Minnesota Wing CAP

Emergency Services

Ground Team Academy
24-27 August 2017
Camp Ripley - Building TBD

Pictures from previous years available on our Facebook Page


What is the Ground Team Academy?

The Ground Team Academy (GTA) was created in 2007 to standardize ground team training across Minnesota Wing and give all members an opportunity to get qualified in one level of ground team qualification during an extended weekend.  Since the success of the first GTA, it has turned into an annual event.  It is open to all members with at least a General ES Qualification who have completed FEMA's IS 100 and IS 700.  Personnel from other SAR agencies are welcome to attend as well as students or staff.

The goal of the school is to get each person complete with one level of ES training by the end of the weekend.  If you come in with a General ES qualification, you should get everything you need for GTM3 by the end of the activity, if you come in with GTM3 qualification, you should be able to get GTM2, and if you come in with GTM2, you should be able to get everything you need for GTM1 and/or GTL.

The school will be broken into several courses:

GTM3 Course - Entry Level Ground Team

Objective: To ensure all entry level ground team personnel have the required training to be able to participate in missing person and ELT searches.

Minimum Requirements: General ES Qualified, FEMA IS 100 and 700 complete.

Training: Basic Communications User Training, First Aid, Ground Team Equipment, Hot/Cold Weather Injuries, Fatigue, Compass Use, Phone Alerts, ELT Search, Basic Map Reading and Natural Hazards.

GTM2 Course - Intermediate Level Ground Team

Objective: To train personnel to be self sufficient during search operations and to become more proficient in navigation skills.

Minimum Requirements: Ground Team Member Level 3 qualified, FEMA IS 100 and 700 complete.

Training: Shelter Building, Survival Skills, Land Navigation, and Canine Operations.

GTM1 / GTL Course - Advanced / Leader Ground Team

Objective: To train personnel with the required skills to become ground team leaders and assistant ground team leaders.

Minimum Requirements: Ground Team Member Level 3 qualified and Age 18 to train as a GTL, Ground Team Member Level 2 Qualified to train for GTM1, ICS 100 and 700 complete, ICS 200 required for GTL qualification. 

Training: ICS, Team Management, Field Leadership, Scene Management, Communications, Map Reading/Land Navigation, ELT Searches, CISM, Team Paperwork. 



  • Incident Commander: Lt Col Keith Bischoff
  • Safety Officer: Maj. Blane Pierson
  • Public Information Officer:  TBA
  • Operations Section Chief: Maj. Blane Pierson
  • GTM1/GTL Lead Instructor:  TBA
  • Instructor: TBA
  • Instructor: TBA
  • GTM2 Lead Instructor: TBA
  • Instructor: TBA
  • GTM3 Lead Instructor:  TBA
  • Instructor: TBA
  • Logistics Section Chief: Lt Col Joel Stepanek
  • Communications Unit Leader:  TBA
  • Mission Radio Operator:  TBA
  • Food Service Unit Leader: TBA
  • Assistant: TBA
  • Medical Officer: TBA
  • Mission Staff Assistant: TBA
  • Mission Staff Assistant: TBA


    Since members on Emergency Services Missions need to learn to be self-sufficient on real missions, participants will be largely responsible for themselves at this activity.  Members will be responsible for their own medications.  Please notify the staff of any medical conditions, but be prepared to administer your own medications.  Any medications you may need urgently (Inhalers, EpiPens, etc.) should be kept on your person at all times, even if you don't think you'll need them for this activity. 

    A funded training mission number will be issued for CAP members to receive gas reimbursement for transportation to and from the activity.  All participants must enter their sorties into WMIRS if they wish to receive reimbursement.  The mission number is 17-T-5539.

    Participants should plan to arrive no earlier than 1800 on Thursday evening and no later than 0800 on Friday morning.  If you must arrive earlier, please notify the staff.  Plan on eating dinner before you arrive, if you arrive on Thursday.  Breakfast will be served between 0700 and 0745 on Friday morning.  We would prefer if students arrive Thursday night to make it easier for us to get started on Friday morning.  The school will complete at approximately 1400 on Sunday afternoon.  We will be in building 7-135 on Camp Ripley.  A map is located below.

    Camp Ripley Map  

    Obey all speed limits on Camp Ripley as they are strictly enforced.  Cell phone use (including hands free devices) while driving is strictly prohibited on military facilities.

    Uniform for the weekend is BDUs or ABUs for Ground Team Personnel or any appropriate CAP uniform for those doing mission base work.  We will be staying in barracks at Camp Ripley.

    All meals will be provided but bring snacks for consumption when in the field. 

    Ground Team Personnel should bring the following items:

    • CAPF 161 - Required for all CAP members attending.
    • CAPF 163 - Required for all CAP cadets under age 18.
    • CAPF 32 - Required for all CAP cadets with all signatures.
    • CAPF 101 card and membership card
    • 2 set of BDUs or ABUs and all accessories (Boots, Cover, Belt, etc)
    • Undergarments, socks and T-shirts for 3 days
    • Sleeping bag
    • Pillow (optional)
    • Toiletries
    • Towel/Washcloth - Showers will be available.
    • Ground and Urban DF Team Task Guide (PDF Document). - Also available from Vanguard for $9.65 in a much more portable size. Click here to go directly to that item on their website.
    • 24 hour pack (Day Pack) with most of the items required (click here for a list of items
    • 72 hour pack items are highly recommended.
    • Any personal medications.

    All Ground Team Participants may be spending one night in the woods using nothing but their 24 hour packs and what they have on them.  Be prepared for this and bring appropriate gear.


    Apply Online

    Staff Applications

    Staff applications are Open! Apply Here:

    Staff Application

    The deadline for staff applications will be announced.  Staff position appointments will be announced shortly. 

    Prerequisites:  We require that all staff applicants be GTM1 or GTL qualified.  If you have not achieved one of these qualifications yet, we highly encourage you to participate as a student and earn this qualification before serving on staff.

    Direct any staff application related questions to Lt Col Joel Stepanek at at jmstep0075@comcast.net or 612-221-4503.


    Student Applications

    Student Application

    You must have completed General Emergency Services, FEMA IS-100 and IS-700 before applying and have these completions recorded in Operations Qualifications as complete before you will be allowed to apply for any of these courses.  Please ask your Unit Commander or Emergency Services officer if you are unsure of how to complete or record these.

    The application consists of two parts.  Part one is the online application and payment.  Part two are the forms that need to be hand carried to the activity.  Non-CAP members who are participating do not need to bring the signature form.  Online payments are the preferred method.  You can pay via Credit Card.

    1) Online Application

    2) Forms:

    • CAPF 161 - Required for all CAP members attending.  (not required for non-CAP participants)
    • CAPF 163 - Required for all CAP cadets under age 18.
    • (not required for non-CAP participants)
    • CAPF 32 - Required for all CAP cadets with all signatures. (not required for non-CAP participants)

    Check the status of your application.

    Direct any student application related questions to Lt Col Joel Stepanek at jmstep0075@comcast.net or 612-221-4503.




    Civil Air Patrol - Minnesota Wing Headquarters
    6275 Crossman Lane, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
    Phone 651-291-0462   Fax: 651-552-7007
    Directions to Wing HQ Facility

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