The TTOS Rural Narcotics Operations Course, is built on the same concepts of the RLEO Academy. 

The purpose of RNOC, much like our other courses, is Tactical Tracking put into context to a specific mission set.  It is impossible with today’s budgets and time constraints to have a single course that does it all.  If that were the case, our standard program for Tactical Tracking would be a four week course.  Separating the courses as we have allows agencies, units and individuals to pick exactly what they need, in order to support their current and emerging needs.  Again, we do nothing in a contextual vacuum.  We did years ago, within our legacy programs, and saw the immediate need to correct that problem, enter our Apex programs under which RNOC is covered.  The team below is an Apex customer in California.  Years ago two of our SME’s conducted a long-distance scouting operation in the mountains where they work, in order to establish a baseline of activity.  November of this year, we conducted a targeted scout in a historically “hot” area in which we had encountered many cartels members operating.  Based on previous years, the amount of harvestable plants has dropped by an estimated 75%.  The results are based on the process, the program and the expertise.

The TTOS RNOC is largely built around defeating cartel networks cultivating and distributing marijuana on the west coast, mostly on public lands in California.  The absolute destruction of the environment at the hands of cartel members and unaffiliated illegal marijuana growers calls for swift and decisive action.  This course is not about points of view on legalization of anything.  It is built around the problem that exists right now, much like our Anti-Poaching training.

There are deadly hazards involved in the illegal, cartel backed manufacture of marijuana on California public lands. These hazards present serious dangers not only to ERAD team members and K9’s, but also the public at large, legally taking recreational advantage of the public lands in their area. Organophosphate poisoning and death, kidnappings, murders, deadly assaults on law enforcement, etc.; are all symptoms of the problem defined as, and written about by a former student (Lt. John Nores, California Fish and Wildlife) – “War in the Woods”. TTOS has been at the ground-level of this “war” since shortly after it began.

The pictures above mean little to the uninitiated.  To the initiated, these pictures, combined with the terrain, weather and historical activity say a lot.  This is a “Track Trap”, and yes, bad guys use them too.  These bad guys are VERY track aware.  They can spot 5.11 boot tracks all day long.  Following arrest, some have spoken of the tracking/anti-tracking methods in use.  They have also pointed to LEO boots and said, “policia”.

The significance of all this, for example, has to do with scouting in general, combined with intel analysis, and other related factors.  To close this example, we’ll explain what these pictures represent.  This track trap is on a road that goes to a lake that is situated on public lands southeast of San Jose.  At the end of the road you’ll find the lake, approximately 200 meters away.  Also located 200m away are restrooms, which are serviced by the county.  The track trap is at the top of a brushy draw.  The brushy draw provides cover as the road is approached.  The cartel workers come out of the draw and look at their track trap to see if there’s anyone down by the lake.  If there are tracks in the trap, they wait.  If no tracks are present, they approach the lake and draw buckets because the drought has made their other water sources ineffective, i.e. springs and creeks with check-dams full of water and smuggled chemicals that will kill you.

This video describes the environmental impacts of environmental crimes, i.e. MJ production (go to min 49:00)

The topics covered in this course, in context to the skills also learned, make RNOC a fantastic package for any unit operating in a rural environment that is tasked with narcotics enforcement, or any similar organized crime activity.  The person being taken into custody in the above pic agrees.

We also have a Wildlife Protection and Environmental Crimes course that is quite similar to RNOC, only it’s a college course (with extensive field work) wherein you can use your G.I. Bill to attend and receive credits for it through Highline Community College.  More to come on that program soon