Thursday, April 26, 2018
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The Life Skills Academy realizes that everyone from the casual user to the dedicated, full-time professional has need and use for a GPS. While very plentiful and easy to obtain, these devices are complex in nature. Understanding their operation is critical for the everyday user and to the mission success of tactical teams which find themselves in remote or unfamiliar areas. Although it may not seem so, GPS functions hinge greatly on internal programming that can easily be modified inadvertently by the user. We recognize that even a slight shift in this data can cause two persons, say 10 miles apart, to miss each other at a designated meeting place by a ½ mile or more.  While this does not seem like a lot, imagine yourself in the woods or a heavily populated area of town where helicopter and ground visibility is limited. Without the ability to see the other person, you WILL miss your target or meeting point.

GPS’s are now so common-place that they can be purchased anywhere. However, nobody really teaches the “how” and “why” of GPS’s, making the user almost completely reliant on the data that the GPS offers. Hikers, campers, searchers and others that rely on GPS’s and maps will find this course not only informative, but necessary. We are not talking about in-car navigation systems in this course, these are fixed in operation and capability. This class is designed specifically for persons that may find themselves off road or in unfamiliar terrain whilst part of a search, tactical or patrol team, hiking, off-road bicycling/ATVing/4-wheeling, hill walking etc…

Life Skills Academy teaches this subject as an individual module but it can be incorporated into other courses such as Basic Weapons or Advanced Handgun/Rifle techniques for entry teams and hunting parties. Innovative Systems can provide the GPS units as needed, for training purposes only. However, the student is highly encouraged to come to class GPS in hand. In this way, the student learns their GPS and not ours. GPS units can be purchased locally, let us know in advance if you wish to do so.

Students will learn the following skill sets in this module as follows:

GPS & Radio Skills Module

  • Basic and advanced understanding of the GPS satellite system
  • Longitude and Latitude structure
  • Plotting your current position
  • How to establish a “Waypoint” (sometimes called a Point of Interest/POI)
  • How to launch the “track-back” feature
  • How to enter a waypoint when not at that location
  • How to interpret map datum and change the GPS setting
  • How to read “paper” map datum and adjust the GPS for same
  • How to set up two or more GPS locaters at one time for meeting coordination
  • Consequences of incorrect map datum
  • Electronic compass bearing and true north
  • Heading vs. bearing
  • Discussion of common problems and myths about operation

    Lastly, students will participate in real-world tracking exercises utilizing a GPS in an effort to locate a specific place.This will enforce the learning experience and enhance the student’s knowledge of their own GPS system.

    Please NoteThe length of this class is highly dependent on the students involved, their personal experience and the ability of the student or company to involve themselves in practical exercises. These exercises are highly encouraged as it is the best way to learn and reinforce good skills.

    Radio communications are yet another of the “black arts” when it comes to daily operations. Like cell phones (which are also radios!), most people expect the systems to “just work.” When it does not (as in the case of 9-11), command and control breaks down very quickly and possibly with disastrous consequences.

    This module is for the advanced operator and any user of emergency communications, regardless of frequency range. This class is highly specialized and coordinates some of the data with the GPS class. GPS is not a prerequisite, but is strongly encouraged. Additionally, this class is taught (in part) in the security academy structure and is highly important to those in outlying and rural areas.

    The goal of this module is that of command and control. The establishment of proper communications, wave propagation and radio codes are necessary to any advanced operator. The course is designed to show the operator how to better use and understand radios and how to establish command post operations and communications quickly and effectively with the radios you have on hand.  Communication is the key to success for ANY mission, regardless of purpose or type.

    Life Skills Academy teaches radio techniques and theory in a manner that emergency responders, tactical personnel and everyday users of advanced equipment can use. To this end, the student will learn the following disciplines and skill sets:

    • Radio basics and the atmosphere 
    • Sun-spot issues and cycles
    • Differences in radio frequency (VHF, UHF, HF, etc.)
    • Advantages and disadvantages of various types and frequencies of radios
    • Hand-held vs. portable vs. base vs. mobile operations
    • Battery life and how to calculate
    • Repeaters and their operation
    • Radio relay links and man-to-man radio relay
    • Use and purpose of the MARS and ARES systems
    • Line-of-sight communication
    • Incorporation of GPS into radio use and limitations
    • Wave propagation and out-of-country communications
    • Use of the phonetic alphabet
    • Basic military messaging format and use of abbreviated text (AT)
    • Use of abbreviated radio codes for secure work
    • Laws regarding the reception of radio waves
    • Erection of command post and other portable antenna systems (basics only)
    • Use of emergency receivers and popular emergency radio frequencies
    • Antenna orientation and transmission effectiveness
    • Transmission of encrypted and spread spectrum radio, how it works
    • Cell phones and how they work, limitations
    • Cell phone use and the 911 system
    • The myth of cell phone tracking and GPS integration
    • Common myths and issues related to radio communications

    Please NoteThe length of this class is highly dependent on the students involved, their personal experience and the ability of the student or company to involve themselves in practical exercises. These exercises are highly encouraged as it is the best way to learn and reinforce good skills.

    Event Calendar

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    Contact Info

    Life Skills Academy

    United States 

    +44 (0) 7530305549