IET and Basic Comms

Given that radio communications may be used in emergency situations during Adventure Training, is there any way of combining IET with the Basic Comms module? Seems like they fit together pretty well.

We have done a local map reading exercise/treasure hunt type of thing. 20 clues, a loop round the local area answering a question at each checkpoint. Worked well.

Not done it since topl and ESF came into existence…probably need a Bela, two first aiders and a safety vehicle these days.

If it’s not achievable you could do micro navigation around the Sqn . Questions about kit, clouds, map symbols etc at each point. Call in and report location and answer question

Most Squadron Radios aren’t upto the task. Personally mobile phones and spot trackers for Expedition Groups is more effective out on the ground.

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We have a base station and some handhelds that go a mile and a bit. VHF I’m pretty sure…

As @daws1159 says, very few Sqns will have Comms gear that’s suitable for real world stuff - if you want to equip them for a real world emergency you need to give them the ability to collate and impart critical information quickly, clearly and precisely, how to maximize their chances of getting a mobile phone signal (STEM), using the various apps like OS locate and what3words, ground to air signalling and position marking, interrogating a map to determine where landlines might be…

You could look at using the base station type radio’s to create a static net over an exercise area - connecting checkpoints and an HQ, and maybe even conduct an exercise to see/show how terrain interupts signal. That would fit into STEM as well as IET…

Yes there is. No I wouldn’t.

Adding radio stuff into IET is okay and adds interest in the long term. But to start with focus entirely on the basics.

Dont even mention radio comms as a potential avenue for emergencies situations in AT - they add a layer of complexity over and above most AT sessions cadets will realistically be exposed too.

I’d rather they knew how to use regular methods (mobile phone, or nav yourself to a house with a phone) rather than turning on a cadet radio, flapping about what the correct VP is for “Ooops Tommy hasnt got the right number of limbs anymore and the tent is on fire”, then broadcasting said message on to a very narrow band of cadet frequencies and hoping somebody hears you and/or is clear enough to enter dialogue with.

I’d stick to the simple stuff for IET. Stay on syllabus. Later on, for the sake of mixing things up a bit, introduce cross over stuff - radio nav ex/ treasure hunt stuff - but the focus should continue to be nailing the basics.


It’s worth remembering the incident that got FMS where it is today, was IIRC due in part to a failure of radio comms over a relatively short distance.
On exped the way to go is mobile phones. I find it ironic that in this era of comms we still fanny around with radio comms, when with the handhelds we have on a good day with the right conditions, it might make a mile, yet I can speak to people hundreds of miles away on the mobile or if you decide a message sent to multiple recipients, without all the crap that goes with radio, in terms of how you speak or what you say and no bloody stupid callsigns, in case someone hears you.

PAYG mobiles are a fraction of the cost of handheld radios even taking into account the top up costs and a charge of the battery will last much longer than any handheld radio I’ve ever used. My mum and dad use 02 classic PAYG which costs 3p/min for calls and 2p/text and a top up minimum of £10 as and when they need it, which isn’t very often and would be the same for cadet activities. I’ve been trying to convince my CWC to get 6, but they spent £1800 on 6 handhelds 7 years ago and have never worked IMO properly.

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To be fair, I agree.

My wing used to provide a radio network for a major annual endurance competition. As soon as Mobile phones networks became reliable, and handsets became widespread, we were no longer required.

Another vote for keeping comms separate from AT (although I do like @angus idea!).

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