Group 5 Squadrons conduct SAREX at Marco Island
Monday, March 19, 2018

By Maj Marian Motyl-Szary, Public Affairs Officer,, Marco Island Senior Sqn.

Marco Island, Fla. -

The Marco Island Senior Squadron hosted a search and rescue exercise on March 10 and 18. The Civil Air Patrol training mission was a joint venture that included members from the Naples Senior Squadron, Charlotte County and Sarasota Composite Squadrons and other members of Florida Wing Group 5. In total, 23 members actively participated in the sorties over the Everglades, Port of the Isles, the Ten Thousand Island and the Marco Island area.

The mission scenarios were based on a fictitious category 5 hurricane that swept across southwest Florida causing severe damage in coastal communities from Everglade City northward to Sarasota. The eight different scenarios allowed teams to hone their skills in disaster assessment, aerial photography and grid-pattern search.

“We operated our mission base and our radio station out of the remaining portion of our CAP building at the Marco Island Executive Airport. Hurricane Irma destroyed the hangar section of the building,” explained Marco Island Senior Squadron commander, Major Robert Corriveau, who summarized the event. “The SAR/EX was a complete success. Two aircraft, one from Marco and one from Sarasota, flew thirteen air missions over a period of two days. Let me say that we had a great SAR/EX even though we had to cut it short due to weather. We did however manage to accomplish seven sorties on the first day and six on the second day. The atmosphere was one of camaraderie, teaching and learning. Much was accomplished in a short period of time. Thanks to all who participated and who made this all possible".

Training missions are some of the essential activities performed by CAP for maintaining mission readiness. They typically include visual search pattern practice – looking for simulated downed aircraft; boating vessels in distress – and electronic searches for emergency locator transmitter signals both from the air and on the ground; downed and lost helicopter simulation; and other targets of interest. During the recent sorties, many high-resolution, geotagged images were taken by the CAP airborne photographers using handheld and wing-mounted cameras.

Carriveau explained that the Marco squadron is able to continue to provide services to Marco Island and Collier County and to host training missions in Southwest Florida. "In spite of a destroyed hangar, we are mission-ready and continue to perform our weekly training and preparedness missions, as well as assisting with training missions in support of Homeland Security.”

“While Irma destroyed our hangar, we are moving forward, our hangar debris has been cut away and removed from the building and surrounding area – the site has been cleaned up and is ready for reconstruction. Next step is to rebuild!”

CAP aircrews conduct a flight debriefing and analysis during training exercise held at Marco Island Executive Airport. (Photo credit: FL376)

CAP aircrews conduct a mission briefing during training exercise held at Marco Island Executive Airport. (Photo credit: FL376)
Photo Caption:  CAP aircrews conduct a mission briefing during training exercise held at Marco Island Executive Airport. (Photo credit: FL376)
Article Information
Reviewed by: Maj. Marian Motyl-Szary
Syndicated to: Region Hq, Florida Wing, Group 5
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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 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit for more information.
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