Aircrews Provide Over 6,200 Damage Assessment Photos in Week 1 of Hurricane Response
Filed under Region Hq, Alabama Wing, Florida Wing, Georgia Wing, Mississippi Wing, Tennessee Wing, Puerto Rico Wing on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 by Author: Lt Col Judy Steele.

Members of Civil Air Patrol's Southeast Region continue to serve state and federal disaster relief officials by documenting the tremendous damage caused by Hurricane Michael's path across Florida and Georgia.        

As of Wednesday, CAP's Florida Wing flew 67 sorties and captured more than 3,500 high-definition aerial photos. Meanwhile, Georgia Wing crews have made 55 flights and took more than 2,700 photos from the air.        

Also, Georgia Wing members assisted with the use of a Surrogate Predator unmanned aerial system launched from Mobile, Alabama, to survey damage in three areas along the coast of Florida's Panhandle.        

“In 40 years of working disaster missions, this one has the most intense and concentrated damage I’ve seen,” said Lt. Col. Bill Weiler, planning section chief for Florida Wing’s response mission.        

CAP, acting as the Air Force Auxiliary, is supporting Air Force Northern (AFNORTH) during Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations following the landfall of Michael on the Gulf Coast.        

AFNORTH's primary role is to support U.S. Northern Command's efforts to provide assistance for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s relief efforts.        

Officials said the Category 4 storm, which made landfall on Oct. 10, killed at least 32 people in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.        Weiler said almost 60 Florida Wing members, all volunteers in the Air Force auxiliary, were deployed to assist the 1st Air Force, FEMA and the Florida Department of Emergency Management. The wing has flown almost 170 hours.        

“This came despite many of the members being directly impacted by the storm,” he said.    Georgia Wing posted similar numbers, with 69 members deployed and has flown more than 145 flight hours.        

The immediate emergency missions tasked to both the Florida and Georgia wings have been accomplished, said Col. Barry Melton, commander of CAP’s Southeast Region, which includes responsibility for the two states.        

“CAP is now providing aerial imaging and reporting of conditions around points of distribution and other governmental and volunteer help centers,” Melton said. “This assures the centers are in the safest and most accessible locations for the citizens they are serving.”        

Florida Wing Vice Commander Lt. Col. Rafael Salort said CAP will continue to respond to state and FEMA requests to support their activities, helping Florida residents recover from the storm.       

“Our Florida Wing volunteer Airmen and partners have shown an outstanding level of dedication and professionalism during this hurricane preparedness and response efforts,” he said.       

Lt. Col. Jerusha McLeod Dooley of the National Capital Wing in the District of Columbia, originally from the Destin, Florida area, got her first look at conditions near her hometown as sensor operator for the Surrogate Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or SRPA. 

CAP maintains the SRPA for training of U.S. military and coalition forces. It records high-resolution images and video in visual and near-infrared modes.

 

 

Georgia Wing is winding down its involvement. But the images members recorded on these missions are seared into their memories.        

Mission pilot 1st Lt. Brian Mooney of the wing’s Brunswick squadron, flew extensively with fellow members 1st Lt. Tom Ireland of Savannah and Capt. Greg Moore, also of Brunswick.        

“We were evaluating hospitals, farming areas and several other items of interest,” Mooney said of his survey of Georgia damage. “We could see huge old oak trees with immense root balls overturned, lots of roof damage and trees on houses.        

“I know people are in distress," he said. “It is always hard to see these things.”        

Georgia Wing Commander Col. Andrea Van Buren had nothing but praise for the service of her state’s members.        

“Despite being in the path of the storm, Georgia Wing had members volunteering even before the mission became a reality,” she said. “Our incident commanders and support staff, our ground and air crews — all are to be commended for a job well done.”  



Civil Air Patrol Flying Missions To Document Michael's Impact
Filed under Region Hq, Alabama Wing, Florida Wing, Georgia Wing, Mississippi Wing, Tennessee Wing, Puerto Rico Wing on Friday, October 12, 2018 by Author: Lt Col Judy Steele.

Civil Air Patrol’s Florida Wing flew six aerial photograph missions Thursday to document the devastating damage by Hurricane Michael’s landfall on the state’s Panhandle region.         

Lt. Col. Bill Weiler, one of the wing’s incident commanders, said the volunteer civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force was flying sorties until daylight faded Thursday.         

Weiler’s team, flying two aircraft out of Pensacola and Tallahassee, was given 10 aerial photo targets by federal disaster relief officials. “If we don’t complete all 10 of the current flight tasks before losing light,” he said, “they will be done in the morning.”         

Weiler said Florida Wing crews focused mostly on damage assessments of federal property in the Panhandle, the area hardest hit when the Category 4 storm roared into the state at Mexico Beach Wednesday with winds clocked at 155 miles an hour.        

He added, “We’re doing road access assessment to facilitate better ground relief routing. We can identify flooding, damage, and large debris blocked areas emergency services and residents may encounter in the impacted areas.”         

CAP, acting as the Air Force Auxiliary, is supporting Air Force Northern (AFNORTH) during Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations following the landfall of Michael on the East Coast.         

AFNORTH's primary role is to support U.S. Northern Command's efforts to provide assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s relief efforts.         

Col. Barry Melton, commander of CAP’s Southeast Region, said his six-wing group established an area command to respond to missions related to the storm’s aftermath, which he described as “a coordination point for personnel and resources flowing in and out of the affected area.”         

The effort, headed by Lt. Col. Joe Knight, will also maintain contact with the Atlanta regional headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Melton said.         

“The Southeast Region stands ready to assist the affected areas, including the Carolinas, if needed,” he said.         

CAP's Southeast Region includes about 10,000 members serving in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, as well as Tennessee, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.         

Meanwhile, in Georgia, CAP crews received 18 mission taskings and completed two sorties over four counties in the southwest part of Georgia.       Col. Carlton Sumner, Georgia Wing’s director of emergency services, said members are uploading aerial photos from those sorties to federal and state officials, who will use them “to triage damage and respond to those in need.”        

Sumner said the storm presented some unique challenges. “The rapid movement required a constantly evolving plan, particularly with respect to available personnel and assets,” he said. “From hour to hour, we had to update that information.”         

For example, Sumner said, areas in the extreme southeast and coastal Georgia were originally in the tropical storm wind path, making those units unavailable for deployment. However, when the storm took a more north-northeast route, we gained the use of those members.          

“We always emphasize safety first,” he said. “Most Georgia Wing members appear to be safe. But, we are still awaiting full reports from those in the heavily affected southwest part of the state."      



Cadet Captain Crum earns Earhart Award
Filed under Region Hq, Mississippi Wing on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 by Author: Lt. Col. Robert Sims.

The Earhart Award, which accompanies the promotion to the cadet grade of captain, is the third  milestone in the CAP Cadet Program, and is awarded to cadets who have completed 11 of the 16  achievements in the program. Only 5% percent of all cadets nationwide have received this award  since it was established in 1964.  

The Amelia Earhart Award honors the late Amelia Earhart, aviatrix, advocate, and pioneer, who  set many records for women aviators in aviation’s infancy, and then disappeared in 1937 near  Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean while trying to circumnavigate the world in a twin-engine  Lockheed Electra.  

Joseph Crum has been a Civil Air Patrol member since 2014 and currently serves as the Cadet  Squadron Commander and is a member of the Color Guard unit. He also is serving as the  chairman of the Wing’s Cadet Advisory Council. Crum has participated/staffed in the MS/AL    Encampment for the past four years was awarded the “Cadet Officer of Encampment” this past  summer. In addition, Joseph has attended NESA as well as CAP’s Supervised Undergraduate  Pilot Training Familiarization Course where he received the “Best in Blue” award. In 2017,  Crum was awarded the Southeast Region Phase II Cadet of the Year, and this past summer,  Crum received the Southeast Region Aerospace Education Cadet of the Year.  

Joseph is a junior at Madison Ridgeland. MS Academy where he serves as class president and is  a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council and the Madison County Youth Leadership.



Southeast Region Stands Ready To Assist After Hurricane Michael Landfall
Filed under Region Hq, Alabama Wing, Florida Wing, Georgia Wing, Mississippi Wing, Tennessee Wing, Puerto Rico Wing on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 by Author: Lt Col Judy Steele.

The commander of Civil Air Patrol’s Southeast Region asked its volunteer airmen to stand ready to assist Florida and other states as Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday afternoon as a powerful Category 4 storm.  

Col. Barry Melton said CAP, the U.S. Air Force civilian auxiliary, was expecting to be called to service first in Florida, then likely in Alabama and Georgia, as Michael makes its way inland from the Gulf of Mexico.    

The storm is the largest on record to hit the Florida Panhandle, with winds clocked up to 155 miles per hour.   

“Our first priority is to ensure our CAP members and their families are safe and that our members are able to respond to assigned missions,” Melton said.     

“We also stand by to assist the Carolinas as the storm passes through those states, just as we did after the passage of Hurricane Florence."     

Melton said CAP’s primary tasking will be to provide aerial imagery to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which allow leadership “to make decisions and prioritize their response in the disaster zones.”     

CAP's Southeast Region includes about 10,000 members serving in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, as well as Tennessee, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.     

Florida Wing Commander Col. Luis Garcia said his members moved all aircraft to hurricane-rated hangars and out of the storm's path earlier this week. Other assets, including mobile communications trailers, were also moved to safe locations, he said.    

“The wing has finalized preparations for response to Hurricane Michael,” Garcia said. “We are standing by for any response.”  He urged his members, who serve their communities and state as unpaid volunteers as part of CAP’s disaster service mission, to “be safe in all your actions.”     

“Please keep our fellow CAP airmen who are in Hurricane Michael’s path in your thoughts,” Garcia said in a message to the Florida Wing.  After responding to four major hurricanes in two years, Southeast Region personnel demonstrated their expertise in preparation and readiness well in advance of Hurricane Michael.  Georgia Wing Commander Col. Andrea Van Buren said this will be fifth major storm to hit her state since 2016. She said Michael’s fast-moving winds and wide path required a slightly different strategy than its predecessors.  

“This particular storm is moving north-northeast through a much wider area of the state, so even middle Georgia could have 120 mile-per-hour winds,” she said. “Our team is constantly evaluating and updating our plan to respond to changing conditions.”  Preparation for Hurricane Michael began four days before landfall, with initial notifications to begin securing CAP assets, she said. Wing personnel were tracking the evolving situation and providing on-going updates to units throughout Georgia.  Meanwhile, Van Buren said Georgia Wing also has secured its aircraft and other disaster-response assets and “stands ready around the state for post-storm response. “  

She added, “As always, our first priority is the safety and security of members and their families.”  



Florida W.A.V.E.
Filed under Group 1 on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 by Author: 1st Lt. Chuck McCollim.

Pensacola Cadet Squadron FL-425 assisted the Pensacola Navy Yacht Club at the Wounded American Veterans Event, September 21, 2018. The Pensacola Navy Yacht Club sponsored the event, provided boats and food, and the cadets helped with set up, clean up, and served as dock crew. Commander Capt. Mia Ottesen posted on Facebook: "Super day yesterday with cadets at Navy Yacht club’s WAVE. Pensacola cadets helped with set-up for this event as well as assisting wounded American veterans and their families enjoy time on the water. Their presence was definitely appreciated especially when it came time for clean up."



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