AURORA -- Taking advantage of the sunny weather, members of the Oregon Wing Civil Air Patrol met at the Aurora State Airport for a search and rescue training exercise on Saturday, April 15.
37 Civil Air Patrol cadets and officers attended the training exercise in Aurora, which was focused on practicing and improving communications between aircrews and ground crews.
Over the course of the day, several aircrews were sent on various practice missions, tasked to find practice Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) beacons. Once the aircrew found the approximate location of the practice ELT, they directed urban direction finding (UDF) teams to the ground location. The UDF teams then recovered the practice ELT to end the exercise.
"Our goal is to practice air search procedures, and coordinate between air and ground crews," Maj David Rudawitz, incident commander, said. "Weather permitting, we want each aircraft to fly at least two searches with different aircrews."
Search and rescue training exercises are designed for Civil Air Patrol members to practice the skills they may need in actual operations. Recently, for example, the Oregon Wing was tasked with taking photographs of the rising water levels of rivers, as record snow and rainfall threatened to cause rivers to rise above their banks. The Oregon Wing is also able to assist local law enforcement agencies in searches for missing people and aircraft, disaster relief operations, and other photograph missions of critical infrastructure.
For this exercise, the Oregon Wing Civil Air Patrol also had support locations at Redmond and Bend airports.
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 90 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 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol's 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members 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. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
CONTACT: Capt Heather Perkins, Public Information Officer, CAP