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SDWG to Perform Search and Disaster Relief Training in Northern Black Hills

May 18, 2022

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Rapid City, SD - South Dakota Wing of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) will conduct a search training exercise in Spearfish Saturday, May 21.  Members from around the state will converge on Black Hills Airport at Clyde Ice Field for the day-long event.

"The CAP is a professional organization with high standards and in order to meet those standards during a real-world mission, we need to practice,” said Lt. Col. Craig Goodrich, CAP incident commander for the exercise. He said that the exercise will be joined by a member of the SD Department of Wildland Fire, and will also include at least one CAP aircrew from Wyoming participating in the exercise.

CAP flight crews will be looking for simulated missing aircraft and persons.  Ground teams will be coordinating with the flight crews to investigate possible sightings and performing damage assessment photography of simulated storm damage in the Spearfish area.  CAP photography drones will also take aerial photographs of the simulated storm damage. 

"Being ready to serve local, state, tribal and national agencies means CAP trains regularly for the kinds of things we will do in real life,” said Col. Michael Marek, South Dakota Wing commander.  “We are pleased to train this weekend at Lookout Mountain Composite Squadron, which has been one of our mainstay local units for many years.”

Civil Air Patrol has close to 400 members in South Dakota with units in Brookings, Custer, Miller/Faulkton, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Spearfish and Tea. The organization 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.

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