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North Carolina Emergency Management PIO Tours CAP FLIR Aircraft

Acree at plane
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Mr. Keith Acree, Pubic Information Officer for North Carolina Emergency Management (right) tours a NC Wing FLIR-equipped aircraft with Capt Ben Watkins, CAP. Photo Credit: Lt Col Rich Tedesco, CAP (click image to view full size)
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Mr. Keith Acree visits Franklin County Composite Squadron for FLIR camera demonstration

12/5/2019––On 5 Dec 2019, Mr. Keith Acree, Public Information Officer for North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM) visited the Franklin County Composite Squadron at the Triangle North Executive Airport to get a demonstration of Civil Air Patrol's (CAP) Forward-Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) capable aircraft.  
Mr. Acree was escorted by Capt Ben Watkins and Lt Col Shelley Gonzales from the CAP Section of NCEM and hosted by Lt Col Rich Tedesco, NC-145's Deputy Commander.  Mr. Bo Carson, the Triangle North Executive Airport Manager and Lt Col Richard Netherby of NC-145 supported the visit by helping with the demonstration and providing a pilot's perspective.  
During the visit, Lt Col Tedesco and the others gave Mr. Acree an overview of flying missions within CAP which included the types of mission profiles flown, response times and aircraft crewing.  The team answered Mr. Acree's questions regarding aircraft handling, capabilities to perform missions like ELTs and changes to the aircraft due to FLIR.  Lt Col Tedesco then briefed him on how the NC Wing is going to perform with FLIR from an operational perspective, emphasizing the fact that the Wing now has a 24-hour capability for Search and Rescue (SAR) where it once had a daylight-only capability.  
The team also discussed having one CAP FLIR-equipped aircraft in the East at the Triangle North Executive Airport and one in the West at the Asheville Regional Airport.
Lt Col Tedesco then showed Mr. Acree how the FLIR camera works.  He explained the hand controller, the recording and voice capabilities, and the different visual modes of both Infra-Red and Electro-Optical.  Mr. Acree was shown the different scene options with explanations of how CAP will use those scenes while airborne vs what was being seen on the ground.  
Mr. Carson then drove around the airfield so Mr. Acree could see the effect of heat signatures and how easy it is to capture and track targets with a vehicle-sized target. Capt Watkins followed up this demonstration by walking around the airfield so Mr. Acree could view a human-sized target and a human heat signature.  
Excellent discussions were held about how CAP will manage smaller target signatures while operating at altitude.  The FLIR demonstration finished with Mr. Acree using the hand controller, scrolling through the different options and practicing tracking.  Mr. Acree's visit with NC-145 was enjoyable and successful and he now has a solid understanding of this new SAR mission capability within North Carolina.