Around the Region

By Lt. Col. Jeff P. Carlson
September 14, 2017
Heavy damage to Marco Island Senior Squadron, Marco Island, Fla. left part of a building in shambles thanks to #HurricaneIrma but noone was hurt. But. . .business goes on as usual and will return to normal sometime down the road. A microburst or smal ...
By Lt. Col. Judy Steele
September 9, 2017
National, region, and wing leadership keep a close eye on Hurricane Irma as preparation have been completed and impact with Florida is impending.
By Lt. Col. Judy Steele
September 9, 2017
With aircraft evacuated to the Florida Panhandle, members of the Florida and surrounding wings wait as Hurricane Irma makes her way to land.
By Lt. Col. Judy Steele
September 7, 2017
Civil Air Patrol members work on recovery in the Caribbean and prepare for possible land fall in Florida.

National Headline

 

SE Region Members Target Communications, Aerial Missions in Irma-Battered Puerto Rico
Sat, 23 Sep 2017 18:44:25 -0500

Lt. Col. Andrew Oppmann
Director of Public Affairs
Southeast Region

1st Lt. Morgan Torp-Pedersen
Public Affairs Officer
Tennessee Wing

Civil Air Patrol members in Puerto Rico worked Saturday to restore communications and begin flying missions in the wake of the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Maria.

The Puerto Rico Wing set up shop at Hospital del Hoare in San Juan, where electricity has been restored through generators, along with working telephone lines and stable internet access.

Officials have said it could be months before power and other services are fully restored to the Caribbean island commonwealth, hit hard Thursday by the then-Category 4 hurricane.

Col. Barry Melton, commander of CAP's Southeast Region, which includes Puerto Rico, said the wing's two Cessna airplanes, used in photographic missions conducted for federal and commonwealth relief officials, were removed Friday from protective storage.

Melton said the wing planned to fly four photo missions today covering Puerto Rico and the U.S. VirginIslands. "Our sorties will cover high-priority areas as determined by the 

Federal Emergency Management Agency," he said.

Lt. Col. Juan Rodriguez of the Puerto Rico Wing said crews were tasked with taking photos of the Guajataca Dam on the island's northwestern area, which has suffered structural damage after heavy rainfall from the hurricane.

The 20-member CAP team working the missions includes 12 from the Puerto Rico Wing, joined by eight members from the Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee wings, Melton said.

The stateside relief members arrived in Puerto Rico on Friday afternoon.

Lt. Col Harvey Yarborough, director of operations for the Alabama Wing and incident commander for the Puerto Rico mission, has been tasked with coordinating with region leadership as well as the CAP National Operations Center at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, Melton said.

Rodriguez, speaking on behalf of Col. Carlos Fernandez, Puerto Rico Wing commander, said he was "extremely proud of our volunteer airmen who took care of their family needs and responded to the call of service."

And he thanked the stateside volunteers: "We are also grateful to our fellow airmen who are assisting us in this disaster."

The team was provided MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat, by 1st Air Force, which oversees CAP's missions. Melton said the team has enough supplies to sustain itself for a week.

 

EAA Opens Doors to CAP in Fla. for Hurricane Irma Relief
Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:25:02 -0500

After Hurricane Irma moved through Florida, Civil Air Patrol needed to launch several missions to respond and provide relief. In order to get easier access to the runways at Punta Gorda Airport, CAP asked members of the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter if it could use their facilities.

The members of EAA Chapter 565 flung open their doors to help out. Stan Smith, chapter president, said some cleaning up needed to be done, but luckily the hangar didn’t take much damage from the storm and everybody was able to get to work pretty quickly.

“We helped CAP set up some of their items such as a communications trailer,” Smith said. “We went out to assist if they needed anything.”

CAP Lt. Col. Jeffrey Carlson, public affairs officer for Florida Wing Group 5, said the airport was close to the hardest-hit areas and had fuel after the storm, making it an obvious choice for CAP operations. In addition, Smith and Chapter 565 postponed a chapter lobster dinner and made other accommodations to ensure CAP could do what it needed to do for as long as it needed to do it, Carlson said.

“The EAA facility is well-equipped to handle mission needs,” he said. “The location of the building allows CAP aircrews to have easy access to the ramp area designated by the airport for the mission’s flight line.”

“The Florida Warbirds Squadron 24 (another EAA group) offered an adjacent building for CAP’s flight operations,” Carlson added. “Outside, there is room for the CAP communication trailer and ample parking space.”

“Warbirds Squadron 24 stepped right up and the president over there said ‘yes, if you need to use the facility, which is right next to ours, use it,’” Smith said. “They sustained a little bit more damage. We basically had none, but they had some to their roof, but they used their facility as well.”

Carlson said CAP and EAA have a long history of working together all across the U.S.

“Many CAP squadrons and EAA chapters across the country work together on a daily basis,” he said. “The two organizations share a common purpose to promote general aviation and to create opportunities for youth to gain an appreciation for the personal enjoyment of flying as well as discover career opportunities.

“The EAA’s Young Eagles program and CAP’s cadet orientation flights expose thousands of youth each year to the joy of flying,” Carlson said.

Local CAP leaders knew they had friends in their local EAA counterparts thanks to the two groups’ history of working together in day-to-day activities. Lt. Col. Jim Kaletta, commander of the Florida Wing’s Charlotte County Composite Squadron, is also a director of Chapter 565, and the chapter’s website manager, Cadet Lt. Col. Mikehla Hicks, is a Charlotte County squadron member preparing to get her pilot certificate and attend the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Kaletta was the one who initially reached out to Smith about CAP using Chapter 565’s facility as part of its support missions.

CAP aircrews have been flying reconnaissance missions since Sept. 12 and will continue to carry out those missions for several more weeks, according to Carlson.

“CAP is responding to requests from federal and state agencies for aerial photography surveys of area affected by Hurricane Irma,” he said. “Once collected, the digital images are uploaded and used by emergency management officials to make decisions for deploying resources.”

The partnership between EAA and CAP is helping save lives in Florida, and Carlson believes it shows how effective the two groups can be when they work in tandem.

“Organizations like EAA and CAP depend on partnerships to serve the local community,” he said. “In this case, the collaboration helps to strengthen both programs. There is much potential for local squadrons and chapters across the country to explore by working together.”

Social Media

 
 
 

eServices Updates

 

"Members helping Members"…supporting the hurricane relief efforts for our members directly affected by 2017 Hurricane Season.
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:16:52 CDT
"Members helping Members"…supporting the hurricane relief efforts for our members directly affected...
***Network SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE ON Friday, 15 Sept 2017 between 3:00 and 3:30PM CENTRAL***
Thu, 14 Sep 2017 17:01:51 CDT
***Network SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE ON Friday, 15 Sept 2017 between 3:00 and 3:30PM CENTRAL***
Board of Governors Members-At-Large Vacancies
Mon, 11 Sep 2017 20:52:43 CDT
Board of Governors Members-At-Large Vacancies
2017 CAP National Conference Status Updates
Sat, 26 Aug 2017 18:48:08 CDT
2017 CAP National Conference Status Updates
New Edition - CAP History Journal
Fri, 25 Aug 2017 14:05:05 CDT
New Edition - CAP History Journal
National Headquarters Labor Day Closing Notice
Fri, 25 Aug 2017 11:10:53 CDT
National Headquarters Labor Day Closing Notice
BasicMed Implementation
Fri, 11 Aug 2017 17:52:40 CDT
BasicMed Implementation

Wing News

 

Fla. Wing Squadron Resuming Operations Despite Hurricane Damage
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:27:55 -0500

By Lt. Col. Judy Steele
Southeast Region

The Florida Wing’s Marco Island Senior Squadron, based near Hurricane Irma’s landfall, plans to resume operations after receiving significant damage from the storm’s northward track up the center of Florida’s peninsula.

The storm blasted the Florida Keys with 130 mph winds before traveling north to deliver a second strike to Marco Island as a Category 2 storm. Squadrons in the Florida Wing Group 5, including the Marco Island squadron, sustained the worst damage.

“Most members evacuated prior to the storm, with only four deciding to hunker down and stay in the area,” said Maj. Robert Corriveau, Marco Island Senior Squadron commander.

Many of the Marco Island unit’s 55 members are “snowbirds” who live in the area only during the winter months. During summer, the number shrinks to 15 to 18 members.

Since the storm, Corriveau has heard from about 10 members typically in the area during the off-season. The rest are still in locations after they “left for higher ground,” he said.

Most of the damage to members’ homes consisted of missing shingles, broken rain gutters, shredded landscaping and damage to pool screens, Corriveau said. Some areas aren’t expected to have power for several weeks.

The damage to the squadron’s facility — at the north end of Marco Island Executive Airport in a building that includes a hangar for the unit’s plane, offices and a squad room — was more severe.

Corriveau said a microburst or small tornado made a direct hit on the hangar door wall and shoved it into the squad room and office area. Damage estimates aren’t yet known, but the plan is to rebuild, “just maybe not to (the original) extent,” he said.

Luckily, he said, the airplane was not in the hangar during the storm, having been moved to Daytona, Florida, for a 100-hour inspection and maintenance.

While the squadron rebuilds, Corriveau said the plane will be housed in an undamaged general aviation T-hangar at the Marco Island airport. A covered walkway only 10 feet away from the squadron’s building was still intact. “Not a single piece of metal was displaced,” he said.

“The community helped the squadron raise the finances for the building about seven years ago when their meeting place was about to be condemned, and we have a reserve built up to cover expenses,” Corriveau said.

The building will be closed until rebuilt, even though the offices and squad room weren’t damaged. The local Coast Guard Auxiliary unit, which also includes some CAP members, offered to lend its squad room to the unit.

More than 13,000 have reacted to social media posts by the squadron, with many expressing concerns about their fellow CAP members and asking how to help. Asked what message he would like to share from the unit, Corriveau replied, “It is only a building and it will be repaired, and things will be back to normal eventually. Also, our people are OK.”

“We want to get back up and operational, as soon as possible,” he said. “We are part of the coastal patrol.”

The coastal patrols, a service to Florida communities provided since the early 1940s, are performed on the weekends. CAP pilots fly along the shoreline looking for hazards to navigation and for boaters in distress.

N.C., S.C. Wings Prepare for Possible Irma Arrival
Fri, 08 Sep 2017 12:02:00 -0500

As Hurricane Irma swirls in the Atlantic, the North and South Carolina wings are preparing for statewide responses to the storm’s anticipated landfall. Though the projected path of Irma, a Category 5 storm, hasn’t been confirmed to include either of the Carolinas, both state’s governors have declared a state of emergency.

"We don't know exactly where the storm will track and we don't know what parts of North Carolina will be impacted, but we do know it is time for North Carolinians to prepare for Irma," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has also issued an executive order calling for a state of emergency, and all state emergency agencies are authorized to prepare for a worst-case scenario.The strength of Irma's winds are being compared to those of Hurricane Hugo, which caused devastation in South Carolina in September 1989.

Civil Air Patrol is planning for aircraft and aircrew support from both wings. The experience wing members gained from responding to Hurricane Matthew last fall has led to preparation for flying evacuation routes, conducting aerial photography of the storm’s impact and providing aerial communication relays to government officials.Members will be staffing the North Carolina Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh.

“We are hoping for the best but planning for the worse with this hurricane,” said Col. R. Jason Bailey, North Carolina Wing commander. “When other state and federal agencies need our air and ground team resources, we will be there for them.”

South Carolina Wing members will be staffing the Air Operations Center at the state Department of Public Safety as well as the State Emergency Operations Center.“We have a very good working relationship with the other state agencies,” said Col. Lee Saffley, South Carolina Wing commander. “We work closely with them to provide continuous air resources over the course of emergencies such as these.”

 

W.Va. Search Ends with Discovery of Crashed Plane; No Survivors
Fri, 08 Sep 2017 10:27:32 -0500

Search operations by the West Virginia Wing have ended after a crashed plane was located Thursday in a rugged region of West Virginia.

Neither of the two people on the Cirrus SR20 survived. Local authorities are guarding the crash site.The aircraft was reported missing Tuesday after leaving Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown, for Fleming-Mason Airport in Flemingsburg, Kentucky.

The West Virginia Wing had set up a base of operations at North Central West Virginia Airport in Bridgeport to assist local authorities and other search teams.The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, opened a mission with the wing Wednesday requesting aerial support for the search.


divider