SDWG to Perform SAR and DR Training
South Dakota Wing of Civil Air Patrol will gather in Brookings and Spearfish Saturday (July 15) to practice search and rescue and disaster response photography skills with aircraft, drones, and ground teams.
“Civil Air Patrol has critical responsibilities to local, state, tribal, and federal authorities to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance,” said Lt. Col. Craig Goodrich, one of the project officers for the exercise. “Our members train with their local squadrons, and we gather our forces together at central locations several times a year to hone our proficiency.”
This weekend’s training will include aircrew training, doing visual and electronic searches for simulated missing aircraft, simulated lost people, and taking disaster response photos. Ground teams, consisting of CAP adult members as well as youth members (ages 12 to 21), will be searching and taking photos. CAP will also train with small Uncrewed Aerial Systems (sUAS, aka drones) for search and photography skills.
“Members of the public may see frequent take-offs and landings of our red, white, and blue Cessnas, uniformed ground teams in white vans, and more traffic than usual at our buildings at the Spearfish and Brookings airports,” said Col. Mike Beason, a training officer for CAP’s incident command staff this weekend. “We will also have search and photography drones flying near the Rocky Point State Recreation Area at Belle Fourche Reservoir.”
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. In South Dakota, this means support for local authorities, activated via the state Emergency Operations Center (EOC), for things like missing persons searches, flooding and other air and drone disaster photography.