Come All Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) Hosted by Big Sioux Composite Squadron
Brookings - South Dakota Wing, Civil Air Patrol (CAP), conducted training at Big Sioux Composite Squadron on Saturday, June 26.
Attendees traveled from across East and West River to practice skills used in search and rescue and disaster relief missions. Cadets attending received ground team training.
Five of the Wing’s six aircraft were on hand for the exercise. Aircrew training included airborne photography simulating airborne damage assessment and missing persons searches.
“It was great to have so many aircrews and a quick mission tempo,” said Lt. Col. Todd Epp, the SAREX incident commander. “This helps to simulate actual mission conditions. Even the rainy weather helped to make things more ‘real world.”
On Friday, June 25, Big Sioux Composite Squadron also hosted sUAV training conducted by the Wing, with many cadets and senior members attending.
This training exercise was the second come-all exercise conducted by South Dakota Wing since before COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed earlier this year. Attendees had the unplanned benefit of being able to train in inclement weather on Saturday – even though there was rain throughout the morning, ground team training occurred outside and aircrews were active. Training in inclement weather is important because it is always possible that CAP crews could be called in emergency situations when the weather conditions are difficult.
CAP performs search, disaster relief and other missions in its role as the U.S. Air Force auxiliary, part of the Air Force Total Force. CAP is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to nonmilitary threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.