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N.C. Wing Civil Air Patrol assisting with flood damage assessment in South Carolina

NCWG support of SC Flood assessment mission
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Maj. Chris Bailey, NCWG DO pre-flights a CAP aircraft before a sortie to assess the damage caused by floods around Columbia, S.C. NC Wing and other MER wings are supporting flood relief efforts by flying aerial assessment sorties for the SC Emergency Operations Center. Photo Credit: Airman 1st Class Ashleigh S. Pavelek, U.S. Air National Guard. (click image to view full size)
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Three aircraft and crews conducting aerial damage assessment


Civil Air Patrol’s North Carolina Wing has three aircraft and aircrews actively assisting in the aerial assessment of the flooding down in South Carolina. A total of 10 members from the North Carolina Wing are actively supporting the mission.
Col. Francis Smith, South Carolina Wing commander and CAP incident commander for the flood mission, said, “The aircrews are tasked with assessing the state’s rivers to help plan for possible search and rescue operations.” 
South Carolina Wing incident command staff for the mission is working with the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center in West Columbia.
Several sorties have already been flown by CAP aircrews from North Carolina and other surrounding states to make damage assessment flights over areas of South Carolina that have been drenched by record rainfall. The deluge of water has caused rivers to overflow and resulted in breaches in several earthen dams.
Civil Air Patrol squadrons from North Carolina, Maryland and other states will assist the South Carolina mission and are expected to perform air, ground and communications operations in support of disaster relief efforts for as long as needed to help the Emergency Operations Center plan for recovery efforts in the coming weeks.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of Regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and 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. Civil Air Patrol’s 58,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its Airmen additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Civil Air Patrol received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. Congressionally chartered 74 years ago, the nonprofit organization also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.