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UDF Training Course Held at Concord Regional Airport

Cadet assembles UDF equipment
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C/CMSgt Aaliya Perkins (left) of the 111th Search and Rescue Squadron and Maj Brett Benson, Deputy Commander for the 121st Charlotte Senior Squadron, assemble an LPER in preparation for an Urban Direction Finding course held at the Concord Regional Airport. PHOTO CREDIT: SM H.J.Bentley III, CAP (click image to view full size)
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Charlotte Senior Squadron and 111th SAR Squadrons team up for beacon searches

10/2/2016––The Charlotte Senior Squadron recently held an Urban Direction Finding (UDF) training course. UDF teaches members skills necessary to locate aircraft ELT’s.

Senior Member, 2d Lt. Steve Breen, the transportation officer for the 111th Search and Rescue Squadron said of the training, “I found it interesting between the three types of equipment we used to locate the training beacon and their accuracy.”

The basic purpose of an ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) is to help rescuers find survivors within the so-called "golden day," the first 24 hours following a crash during which the majority of survivors can usually be saved.  ELTs are emergency transmitters that are carried aboard general aviation aircraft in the U.S. In the event of an aircraft accident, these devices are designed to transmit a distress signal on 121.5, 243.0-megahertz frequencies and for newer ELTs, on 406 MHz. Currently, ELTs are required to be installed in all U.S.-registered civil aircraft, including general aviation aircraft, as a result of a Congressional mandate. 

Objectives included learning and monitoring the right emergency locator transmitter frequencies and the proper tactics, techniques and procedures in locating a broadcasting ELT. 

C/CMSgt Aaliya Perkins from the 111th Search and Rescue squadron, assisted with the class as well as participated said, “I enjoyed the hands-on portion, but the experience of actually using the equipment in the field made the experience more real.”  The goal is to have more ground team and aircrew members across the state trained to better help locate an ELT from a downed airplane. 

The training staff from the 121st Charlotte Senior Squadron along with the 111th Search and Rescue Squadron worked jointly at the Concord Regional Airport in operating ELT training beacons placed around the Concord Regional Airport. Two ground teams and three instructors worked together in the UDF training course, led by Maj Brett Benson, Deputy Commander for the 121st Charlotte Senior Squadron based at KJQF.

The Charlotte Senior Squadron meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday from 7:00-9:30 p.m. at the Concord Regional Airport.

The 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron’s meetings are every Thursday from 6:45 to 9:15 p.m. at 5600 Airport Rd, Charlotte, NC. 

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.