Mission base staff (clockwise, from left) Lt. Col. Dominic Strug, officer of emergency services and of operations for the North Carolina Wing’s Apex Cadet Squadron; Col. David E. Crawford, wing commander; Maj. Kert Henderson, the wing’s director of information technology; Chaplain Lt. Col. Wayne Byerly, wing chaplain; and Maj. Dion Viventi, Group 2 logistics officer.
A cadet ground team leaves on an emergency locator transmitter search mission.
A Civil Air Patrol GA-8 Airvan taxis for takeoff at Stanly Airport.
Photos by Maj. Don Penven
Maj. Don Penven
Public Affairs Officer
North Carolina Wing
NORTH CAROLINA – Members from the North and South Carolina wings demonstrated their emergency services prowess when they were called on July 28 to carry out disaster relief missions stemming from simulated Hurricane Sam.
Operating out of Stanly County Airport in Albemarle, 123 members and 10 Civil Air Patrol aircraft from both wings participated in the exercise. The training scenarios involved missions covering the state’s highway evacuation plans, as well as aerial photography of critical infrastructure and flooding along rivers and streams.
Col. David E. Crawford, participating in his first search and rescue exercise since becoming North Carolina Wing commander two weeks earlier, said the 10 aircraft made 49 flights totaling 71.3 hours and consuming 741 gallons of fuel. In addition, six vehicles covered 738 miles and used nearly 55 gallons of fuel in completing three ground missions.
“The successful outcome of this mission attests to the measure of skill our aircrews and ground team members demonstrated,” said Crawford, who served incidents as a mission incident commander during the exercise. “Every planned objective was met, and our members performed in a professional and safe manner.”
Maj. Rob Mason, the North Carolina Wing’s emergency services training officer and Group 5 commander, served as incident commander for the exercise. “While we have participated in joint operations with other wings during real-world missions,” Mason said at the end of the day’s activities, “this was the first SAREX utilizing personnel and assets in a joint training mission in recent history.
“Our people fulfilled all of today’s sorties in a highly efficient manner. I am doubly proud of the excellent work done by our mission base staff.”
The South Carolina Wing’s commander, Col. Jay Lindler, added, “The relationship between our wings, North Carolina and South Carolina, has never been stronger. Our cooperation ensures that CAP is ready to support the citizens in our two states as well as those in all of Middle East Region. I am proud of the ability of both wings to answer the call when needed.”
Noting that Col. Larry Ragland, Middle East Region commander, has called for more joint participating in training as well as actual missions, Lindler said that Ragland flew one of the mission aircraft during the exercise and “was given a firsthand view of just how well our people and our assets perform as a team.”
Lt. Col. Francis Smith, South Carolina Wing vice commander, served as exercise coordinator.
“We’ve been extremely fortunate over the last several years in that we have not had a major hurricane strike our coastline,” Smith said.
“It’s incumbent upon Civil Air Patrol in the Carolinas to continue to be at full readiness for when that next one comes, and we took a big step in maintaining our readiness over the last 10 days.”