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Missing Person Search Ends Successfully in Haywood County

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Members of the NC-019 (Asheville Composite Squadron) Ground Team on site at the missing person search in Haywood County on 29 July 2019. Photo Credit: NC-019 (click image to view full size)
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CAP ground teams perform heroically under arduous circumstances

8/3/2019––Members of the North Carolina and South Carolina Wings of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) participated in the Find and Save of a missing person in Haywood County, North Carolina on 28-31 July 2019. Kevin Mark Lynch was successfully located late on 31 July near the Cataloochee Divide Trail in the back-country of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

CAP deployed Ground Teams from NC-019 (Asheville Composite Squadron), NC-145 (Franklin County Composite Squadron) and NC-111 (111th Search & Rescue Squadron).  In addition, the South Carolina Wing supported the mission with a Ground Team from the Sumter Composite Squadron. 

CAP members were involved on both the Ground Team that located the missing man and on the team that worked to remove him from the woods. 

The search took place at 5,000 feet in very rugged, heavily-wooded terrain.  All of the CAP Ground Teams made outstanding efforts during this very difficult search.

One of the cadet Ground Team members, C/CMSgt Gavin Waide of NC-111, had just spent ten days at CAP's Hawk Mountain Ranger School honing his emergency services skills and then four days later he was taught the skills and requirements of the USAF Pararescue and Survival Orientation Course (PJOC) as part of the CAP National Cadet Special Activities (NCSA) program.  “Hawk Mountain taught me vital navigation skills such as shooting azimuths, courses and bearings, pace count and map reading skills, PJOC helped me put those skills to work,” said Cadet Waide. “Hawk Mountain was really muddy and wet and that’s exactly what we experienced on this mission; the training I received at both NCSAs physically prepared me for this mission,” Cadet Waide added. His CAP training proved to be instrumental when Cadet Waide volunteered to assist in the mission person search just 48 hours after returning home from PJOC.

In addition to the outstanding Ground Teams, the NC Wing appreciates the work of the ICP staff who worked diligently on this search over 4 days.  Special recognition goes out to the mission Incident Commanders: Maj Brendan Kearns and Capt Scott Stevens.

Lastly, the Wing is thankful to all the members of the NC Wing who prayed or sent good thoughts for the safe recovery of Mr. Lynch and for the safety of our Ground Teams.

This mission was very successful for CAP and is a perfect example of why we volunteer to serve our communities, state and nation.