Getting a li’l bit of intel.

In my ongoing transition from hunter to gatherer I have been focusing my attention on intelligence operations. I am lucky enough to have a good comms background so my time has been spent trying non-radio intel resources.

One site that I have found to be very convenient to use is Broadcastify. I like that I can listen to LE/EM services in my AO while I am off site. I also like that it is free and can allow starting S2 shops with little to no budget to  add an additional resource.

I found Broadcastify while I was looking up the freqs for my local LE/EM which I have spent listening for an hour or two a few nights a week. My intention is to get a base line for the amount and kinds of traffic transmitted during a specific time slice. From my day-to-day perspective everything looked normal, peaceful, but what became immediately clear to me was that I was totally unaware at the level of crime occurring in my AO. Most of it appears to be theft related; trespassing, shoplifting, breaking and entering.

Sam Culper at Forward Observer advocates a 60/30/10 (local/regional/global) division to intel focus since local issues tend to have the most immediate and direct impact. When looking at the major threats to me and mine, the local threats are currently at the top of the list. So I decided to see if I could add a little HUMINT to my local intelligence information. I contacted a local friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while since he is ‘closer to the ground’ than I am. He said essentially that in his neighborhood ‘drugs and thugs’ have become a more serious issue and would be moving out soon. This seems to corroborate some OSINT I have picked up.

The bottom line is that I have a lot to do in regards to collecting useful intel information and it is an ongoing learning process which I will try to relate in the blog.


Adventures of a Comm Monkey

In my prior life I was the RTO for an element attached to a state wide group of well regulated irregulars. As a licensed HAM (General Class), I had acquired a good bit of ‘high’ priced  Japanese gear. I know how to use it and not abuse it. I thought I had all the skills necessary to be a good RTO.

What I found was that I was wholly unprepared for the chaos of the not so regulated comms. Woxun, baofeng, midland, and some no name radios were now in my domain with operators who only basically knew how to use them. While standardization if always the goal, it is rarely the starting state.

HAMs tend to be elitists and look down on the increasingly prevalent Chinese radios. While there are some good reasons for this, however, when confronted  with the reality of a self funded group of individuals you have to adapt. People buy what they can afford, usually while uninformed, and are unable to fund another radio after the fact. Fortunately, you don’t have to purchase one of every radio used by your team mates; virtually all user manuals are available for free online. My suggestion, even if your group members all have the same radios, as a good RTO is to acquire the various manuals now while you are free to do so.