believe in coincidences, the 33rd annual Joint Land, Air and Sea Strategic Special Program (JLASS-SP) gamed a future scenario of this very thing just last year.  Set not that far off in the year 2023, the Lincoln Tunnel gets truck bombed from both ends during morning rush.  Over a thousand people killed or injured. The usual suspects take credit.  By mid-June we’re landing an expeditionary force in Mauritania, and we’re off to the races again.  Links and even more details via The Intercept.




Travel to our regional warzone known as Washington, D. C., is again cautioned against the first week in November.  According to many sources over the past few months, “The violent Commie group plans a “day of riots” on November 4th, to “forcibly remove” President Trump from office.”  Make some popcorn and get ready to be entertained.  Northern California Regional Intelligence Center report (Unclassified)  from Public Intelligence.








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North Carolina Patriots Convention was held between the 4th and 8th of October this year and while the attendance for Saturday’s lectures and demos was smaller than usual it was still a good group with lively discussions.



The presentation on Disaster Communications covered a lot of material and was directed towards the efforts made by the ARRL and the American Red Cross to establish temporary communications in hurricane stricken Puerto Rico. A combination of VHF radios and HF radios in digital mode with computers running WinLink software is handling around one million messages per week.



This discussion led to the subject of FEMA training classes, as well as American Red Cross certified training. The list of recommended FEMA training classes can be found here. FEMA also has an emergency contact list that you can print out for your family and friends in addition to their suggested 3-day emergency supply list of items for when we have our next disaster here in these parts. It is highly recommended you search for your county’s Emergency Response plan to see how things will go when there is a disaster in your area.



The other interesting discussion at the PATCON was on the use of oxygen absorbers for food storage and home emergency preparedness. There were many examples of food stuffs stored in plastic containers with oxygen absorber packet in them along with the caution that not all food stuffs are compatible with these packets.


Next PATCON should be somewhere around the first weekend in June 2018.





September 2017 Notes

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September FTX will commence at 0900 on the 23rd and run thru 1600 on the 24th at Training Area North. This will include a gear check as we move from urban settings to rural settings. Training Operations will include establishing the patrol base and security patrolling the perimeter. HF and VHF Communications will be set up so we can get back into routine communications.




At this date in the month, recovery from Hurricane Harvey is underway in coastal Texas, and Hurricane Irma is wallering Florida, possibly following a course to end up here in North Carolina in 5 days time. We should make this an opportunity to review our FEMA, CERT, and Red Cross training. Check the FEMA Training List over on the sidebar. The list of FEMA Independent Study classes was last revised just this spring to include Active Shooter.




CERT – Community Emergency Response Team Training is somewhat of the red-headed step-child of FEMA,  Ready.gov has a very good Toolkit detailing the steps to set up and your local Team going.  The training materials is available in a good location from FEMA, but the quick guide videos are best had from the Toolkit page.




Ready.gov still has the handy form you can print out for your list of contacts and primary and secondary meet-up locations. The time to do this is when you’re not facing an imminent disaster. Right now, today, might be as a good time as you’re going to get.





The local Red Cross offers OSHA Certified First Aid, CPR and AED Training in Greensboro for $100.  Visit their site to find and schedule a class that works for you.



Dates for NCPATCON is 5-8 OCT. Time to send your monies in if you haven’t done that yet.




Suggested reading for this month:



Make a Plan – Ready.gov has the checklist for  your emergency disaster plan for your friends and family.


Hurricane Watch Net


From the Hurricane Watch Net website



“The primary mission of the Hurricane Watch Net is to disseminate tropical cyclone advisory information to island communities in the Caribbean, Central America, along the Atlantic seaboard of the U.S., and throughout the Gulf of Mexico coastal areas. We also collect observed or measured weather data from amateur radio operators in the storm affected area as well as any post storm damage, and convey that information to the Hurricane Forecasters in the National Hurricane Center via the amateur radio station in the center (WX4NHC).



The Hurricane Watch Net generally activates whenever a hurricane is within 300 statute miles of expected land-fall.  Our area of coverage includes the Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Mexico, Eastern Canada, as well as all US Coastal States.  When activated, you will find us on 14.325 MHz by day and 7.268 MHz by night.  Why do we state these frequencies without a plus or minus amount?  Because those who are operating using marine radios have to program in the frequencies – marine radios do not have a VFO or RIT.  Furthermore, these two frequencies come preprogrammed into many marine radios.”



Operations is currently on stand-by till the next one comes along.  Another directed net that is swamped with membership applications.  Worth your time to listen to.




And non-emergency traffic is handled from the SATERN SSB Net.  Mostly outgoing messages from those either about to get clobbered by a hurricane or those picking up the pieces and trying to send out their situation reports via HF, because land-line and cell phones are out.  Skills with 100 watts and a wire pay off here.



Health & Welfare Information

International SATERN SSB Net

OUTBOUND Health and Welfare Traffic Only

Operations are on 14.265.00 MHz

9:00 AM CDT (1500 UTC) to 6:00 PM CDT (2300 UTC)

Southern Territory SATERN Net

OUTBOUND Health and Welfare Traffic Only

Operations are on 7.262.00 MHz (LSB)

7:00 AM CDT (1200 UTC) to 10:00 AM CDT (1500)

6:00 PM CDT (2300 UTC) to 10:00 PM CDT (0300 UTC)


Not all disasters roll in from the tropics.  Some days it sprouts up right down town.  Maybe on one of those days when you also happen to be down town.  Maybe just not today.  Would be a good thing to add to your list of many things-to-do, would be to spend some time in town and  mapping out those potential hot spots and mark the quickest routes away from those points.  Also learn to gauge what a normal amount of foot traffic is in these areas.  Might be easier to notice the makings of a flash mob.  A good article at ITS Tactical on the subject of Urban Uprisings.






August 2017 Notes

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August FTX will commence at 0900 on the 26th and run thru 1600 on the 27th at Training Area North.  Items for review are LandNav and the new maps, Gear Selections, PT, and the schedule for the new year.




The big local W4GG repeater has been down since early spring when several storms and a tornado ended it’s 15 of year service.  To raise money for a new one the  Guilford Amateur Society radio club has a “GoFundMe” page set up on their site to take your donations.  The repeater is part of the Piedmont Costal Repeater linking system and covers a good 50+ mile radius from it’s location near the top of the WFMY TV 2 tower.




Max Velocity is raffling off a DBAL-I2 infrared laser to raise money for a 40 foot Team Cabin being build up at his training facility.  Tickets are $50 each.  Not bad for a $800 device.






An interesting story at  ZeroGov talks about the current fighting formations centered around the M249 and M240B general purpose machine guns.  With a range up to 1200 yards for the M240, a single gun emplacement can cover a lot of area before it runs out of ammunition.  It is mentioned that in Afghanistan, the option to end run around it and come up from behind is often the end of that gun emplacement, and how this might be another training scenario opportunity for civilian groups who might be considering their options for bad times here in the homeland in the future.




But another option to consider is using a drone.  Recently a cheap civilian drone was used to deliver a single thermite grenade into an arms depot at Balakliya in the Ukraine, causing  a billion dollars worth of damage.  Currently, there are $500 drones available that will use GPS coordinates to fly to a designated point of your choosing and also has a “follow mode” to keep up with a person or slow-moving vehicle for the 20 minutes of available flying time, and still carry the two-pound grenade.   The standard off the shelf AN-M14 Thermite Grenade might be had locally for under $50.  Careful use of this combination could quickly shorten the utility of a M240 gun emplacement and it’s ammunition.






Finally, take a look at recent developments in Venezuela.  Bad as it looks, they’re far from hitting bottom.  Yes, Socialism just might work if you go at it hard enough, seems to be the thinking.  This could be us in just 5 to 10 years.  And in Europe, take your pick of countries.  The people are struggling to keep their culture from extinction at the hands of their own governments that are bringing in millions of third world immigrant/refugees/what ever you want to call them.  And it is a major crime to say anything negative about these immigrants.  Even the police bury the details of most crimes committed by their new-found population.  How can you possibly put an end to all that, short of having a revolution in Europe?  And before the Olympics return to France in 2024?  And how might that be different from when the Muslims were “expelled” from Spain at the end of the 15th century?  And what will we do to avoid the same fate?  Why is our government ensuring we follow the same path of “cultural enrichment”?



Read this from The Gates of Vienna — “Westernity Matters”.










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