Safety & Security Brief: NPS Field Laboratory at Camp Roberts

JIFX Safety Brief: Camp Roberts

Welcome to the Safety & Security Brief for Joint Interagency Field Experimentation (JIFX) at McMillan Airfield, Camp Roberts, California. JIFX is a multi-institutional agency and community endeavor. This is a semi-structured learning environment where virtually all are welcome and there is room for failure. We often learn the most from failure. With all of that in mind, we still want to be safe.

Maps & Kitchen Facility

Prior to coming to Camp Roberts, prepare yourself by reviewing the information that has been shared on the event website. On the website you will find maps and directions for accessing McMillan Airfield at Camp Roberts. At McMillan there are two open kitchens where you can find coffee, microwaves, and refrigerators. The tap water is fine to drink at Camp Roberts, and we usually have bottled water available in one of the kitchens, if needed. Unless otherwise stated on the event website, food service is not available at McMillan Airfield. One of our tenants is that we are "austere by design," which means that you should be self-sufficient, not only regarding your experiment but also feeding yourself. Please plan accordingly. There is also no janitorial service at the airfield, so please keep the area clean and pick up your own trash.


All JIFX event participants who intend to experiment or observe experiments must register to ensure they are added to the Gate Access Roster. Once you have made it through the main gate and have arrived at McMillan Airfield, please park in the designated parking areas and make your way to the Registration area. All participants must sign in and wear their issued name badge at all times. The JIFX name badges are color coded; badges with the white stripe indicate a government employee. A blue stripe indicates a JIFX host; these are the people who know the environment and can help you with answers or solutions. A yellow stripe indicates a non-governmental participant from the commercial or non-profit, and the red stripe indicates a foreign national participant. Participants from foreign nations who are not granted unescorted access must be escorted by a US citizen outside of the McMillan Airfield area. Be aware that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect all restricted, classified, proprietary, and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) related information. Please know and be mindful of the possible access to information and be a good steward. Any concerns should be reported to a JIFX team member.

Badge Safety Info / Speed Limits

On the reverse side of everyone's badge, you will find event emergency contact information for the Air Boss and the Tactical Operations Center (TOC). In case of emergency, you will use the radio and/or the phone numbers to initiate emergency response. All participants should be aware that the closest emergency medical facilities are over 30 minutes away. In some cases, it could take an hour before a participant may arrive at a medical facility. Air medical transportation is likely from Camp Roberts. Safety is a paramount concern both on and off the airfield. Always obey the vehicle speed limits. 25 mph is the speed limit on paved roads; it’s 15 mph on gravel and dirt roads and only 10 mph on ranges and when passing troops. Absolutely no excessive speeds will be tolerated. If you are unable to obey the posted speed limits, you will be escorted off the base and excluded from future events.


In support of our fundamental tenets, we operate some basic communications infrastructure and provide some basic information technology (IT) capabilities to all participants. At each of our experiment venues, we provide local IPv4 networking with Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections.  Our networks offer limited Internet connectivity. Aboard McMillan Airfield, we provide basic IT services, including file sharing and printing. To the best of our ability and resources we seek to meet any unique communications or data transport requirements.

Acceptable Use of Networks

It is important to note that we provide these services to facilitate rapid collaboration and integration among technologists during the event. Though we have security controls in place, JIFX networks are not accredited by any Department of Defense authority, and the Naval Postgraduate School makes no representation or warranty concerning our networks' availability, privacy, or security. For security purposes, you should consider them similar to public or guest Wi-Fi. Please consult your organization's IT, security, and data privacy policies and coordinate with the JIFX network manager before connecting your systems. Also, users are expected to adhere to the following acceptable use guidelines:

  • Users must respect the privacy and intellectual property rights of others.
  • Users must respect the integrity of the network and any connected systems.
  • Malicious, fraudulent, or misrepresentative usage is prohibited.
  • Users may not modify, disrupt, or interfere with others' network usage without their permission or that of the event director.

Radio Frequency (RF) Operations

We have several RF devices on site operating across the RF spectrum. All RF usage—including usage of unlicensed frequencies like 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi—should be coordinated to avoid interfering with other technologists' operations. All on-site technologists are expected to submit to RF verification and de-confliction at the beginning of the event. During the event, all frequency coordination is handled by the Air Boss. You may not turn on any device emitting RF—including Wi-Fi hotspots—without first receiving clearance from the Air Boss. The only exceptions are end-user devices like laptops, cell phones, and tablets. During the event, the Air Boss is available in the TOC or via handheld radio. You should be prepared to shut down transmitting devices immediately in the event of emergency, safety-of-flight, or other issues.

Air Operations

The Air Boss controls all flight operations and access to the runway. Do not operate aircraft, start engines, emit RF, or proceed along the runway without prior Air Boss approval. All technologists who engage in air operations must receive an additional air operations safety brief upon arrival and prior to engaging in their experiment. The runway is hot when a red flag is flying at the east end of the runway. Notify the Air Boss immediately if any unauthorized airspace intrusion occurs. Provide the location, estimated, altitude and flight direction. If possible, also provide an aircraft description and tail number. Use your radio or call the numbers on the back of your badge. 

Safety is the priority at JIFX. In case of any emergency, all radios issued by the TOC are to be used only in relation to the emergency. Cease all other communications on these radios. Listen and adhere to the emergency instructions provided by the TOC. In the event of a lost or crashed aircraft, notify the TOC immediately and cease all communications on the TOC radios until the mishap has been cleared.

Camp Roberts Environment

You are responsible to ensure your personal safety. Camp Roberts is a very dry and arid environment. It is critical that you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Please check the weather before each event and bring appropriate clothing for those weather conditions. Field Casual dress is appropriate for the event. Please respect the local wildlife; this is their home. Be very careful to avoid endangered species such as the Kitfox and the California condor. Camp Roberts is a natural habitat for rattlesnakes, scorpions, tarantula, wild boar, and black widow spiders. Be aware to avoid them and remember—in case of emergency, notify the Air Boss via radio or the TOC by the numbers found on the back of your name badge.


Photography and media will be captured by the NPS team to document the event for our post-event newsletter summary, not for distribution. They will be taking photographs and recordings including the hot wash briefs. If you do not want to be included in images and recording, please notify the NPS team. Absolutely no photographs are permitted that identify active-duty personnel in uniform or any technologists or experiments besides your own unless approved by the subjects of those photographs. Please respect the media policies of your fellow technologists and observers. No photography or other activity is permitted in the vicinity of the SATCOM facilities. All photographs are subject to NPS approval.

If you are unclear about any aspect of this safety briefing, a JIFX team member will be happy to answer any of your questions. We will also cover most of these topics again at the event opening brief at 1200 on Monday of JIFX week. Please ensure that your questions have been addressed before you begin your experiment. Remember—those with the blue stripe on their name badge are the JIFX hosts; they are your go-to people for questions and solutions. And remember—in case of an emergency, refer to the back of your name badge for contact information to speak with the Air Boss, the TOC, and medical emergency response.

Be safe and enjoy your time participating in JIFX.