Even though we have had an easy winter so far, the Civil Air Patrol needs to be prepared for any winter conditions if called up for a search and rescue mission. Three squadrons from Maryland’s Group II participated in the two day winter emergency services training weekend.
“Emergency services is one of CAP’s main missions. Members must get proper training in order to be ready when a call comes in to assist someone that could be in trouble. In order to get real world training, we conduct training in all safe weather conditions. This training, being conducted in the winter, gives members that real world feel and is an excellent real world test to make sure we can safely perform a mission, even in extreme cold conditions,” Major Chris Roche, Squadron Commander for Glenn L Martin Squadron said.
Planned and hosted by the Glenn L Martin Composite Squadron, members from the Towson and Osprey Composite Squadrons spent a cold January weekend at the Broad Creek Boyscout Camp. Focusing on winter survival skills while conducting ground team training allowed the members a more realistic training experience which is critical in order to conduct a real search and rescue mission during the cold winter months.
A total of 35 members participated, which made this year the largest participation in the past 8+ years of this exercise.
Additional training was conducted, including setting up a remote mission base and search and rescue procedures. The highlight of the training was building an emergency shelter, using only gear included in a normal 24 hour pack and anything found in nature. Several shelters were built well enough that cadets slept in them overnight as a true test of their abilities.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 113 lives in fiscal year 2010. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 26,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 69 years. It is the largest sponsor annually of Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. For more information on the Civil Air Patrol, visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or www.capvolunteernow.com.
There are more than 1,500 members of CAP in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 42 search and rescue missions and were credited with 31 finds. For more information about the CAP, visit www.mdcap.org.
The Glenn L Martin Composite Squadron meets weekly on Thursday evenings from 1900-2100 at Martin State Airport, 700 Wilson Point Road, Middle River MD 21220, suite 411.
Osprey squadron meets weekly on Tuesday nights from 1900-2100 at the American Legion, Post 38, 3300 Dundalk Ave., Dundalk MD 21222.
The Towson Composite Squadron meets regularly every Wednesday evening from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM in its headquarters within the Maryland National Guard Armory, 307 Washington Avenue, Towson, MD 21204.