Comms training from Ross our Country program manager, very informative but lots of protocol to remember!  Comms back to fieldbase happen twice daily, once just to check all OK, once to report back or do a daily Sitrep (situation report). There are also tripreps, casevac reps  and  probably more (you find out quick there is always more to learn on Raleigh, just when you think you’ve got it nailed)

Raleigh provide us a lot of equipment to cover all emergencies.  First and easiest mobile phone, then a radio kit (most often used), satellite phone (expensive only for use in bad radio comms / no mobile signal) and a PLB (personal location beacon) once set off will be picked up by the US Coast Gaurd and the UK listening station in Falmouth, who will report back to the filedbase the location of the beacon – this is an “all else fails, we are lost, in an emergency/casevac situation”. All in all about £5k worth of kit for each team

After the classroom came a bunch of training out in the field, learning to hoist antenna up – parallel hug to fieldbase – set up radio comms etc. Sitreps, casevac reps etc all follow a similar protocol which goes something like this:

  • serial alpha: date/time of sitrep / in numbers  0630 02 09
  • serial bravo: current location (place name, map sheet, grid reference longitude/latitude)
  • serial charlie: weather conditions, current and any adverse experienced since last sitrep
  • serial delta: progress to date – work tasks completed since last sitrep
  • serial echo: Future intentions – plans for next 24 hours / near future
  • serial foxtrot: admin instructions (re-supply requirements, admin requirement, local news, misc questions, requests for info)
  • serial golf: updates and amendments to the project risk assessment
  • serial hotel: date and time of next radio schedule

which gets everyone totally tongue-tied about when to say call name, serial x, over etc. but we need to get down pat if we ever need to use in an actual emergency. Casevac reports follow same protocol but with different content.  Today we practiced stretchering a casualty out of jungle camp back to fieldbase following a radio casevac report.  Heavy hot work with all our packs.