10:16 AM

1st Air Force Commander's Letter Praises CAP 2018 Hurricane Response

CAP officials released a letter from Lt. Gen. Marc H. Sasseville, commander of 1st Air Force, that recognized the volunteer members who assisted local and federal responders during hurricanes Florence and Michael in September and October 2018, respectively.

"For a second year in a row, your organization provided countless hours of civil support and the heroic actions of every Civil Air Patrol member were incredibly impactful," Sasseville said in a letter to Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP's national commander and CEO.

Sasseville said the "citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida received outstanding service during a second, unprecedented hurricane season."

The letter read, "Throughout each hurricane response, the entire CAP staff and crews provided outstanding support in flying imagery, transportation and full motion video sortie execution.

"The support was essential for search and rescue efforts, damage assessment and the monitoring of crested waterways."

Sasseville also pointed out that the North Carolina Wing "provided crucial assistance" that helped reestablish 911 service in Jacksonville during Florence.

Smith said he asked permission to release the letter "as a way to acknowledge and thank further the hard work and commitment of our volunteers."

He added, "As we prepare again for service after Hurricane Dorian, it is significant to note our tradition and history of service to our nation in times of crisis."

First Air Force approves all CAP operational missions performed in its role as the Air Force auxiliary, which annually includes about 8,000 missions totaling 20,000 flying hours.

"We can all rest a bit easier knowing the men and women of your organization stand ready to answer when our nation calls," Sasseville wrote.

Last month at CAP's National Conference in Baltimore, the North Carolina Wing received the 1st Air Force (AFNORTH) Commander’s Awarrd for Most Meritorious Civil Air Patrol Mission of 2018 in recognition of its response to Florence from Sept. 10-30.The award also cited the contributions of the Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia wings and Middle East Region Headquarters staff to the Florence mission.