Training Material

The information and referance material we use at during training are now available here. Please feel free to copy and paste to a word doc and print any material from this page. What should be printed and brought to trainings will be posted on the home page

Needed for July FTX

Communications Introduction

Communications within and between small units is critical to mission success. It is important to understand some very basic rules and procedures for operating a radio or other piece of communication equipment.
1. Transmit only when necessary. Not only will idle chatter distract the receiving party, it may compromise his and your positions, and all communications may be monitored and triangulated. Do not discuss the weather, sports scores, or anything that doesn't apply to the success of the current mission.
2. Limit your transmissions to no more than FIVE seconds each. Anything longer than five seconds is enough time to almost guarantee that anyone with even moderately effective equipment can find you. Insert breaks in any transmissions that need to be longer.
3. Never use actual names, addresses, or anything else that is sensitive over the air. Never use a personal name over the air. Use their fire team unit and position designation, if you know it, for example, Katana One. Make up something using the person's initials if you have to. Use personal reference points to keep information secure. For example, if one of your fire team members is a postal worker, refer to them as such, if you have to. Never, ever, ever use a person's real name over the air. Ever.
Never use addresses, unless you can encode them somehow (more on that later). Use place names that the unit may have developed. Examples can be "The Badlands", or "The Wheat Farm", or "the place where Havoc Three spilled his enchiladas". If you have to use a location, try to use a pre-determined set of grid references, like in your Delorme Gazetteer map of the counties in the state, but never broadcast which maps you are using openly. For example, you can say, "Green Book, page (whatever), B5." Where the green book is a certain map book. Make sure that everyone has the same edition of that book, to avoid confusion.
4. Always speak clearly. This should be a given. Never pause on the air. Know what you are going to say BEFORE you key the mike. Know what your response is BEFORE you key the mike. DO NOT pollute the airwaves with unnecessary "ummms", "ahhhhs" and anything else that announces cluelessness over the air. Do not key the mike while looking up some information. Do not key the mike unless you are prepared to speak.
5. Do not "step" on each other. Always say, "over" when it is time for the other guy to talk. Always say, "break" when you still have more to say but are breaking the transmission to keep it short. When two other people are talking to each other, do not jump in unless they call you.
6. Acknowledge the reception of information with a brief repetition of it. For example, "A" might transmit, "Move your team up 200 yards to the fence line, then go north to the crest and cover the field to your west when we are ready to move"; "B" would respond with, "Up 200, cover from crest, OK". This lets both parties know that each other understands, without any errors or excess, "Did you understand what I said?" back and forth several times.

Directions should be given from a specific, unmistakable reference. The other guy doesn't always know what you have in mind; "Go left" - (whose left, yours or mine?), "Come back toward the trees" - (which trees?), "We're behind you" - (200 yards back along the trail, or 20 feet away?). If it can be misunderstood, it will be.
7. Do not get into pissing contests over the air, with ANYBODY. EVER. PERIOD.
8. Always have an alternate frequency, and another back-up for that. Always have a fall-back frequency or channel, in case you get compromised, stepped on, or get into the previously mentioned pissing contest. Make sure that everyone knows what these back-up channels are. Make sure that everyone in the net understands when it is time to change channels, either by a predetermined code word, or at a pre-set time. When it is time to change channels, make sure that you do a commo check with everyone on the new channel to make sure that they have indeed switched over.
9. Change channels on a regular basis anyway. Even if you are not compromised, you should change channels at least every 24 hours. If you are limited to the number of channels you have access to, just rotate your primary, back-up, and alternate back-up frequency every 24 hours.
10. Have a pre-determined code. Even a simple 123ABC grid reference of some sort may do the trick here. Simply get a three-by-five card and write a five-by-five square grid on it, with five numbers on top, and five letters on the left side. Fill in the alphabet, randomly. Change daily. Use this if you have to spell things out securely. If you want to include numbers, simply use a six-by-six set of squares, and add numbers, randomly, into the grid. If you need to, put each day's frequency on these cards. Guard these closely. This is the militia equivalent of the military CEOI (communications electronics operators instructions), and radio operators are instructed to die to prevent these from falling into enemy hands. Maybe you should limit these to your team leaders and radio operators.
11. Never discuss guns, ammo, or anything of the sort on the air. Use colorful euphemisms if you need to. For example, you could refer to training as “going to the dance”, guns as “tools” and ammo as “boxes of candy”.
12. Always let someone know when you are going to be off the net. If you are changing batteries, or shutting down for any reason, let someone on the net know, and let them know approximately how long you will be off the air, and alert them when you are back on the net. If it would compromise your situation, do not discuss why you are shutting down. Just make sure that someone knows.
13. Learn the military phonetic alphabet. It is pretty much common sense to pick it up.Some of you may use the police phonetic alphabet. The two are different, and we should probably learn them both.

Pro Words

1.    "over" - I am done talking and am waiting for your response.
2.    "out" - I am done talking and am not waiting for your response.
3.    “send message”- I am prepared to receive the message
4.    "prepare to copy" - I am sending you information that you will need to write down.
5.    "how copy?" - did you understand and write down my last transmission?
6.    “I copy”- I received the following message
7.    "break" - I am still talking, but am breaking the transmission into smaller pieces.
8.    "wait, over" - please stand by for a moment.
9.    "wait, out" - I will call you back when I get the info you want.
10.    "say again" - I missed something.
11.    "say again all after..." - I missed what came after a certain word.
12.    “roger”-I understand
13.    “wilco”- I will comply
14.    “be advised”-you should be aware
15.    “correction”-an error was made and the correct message is
16.    “interrogative”-a question will follow
17.    Use "affirmative" and "negative" instead of "yes" and "no"
18.    Never use profanity.
19.    Always establish who you are and to whom you are speaking
20.    Speak clearly and effectively.

Phonetic Alphabet

A - Alpha
B - Bravo
C - Charlie
D - Delta
E - Echo
F - Foxtrot
G - Golf
H - Hotel
I - India
J - Juliet
K - Kilo
L - Lima
M - Mike

N - November 
O - Oscar
P - Papa
Q - Quebec
R - Romeo
S - Sierra
T - Tango
U - Uniform
V - Victor
W - Whiskey
X - X- Ray
Y - Yankee
Z - Zulu


B  L  A  C  K  H  O  R  S  E
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  0

The authentication table is used to positively identify the station on the other side of your conversation. To do this, ask them to authenticate and give them either a letter or a number from the table. They must then respond with both the letter and number to the left of the one you challenged them with.

Example: Sender “Echo 35 please authenticate Romeo, over”
    Receiver “This is Echo 35, I authenticate Oscar 7, over”

Both the letter and number are used as an added security measure to help eleminate a lucky guess by the enemy. If the letter/number on the far left is used the response will be the letter/number all the way around to the far right.
    Any word with ten letters can be used in the table as long as the letters do not repeat. It doesn’t have to be a word-ten random letters will work just as well.
    This table can also be used to transmit numbers more securely and more clearly.
Example: “This is Echo 35, we have Bravo Alpha casualties, over”

Communication Security

Three Carved in stone rules for COMSEC.
1.    Assume every transmission is being monitored.
2.    All variables must be completely worked out in advance.
3.    Steps must be taken to insure everyone being on the same page.
Assume all transmissions are being monitored:
    Never, never, never, say anything over the radio you wouldn’t say directly to the enemy. If you can’t transmit information to the intended receiver only you are usually better not to transmit at all.
    Remember “If you wouldn’t say it to their face…”
    We don’t want to give away any info- period. Never use names, locations, or intentions unless coded.
    The enemy isn’t stupid. They will make the most of anything we give them!

All variables must be completely worked out in advance
    Code words and phrases including authentication codes and all password and hand signal procedures must all be worked out while everyone is still face-to-face.
    Improvising will do nothing but cause confusion.

Steps must be taken to insure everyone being on the same page.
    Whether it be SOP or pre-arranged prior to each mission. The problem with covert comms is the difficulty of being sure that what you send coded is what is received uncoded.


Given a tactical environment in which chemical or biological (CB) weapons have been used or may be used by the enemy. You are in Mission-Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) level 1*  and you experience one of the following situations:

1. Hear a chemical alarm.
2. Obtain a positive reading from detector paper or a chemical agent monitor.
3. See individuals who exhibit symptoms of chemical or biological agent poisoning.
4. See a marker similar to a Warsaw Pact contamination marker
5. Are told to mask.
6. Come upon personnel wearing protective masks.
7. See other signs of possible chemical or biological attack.

*NOTE: When directed to MOPP1, soldiers immediately don the Battle Dress Overgarment. In hot weather, the overgarment jacket can be unbuttoned, and the Battle Dress Overgarment can be worn directly over underwear. M9 or M8 chemical detection paper is attached to the overgarment. MOPP1 provides a great deal of protection against persistent agent. This level is automatically assumed when chemical weapons have been employed in an area of operations or when directed by higher commands.


Don your assigned protective mask with hood within the allowable time period for that mask. Then give the alarm both orally and visually. Next, take cover in the most protected immediate location available. Decontaminate any contaminated skin. Don MOPP gear until you reach level 4. Report the current situation to your supervisor.
Perform these actions exactly in this sequence.


1. Don your mask without securing the hood.

2. Give the alarm.
a. Yell "gas."
b. Give arm-and-hand signal (Figure 5-119).


3. Take cover using whatever cover is readily available to decrease the amount of agent contact.

NOTE:  Figure 5-120 below, shows some examples of how cover can decrease the amount of liquid contamination

4. Decontaminate exposed skin as necessary

5. Assume MOPP4 (see the task Protect Yourself From NBC Injury/Contamination With Mission-Oriented Protective Posture [MOPP] Gear).

a. Put on your gloves with liners. The idea is to cover all skin. The head and body are protected by the mask and overgarment.

b. Secure your overgarment jacket.

c. Secure the hood.

d. Put on your overboots.


6. Decontaminate personal equipment as necessary

7. Notify your supervisor.

8. Continue the mission.



You have your assigned M40-series protective mask with hood. You find yourself in one any of the following situations where you:

1. Hear or see a chemical or biological alarm that indicates the presence of an agent.
2. Realize otherwise that you are under a chemical or biological attack.
3. Are ordered to mask.


Don your M40-series protective mask within 9 seconds (including clearing and checking the mask). Pull the hood over your head and zip the front closed to cover all your bare skin.


1. Don your mask within 9 seconds.

a. Stop breathing.

b. Close your eyes.

c. Remove your helmet and do one of the following:
(1) Store it between your legs above the knees.
(2) Hold your rifle between your legs and place the helmet on the flash suppressor.

Do not wear contact lenses with the protective mask. Remove contact lenses when the use of chemical agents is imminent.

d. Take off your glasses if you are wearing them.

e. Open the carrier with your left hand holding the carrier open.

f. Remove the mask from the carrier by grasping the mask with your right hand.

g. Put your chin in the chin pocket.

h. Grasp the head harness and pull it over your head.

Be sure your ears are between the temple straps and cheek straps. Center the head pad at the high point on the back of your head (Figure 5-121).


i. Use the other hand to tighten the cheek straps one at a time while holding the head pad centered on the back of your head (Figure 5-122).


NOTE: The straps should lie flat against your head.

j. Clear the mask.

(1) Clear the outlet valve by pushing in on the center of the valve cover with one hand.

(2) Blow out hard so that air escapes around the edges of the mask.

(3) Cover the inlet port of the canister with the palm of your hand (Figure 5-123).

(4) Breathe in.

(5) Remove anything preventing a seal from forming between your face and the mask.

NOTE: The facepiece should collapse against your face and remain so while you hold your breath. If it does, the facepiece is airtight. If the facepiece does not collapse, check for hair, clothing, or other matter between the facepiece and your face (Figure 5-123).


k. Resume breathing.

2. Don the hood so that it lies smoothly on your head

Be very careful when pulling on the hood. The hood could snag on the buckles of the head harness and tear.

a. Grasp the back edge of the hood skirt.

b. Pull the hood carefully over your head so that it covers the back of your neck, head, and shoulders.

c. Zip the front of the hood closed by pulling the zipper slider downward if so equipped

d. Tighten the draw cord

e. Secure the underarm straps by fastening and adjusting them

f. Put on your helmet.

g. Close your mask carrier.

h. Continue the mission.

3. Remove your protective mask with hood after the "all clear" order is given.

a. Remove your helmet.

b. Unfasten the underarm straps.

c. Loosen the draw cord.

d. Unzip the zipper on the hood.

e. Remove the hood
(1) Place both hands on the back edge of the hood skirt.
(2) Raise the hood over your head.
(3) Pull the hood over the front of the mask.

f. Loosen the cheek straps.

g. Remove the mask.
(1) Place one hand on the front of the voicemitter to hold the facepiece to your face.
(2) Grasp the head harness tab with your other hand.
(3) Pull the head harness over the front of the mask.
(4) Remove the mask from your head.

h. Replace your helmet on your head.

i. Remove any moisture from the hood and mask.
(1) Shake off any moisture.
(2) Wipe any moisture from the hood and the mask.

4. Store your mask with hood.

a. Hold the front of the mask in a horizontal position.

b. Smooth the hood over the mask.

c. Pull the head harness over the front of the mask.

d. Fold the two edges of the hood over the outlet valve

e. Store the underarm straps and the cord in the fold

f. Fold the hood upward to cover the eye lenses without letting the hood cover the chin opening.

g. Put the mask with hood in the carrier while holding the facepiece upright with the lenses facing away from your body

h. Close the carrier opening.

i. Store the mask with hood in the closed carrier in a cool, dry, dark place.

j. Hang the carrier by the hook on the short strap.

Identify mild symptoms of nerve agent poisoning:
(1) Unexplained sudden headache.
(2) Difficulty seeing (blurred vision).
(3) Unexplained runny nose.
(4) Excessive flow of saliva (drooling).
(5) Tightness of chest, causing breathing difficulties.
(6) Stomach cramps.
(7) Nausea.
(8) Muscular twitching of exposed/ contaminated skin.

Identify severe signs and symptoms of nerve agent poisoning:
(1) Strange and confused behavior.
(2) Red eyes with tearing.
(3) Severely pinpointed pupils.
(4) Gurgling sounds made when breathing.
(5) Unconsciousness or stoppage of breathing.
(6) Vomiting.
(7) Loss of bladder and/or bowel control.
(8) Severe muscular twitching/convulsions.

Weapons Class

AR Loading/Unloading:

1.Magazine in and Tap. Slide mag upward into magazine well till lock, tap bottom

for secure lock.
2.Rack with charging handle two fingers only. Bring tension on spring all the
way back and Release.
3.Bump forward assist bolt for first round of magazine. 

1.Safety in off position.
2.Line your rear ring and front post sights to target
2.Depress trigger to discharge weapon.

1.Bolt will lock back on last round. Depress mag release button and drop empty
2.Slide loaded mag upward into magazine well till lock, tap bottom for secure
3.Slap bolt release lever to close bolt and bump forward assist. 

De-Cock: Press rear pin out and hinge receiver forward. Safety off hold hammer
with thumb and release hammer forward by trigger with index finger. 

AR Field Stripping:

Break down:
1.Depress rear pin out and allow upper assembly to hinge forward.
2.Unlock charging handle and pull bolt carrier system out. Back and down to
avoid carrier key from pulling charging handle out.
3.Maintenance weapon. 

1.Take bolt carrier system and make sure bolt is rotated forward. Place carry
key in charging handle first and allow charging handle and carrier system to
fall into place.
2.Tap Rear of charging handle and Bolt carrier to ensure lock. Hinge upper
receiver down into place.
3.Press rear pin back in to lock upper receiver down.

AK Loading/Unloading:

1.With loaded magazine, place top front block in to forward magazine
2.Henge magazine into locked position.
3.Charge weapon with charging handle.

1.Make sure safety is in the off or fire position.
2.Line rear leaf sight with front post sight to target.
3.Depress trigger to discharge weapon.

1.Standard AK's will drop firing pin on empty chamber to indicate out.
2.Press forward on magazine release with magazine out of the weapon.
3.With loaded magazine, place top front block in to forward magazine
compartment. Charge weapon with charging handle.

De-Cock: Pull charging handle half way until tension is felt by hammer.
Simultaneously release the hammer by trigger and allow bolt to move forward with


AK Field stripping:

Break Down:
1.With strong handle depress button on rear of receiver shroud and remove shroud

with weak hand.
2.Same motion with the strong hand press the same button and remove spring with
weak hand. 

3.Slide bolt carrier assembly to rear of receiver and Lift out with op rod
sliding from gas port. Maintenance.

1.Make sure free floating bolt is slide in position with extractor claw facing
place op rod into gas port and seat bolt carrier system in rear of receiver and 

slide forward.
2.Place spring in rear of bolt carrier system forward and recede slotted button
into rear of stock.
3.Place front of receiver shroud between lip and block above carrier system.
Keep pressure forward on shroud towards the barrel. With your strong hand slap
or hit down on shroud to lock into place.