T-REX BULLET-POINT REVIEW
- Scenario began with an intentionally vague scenario (Market Collapse, resulting in social unrest, an anticipated government response – curfews and martial law, and then the lights went out without explanation).
- Multiple SITREPS (Situation Reports), both scenario-based fiction and real-world news were posted at AmRRON.com and continuously updated in the week leading up to T-Rex. This created a swirling bombardment of news and updates that forced the reader to sort through information to find and assess what was relevant to them.
- This also created pre-event stress, where some thrived on the challenge of making sense of the raw intelligence, and where others became confused & frustrated. Some parties mentally checked out early. This was extremely revealing and hopefully will be beneficial to those who discovered some things about themselves now, while it’s only a training exercise.
- On Friday the power & communications were lost mimicking a real-world scenario in which there were many unanswered questions and many unknowns (Who, What, Why, How, How widespread, etc.)
- For some people this resulted in a great deal of frustration leading up to, and at the onset of the exercise on Friday. A couple parties reportedly gave up on the exercise on Friday because they “didn’t understand it.”
- We will not have the option of ‘not participating’ in a real world catastrophic event simply because we don’t have all the answers. We have to depend on each other to find and share answers.
- It’s called a ‘network’ for a reason.
- Once the scenario officially started on Friday, and the AmRRON network was activated, multiple parallel-threats emerged. Information and intelligence as to the threats, the cause of the infrastructure failures, and official government responses were revealed.
- Many parties (hundreds) participated in the exercise with no communications. They simply went off grid or bugged out and tested their preparations. That’s a wonderful thing. If you don’t have comms, then train with what you have anyway. GOOD ON YOU!
- However, only those who were tied in to a nationwide communications network were aware of the nature and scope of the threat, as well as the newly emerging threats.
- PARTIAL INTERNET ACCESS: If this scenario were a real-world situation, and the internet were disrupted on the scale that it was in the scenario, it’s true that Satellite internet would most certainly be down as well. However, we know that in nearly every recent past disaster, SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE had access to outside internet information. We wanted to simulate that, where only a specified group (In this case, Satellite Internet Users), they could retrieve information from the internet and pass it to others. This was based on two other real-world scenarios (WA State wildfires of 2014, and Hurricane Katrina). There are actually many more real-world examples, but we made the point.
- Intelligence Analysis Exercise: Not in the formal sense, as taught by Sam Culper at Guerrillamerica.com. But for most people, this was a first-time exposure to receiving raw intelligence from multiple sources, and then using your critical thinking and problem solving skills to make sense of it all.
- EASE OF RECEIVING: Those who put out the effort and acquired the equipment just prior to the event received communications with little to no prior training. This was a huge encouragement for them, and us! Those who purchased a shortwave radio (w/ SSB), downloaded the free software, went to AmRRON and followed the instructions in the tutorials on receiving digital communications were among some of the best informed participants, even though they could not respond. Learn how you can do it too! https://amrron.com/?s=Digital
- INABILITY TO COMMUNICATE: Was the result of one of two things…
- Lack of adequate equipment (small interior antennas, shortwave with no SSB, etc.)
- Lack of training, familiarization, and adjustment to station
- Some said they had never checked into an AmRRON net prior to T-Rex, but when they tried during the exercise, they couldn’t communicate for unknown reasons.
- Some stations had adequate equipment, but could not make contact with other stations due to antenna orientation, height, or type.
- USE THE AmRRON PRACTICE NETS TO WORK OUT THE BUGS SO IT WILL WORK WHEN YOU NEED IT! This highlights the need for prior training, familiarization, and adjustments.
- The radio waves were there! If you couldn’t communicate, then find out why and fix it. Don’t just give up!
- By the end of the exercise, those who participated realized:
- Seattle, San Diego, and Philadelphia were being added to the list of cities that the government was planning to cordon in the middle of the night on Saturday.
- There were multiple arson wildfires across the country started by Middle-Eastern men and one woman.
- There was a nationwide, coordinated attack on power sub-stations using improvised explosives, which led to the power outages.
- There was a coordinated cyber-attack against the internet and communications infrastructure originating from Syria and Iraq (ISIS).
- There was a planned, but not yet carried out, coordinated attack on places of worship (churches and synagogues and a hospital) using small arms and improvised explosives devices, to be carried out across the country by Middle-Eastern men and one woman.
- One Middle-Eastern man and woman in custody at a checkpoint in Georgia.
- Firefight between police and two Middle-Eastern men at an Idaho/Washington border checkpoint. One suspect dead, one critical, transported by National Guard medevac.
- National Guard checkpoints in numerous places across the country. Some swabbing for (Ebola), and some inquired about seeing anything suspicious, such as anyone transporting or filling multiple gasoline containers.
- Training is needed in several areas. Tutorials and Youtube videos coming over the next several weeks.
- Don’t tune up on frequency
- Don’t step on other digital traffic that was clearly there before us.
- Pay attention to the waterfall in digital modes, and watch for signals adjacent to the listed frequency. It just might be AmRRON! We may have had to move up a bit on the waterfall, so be prepared to follow us!
- If you are listening and AmRRON doesn’t seem to be where it’s supposed to be, look/listen around the dial for us. If there’s already traffic on the listed frequency, we may be up or down three, five, or seven kilohertz. LOOK FOR US!
- Participate in every practice net AmRRON holds until you get your station dialed in and working consistently. Then, check in at least once a month, just to make sure everything is still working correctly.
- When directly receiving traffic from another station, don’t just say “message received.” Repeat it back, slowly, verbatim. Others who could not hear the other station might be hearing you loud and clear, and are counting on you for the whole message.
- When sending messages in voice mode, speak at the same speed at which you write. Loudly and clearly.
- Have a fresh note pad and pens/pencils at your station at all times.
- For receiving digital modes, open up a wordpad/notepad document and keep it open. Copy/paste digital messages from your fldigi receiving screen into the wordpad, and ‘Save’ often. This makes it much easier to keep track of, and retrieve, messages. Save the daily traffic in it’s own AmRRON Traffic folder, and use the Zulu (DTG) Date Time Group as the file name, for easy retrieval, copy/pasting, and forwarding later on.
- BREVITY. Avoid lengthy messages and unnecessary wording. Learn to abbreviate (more training on this on the way).
“I was walking my dog, Fido, along 4th street and some guy blew through the stop sign and T-boned this woman right in front of me on the corner of 4th and Elm. The guy took off north up 4th Street. I called the police and they showed up 15 minutes later. About 2 minutes later the ambulance showed up and took a woman to the hospital. She seemed like she was in a lot of pain.”
Hit and Run injury vehicle crash, 4th and Elm. Suspect NB on 4th. Called 911. Female victim transported by medical.
Excellent training, with lots of changes coming to the SOI, message formatting, communications net protocols, and more. Thanks for training with us!