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South Dakota CAP Members Decorated for Hurricane Ida Disaster Relief Service

December 12, 2021

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Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters has awarded three members of South Dakota Wing, Civil Air Patrol (CAP), disaster relief ribbons for their efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

South Dakota recipients are Col. Michael Beason of wing staff, Lt. Thomas Anez of Sioux Falls Composite Squadron, and C/SSgt Miles Kornegay of Lookout Mountain Composite Squadron.

"Crowdsourcing is a method of using volunteers across the nation to view thousands of photos online from various sources to look for damage," said Beason. "FEMA used Civil Air Patrol to look at photos across Louisiana to identify areas that needed immediate support after Hurricane Ida. The hundreds of volunteers were able to quickly identify parishes which were terribly impacted by the storm and allowed FEMA to put early emphasis on those areas."

The three South Dakota members are authorized to wear the CAP Disaster Relief ribbon, with a silver "V" device signifying participating in disaster relief efforts for the Presidential-declared disaster.

The announcement of the South Dakota CAP recipients was made by Ronald Olienyk, national deputy director of Operations. In order to receive the ribbon award, CAP members had to complete at least 100 individual photo assessments, Olienyk said.

"We deeply appreciate the essential service our South Dakota Wing members provided after Hurricane Ida," said Col. Michael Marek, commander of South Dakota Wing. "Their efforts are in the best tradition of Civil Air Patrol volunteers serving America's communities, saving lives, and shaping futures."

CAP is the civilian auxiliary of the Air Force, with responsibilities that are part of the USAF's support to civil authorities to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.

With close to 400 members in South Dakota with units in Brookings, Custer, Miller/Faulkton, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Spearfish and Tea, the wing can deploy its six aircraft, ground teams and small search drones to assist in disaster response and other support to local, state, tribal and federal agencies.

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