There's a lot about this account that doesn't hold up. Where were they patrolling? Was it known for alien incursions, or was this actually alien territory? If the area was unfamiliar, you wouldn't split up until you'd ensured the relative safety of the district.
Also, you can make it into space and travel great distances and defeart alien fleets, but you can't put a compass and a Morse Code beeper on the same device?