Carolina Wings Prepare for Dorian Response
1st Lt. Rachael J. Mercer
Public Affairs Officer
South Carolina Wing
Capt. Lynne Albert
Public Affairs Officer
North Carolina Wing
Civil Air Patrol members in the organization’s North and South Carolina wings continued preparing today for missions that might result from Hurricane Dorian’s impact on their states.
As the hurricane’s eye is passing their state just to the east, South Carolina Wing members are at work at the state Emergency Management Division’s Emergency Operations Center in Columbia. They’re fielding partner agencies’ requests and arranging the response of the more than 150 wing members who have volunteered to serve in response to the storm.
Air response needs are presented to Civil Air Patrol at the center. The wing’s incident commander and air operations branch directors — currently based at their homes — then work to arrange pilots, mission observers and aerial photographers for flights.
This is the last day of preparation for these missions. Once the winds from Dorian have subsided, the aerial missions will launch from the inland locations where they were moved for safety from the storm.
In addition, the communications network that links wing squadrons, planes in the air and ground teams across South Carolina will be actively working Friday to ensure clear communication.
“Today we are supporting the state's intelligence gathering,” said Lt. Col. Chris Peterson, wing vice commander and today’s incident commander. “Specifically, we are working to find ways for CAP to fill in the gaps on the current situational awareness of the state and how it fared with Dorian just a few dozen miles off the coast."
In North Carolina, meanwhile, CAP members are standing by as Dorian moved closer. North Carolina Wing members are staffing the state’s EOC in Raleigh and also helped government agencies set up emergency evacuation shelters.
Members are prepared as well to staff “PODs” — points of distribution centers — where emergency supplies will be readily available to storm victims.
“When other state and federal agencies need our air and ground team resources, we will be there for them. CAP’s North Carolina Wing has over 2,000 professionally trained volunteer members who are prepared to support our state when needed,” said Col. Jason Bailey, the wing's commander.