CAP Aircrews Beginning Photo Missions in Texas
SAN ANTONIO – Civil Air Patrol’s Texas Wing is scheduled to fly aerial imagery missions today for the state of Texas and the Federal Emergency Management Agency over areas initially ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.
CAP aircrews will fly over Corpus Christi, North Padre Island, Mustang Island, Rockport, Aransas Pass, Port Lavaca, Gregory and Portland. The aircrews will depart San Marcos with a refueling stop in Alice, Texas, prior to taking photos of the affected areas.
A total of 12 CAP flights are planned today. Aircrews will continue flying through the day, as long as the weather permits, according to Lt. Col. Rick Woolfolk, incident commander.
“Our aircrews are glad to finally be in the skies, providing a clearer picture of the situation for both state and federal emergency management officials,” said Woolfolk. Heavy rains accompanying Harvey have grounded CAP aircrews since the Category 4 hurricane made landfall on Aug. 25.The state and FEMA will use the CAP imagery to assess damage to critical infrastructure and known resources.
Approximately 1,000 of Texas Wing’s 3,200 members live along the Gulf Coast, from Brownsville to Houston, with the largest concentration residing in the Houston area. Houston and surrounding areas of south central Texas have been devastated since Monday, as unprecedented rainfall from Harvey, now classified as a tropical storm, has prompted historic flooding.
CAP airplanes were moved out of the coastal areas before Harvey made landfall.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.