Thursday, March 1, 2012

NSARC Designates USNG as the Land SAR Coordinate System

Without any fanfare, in late November 2011, the National Search And Rescue Committee (NSARC), released Version 1.0 of the Land Search and Rescue Addendum to the National Search and Rescue Supplement to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual.  While the manual's name is a mouth full, it is a very important document for the nation's Search And Rescue (SAR) community given the NSARC committee is made up of signatory representatives from: 

  • Department of Homeland Security,
  • Department of Interior,
  • Department of Commerce,
  • Department of Defense,
  • Department of Transportation,
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and
  • Federal Communication Commission.

Consequently, this new bible for all land based SAR in the United States and territories, now joins the Catastrophic Incident Search and Rescue Addendum to the same manual cited above, in clearly stating which geographic coordinate system will be used: U.S. National Grid (USNG).  To download copies of these manuals (Update - Jan 19, 2020: Updated link to LSARA and to CISRA version 3 provided):

Comment: There is no longer any ambiguity that will allow individuals to argue the current Catastrophic Incident Search and Rescue Addendum released in 2009 really does not apply to "routine, everyday SAR" activities.  It's cut and dry, black and white.  If responders are searching for missing souls, and those operations are being carried out on land, U.S. National Grid, IS the coordinate reference system.

A big thanks to Nash Pherson of the Minnesota Wing Civil Air Patrol for bringing forward this important development.

1 comment:

  1. This is good. Air-based SAR by Civil Air Patrol uses a special grid. There's a tool that shows both the CAP and USNG grids on Google or ArcGIS maps, and converts among CAP, USNG and lat-long.