Arizona Wing Continues Labor Day Safety Patrol Mission
Renewing an annual Labor Day weekend mission, six aircraft from the Arizona Wing flew overhead on the lookout for possible problems as boaters on Lake Havasu enjoyed the holiday.
Working in support of the Lake Havasu Police Department and Mohave County Sheriff’s Department, the Civil Air Patrol aircrews patrolled the lake and along the Colorado River to watch for emergencies on the water. Any problems observed were communicated to the Arizona Wing incident management team and then reported to local law enforcement for a response with the proper resources.
“While helping to ensure the safety of holiday visitors to the area, we’re also giving our flight crews an opportunity to maintain proficiency,” said Col. Rob Pinckard, Arizona Wing commander.
While the aircrews were aloft, the wing’s incident management team coordinated activities from a virtual command post. In all, 55 CAP volunteers from across the state supported the efforts over the weekend.
The wing has provided this support for more than 14 years to local law enforcement and holiday visitors to the lake during the Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day holidays. Aircrews patrol 60 miles of coastline along the Colorado River and Lake Havasu from Interstate 40 to Parker Dam with the wing’s fleet of single-engine aircraft.
Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Nica Johnson of the Deer Valley Composite Squadron received her first training flight as a mission scanner during the Labor Day weekend. Johnson, a student pilot, soloed at CAP’s North Central Region Flight Academy in June and was just accepted into the Cadet Wings program.
Johnson pursued a mission scanner rating at her squadron commander’s suggestion, she said, “because, while I wouldn't be flying the plane, I would still get to be a part of an aircrew, get a feel for the plane, and even learn some things from watching the pilot.” She completed the mission scanner training course and volunteered for the Labor Day mission.
The cadet jumped in to help with preflight inspection, said Maj. Aaron Feller, mission pilot for her flight as well as the Arizona Wing director of operations and Group 7 commander.
“After flying the mission, I have a much deeper respect and appreciation for all the senior members, both on the ground and in the air, who organize, coordinate, and work through every last detail so that these sorties are successful and efficient,” Johnson said.
Capt. John Bryant
Falcon Composite Squadron 305
Maj. Margot Myers
Public Affairs Officer