Staff Sections

Main Content

NC Wing Conducts Major Statewide Training Exercise

CAP plane prepares for SAREX mission
1 of 2
Lt Col Timothy Tessin, front, and 2d Lt Joseph Rogers prepare a plane for a Civil Air Patrol mission to check power lines in central North Carolina during a training exercise in which the Civil Air Patrol is responding to a simulated hurricane. PHOTO CREDIT: Virginia Bridges, Raleigh News & Observer (click image to view full size)
Story Tools

SAREX succeeds with over 100 volunteers

7/28/2016––The North Carolina Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) conducted a major statewide Disaster Relief and Search and Rescue Exercise this past weekend.  Over 100 volunteer members across the state performed duties such as searching for missing persons and searching for missing aircraft and took over 5000 images of major roads and infrastructure throughout the state, simulating what could happen should a hurricane strike the Atlantic Seaboard.  Over 10 aircraft and crews flew more than 30 hours in support of the exercise.  Ground teams spent over 20 man hours supporting the searches.

“Civil Air Patrol was instrumental in both Hurricanes Katrina to the south and Sandy to our north as well as every hurricane that North Carolina has experience in the past several years,” said Major George Tudder, the Incident Commander (IC) for this exercise.  He noted that “many volunteers from North Carolina and around the country provided support both in the air and on the ground.”  

“This exercise tested our capabilities and provided an excellent opportunity to further train our members to be vigilant and ready should the need arise.”  Major John May, the North Carolina Wing Director of Emergency Services, developed the exercise and commented that “the North Carolina Wing clearly showed our readiness to respond to a natural disaster, missing aircraft or missing person search statewide as a resource to the state.”

The Incident Command staff worked throughout Friday evening preparing and planning to meet the needs of various federal, state and local agencies as they were assigned.  In this case, photos of infrastructure and waterways were the assignment.  Launching and managing 14 CAP aircraft across the state, maintaining communications, and managing the ground team movement is the responsibility of the Incident Command Staff.  Based in Winston-Salem at the Smith Reynolds Airport, the IC team worked throughout the evening and the next day doing just that.  

“In any exercise, training and safety are our primary concerns.  Civil Air Patrol volunteers include Cadets aged 12-18 and exercises such as these provide them with an opportunity to learn, engage and be a part of their community,” Major Tudder added.

"All in all the North Carolina Wing did an outstanding job planning and executing a successful training exercise with numerous members receiving advanced training in the field, in the air and fulfilling Command Staff roles,” stated Major Tudder.