The mission headquarters of the Florida Wing temporarily relocated their operations nerve center to the Marco Island Squadron’s airport hangar on September 10th to rehearse for the upcoming USAF evaluation. The actual USAF review will be November 5th, also to be held at Marco Island. Observing the training, Lt Col Ava Farrar, CAP- USAF Reserve Assistance Officer, stated “Marco Island has an ideal CAP facility for conducting SAR and Homeland Security missions.”
Civil Air Patrol volunteer pilots, observers, and support staff members came to Marco to participate in training for the SAREVAL by conducting simulated search and homelandsecurity missions that may be required in real emergencies. Some CAP members do it to gain flight experience and all do it to give back to the community, while keeping Florida safe from above.
They were preparing for emergencies. The aircrews (pilots and observers) were first briefed on the day’s weather and then on the missions they are to perform. Several sorties were dispatched, each with different aircrews so all could train in their specialties. On return, the crews are debriefed on their accomplishment of the proscribed mission. The planes are then refueled and made ready for the next sortie. Meanwhile, the support staff records the events and forwards the data to the overall mission Incident Commander.
In today’s world all mission personnel, equipment and mission records are computerized using the nationally designated internet based IMU system (Incident Management Utility).
“We are testing our abilities to do search and rescue, homeland security tasks, and assisting other federalagencies for disaster relief,” Lt Col Ray Rosenberg, Marco Island Civil Air Patrol Squadron Commander says. “It was very intense. And every participant wants to demonstrate professionalism and every air crew wants to be a crew that accomplishes their mission.”
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 58,000 members nationwide. CAP performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 72 lives in fiscal year 2009. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 23,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 68 years. For more information on CAP, visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com