Frankfort, Ky. –
As Hurricane Florence slams into the eastern United States, Civil Air Patrol Kentucky Wing is prepared. This past weekend, Sept 7-9, 2019, Kentucky Wing held a Search and Rescue Exercise (SARex) hosted by Stuart Powell Cadet Squadron in Danville, that was full of Emergency Services training. This type of training is used to prepare volunteers for disasters such as the hurricane that is bearing down on our coast.
The Incident Commander for the SARex, Lt Col Robert Rothenberg, said, “Normally, we conduct mock missions in a SARex. This weekend, we felt that it was important to focus on intense emergency services training.” He went on to say “Special thanks is given to the National Guard, who allowed use of the Danville Armory and the American Red Cross who provided cots and blankets. It is a testament to the coordinated effort and support among local agencies.”
In the rain, new qualifications were obtained by our adults and youth members including Command Staff training that included Incident Command, Operation Section Chief, Ground Branch Director, and Mission Staff Assistant. In addition, field training was conducted that includes Ground Team (GT) and Urban Direction Finding (UDF) qualifications. These are the boots-on-the-ground expertise used in searches and disaster assistance. Mission Radio Operator (MRO) training coordinates radio communication between command base, aircrews, and ground teams. Air crews could not fly due to the inclement weather.
Many of these training qualifications include cadets, ages 12-18, and are trained the same as the adult members. They are a vital component in many of these positions and serve at a highly competent level.
Cadet First Sergeant Lydia Tumminello said, “At the SARex, I learned all about hot and cold weather injuries, universal precautions, and what signals are used in a search line. I feel more prepared to use what I learned to help my community, state, and nation!”
Kentucky Wing is on “standby” alert status for any assistance that is needed for Hurricane Florence. Three aircrews and several ground teams have been prepping airplanes and vehicles and are ready to deploy. The Civil Air Patrol network of Wings, or states, supports other states when major disasters strike. A team from other areas will deploy and support operations in an affected area enabling the local members and their community to deal with their recovery.
Other Civil Air Patrol Wings are already mobilized. South Carolina Wing is assisting with evacuation efforts. In a coordinated effort, air crews are observing traffic flow along the evacuation route and looking for any issues that could impede the evacuation such as accidents or stalled vehicles.
Virginia Wing is operating in “warning” alert status with a Governor’s mandatory evacuation notice for their residents living along the coast. North Carolina Wing is preparing for a statewide response with a declared state of emergency that has been issued by their Governor and the President of the United States in anticipation of the expected damage that will result from this powerful storm.
The affected Wings are prepared to provide aerial and ground team damage assessments as they are tasked by local, state and federal authorities. Kentucky Wing is prepared to assist at a moment’s notice.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental
U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit http://www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or http://www.CAP.news for more information.
Please contact Capt House, Kentucky Wing Public Affairs Officer at (606) 271-2092. Kentucky Wing website www.KYWG.CAP.gov and follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/KentuckyCAP