April SAREX Preview
Members of South Dakota Wing, Civil Air Patrol, will refine their skills in air and ground disaster relief photography Saturday (April 15) at a series of locations around the state. The photography will focus on GPS-tagged images where waterways are out of their banks and bridges are threatened.
"Across the country, Civil Air Patrol has performed many missions documenting flooding and high water marks from recent flooding,” said Col. Michael Marek, CAP incident commander for the exercise. “In South Dakota, the heavy snow this winter is likely to result in more flooding than usual, and this training will help our members be ready to support local emergency management officers with accurate information.”
Civil Air Patrol performs disaster relief, search, 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.
“Many people are familiar with aerial photography of flooding,” said Marek, “but new high-tech systems, like importing photos into Geographical Information systems (GIS) software can make the photo data much more accessible and actionable for local officials.
“In addition to refining our airborne photography experience, our ground and drone teams will practice photography documenting obstructions in the river and river gauge under bridges.”
CAP has over 400 members in South Dakota with units in Brookings, Custer, Miller/Faulkton, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Spearfish and Tea. The wing can deploy its six aircraft, ground teams and small photography drones to assist in emergency response and other support to local, state, tribal and federal agencies.