COMINT (communications intelligence) is a skill that only gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the better you get. Most of my recent posts have revolved around your intercept skills, this is because listening is more important then transmitting!
I know you have heard me and Sparks31 drill this into your heads! If you want to be one step ahead of “THEM” you need to know what “THEY” are doing. One reason we preach this is because any one can monitor communications without a license. All you need is a police scanner that can receive your local police, fire, EMS and public safety agencies. Depending on your AO (area of operations/where you live) you may need an old school analog scanner or a newer digital p25 radio. You can find out what you need by checking your Open source intelligence on the web. Remember, finding this info on the web is great, but always get it on paper. Paper does not need a Internet connection. If you are studying for you HAM license, that is great, get a scanner first and start listening now. Program your local HAM repeaters and listen while you study, it will inspire you to pass your test. Remember, first rule of transmitting, listen first…. Another great saying “The Enemy is Always Listening”. If this rings true, shouldn’t you be listening too? Your intercept skill set will help you, not only in a grid down situation but also in everyday life. You will know where the car wreck is on you way home from work. You will know what type of damage the storm coming your way is causing. You will know what parts of the neighborhood are not safe after dark. The list goes on. If your area requires a newer model scanner with p25 digital capability, it’s gonna cost ya. Sell your golf clubs to raise the funds, do what ever it takes to have this capability. Once you have a scanner, get more. The more scanners you have, the more things you can keep a ear on. This is where older analog radios shine. You can task your analog scanner with aircraft monitoring, railroad, interoperability channels etc. This frees up digital radio to monitor the local TRS (trunked radio system). As your MTAC ( Multi threat alert center/aka your listening post ) grows, you will want to equip it with several scanners so you can keep tabs on multiple targets at one time. After time the drone of radio chatter will all make sense, giving you, the commo specialist, a clear view of your AO. After 15 to 20 minutes, a skilled operator can have a complete picture of active “situations” in his or her AO. If you can not do this, make it so. Practice listening, your significant other will appreciate this skill as well. If you want to see this skill in action Come to class and get field time with us! You won’t regret it.