Venice Cadet Squadron's Recruiting Event A Success
September 6, 2018 | By: Capt. Madeline Kirsten
Student Leadership Academy's school squadron recruits nine new cadets, and their very first Cadet Sponsor Member, at their annual recruiting event.
Pensacola Cadets Launch Estes Rockets
August 31, 2018 | By: 1st Lt. Chuck McCollim
Pensacola Florida Estes Rocket Launch.
Aerospace Education and Rocketry Workshop
August 23, 2018 | By: Maj. Marian Motyl-Szary
For a third year in a row, Camp Director Heather Lopez invited the Marco Island Civil Air Patrol (CAP) officers to conduct an Aerospace Education and Rocketry workshops in June and July 2018. This year, the campers were between the ages of 6 to 10.
Jacksonville Composite Squadron Holds Flag Retirement Ceremony
August 1, 2018 | By: Capt. Sybrian Castleman
The Jacksonville Composite Squadron holds a Flag Retirement Ceremony retiring over 100 flags.
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Articles provided as a syndicated service from the Southeast Region Online News program. (ID 4)

Preparedness Message Echos Familiar Stance for CAP Members
Tue, 25 Sep 2018 11:57:35 -0500

Vicky Travis
Contributing Writer

September is National Preparedness Month, prompting many government agencies to stress the importance of anticipating emergencies to the general public ... because they will happen.

For Civil Air Patrol, though, preparedness has always been in the organization’s DNA.

“We prepare to support a variety of disasters, but obviously also support search and rescue missions, communications activities and many other Air Force missions like air defense intercept training and helping training warfighters in the use of sensors,” said John Desmarais, CAP's national operations director. 

“Bottom line, we are probably not the CAP that people may have seen years ago. We do so much more now, as we continue to change to meet the needs of our nation.”

This month, some 3,000 global, national and local governments and private and public health institutions are encouraging preparedness efforts for all: The effort to help Americans prepare for disaster is detailed on the official website for the Department of Homeland Security.

Facing Florence
Hurricane Florence is bringing many of these lessons home with a vengeance after barreling onshore in North Carolina on Sept. 14. Residents throughout the Carolinas faced their own personal emergencies; many still are.

For the multitudes who evacuated and for others affected by widespread flooding, preparedness could include maintaining a supply kit, knowing their evacuation path and setting up communication with family.

CAP members go well beyond such basics.

“In preparation for the hurricanes, our members made sure equipment was ready and secure to ride out the storms, and once the storm cleared they have responded by collecting imagery, supporting emergency communications, transporting critical supplies and meeting any other requests we can reasonably support,”  Desmarais said.

In doing so, they were drawing on strenuous training at the local, wing, region and national levels.

Emergency services training
CAP members undergo a wide variety of training, whether in the air, on the ground or the classroom. They focus on such topics as flying, professional development, leadership at the senior member and cadet levels, aerospace education, high-tech equipment operation and youth development.

The highest-profile emergency services training opportunities are those offered through national activities like Hawk Mountain Ranger School and the National Emergency Services Academy (NESA)

“The training we do at NESA (and other programs) all go toward meeting our broader goal of being able to respond when called upon,” Desmarais said.

Hawk Mountain
In 1953, Air Force pararescue and survival instructors trained Pennsylvania Wing search and rescue teams at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts. In 1956, the school moved to property at Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania, belonging to Col. Philip Neuweiler, Pennsylvania Wing commander from 1947-1970.

“We’re teaching cadets and senior members to go back and build emergency services in their unit and then teach and lead members in the field,” said Lt. Col. Brian J. Cuce, director of emergency services for the Pennsylvania Wing. “Anyone who graduates the school is encouraged and able to go back to their units and teach the skills they learned as a basic student.”

Training at Hawk Mountain starts with foundational skills. From there students may progress to Fully Qualified and Expert Ranger levels and choose either the Ranger track or Medic track.

This summer, 240 members from most CAP wings came to Kempton, Pennsylvania, for Hawk Mountain.

NESA
In 1996, Desmarais began the National Ground Search and Rescue School at the Miller School of Albemarle in Charlottesville, Virginia. Two years later it moved to Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, Indiana.

The school evolved into the National Emergency Services Academy, and it now consists of three schools: Ground Search and Rescue, Mission Aircrew and Incident Command System. NESA added training for incident staff in 1998 and mission aircrew members in 2000.

This summer 490 participants attended, representing every CAP Wing. Many are currently working to support Hurricane Florence operations.

Looking ahead
A major update is in the works to align all CAP training, led by NESA staff members and experts from across the country, which embrace changing federal standards and reflect technological advances such as cell phone and radar forensics, airborne sensor collection and management.

Work is also underway to offer training at other times of year and locations as well as through distance-learning opportunities. Several new course offerings were rolled out during the summer and are now available in smaller sessions throughout the rest of the year.

“The newest addition is for small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) training to be added to the slate of main school courses and year-round sessions,” Desmarais said. “Some people don’t know we are doing that.”

Staff members are working with wings across the country to provide sUAS training in October in preparation for expanding this program.

At Hawk Mountain, new initiatives include making training more accessible through online resources. Also, Cuce is looking into appointing liaisons in each CAP region and using them to develop weekend training.

As both Hawk Mountain and NESA refine and update their training, CAP members have choices.

“NESA is probably more of a traditional school environment, where there is a combination of field and academic work in a classroom,” Desmarais said. “Hawk Mountain has students in the field throughout the event, sleeping in shelters and tents the whole time.

“Both have value, and some people prefer one environment over the other.”

But, the end goal is the same – to have highly trained members who are prepared to meet the needs at hand.


S.C. Ground Teams Gathering Flood Marks, Submerged Road Photos for FEMA
Mon, 24 Sep 2018 13:55:00 -0500

1st Lt. Rachael J. Mercer
Public Affairs Officer
South Carolina Wing

Part of the South Carolina Wing’s role in responding to flooding from Hurricane Florence changed over the weekend, as four ground teams were deployed throughout the state to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency with measuring high-water marks in specific locations.

FEMA defines high-water marks as “physical marks resulting from floods and flash floods that designate the location and elevation of floodwater from a storm event.”

The Civil Air Patrol ground teams were tasked with identifying mud or silt lines, noting debris lines or debris snags (where debris was washed into trees or shrubs), and identifying lines of seeds, fibers and minuscule debris that floated on the water before being left behind in shrubs and trees.

Finding those tell-tale signs of flooding was just the first step in completing the mission. The teams also were tasked with downloading the FEMA app for reporting such data and ensuring their cellphones had functional GPS. They were responsible for recording and photographing the high-water marks using measuring tapes, rulers and yard sticks and then uploading those images directly to a FEMA database.

 

“There were targets we were given and as we drove to those places, there were many we couldn’t access because everything there is still underwater,” said Lt. Col. Nikki Shaffner, the South Carolina Wing’s chief of staff and a member of one of the ground teams. ‘

“I saw flooded yards and flooded houses and so much devastation. It was really heart-wrenching to know what some people in South Carolina are going through,” Shaffner said.

Ground assignments changed again Sunday, as FEMA and the National Guard assigned two teams to examine 110 flooding-affected county roads throughout the state

“Our ground teams are tasked with providing information to FEMA, the National Guard and engineers to determine what resources need to be used in which locations regarding roads in the state,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Fulgham, planning section chief for the Florence mission and commander of the Virginia Wing’s Langley Composite Squadron.

CAP, acting as the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, is supporting Air Forces Northern (AFNORTH) during Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations following the landfall of Hurricane Florence on the East Coast. AFNORTH’s primary role is to support U.S. Northern Command’s efforts to provide assistance to FEMA's relief efforts.


N.C. Wing Members Rush Special Baby Formula to Sick Infants
Sat, 22 Sep 2018 11:12:00 -0500

Capt. Lynne Albert
Public Affairs Officer
North Carolina Wing

The North Carolina Wing received a priority tasking on Friday – with normal services disrupted by flooding and other damage spawned by Hurricane Florence, multiple sick infants in eastern North Carolina were running out of special baby formula they needed to survive.

The state Department of Health and Human Services asked for Civil Air Patrol’s help in getting the specialized formula to the infants in the small town of Wallace. At least one premature baby was at critical risk of running out of the special formula, officials said.

A four-member ground team – Capt. Tim Bagnell, Cadet Maj. Cody Matthews, Cadet Master Sgt. Cooper Morton and Cadet Senior Airman Anastasia Vermillion -- left Wing Headquarters in Burlington around noon for the state agency’s Nutrition Services Branch in Raleigh, about 60 miles away, to pick up the formula.

The team then headed east to make the delivery. Reaching Wallace required dodging flooded roads and highways – including submerged sections of Interstate 40 – and taking multiple detours and side roads along what’s normally about a 100-mile route.

Upon arrival, the four North Carolina wing members were met by a local law enforcement officer who escorted them to the delivery location. Upon receiving the much-needed formula, family members thanked the CAP team profusely for their efforts.

“It was a great honor to represent Civil Air Patrol and help the Health Department get this formula to these vulnerable babies,” Matthews said.

Bagnell is emergency services officer for the Orange County Composite Squadron. Matthews is a member of the Winston Salem Composite Squadron. Morton and Vermillion belong to the Burlington Composite Squadron.

The North Carolina Wing is using its 18 aircraft, CAP vans and almost 2,000 volunteer members to support emergency services missions for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the North Carolina Department of Emergency Management, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other federal, state and local agencies as the state works to recover from Hurricane Florence.

To date, the wing has flown 110 missions to date and has conducted the same number of ground missions. With more than 225 flyover targets for damage assessment photographs, the air operations branch has generated 1,214 still images showing the storm’s impact. More flights are expected the next few days as rivers crest in affected areas.

CAP, acting as the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, is supporting Air Forces Northern (AFNORTH) during Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations following the landfall of Hurricane Florence on the East Coast. AFNORTH’s primary role is to support U.S. Northern Command’s efforts to provide assistance to FEMA's relief efforts.


S.C. Squadron Hosts Pa. Chopper Crew Aiding in Florence Response
Fri, 21 Sep 2018 17:34:08 -0500

1st Lt. Rachael J. Mercer
Public Affairs Officer
South Carolina Wing

The South Carolina Wing’s Florence Composite Squadron provided accommodations for the Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team after Hurricane Florence made landfall in South Carolina on Sept. 14.

The eight-man crew was able to land its Black Hawk helicopter at the helipad outside the Florence squadron’s headquarters, based along the Interstate 95 corridor, and rest in the unit’s building between missions.

“Being based out of the Florence squadron building allowed them to respond more quickly to those in need,” said CAP 1st Lt. Jane Proell, Florence deputy commander for cadets.

“The team indicated that meeting a rescue request would have taken 45 minutes to an hour if they had to fly from their pre-strike location. Their proximity to the rescue area meant they could potentially be in a rescue situation within 15 minutes,” Proell said.

PA-HART is a joint partnership among the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, along with credentialed civilian rescue technicians.

In addition to hosting the PA-HART team, three Florence members — Lt. Col. William B. Cheney III, 1st Lt. Christopher Hawley and Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Spencer Taylor — have worked to monitor the extreme eastern portion of South Carolina with a radio repeater.

Recently the Florence squadron completed renovations of its facility, which made accommodating the eight-man Pennsylvania aircrew easier. In addition, the squadron was officially announced today as one of seven Quality Cadet Units in the South Carolina Wing.

CAP, acting as the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, is supporting Air Forces Northern (AFNORTH) during Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations following the landfall of Hurricane Florence on the East Coast. AFNORTH’s primary role is to support U.S. Northern Command’s efforts to provide assistance to FEMA's relief efforts.


Carolina Wings' Aircrews Step Up Storm Damage Assessment Flights
Fri, 21 Sep 2018 16:33:00 -0500

Capt. Lynne Albert
Public Affairs Officer
North Carolina Wing

1st Lt. Rachael J. Mercer
Public Affairs Officer
South Carolina Wing

The air operations branches at Civil Air Patrol’s incident command posts in the Carolinas have been very active over the past four days, flying long sorties in order to meet the requests of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal and state agencies in both states.

Aircrews from both the North Carolina and South Carolina wings have already taken thousands of reconnaissance photos in response to Hurricane Florence, working to provide FEMA, the North Carolina Emergency Management Division, the Department of Homeland Security, the South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, South Carolina Air Guard and other agencies with an overhead view of rivers, dams and townships affected by the rising floodwaters.

CAP is also conducting post-storm survey flights for the National Weather Service.

The North Carolina Wing has flown 84 sorties so far from its base in Burlington, delivering more than 1,200 photos to emergency management agencies. An additional 1,500 photos have been taken by South Carolina aircrews, who have flown 107 sorties.

In addition to damage assessment flights, CAP is flying other missions around the Carolinas, including transporting emergency response personnel and Points of Distribution supplies into hard-hit areas.

The North Carolina Wing is using its 18 CAP Cessna 172s and 182s to help support CAP’s response to Hurricane Florence.

“We train regularly to serve our communities in times of emergency,” said Col. R. Jason Bailey, North Carolina Wing commander. “Our pilots, aircrews, ground teams and Points of Distribution personnel have all performed selflessly. They demonstrate daily to our communities that we are ready, willing and able to help them and serve their needs.”

In addition to the nine of the 10 active CAP aircraft in the South Carolina Wing fleet, two planes and 13 out-of-state CAP members have assisted in meeting the aerial photo assignments, which continued to be developed.

CAP cadets and senior members on the ground are responsible for downloading the aircrews’ photos and then uploading them to databases. As the members complete the uploads, they ensure the photos have geotags, color-code the severity of the damage and add other photo tags while placing the images in the proper online albums.

In West Columbia, South Carolina, as many as 30-40 CAP personnel have staffed the incident command post, mostly working on photography uploads as well as communications and planning.

Completing this sorting on the ground at the incident command posts mean officials at the Emergency Operations Centers in both states have fewer raw, unsorted images to sift through daily.

In addition, CAP members are serving continuously at their states’ Emergency Operations Centers. Members of the North Carolina Wing also are staffing the state Department of Emergency Management’s Regional Coordination Center-East in Kinston and Regional Coordination Center-Central in Butner. At least one representative from the South Carolina Wing has been on duty at the state Emergency Operations Center at the Pine Ridge Armory in West Columbia. At times, as many as four CAP personnel have been on duty there.

Both wings are being assisted by CAP members from the Maryland, National Capital, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia wings.

“A very large team has come together in this very trying time to perform extraordinary missions in some very tough conditions,” said Col. John Knowles, commander of CAP’s Middle East Region, which includes both Carolina wings and the Maryland, National Capital, Virginia and West Virginia wings.

“Every day, as our Airmen in the field need rest, five more are waiting in line to take their place. I am incredibly proud of all our unpaid professionals,” Knowles said.

CAP, acting as the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, is supporting Air Forces Northern (AFNORTH) during Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations following the landfall of Hurricane Florence on the East Coast. AFNORTH’s primary role is to support U.S. Northern Command’s efforts to provide assistance to FEMA's relief efforts.


National Cadet Programs staff positions
Tue, 18 Sep 2018 12:38:17 CDT
Accepting applications for five National Cadet Programs staff positions.

National Commander Memo : 5 Pillars Wellness and Resilience
Fri, 07 Sep 2018 13:22:23 CDT
National Commander Memo : 5 Pillars Wellness and Resilience

National Headquarters Labor Day Closing Notice
Wed, 29 Aug 2018 13:29:57 CDT
National Headquarters Labor Day Closing Notice

ICL 18-05 CAPR 70-1
Mon, 06 Aug 2018 14:37:12 CDT
ICL 18-05 CAPR 70-1



Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of Regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 85 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 70 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 58,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Civil Air Patrol received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. Congressionally chartered 74 years ago, the nonprofit organization also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.

Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com, www.capvolunteernow.com and www.capgoldmedal.com for more information.