Food/Kitchen Unit Lead Training

The MOST important job at any event (taking care of your troops). Learn how to prep for, and feed a large crowd in a short amount of time. Train under professional chefs and learn to use high end professional military kitchen equipment and mess hall.

Ground Team / Ranger Basic Course (GTM3 – Ranger 3rd Elements)
Basic Course will cover all CAP GTM3 Familiarization and Preparatory Tasks and as many of the Advanced Tasks as time and the students progression allows. Additional items will include basic knots and 2 mile hike with 24 hour gear.  Course is open to senior members and cadets.

Prerequisite: Must have GES prior to arrival.

Ground Team Advanced Ranger Course (GTM2 – Ranger 2nd Elements)
Advanced Course will cover CAP GTM2 Tasks and focus on extensive map and land navigation topics. Additional items will include knots, safe use of cutting tools, fire building(if permission can be gained from Fort Pickett), and a 5 mile hike with 72 hour gear.  Course is open to senior members and cadets.

Prerequisite: Must be GTM3 Qualified and GTM2 Trainee Prior to arrival.

Ground Team Leader Ranger 1st Course (GTL – Ranger 1st – Advanced Elements)

Team Leader Course will cover CAP GTL Tasks focusing on Team Leadership in a field environment. Additional items will include knots and advanced navigation. Course is open to senior members and cadets.

          Prerequisite: For cadets under 18 must be GTM2 Qualified, For Cadets over 18 and senior members, must be GTL Trainee Prior to arrival.

ICS 300: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents – ICS300 

The 18 hour Intermediate Incident Command System (ICS) course is intended for those who could fill supervisory level positions during an incident.  The course will permit the student to develop an ICS organizational structure, list staffing requirements, prepare a briefing, lead or participate in a planning meeting, identify resources, develop goals, prepare an action plan and become familiar with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

  • Prerequisite: Completion of Basic ICS (IS100, ICS 200), or equivalent training (evidence of ICS equivalency is responsibility of applicant).

ICS 400: Advanced Incident Command System – ICS400
This 14 hour course is designed for a multidiscipline audience of staff who would likely serve as incident commanders in an ICS structure.  Topics include command and general staff, unified command, major incident management, area command, and multiagency coordination.  The course includes group activities, a tabletop exercise, and a final examination.  The target audience for this course is senior personnel who are expected to perform in a decision-making capacity in an Area Command or Multiagency Coordination Entity.

  • DHS STRONGLY RECOMMENDS that a minimum of six months should pass between completion of ICS 300 (Intermediate) and ICS 400 (Advanced) to allow students to utilize their knowledge of the ICS 300 level information before attending the ICS 400 level course.  Although this is a DHS recommendation only, VDEM supports this process so that ICS 300 course attendees can maximize their learning by both verifying their need for completing ICS 400 and by not attempting to assimilate both Intermediate and Advanced ICS principles over a short period. 
  • Prerequisite: Successful completion of ICS-300 or equivalent training (evidence of ICS equivalency is responsibility of applicant).

Incident Commander CourseWho may attend: any Incident Commander (even if you are expired and have a desire to requalify as an IC.

Who is this course specifically tailored for: IC-3s who have a desire to further their qualifications towards becoming an IC-2/IC-1.


SATURDAY: This will be a demanding block of instruction with a 3 hour intense classroom based didactic segment followed by a tabletop exercise on Saturday afternoon that will simulate a large scale CAP only SAR event that would entail multiple resources over multiple operational periods such as a full Wing level SAR event that an IC-2 would be expected to Command/Control.

SUNDAY: This segment is designed for those IC’s that have an ultimate goal of becoming an IC-1, running Multi-Wing/Region, Multi-Agency, Multi-Jurisdiction events over the course of days or weeks. Examples are Hurricane Sandy where we had multiple CAP Regions, multiple agencies and multiple operational periods. This block will include guest lecturers as well to help explain how other agencies interact with CAP. Time permitting, there will be an IC-1 tabletop exercise but the goal for this block of instruction is to give the IC-1 trainee a realistic view of what the expectations are of a fully qualified Incident Comander-1 is. This block is open to any Incident Commander, not just those wanting to attain IC-1 as there will be segments that would help the IC-2 better understand how missions can grow and how/when to ask for help.

Incident Commander 1 Training Exercise

This course of instruction is open to all qualified IC-2s who have met the pre-requisites for IC-1 Trainee. This will be a weekend exercise designed to provide training to IC-2s on the processes and procedures of running a Multi-Wing, Multi-Agency operation. Those who attend may receive sign-offs towards their IC-1 qualification based on performance during the table-top exercise.

New IC1 Sortie criteria has been developed for MER IC1s so the intent at the MER SAR College is to have one or more IC-1(T) Tabletop Exercises going on so an IC1(T) can get one sortie credit towards full validation. The concept is to create an IC Staff with an IC-1(T) leading and an IC-1 evaluating. Injects will be provided and the intent is to see how the IC-1(T) handles the injects. The execution phase (conducting sorties) will be notional and feedback will be provided. After a 4-6 hour Operational Period there will be a shift change and another IC Staff constituted. This is also an opportunity for Trainees at Branch and Section Chief level to acquire sortie credit as well. If a number of IC-1(T)s sign up then more than one tabletop may be running at the same time.

IC-1s have to be prepared to deal with situations such as:

  • Joint SAREX with two or more Wings
  • Operations Evaluation (CAP-USAF) involving two or more Wings/Regions
  • FEMA NRCC or FEMA Region RCC Event

Mission Communications Unit Leader – Advanced
Mission Radio Operator – Advanced

This one day intense course will cover the more technical aspects of communications support in a mission to include ALE radio, repeaters, propagation, antennas, grounding and RF safety, systems integration, and systems performance. There will be a practical exercise in field mast kit deployment with antennas for a mission base. We will also review the planning “P” process as it relates to communications, including design and verification of the ICS-205 in coordination with the needs of the mission. All are welcome, however, students should have some practical field experience, as this will not be a beginners course. Expect heavy reliance on high school mathematics. MRO and CUL mission qualified operators will want to use this opportunity to review and brush up on their skill set. Elements of the forthcoming national communications training program will be introduced.

Mission Scanner Trainee:

Pre-Requisites: GES and SQTR with Pre-Req signed off and signed by Unit Commander.


This course will consist of the F&P training (classroom) and at least 1-2 flights towards full certification as a Mission Scanner.

Mission Scanner Advanced:

Pre-Requisites: GES, SQTR with all F&P tasks completed and signed off by Unit Commander.

 This course is for the member who has completed all F&P requirements and is only in need of the advanced sign-offs for full certification. This will consist of 2-3 flights towards full certification as a Mission Scanner.  This course is also open to members already qualified as a Mission Scanner and would like to gain proficiency. 

Mission Observer Trainee:

Pre-Requisites: GES, 101-MS, and Pre-Req signed off for MO with signature by Unit Commander

 This course will consist of the F&P training (Classroom) and at least 1-2 flights towards full certification as a Mission Observer.  Note: Sunday flights may consist of back-seat rides which may still be counted towards the MO rating.

Mission Observer Advanced:

Pre-Requisites: GES, 101-MS, SQTR-MO with all F&P tasks completed and signed off by Unit Commander

This course is for the Mission Observer who has completed all class work and is only in need of the advanced tasks for full certification as a Mission Observer.  This course is also open for those members who are already certified as a Mission Observer and would like to get some proficiency training.

Mission Pilot Trainee:

Pre-Requisites: GES, 101-MS, SQTR-MP with Pre-Req’s completed and signed off by Unit Commander.  Member must also have a current Form 5 in CAP aircraft

This course will consist of the F&P Training (Classroom) and at least 1-2 flights towards full certification as a Mission Pilot.

Mission Pilot – Advanced

Pre-Requisites: GES, 101-MS, SQTR-MP with all F&P Completed and signed off by Unit Commander

This course is for Mission Pilot Trainees who have already completed their classroom work and are only in need of the advanced tasks for full certification as a Mission Pilot.

Mission Pilot – Certified

Pre-Requisites: GES, 101-MS, 101-MP

This course is for those who are already qualified and current as a mission pilot to practice their skills to increase proficiency.  Pilots will be paired up to work together performing tasks in search areas which have been set up with varying skill sets required.  On Sunday, MP-Certified attendees will be tasked with assisting in the training of new Mission Pilot Trainees and/or Mission Observer/Scanner trainees.  Members should have completed the SET course prior to attending.

Mountain Flying Certification Ground School

This will be a 4-hour ground school taught by members of the NC Wing which fulfills the ground school requirement for the Mountain Flying Certification. The flying portion of the certification will have to be obtained elsewhere. Topics will include High Altitude Flying, Mountain Weather, Mountain Flying, and Mountain Searching. Those who attend will receive documentation validating participation in the Ground School. Students attending will also receive information on where Check Pilots are located across the Region who can complete the flying portion of the certification. This course will be held on Saturday morning. Pilots who wish to do so, may check in with Air Operations at the conclusion of this course to assist with conducting flights for the purpose of training Mission Pilots, Observers, and Scanners participating in MER SAR 2015.

Advanced Pilot/Observer GPS Course

This half day course will cover the concepts taught in the NESA Advanced Pilot and Observer course and will focus on how to implement the concepts for a specific GPS, determined by the GPSs flown most frequently by the class students. The Advanced MO/MP NESA course trains experienced mission aircrews to execute visual search patterns to precise standards without the use of SAR software. This course will cover how to fly precise search patterns but will not include flying. Course attendees need to be experienced MPs and MOs. Those who choose to attend this course, which is planned for Saturday afternoon, may consult with Air Operations on the possibility of flying sorties on Saturday morning and Sunday morning to assist with the training of new MS/MO/MPs.

Aerial Photography

This training opportunity is open to all CAP members who have completed the prerequisites of: Qualified as Mission Scanner, 18 years of age or older, and have obtained Commander’s Approval for Prerequisites on their SQTR prior to arrival at MER SAR. This 7-8 hour class is highly interactive and includes the fundamentals of photography such as exposure, lighting, and composition, as well as image management and photo mission planning. Each student will get hands-on experience with one of the CAP standard cameras – either a Nikon D90 or D7100. In addition, the class covers the basics of post-mission photo processing using RoboGeo, Picasa and GeoSetter. This course covers all SQTR tasks that do not involve AP flight sorties and photo processing. In all, each participant will receive credit for all F&P tasks except O-2207 and 40% of Advanced tasks. The remaining tasks can all be completed in as few as two training sorties. NOTE: Every effort will be made to have each student fly at least one sortie on Sunday morning.

Flight Line Marshaller

Pre-Requisites: GES, SQTR-FLM with all pre-reqs completed and signed off by Unit Commander.

This course is for those members who are interested in training and becoming certified to function on the Flight Line as a critical part of the mission.  Course will consist of the F&P training (Classroom) followed by two full days of intense field work marshalling the planes of MER SAR 2015.

Flight Line Supervisor

Pre-Requisites: GES, 101-FLM, SQTR-FLS with all pre-req’s completed and signed off by Unit Commander

This course is designed to train individuals working on the flight line at MER SAR on the proper procedures and operations of supervising a flight line.  Course will consist of F&P training (Classroom) followed by two full days of intense field work supervising the flight line of MER SAR 2015.