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Old 02-05-2018, 04:47 PM   #381
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Default Intermediate calibers available to JSOC operators

Came across interesting information on the military testing of intermediate calibers, including .260 Remington, .264 USA and 6.5 Creedmoor.

The Geissele VSASS in .260 Remington was allegedly made at the request of an unidentified US military customer, like the kind which doesn't need to put out publicly available RFIs and go through the full military procurement system. It's not a break-down rifle, but I thought it was very interesting that the military is still testing .260 Remington.

On that subject, FN chambered a SCAR in .260 Remington, which they are probably trying to sell to US special operations forces. And Barret claims that they are selling REC10 in either .308 Winchester, .260 Remington or 6.5 Creedmoor to US military clients.

The rumour is that LaRue Tactical also sells a lot of uppers and complete rifles to individual operators within units under JSOC and some of them might even be unit purchases. Popular models are the LaRue Ultimate upper kits, LaRue Stealth 2.0, PredatOBR and PredatAR. These might be in any of 5.56x45mm, .260 Remington, .264 USA, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7.62x51mm or even another caliber, though I believe that LaRue PredatAR and PredatOBR in 7.62x51mm are the rifles most rumours refer to as popular individual purchases by operators.

Any thoughts on which intermediate caliber is most likely to be available to the DEVGRU operators in February 2017?
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:57 PM   #382
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Default Most Common Body Armor in US (if known, TX and NM)

The utility of soft body armour in Mexico's Drug War, mostly fought with 5.56x45mm and 7.62x39mm rifles, may be debated. Yet it is a fact that both overt tactical vests and concealable body armour are fashionable among the narcotraficante.

Icelandic police mostly buy UK vests, so I have very little insight into brands and models popular in the US. I've heard of Ceradyne, Point Blank, Safariland, Second Chance, Blackhawk and several others, but I don't know which, if any, are selling in high volume.

Not all gangsters are affluent. In fact, economic research indicates that the retail sale of drugs pays, on average, slightly less than McDonald's. Which is not surprising, considering that the work force is largely teenage, unskilled and easily replacable. The actual teenage retail drug dealers, lookouts or messengers will usually not own body armour and their access to firearms is surprisingly limited.

The entire social group might share ownership of a few .22 LR, .25 ACP, .32 ACP, .380 ACP, .38 Special or 9x19mm pistols, often already used in crimes and thrown away by more careful and better funded criminals, kept in a secret location known to the clique, crew, gang or other group.

For well over a decade, the 9x19mm automatics have been the most popular new import, but that doesn't mean that the old revolvers or smaller Saturday Night Special automatics were just thrown away by the dirt poor teenagers at the lowest rung of 'organised' crime. Hell, some of them are immigrants from Central America who smuggled in a Makarov or Tokarev someone's dad, uncle, great-uncle or grand-dad used in one of the Civil Wars.

Even moving up a rung, to the gang members who carry out acts of violence for their gang or as contractors for a DTO, we're not talking about men with steady incomes and secure assets. It's frankly surprising how much cheap gear shows up in police seizures. And even if not exactly cheap, the economically priced, US best sellers in any category of good, are the most likely to be what most of the rank and file of Mexico's underworld is packing and wearing.

They've still got a lot of S&W automatics from the 1990s to go with the ancient S&W revolvers that are cheap enough to be still in use by those who can't afford modern firearms, freshly smuggled and fancy. And there are more Glocks than H&Ks, more Argentine-made Browning HPs than custom high-grade 1911s, more Taurus than Beretta and more Hi-Points than SIGs.

Of course, the tiny elite of drug barons and their retinues of full-time soldiers with plenty of cash tend to grab the headlines. And we'll certainly be meeting some of those in Mexico. They'll probably be carrying their shiny engraved Colt 1911s in .38 Super or FN Five-SeveNs in 5.7x28mm and wearing the equivalent in fashionable, expensive body armour. It's just that they are a very small minority of the people who make up the criminal class, in Mexico as in any other country.

I expect that this dynamic will hold true for body armour. For every fancy tailored suit that's also rated as Class IIIA body armour, there will be a lot of the top-selling budget models of body armour, both concealable and non-concealable, that are the most common sights in US gun stores, tactical outlets, surplus stores and anywhere else one buys body armour in the US.

With the added costs of straw buyers, illegal import organisers, mules to smuggle the contraband over the border and, often, an enterprising middle man who buys smuggled goods and sells them to Mexican-based criminals with a hefty mark-up on top of the overhead for smuggling them, my rule of thumb is that a rifle available legally in the US, but forbidden in Mexico, will cost $500 to $1,300 more on the other side of the border. In Mexico City or similarly far away from a border, the surcharge is $1,000 to $2,500.

This is for semi-automatic rifles, so it might be less for more compact objects by value, as they would be easier to smuggle. I don't know if body armour requires any paperwork in the US, but depending on whether it's easier or harder to acquire than semi-automatic rifles, it might push that surcharge up or down. In any case, never less than an extra $300 (it's not worth smuggling for less) and probably often more than a 100% markup even just over the border.

I'd like to get a sense of how brands and models of body armour are regarded in the US, specifically Texas and New Mexico, if possible.

I'll use car analogies, even though I'm bad at cars.

What body armour models and brands are equivalent to used Honda Accords, Honda Civics or Toyota Corolla, i.e. really common, regarded as good value and not known for failing often?

What are the Ford Fiestas of body armour?

How about the Ford F-150 trucks of body armour? Tough, everywhere, good value, not good for stealth or low-profile?

What is the body armour equivalent to an older American muscle car?

Or whatever models the convertibles with shiny rims and insane suspension that Black or Hispanic gangsters drive in every movie start out as. What is the body armour equivalent, i.e. what brands and models do you see in rap videos or narcocorridas?

What about the equivalent of Chevy Impalas?

The Chevrolet Suburbans of body armour, i.e. meant to be unofficial, but obviously cops or federal agents?

The Volvo of body armours?

What about the equivalent of a BMW or a Mercedes Benz in concealable body armour?

Finally, assume that you are a federal employee in El Paso, TX. Your boss gave you measurements and told you to buy two 'concealable body armour vests' in these sizes, using a government credit card.

You don't know what for, but you know that if you spend too much, you'll get a chewing out. The really good concealable vests cost $1,000+, but you absolutely can't spend that much unless there are no viable cheaper options. Your boss will expect you to get something cheaper than $500 per vest, assuming any kind of functioning concealable vests can be got for less. On the other hand, if you get them for $400 total for both vests, you'll be rewarded with an approving look.

You can't get something that your boss might recognise as total junk and if you buy used, it needs to be from a reputable vendor so you'll know the vests aren't too old to be safe or might actually have been shot. And you know from bitter experience that the vests you buy had best be at least similarly concealable as whatever is recognised as the standard, as 'concealable' was the one requirement that your boss made explicit.

If Class II vests aren't really used by anyone any more, you can't get those, but if they are still considered valid choices for civilian buyers, you can probably get away with it, especially if they are much more concealable and/or much more economical. Basically, you'll aim for a recognised standard in budget concealable vests, whatever that is, whether Class II or IIIA.

What brand and model do you buy?
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Old 02-07-2018, 07:59 AM   #383
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Default Chinese Body Armour, Concealable Vests and Steel Armour

I understand that China has become the world's leading exporter of body armour. I suppose this shouldn't come as a surprise, given how common it is for various international brands to contract with Chinese manufacturers, but I'll admit I still found it noteworthy.

For one, I've never personally heard of any brand of body armour that is made in China. That's easily explainable, after all, I live very far away from China and literally no one buys body armour here, except for police officers. I don't know if anyone sells it in Iceland, as the only purchases I've heard about were orders from foreign suppliers. I admit that I don't even know if body armour is regulated in any way here, it just hasn't occured to me to even check.* And I'm a criminal defence attorney.

So, clearly, I have very little personal knowledge of current trends in body armour. And the last time I did any research into the matter was 2002-2004, for a modern spec ops/covert ops game I was running then. 'Made in China' didn't really come up, though Chinese antagonists did, as even PLA soldiers from front-line units didn't wear any body armour at the time, as far as I could determine. The mountain troops that the PCs encountered near the Afghan border certainly didn't. Nor did tribal guerillas.

In Jade Serenity, one group of likely antagonists are gunmen working for the Knight Templars cartel. As mentioned earlier, that cartel and their predecessors had very cozy relationships with a number of Chinese companies in 2009-2014.

The Knight Templars were selling iron ore from Lazaro Cardenas to China, to the tune of several hundred millions a year and up to a billion dollars one year. They were also buying precursor chemicals to make methamphetamines and, in our campaign, I've postulated that they bought military weapons made in China for export.

After all, if you are already doing business with business executives who've displayed a refreshing willingness to forge paperwork, bypass import-export regulations and generally profit from operating at the margins of the grey market, you'd probably try to see if they had the contacts to sell you goods you want and have trouble getting elsewhere.

So, the Knight Templars might have imported body armour that was made in China. They'll have wanted tactical gear proofed against 5.56x45mm and 7.62x39mm, for their kill teams and soldiers, as well as possibly some concealable vests for covert protection of their senior personnel.

Does anyone know the name of some popular Chinese brands of body armour?

Are any Chinese brands selling well in the US; in the same kind of stores that would sell surplus Warsaw Block military equipment in the 1990s?

Does anyone know which brands of recognised body armour (European, US or other) actually have their ballistic panel or other manufacturing done in China?

I understand that AR500 or other steel alloys have become fairly popular for lower cost rifle-proofed body armour. These have risks, such as spalling, and it looks like the actual company called AR500 may have not been entirely forthcoming about the results of ballistics testing, but for cool gamable armour, it looks hard to beat.

Come on, when featuring antagonists who have absolutely-for-real have named their organisation 'Knight Templars', how can you not investigate the possibility of having their higher-ups wear suits of black armour made from modern steel alloys designed to resist rifle fire?

Does anyone know about ballistic steel armour being made in China?

How plausible would it be to order something that more-or-less resembles Renaissance Faire armour, but with the important areas made from Level III, III+ or Level IV ballistic steel?

What kind of stats are we looking at here? Would the steel have equal DR 25+/40+ against all threats** or are these special alloys and/or layered plates especially designed to have improved DR against piercing type damage? That would allow their DR against other threats to be a more reasonable DR 12-18, which seems right for the heaviest modern alloy steel armour, according to extrapolation from Dan Howard's comments on high-tech versions of Low-Tech armour.

Does anyone know if a company that sells SCA-legal armour has some or all of their budget options made in China?

I realise that there is a world of difference between SCA-legal steel armour and steel plates designed to stop rifle fire, but if there are Chinese companies that cater to Western re-enactors, it would be much more plausible for the Knight Templars to have custom-ordered from one of them something in the style of SCA steel armour, but that incorporates AR500 (or similar ballistically proofed steel) back-and-breast plates.

*My best friend has personally bought several vests for work, because he doesn't like his issue ones, but I've never actually asked him if he has to fill out any paperwork, order through his precinct or how it works. Anyway, the issue ones are UK made and he has ordered UK brands or Safariland, but I think that Safariland purchase was just because he'd begun attending training seminars in the US, hanging it with US cops and reading tacticool magazines. Stab-resistance is several orders of magnitude more important than ballistic protection here and the UK manufacturers have much more information available on stab tests.
**And thus be impenetratable even with a hardened steel, narrow-bladed harpoon wielded by a massively strong supersoldier with the ability to concentrate all his inhuman power into an explosive burst of awesome strength.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:36 PM   #384
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Default Subdermal Locator Beacons or Other Technological Anti-Flight Measures

Without assuming superscience*, what would be the best way to duplicate the function of an ankle monitor that will not be detected, even by a fairly thorough visual** search of a person?

The ideal solution, for the cool factor and because the GM will accept a locator as more plausible than an implanted bomb, but still wants the PCs 'tagged' by their scary, involuntary bosses, would be an implanted, subdermal radio beacon that is put into the back of their neck or somewhere equally hard for them to reach.

I'm not sure about the technological possibilities here. How realistic is real-time or near real-time exact satellite locating of a transmitter small enough to be implanted like an RFID microchip in animals?

As I suspect the answer will be 'not very', the absolute minimum performance is being capable of giving submitter's location within 30 feet or so, updated with a burst transmission every minute that can be received within a reasonable range by someone with sensitive radio gear, like maybe within 10 miles (at least 2-3 miles are necessary even in urban terrain). This can rely on an aerial receiver, on board aircraft or UAV.

More precise location, more frequent updating and longer detection range would all be good to have, but not at the cost of having to use something too large to implant like a RFID chip.

48 hours of endurance without changing batteries or otherwise recharging are an absolute requirement, with a week being preferable, but normal operation would probably assume recharging by inductive charging every night, if only to keep it fully charged.

Does anyone have ideas about what kind of performance would be plausible and how best to go about this?

*Though, as this is being used by a powerful, super-secret, fictional joint task force under the US government, with need to know access to most or all technological research carried out by DARPA, HSARPA and probably a lot of other places, it's fine to assume cutting edge technology, not currently commercially available, as long as it currently possible.
**Obviously, electronic signals from it will be detectable and various scanners and sensor technology could always find it.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:14 PM   #385
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Default Re: [Modern Firepower] Technothriller gear for secret DHS team in 2017

Between fractal antennas and electronic miniaturization, you might get something the size of an animal's RFID chip, before you could account for a power supply. Having a battery in there throws it way out of whack. You'd be looking at something closer to the size of a cell phone battery. (Aside: most RFID things rely on being powered by whatever is reading them, so they get much smaller)
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:30 AM   #386
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Default Re: Subdermal Locator Beacons or Other Technological Anti-Flight Measures

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Between fractal antennas and electronic miniaturization, you might get something the size of an animal's RFID chip, before you could account for a power supply. Having a battery in there throws it way out of whack. You'd be looking at something closer to the size of a cell phone battery. (Aside: most RFID things rely on being powered by whatever is reading them, so they get much smaller)
Ah, excellent!

If the device itself can get that small and still send a radio signal that can be picked up 10+ miles away, this begins to look much more practical. Humans are clearly bigger than most migratory birds, so I'm guessing that even a somewhat bigger chip than typical tracking devices implanted in geese, or whatever, would still be possible to insert under the skin at the back of the neck.

It occurs to me that it would contribute to power saving if the device had more than one setting. As long as the subjects still appear to be compliant, not moving except as an apparent part of their assigned mission, you can probably get away with updating their locations a lot more seldom than if you want to use the device to track them down. Maybe it would be enough to get a couple of updates per hour, at somewhat irregular intervals (to make them unpredictable to the subject and thus hard to spoof).

If there was some reason for concern, the receiving station could send a message that set the device for more frequent updates, to be more certain of catching on if they tried to run. Finally, real-time tracking or as close to it as possible would be activated in the event of flight, with the aim of vectoring a security element to the subject's location before they could find a way to have someone remove their implant.

I realise that making the device capable of receiving signals as well as sending them will make it bigger. However, if it allows us to minimise the energy requirements by usually having it set to a low power drain mode, it might be worth it. It depends on how much bigger the device would become if it could also receive, at least to the minimal degree of being capable of going to more frequent locational updates on command. Or, you know, as soon as it detects that it's no longer within a certain range of the monitoring equipment.

Clearly, a cell phone battery is far too big to implant, but those last for a day of running a high resolution screen, sending and receiving data at high bandwidth, some talking, a lot of messaging, etc. Just telling the cell phone network where it is seems like a fairly minor part of all the energy-intensive tasks that drain a smartphone battery. So a device that only does this sounds like it might need a proportionally smaller battery.

For example, my very dumb old sandwich phone will usually go two weeks between charges and that's with normal use, like making and receiving calls and the occasional text message. I expect that if I didn't make or receive a single call, the charge would suffice for the minimal automated comunication it does with cell towers for a much longer period than two weeks. If we are prepared to accept a minimum of 48 hours of endurance, maybe only 2-4 hours at the highest power setting, designed to allow a security team to physically track down the subject, it seems like we might make the power supply significantly smaller than my cell phone battery.

And that's with the same energy density as something that was fairly cheap a decade ago. Going to more sophisticated, but more expensive, solutions for the power supply, should also make it a bit smaller. Or haven't cell phone batteries improved any? I confess I don't have any idea whether that's a field that's still moving fast or if batteries have plateau-ed.

If making it possible to receive signals telling the device to go to a higher security setting would be impractical without adding too much weight and bulk, maybe another alternative would be, at the very least, preprogramming it to recognise suspicious motion and upgrade to a higher risk profile based on that. Would this add less weight and bulk than receiving capability?

Do any forumites have thoughts on the best way to keep the combined size of device and power supply down while still doing the job of monitoring flight risk and catching them if they do run?
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:10 AM   #387
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Default Re: Subdermal Locator Beacons or Other Technological Anti-Flight Measures

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**Obviously, electronic signals from it will be detectable and various scanners and sensor technology could always find it.
Current trackers tend to rely on the offender either carrying specialised hardware (a cell phone plus receiver electronics) or being in a particular place near the base station.

I think https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPS_wildlife_tracking is a better starting point; you're probably looking at Argos-based systems.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:49 AM   #388
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Default Re: Subdermal Locator Beacons or Other Technological Anti-Flight Measures

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Current trackers tend to rely on the offender either carrying specialised hardware (a cell phone plus receiver electronics)
The characters being tracked, who include at least one PC and an NPC that two or more PCs are committed to aiding, were issued supposedly secure smartphones by their bosses. It is a fairly safe bet that those came fully loaded with software and hardware solutions for keeping track of them.

It's also not unlikely that their vehicle, computers and even some of their more expensive or unique equipment might have some form of tracking device installed.

The implanted tracking beacons are meant to be the last line of defence in a security system designed for robust redundancy, because their bosses at Onyx Rain really do not want these characters escaping, but are forced by circumstance to allow them to travel over the border to Mexico with a minimal guard, in order that they may meet with other people that Onyx Rain really does not want running around free, and try to convince these currently free people to accept conditional amnesty and 'modest' monitoring requirements as Onux Rain 'employees'.

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or being in a particular place near the base station.
The characters have no reason to legitimately travel beyond a range of sixty miles from Fort Bliss and Biggs Army Airfield. They should spend their time mostly within some 30-40 miles from them.

Arranging to have surveillance aircraft, with a full suite of radio intercept capabilities, as well as a lot of other sensors, in the air at all times during the mission is practical. They will never be more than 30 miles way from the characters and may be within 10-20 miles a lot of the time, even without crossing the border into Mexican airspace.

Having smaller UAVs with specialised receiving stations cross the border and remain on station nearer the PCs might actually be practical. In any case, it is certainly an option if they seem to be fleeing.

There are also advance force operations (AFOs) teams within Mexico and they can remain within about ten miles at all times, though it would be much more convenient for them if they didn't have to be so close and could remain stationary somewhere central, ensuring that they are never more than 15-20 miles away.

All of the above will have triangulation capabilities, obviously, and if there are two receiver stations with two different AFO elements, that alone would provide a pretty good idea about location whenever the implanted device transmits, even if the tiny tracking device should be too small to have its own GPS capabilities without relying on a larger relay transmitter.

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I think https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPS_wildlife_tracking is a better starting point; you're probably looking at Argos-based systems.
Indeed so, which is why I made the comparison to the tracking devices used for geese. However, I have no idea how far away the receiving stations must be from the transmitters, when using something like GPS-SST, i.e. technology where the tracking device that the animal carries is not powerful enough to send the data directly to a satellite network, but must rely on a relay station.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:47 AM   #389
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Default Re: Subdermal Locator Beacons or Other Technological Anti-Flight Measures

Yes, the use case matters a lot. J. Random Criminal with a cellphone-based tracker doesn't throw away the cellphone, because if he does the police will come after him and he'll go to prison; the point of the ankle bracelet is not "you can be found", it's "either your cell phone is telling us where you are, or you're violating your parole". If your agents go rogue, they're already willing to take on the police…

The Argos transmitters are non-GPS, providing location information from Doppler effect. http://www.argos-system.org/applicat...fe-monitoring/ shows me: "About 4500 birds are tracked every month with Argos. Thanks to miniaturized transmitters which are becoming lighter and lighter (some weigh less than 5 grams), and to the sensitivity of receivers on satellites, which can record very low-powered transmissions (150 mW), it has now become possible to track and locate new species, whose migratory behavior has not yet been determined."

Note that this isn't real-time high-resolution tracking. At the equator, a single location will see an individual satellite only 1-2× per day, and the site is oddly silent about how many satellites they actually have running.

But who are these agents who will go rogue but not go inside an earthed metal box, check themselves for radio emissions, and cut the transmitters out?
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:06 AM   #390
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Default Re: Subdermal Locator Beacons or Other Technological Anti-Flight Measures

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Yes, the use case matters a lot. J. Random Criminal with a cellphone-based tracker doesn't throw away the cellphone, because if he does the police will come after him and he'll go to prison; the point of the ankle bracelet is not "you can be found", it's "either your cell phone is telling us where you are, or you're violating your parole". If your agents go rogue, they're already willing to take on the police…
Just so.

Granted, the two federal agents along as handlers and possibly any consultants and trusted informants accompanying them, will be fitted with health status monitors with emergency buttons. If they are killed or injured, it should send up a red flag and if they are not, they should be able to report any attempt to break away.

It's just.... the primary flight risk is very, very good at making people like her and want to help her. While we are hoping that Onyx Rain doesn't know that she has actual superpowers in that area, they certainly do know that she is incredibly attractive, manipulative and charming.

So I'm pretty sure that they do not trust the male agent assigned to the mission completely with her. Especially not as she demanded him specifically as one of the agents who'd be assigned to her security. But while they can jail her or kill her, they can't make her go to Mexico, so if they want her to talk to her ex-boyfriend* about making a deal with Onyx Rain, they have to humour her to some extent.

*She would dispute the 'ex-' part.

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The Argos transmitters are non-GPS, providing location information from Doppler effect. http://www.argos-system.org/applicat...fe-monitoring/ shows me: "About 4500 birds are tracked every month with Argos. Thanks to miniaturized transmitters which are becoming lighter and lighter (some weigh less than 5 grams), and to the sensitivity of receivers on satellites, which can record very low-powered transmissions (150 mW), it has now become possible to track and locate new species, whose migratory behavior has not yet been determined."
If a 5 gram transmitter can transmit to a satellite, it sounds like transmitter range at the desired miniaturisation is not the primary problem here. The problem would rather be the power supply to be able to perform transmissions frequently enough to keep the people at the receivers used to track the characters updated in time to notice any attempt to break for freedom.

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Note that this isn't real-time high-resolution tracking. At the equator, a single location will see an individual satellite only 1-2× per day, and the site is oddly silent about how many satellites they actually have running.
Well, happily, even if there were no satellites available 24/7 for the area of operations, Onyx Rain can call upon airborne SIGINT platforms. They could get any of the CBP aircraft, like the Bombardier Dash Eights, Pilatuses or Beechcraft Super King Airs and they could get more advanced aircraft like the Beechcraft RC-12X+ Guardrail, or the unmanned MQ-9 Reaper / Predator B, MQ-1C Gray Eagles and RQ-170 Sentinels.

Preferably, none of these will cross the border, though the RQ-170 Sentinels might be capable of doing so without causing an incident. If airborne SIGINT platforms are necessary closer to the monitored characters, the chosen technology would probably be smaller types of UAS hand or vehicle deployed as part of JSOC special operations, like the RQ-16 T-Hawk or AeroVironment Wasp III.

Civilian model drones, like those used by some news organisations, carrying Homeland Security radio intercept devices, might also be deployed.

Real time tracking is desirable, but only really becomes crucial if it appears that the subjects might be moving in an unauthorised fashion. As such, being able to check regularly that the subjects are still where they are supposed to be and that their handlers are not reporting anything wrong, would be adequate performance until the alarm was raised.

Of course, given that the subjects might give their handlers the slip, a certain baseline of locational precision and the rate of positional updates would be necessary, even when operating in power saving mode, in order to detect an attempt to move out of the operational area under cover from aerial assets, while the handlers are asleep or otherwise incapacitated.

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But who are these agents who will go rogue but not go inside an earthed metal box, check themselves for radio emissions, and cut the transmitters out?
The most likely flight risk is Sherilyn Bell, a mental patient who used to be a Mental Health Specialist in the US Army seventeen years and two months ago. Bell has no formal training in electronic warfare, communication intercepts or any other technical field having to do with ELINT, SIGINT, COMINT or basically anything with radio waves. She is not supposed to have used a computer or cell phone since 1999, when she typed patient information and experimental records into computers.

She really shouldn't have much information on the technical issues involved with tracking devices and she certainly shouldn't have any equipment to be able to check herself for radio emissions. Nor training to use it, if she were to steal it from the agents.

Another potential flight risk is a former Weapons Sergeant (18B) in US Army Special Forces, 2000-2011. Has not used a computer or cell phone since 2011, for prison related reasons. Trained on tactical radios used by USASF in Afghanistan and familiar with COMSEC, but never attended any advanced courses on electronic warfare beyond the basic required to serve in a Special Forces ODA. In his personal life, never had any social media presence, not even Facebook, and never bought a smartphone.

Onyx Rain is assuming that if he flees, he will seek to cut out the foreign object in his body, if only because he can easily work out what it probably was, but doing so safely without any help might be non-trivial. In any event, with operators from JSOC in two AFO elements within 10-20 miles and a Quick-Reaction Force within 30 miles, the plan would be to react to any escape attempt very fast. Fast enough to track them down and recapture or neutralise them before they can remove the tracker, or, at worst, before they could move away from the location where they did.

Besides, if their vehicles are also tracked and they have no way of knowing where those transmitters have been concealed, how fast could the escapees really move? If moving away from the US border, there are 20-100 miles of sparsely populated, rugged, dry, mountain, desert and shrubs landscape in all directions. How are they going to outrun all-terrain vehicle borne special operators with aerial surveillance capabilities on that terrain?

Their best chance for escape was when they drove through Ciudad Juarez, as at least that's an urban area with plenty of places to hide. The tiny, insular, almost empty hamlets in the Juarez Valley or the alien planet sand dunes behind the mountain ridge that leads away from the border? They'd stick out like a sore thumb.

But, you know, maximum redundancy. Assume that the subjects will do exactly what you don't want them to and then you can counter them if they do. So the plan, if they should run, is to catch them before they can possibly have safely removed their tracking devices.
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