After Action Report – 1st Bn / 3rd Bde – Search & Rescue 5 August 2017
After Action Report – 05 Aug 17
Missouri Militia 1st Battalion/ 3rd Brigade
Missouri Militia Request for Assistance #9 -
Missing person in the Bunker MO area
From: SFC Tade
Subject: After Action Report
Deployed Location: Bunker, MO Shannon County
CO: Colonel R. Sumpter
Duration: 05 Aug 17 0530-2300
Purpose: Assist local Law Enforcement and Civilians in the search for a missing person.
On 2 Aug 17 a request for assistance was received from the Shannon County Sheriff’s office.
Mr. Leon Richardson, a 76 year old adult male, was reported missing from his home in the Bunker, MO area. He had been missing since approximately 1830 hrs on 31 Jul 17.
On Saturday 5 Aug 17 a detachment from the 1st/3rd deployed from the Kansas City area to the AO in Eastern Missouri.
The detachment included:
Colonel R. Sumpter, Commanding
SFC G. Tade
PFC B. Schaffert
Trooper J. Dale
Trooper T. Peterson
An RP was established North of MSR I-70 at Little Blue Parkway in Independence, MO. The detachment arrived at the RP at 0530 on 5Aug17. After a briefing and equipment check, the detachment mounted up and convoyed to the AO. After one stop for re-supply in Columbia MO, the detachment arrived at Bunker, MO at 1100.
A local Church, Sugar Creek Baptist Church, was the designated rendezvous/admin check-in area. The detachment dismounted, checked-in and was given a briefing by local incident command personnel. A representative from the local Civil Air Patrol escorted the detachment to the CP, which had been set-up at the farm/home of the missing person’s family. Note: The appreciation and hospitality of the local community was in full evidence by the warm welcome received by the search volunteers. There was plenty of food and refreshments provided at the Church.
Upon arrival at the CP, the detachment met with the Shannon County Sheriff and received mission tasking to search an area to the South and East of the farm. Colonel Sumpter assisted with Command and Control responsibilities at the CP. The rest of the detachment, with one member from the 4th/8th attached, formed a search team and moved out at 1130.
The team conducted an on-line search with the line being approximately 50 meters long. Due to the thick woods, progress was slow. A considerable effort was necessary to maintain visual contact with the other members of the team. After approximately 550 meters, the line swung around to the West and searched that area enroute back to the CP. The team returned to the CP at 1245.
After a quick lunch, the team was tasked with a new search area. A local resident with good knowledge of the area was attached to the team and guided them to the area. The team moved out at 1330. The new search area presented equally tough terrain. Again forming an on-line search of approximately 50 meters, the team searched down into a draw (locally known as a “Holler”). A light rain began at approximately 1400 and continued throughout the rest of the day. The team linked up with another civilian search team and continued the search. There were several reports of fresh signs that the missing person was still alive. With this encouraging news, the teams pushed on through the tough terrain and rain to search their assigned area. After an exhaustive, but ultimately unsuccessful, search, the team returned to the CP at 1630. After a short debrief, the detachment loaded up their equipment and returned to the Church. The local residents once again demonstrated their hospitality by serving dinner to the search volunteers. The detachment checked out and mounted up at 1700 for the return trip to Kansas City. The detachment arrived back at the RP at 2300.
Lesson Learned and Recommendations:
1) No maps of the AO. While the Incident Commander (IC) relied heavily on the “local knowledge” of the residents, the lack of maps of the area hampered the search teams. This was particularly a problem for the “out of town” search teams. Recommendation: For future deployments of this nature, obtain our own maps of the AO. Additionally, at least two members of the detachment should be equipped with a GPS device. The locations of the signs of the missing person were given as GPS coordinates. Without a GPS, or maps to plot these positions, the team was unable to react to this new information.
2) Unorganized Comms plan. There were no designated call signs and radio discipline was initially lacking. The later improved as the day went on. While most of the search teams were able to communicate with the IC, several civilian personnel were in the search area with “marine” radios that could not communicate with the other teams. The radios currently deployed by Missouri Militia units can be utilized on marine radio frequencies. However, most people are not familiar with the marine frequencies. Recommendation: Investigate the marine radio frequencies and provide that information to the troops. Note: Some common marine channels are Ch9- 156.450 MHz, Ch68- 156.425 MHz and Ch72- 156.625 MHz.
3) Inclement weather preparedness. The constant rain in the AO soaked everyone and everything. The combination of wet uniforms/clothing and decreasing temperature, increased the possibility of hypothermia. While there were no casualties due to hypothermia, all members of the search teams were at least uncomfortable. Recommendation: Each member of the detachment should have dry uniform/clothes, socks and foot gear to change into when necessary. Note: Some members of the detachment brought rain gear with them, but failed to carry it into the field. This is an error that won’t likely be repeated.
Post Deployment Activities:
As of 2000 07Aug17, Mr. Richardson had not be located. The Sheriff has called off the search.
Appendix 1 –U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center, Marine Radio Frequencies and their uses.
US (Marine) VHF CHANNELS
|Channel Number||Transmit Frequency||Receive Frequency||Use|
|01A||156.050||154.050||Port Operations, VTS|
|05A||156.250||156.250||Port Operations, VTS|
|09||156.450||156.450||Boater Calling, Commercial and Non-Commercial|
|13||156.650||156.650||Intership Navigation Safety, Radio Listening Watch|
|15||-||156.750||Environmental(RECV Only) Class C EPIRBs|
|16||156.800||156.800||International Distress, Safety and Calling. Ships and USCG maintain listening watch|
|17||156.850||156.850||State & Local Maritime Control|
|21A||157.050||157.050||US Coast Guard Only|
|22A||157.100||157.100||CG Liaison and Maritime Safety Info Broadcasts|
|23A||157.150||157.150||US Coast Guard Only|
|24||157.200||161.800||Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)|
|63A||156.175||156.175||Port Operations and Commercial, VTS|
|67||156.375||156.375||Intership, Lower Miss|
|Channel||Transmit Frequency||Receive Frequency||Use|
|70||156.525||156.525||Digital Selective Calling (Voice Comm not Allowed)|
|72||156.625||156.625||Non-Commercial, Intership only|
|77||156.875||156.875||Port Operations, Intership only|
|79A||156.975||156.975||Commercial. Non-Commercial in Great Lakes Only|
|80||157.025||157.025||Commercial. Non-Commercial in Great Lakes Only|
|81A||157.075||157.075||US GOVT, Environmental Protection Operations|
|82A||157.125||157.125||US GOVT only|
|83A||157.175||157.175||US Coast Guard only|
|84||157.225||161.825||Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)|
|88||157.425||157.425||Commercial. Intership only.|
|AIS 1||161.975||161.975||Automatic Identification System|
|AIS 2||162.025||162.025||Automatic Identification System|
VTS – Vessel Traffic Service; VDSMS – VHF Digital Small Message Service
USCG – US Coast Guard; EPIRB – Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon