Members of the Civil Air Patrol’s Kansas Wing took part in an evaluated search and rescue exercise at New Century last weekend. The training event lasted through April 26.
Personnel assembled late on April 24 at the U.S. Army Reserve Center to prepare for the exercise.
Three aircraft and approximately 50 volunteers participated in the event.
The exercise was designed to conduct training in and evaluate member skills in search and rescue techniques. During the exercise, evaluators from the Air Force assessed the skill level of the wing’s volunteers. Pilots and aircrew tested flying and aerial photography skills required for missions, while ground teams practiced land navigation skills, urban direction finding, ground search techniques and refined their first-aid knowledge. The teams used tracking devices that pick up locations of distress beacons. Kansas Wing members coordinated the exercise with the help of Civil Air Patrol’s radio communications network.
“We are excited to be at New Century for the upcoming evaluated exercise. This will be a good opportunity for all our crews to test their skills,” said Col. Rick Franz, the Kansas Wing Commander, prior to the event.
There are more than 400 Civil Air Patrol members in Kansas.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 58,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs about 85 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 70 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs.
Performing missions for America for the past 73 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.