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SDWG Performs Search Training

March 13, 2021

Mission BaseSioux Falls, SD --- South Dakota Wing of Civil Air Patrol is conducting a search training exercise in Eastern South Dakota today. A companion exercise to be based in Custer has been postponed due to winter weather.

"The training scenario we’re using today is a private aircraft missing on a flight between Sioux Falls and Mitchell during winter weather,” said Lt. Col. Todd Epp, CAP incident commander for the exercise. “We’ll be seeking our target with airborne search and ground teams.  Our command post staff will be training on mission management, as well as scenario problem-solving.”

Civil Air Patrol 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.

CAP’s South Dakota Wing has over 450 members organized in twelve units across the state.  Assets include six single-engine aircraft, nineteen vehicles, and extensive communication equipment.  In 2020, the wing conducted four search and rescue missions, thirteen training missions, as well as twelve other state and federal support missions, in 2020 and was credited with one life saved and one find. Most recently, the wing conducted one of the first CAP COVID-19 vaccine transportation missions anywhere in the country.

"While we have been able to continue our training during the pandemic, our opportunities for a full-on, hands-on SAREX have been limited over the past year," said Epp. "I know our members and I look forward to getting in the aircraft and the vans and training under "real world" conditions once again."

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