Fox Company: Intel Support to Hurricane Florence & Disaster Response – Forward Observer Shop

Fox Company: Intel Support to Hurricane Florence & Disaster Response

I had a great meeting with Shawn from Cajun Navy Relief a couple nights ago. He’s the president of the non-profit 501(C)3.

You may have heard of the Cajun Navy or seen them on the news rescuing people from their rooftops and flooded homes. They’re the volunteer group that specializes in search and rescue during extreme weather events like hurricanes and flooding. And they were a critical part of rescue efforts last year during Hurricane Harvey along the Texas and Louisiana coast.

I remember seeing trucks with boat trailers not just from Texas and Louisiana, but coming down from Illinois and Iowa and other states. There was even a guy who drove all the way from New York to help with search and rescue. Despite the catastrophic damage, this was the best of Americans being Americans.

Hurricane Florence is scheduled to make landfall on Thursday night and into early Friday morning. And the folks at Cajun Navy Relief are sending Cajuns and their boats to the East Coast for another round of search and rescue operations and aid deliveries.

A large part of our mission here at Forward Observer is to teach intelligence and security skills for emergency preparedness and disaster response. Our classroom and online training prepares students to face challenges like hurricanes, earthquake, riots, or worse, through instruction on local intelligence gathering and analysis skills that build better situational awareness. We teach students how to reduce uncertainty about what’s going on now and in the future.

But most people learn best by doing, and that’s why I’m very proud to announce that Forward Observer’s Fox Company (our team of intelligence volunteers) will be providing intelligence support to the search and rescue teams from Cajun Navy Relief.

We’ll be pushing them real-time intelligence information on what’s going on in their area of operations. We’ll keep them aware of area threats and developments, and be available for reach back support to answer their questions so they can focus on their mission.

Intelligence is a force multiplier. There is no other tool in the emergency preparedness and disaster response arsenal better able to inform us of what’s happening beyond our line of sight. Without the ability to gather intelligence, we’re left virtually deaf and blind on the area around us. We need timely and relevant information to build intelligence, and we need intelligence to help us make better decisions. Your blind spots pose significant risks to any operation.

Through intelligence, we can remain aware. We can identify threats and potential risks to the mission. We can better understand the dynamics affecting our operating environment, and from that, we can build a much better picture of what our security situation looks like and what’s likely to happen in the future.

In short, intelligence is invaluable and irreplaceable.

When we rolled out our online training platform earlier this year, I wanted to let students know that they’d have the opportunity not just to learn intelligence skills, but also to practice them in real-world missions. This is our first official mission as Fox Company, and I can’t wait to see how Fox Company can organize to help Americans in need. This will be a great mission for us — a really great way to test our capabilities and develop our skills — and learn for the next disaster, which might be one of our own.

We’re very grateful for the opportunity to work with Cajun Navy Relief on this mission. Forward Observer’s Fox Company has some incredible volunteers lined up to offer their time and energy for this event.

If you’re interested in what we do, what we offer, or if you’re interested in joining Fox Company, you can sign up to receive more information here.

If you’d also like to sign up for our intelligence + security emails, you can use the form below.


Always Out Front,

Samuel Culper




Mike Shelby is a former military intelligence NCO and contract intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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