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Old 02-17-2017, 09:27 AM   #41
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Detection and analysis of jamming by the Coast Guard

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Send the Defender: it's a lot faster and has guns.

Give me a little while to read the boat's operator's manual (warning: huge download).
I managed to find evidence that the sector HQ at South Portland has probably already received the very similar RB-S II that is being introduced to replace the Defender-class. As some improvements include onboard electronics, this is probably relevant.

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SRegularly, but likely not constantly -- there aren't going to be that many people on-shift, and they still have to listen for other distress calls.
Fair enough.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:26 AM   #42
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Default Re: Detection and analysis of jamming by the Coast Guard

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I managed to find evidence that the sector HQ at South Portland has probably already received the very similar RB-S II that is being introduced to replace the Defender-class. As some improvements include onboard electronics, this is probably relevant.
However, there isn't an operator's manual on-line that I can find. Looking at the pictures on the RB-S II builder's website, comparing the antennas on that with the antennas on the RB-S Defender, and reading the radar manufacturer's website, I think I have an answer. The improvements on the RB-S II are mostly better software and displays, making a system that's much more convenient to use for its normal jobs, but has the same basic capabilities.

These boats only have radios in the marine band, 146-174MHz. O'Toole's Motorola covers that band, along with several others. The boats don't have directional radio antennas, and their antennas are solidly fixed to the boat, so the point-and-swing crude direction-finding technique isn't possible unless the crew starts dismantling things.

However, their radar has real possibilities. It operates at just over 9GHz, about 11.5x the top frequency of the Motorola. But unless that white-noise jammer is very solidly filtered, it will be radiating somewhat at 9GHz. That radar is probably smart enough to recognise the jammer as interference and filter it out by default.

But if you turn the cleverness off (E/Ops (Sensors), or Computer Operation), it should show up nicely. A few minutes of boat movement will then be enough to show that the jamming is coming from Jewell Island. They'd probably report that and then go closer. If the guards then start shooting at them, the word is definitely out.

I don't know how the stages of response to this kind of thing work in the US. In the UK, "They're shooting at law enforcement with real machine guns" translates to "The SAS or SBS are going to have an outing."
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:42 PM   #43
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Default Re: Detection and analysis of jamming by the Coast Guard

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However, there isn't an operator's manual on-line that I can find. Looking at the pictures on the RB-S II builder's website, comparing the antennas on that with the antennas on the RB-S Defender, and reading the radar manufacturer's website, I think I have an answer. The improvements on the RB-S II are mostly better software and displays, making a system that's much more convenient to use for its normal jobs, but has the same basic capabilities.

These boats only have radios in the marine band, 146-174MHz. O'Toole's Motorola covers that band, along with several others. The boats don't have directional radio antennas, and their antennas are solidly fixed to the boat, so the point-and-swing crude direction-finding technique isn't possible unless the crew starts dismantling things.
Right, thanks a lot.

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However, their radar has real possibilities. It operates at just over 9GHz, about 11.5x the top frequency of the Motorola. But unless that white-noise jammer is very solidly filtered, it will be radiating somewhat at 9GHz. That radar is probably smart enough to recognise the jammer as interference and filter it out by default.

But if you turn the cleverness off (E/Ops (Sensors), or Computer Operation), it should show up nicely.
Awesome!

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A few minutes of boat movement will then be enough to show that the jamming is coming from Jewell Island. They'd probably report that and then go closer. If the guards then start shooting at them, the word is definitely out.
Of course, I don't exactly know what Warden Tyrrell will order his men to do if he is unable to convince the Coast Guard that he and his men have things well in hand and their assistance is neither required nor requested. Nor do I know if they'd obey any order from him, even to fire on the Coast Guard, when it has to be fairly obvious that this will set into motion events that will inevitably kill them before morning.

It may be that the guards would allow the Coast Guard to land and simply try to cover up their criminal activities as best they can. Frame events as a riot or break-out among patients, either with some dangerous inmates responsible for our disappearance or flat-out stating that whether we are federal or not, we arrived there to assist an inmate with an escape and that we are attacking guards.

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I don't know how the stages of response to this kind of thing work in the US. In the UK, "They're shooting at law enforcement with real machine guns" translates to "The SAS or SBS are going to have an outing."
In the sense that grim, competent men with expensive tactical equipment will be responding, it will be no different. However, I don't imagine that the first response will be from top tier military counter-terrorism or hostage rescue teams. I'll have to look up the specific jurisdictional issues, but I'd expect Coast Guard tactical teams, ICE or CBP SRT or FBI HRT before expecting DEVGRU or Delta. Given that the Coast Guard have jurisdiction over at least part of Jewell Island and are already responding, I would expect them to have the first effective tactical response ready if the Warden decides to shoot or if the crew of the RB-S II see something that they are comfortable calling in as justifying a vigorous law enforcement response.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:59 PM   #44
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Default Re: Detection and analysis of jamming by the Coast Guard

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Of course, I don't exactly know what Warden Tyrrell will order his men to do if he is unable to convince the Coast Guard that he and his men have things well in hand and their assistance is neither required nor requested.
The jamming is the tough bit. The Coast Guard will definitely want it stopped, for maritime safety reasons. The Warden needs to capture or kill the PCs and associates before he can turn it off.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:20 PM   #45
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Default Re: Coast Guard response to distress call on Jewell Island, ME

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There is no reason that the Deputy Warden cannot be contacted immediately.
I'm coming back to this one sentence for a moment to point something out:

The allegation is that Deputy Warden Tyrrell has supplanted the Chief Administrator, effecting a mutiny. If the CA cannot be raised that will raise red-flags. Deputy Tyrrell might be able to put them off until tomorrow morning (if the call comes in late), but not past that.

Also Agent O'Toole's superiors would be contacted to determine if O'Toole should be or even is on that island in the first place, and so O'Toole's superiors would then find themselves appraised of team's predicament.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:44 PM   #46
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Default Re: Detection and analysis of jamming by the Coast Guard

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The jamming is the tough bit. The Coast Guard will definitely want it stopped, for maritime safety reasons. The Warden needs to capture or kill the PCs and associates before he can turn it off.
Yeah, I expect he'll run his men ragged once he receives the first Coast Guard call. Any cover up is impossible until he gets our radios and/or us.

It's a pretty grim situation for him, because we might just as well disperse into the tunnels and try to reach different abandoned wings of the compound. Hard to get us all. We've got six hand-held radios, all told.

Worst of all for Warden Tyrrell, Taylor gave an orderly and inmate who were fleeing the pandemonium a radio taken from a guard an instructed them to keep trying the Coast Guard on channel 16. Even a momentary lapse in jamming and Robert the orderly will be talking to the Coast Guard about guards run amuck.

There are inmates and orderlies scattered through two wings, some 20 inmates and four orderlies in the wing where we were before reaching the armoury. I doubt that 8-10 guards running around hunting for us there had the time to worry much about the inmates or orderlies once they determined we had left by a tunnel again. Taking the time to restore order, moving inmates to their cells and maybe even locking the orderlies in as well, would make excellent sense for them. But if they do, they are leaving us running around loose, with just the tower guards and the few people who are presumably helping the Warden in his command post, remaining to try and capture or kill us.

Twenty guards sounds like a lot until you have to try to hunt six people, some of whom have military or law enforcement training, through a maze of tunnels and numerous abandoned or lightly staffed wards, without entirely neglecting minimal safety precautions that apply in case of the other inmates.

Especially as we didn't just run, we've been acting and upsetting their plans, getting inside their OODA loop and reducing their ability to act. They've presumably released the four guards we tied up earlier, but at least one of them, Ball, the suspected sex offender, won't be coming back on duty, considering his broken ribs, shattered cheekbone and major concussion. The guard who cried when we discovered the tortured prisoner he and his friends were keeping might also be a psychological casualty, as he seemed resigned to getting caught.

And we've got two more tied-up prisoners now, one of whom may be suffering some psychological trauma after Sherilyn Bell convinced him his pistol was a poisonous viper slithering around on his pelvis. Apparently, he's got a bit of phobic thing going.

The active guards number 12-16 + Warden Tyrrell himself, with the towers staffed with at least two men each and very possibly four. That leaves four to eight guards for hunting us, less however many are left to guard the jammer and/or the Warden. Not to mention prisoners, like, say, Agent Banks if he lives and anyone of the administration of Manhanock Asylum not involved in the mutiny. We haven't seen the doctors yet.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:07 PM   #47
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Default Re: Coast Guard response to distress call on Jewell Island, ME

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I'm coming back to this one sentence for a moment to point something out:

The allegation is that Deputy Warden Tyrrell has supplanted the Chief Administrator, effecting a mutiny. If the CA cannot be raised that will raise red-flags. Deputy Tyrrell might be able to put them off until tomorrow morning (if the call comes in late), but not past that.
Well, that's our working theory. Unfortunately, we cannot rule out that the Administrator Formerly Known as the Warden is complicit in Deputy Warden Tyrrell's madness, whether willingly or coerced. Or he might have been told some plausible lie, enough to let him respond to the Coast Guard that there is some prank being played, but that the Deputy Warden has the matter well in hand.

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Also Agent O'Toole's superiors would be contacted to determine if O'Toole should be or even is on that island in the first place, and so O'Toole's superiors would then find themselves appraised of team's predicament.
As a courtesy, I expect that the DHS OIG actually notified the Sector HQ of the Coast Guard about Agents Banks and O'Toole in advance. Our visit has a boring bureaucratic half-truth cover story and the Coast Guard does fall under the DHS Inspector General. And Special Agent Banks is a former O-4 (LCDR) of the Coast Guard, who retired from active duty in 2007, but was probably Reserve until recently. He might even have made a courtesy call to Sector HQ while we had lunch, before we left for the island.

The boat that took us to Jewell Island was crewed by a former Coast Guard bosun, now either Coast Guard Reserve or Auxiliary (driving the ferry boat is not reserve duty for him, it's his part-time job, he started the ferry company with some other former guards to bid on the logistical contract for Manhanock).

There will probably be confirmation of the fact that Banks and O'Toole are indeed on Jewell Island along with other DHS employees from our handlers in Onyx Rain and their co-conspirators inside the bureaucratic structure of the DHS. On the other hand, I'm not sure what they want done.

Best guess is that they want the Coast Guard to establish a perimeter and then try somehow to control very tightly who gets to step on Jewell Island. Our survival is almost certainly secondary to avoiding public exposure of the experiments that were carried out on the island in the past. Unless they can put all blame where it belongs, on DARPA and the DoD, but that kind of spin requires control of information flow.

I think we'll find out more about the reach and power of Onyx Rain. And whether Banks was the only Coast Guard officer involved.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:21 PM   #48
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Default Re: Coast Guard response to distress call on Jewell Island, ME

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Insert the usual caveats... I didn't see any specific numbers cited for MSRT response times. But given their mission, organization, and they way they're stationed in multiple places around the country (unlike HITRON), I assume they're intended to have the same "immediate response" timeframe as other similar units, like the FBI's Hostage Rescue Teams, FEMA, or National Guard's CBRNE / Civil Support teams -- that is, nominally four hours. As you've said, the part that's going to slow that down is the decision-making by relatively high-level officials as to whether they're necessary.
Four hours from order to launch from their base in Virginia or from order to assault on target in Maine?

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ISpeaking of National Guard, Maine has both helicopter air assault units and a mountain infantry regiment. Those will be slower. (If the '92 LA riots are relevant, they can probably get a company or two together in around 8 hours, and most of the unit in about 24 -- again, once the local law enforcement admits that the problem is too much for them to handle and the governor decides that the NG is needed.) I suppose part of that decision is whether the powers-that-be know that there's something special about Jewell Island that demands they intervene. But there's certainly enough force at hand to put a stop to about 50 armed insurrectionists in a matter of a few days, if someone's willing to start all that shooting (and they're not worried about, say, their troops having their minds taken over by special powers...)
I think that anyone who knows about the experiments on Jewell Island is more likely to want to minimise the number of people deployed there than they are to call in the National Guard. That would almost guarantee leaks.

In any case, the Coast Guard has enough men and firepower to land on Jewell Island and win. They'll have to fly several MSRT Direct Action Sections (DAS) and Precision Marksmen Observer Teams (PMOT) from Virgina, support them with more armed response boats from Boston, in addition to the South Portland ones, and dispatch helicopters from Cape Cod, but they have the capability.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:23 PM   #49
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Default Re: Coast Guard response to distress call on Jewell Island, ME

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... Special Agent Banks is a former Major of the Coast Guard
They use naval-style ranks, don't they?
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:25 PM   #50
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Default Re: Coast Guard response to distress call on Jewell Island, ME

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They use naval-style ranks, don't they?
Yeah, sorry. O-4, which in Coastie-speak is Lieutenant Commander (LCDR).
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