15:01 PM

Colo. Wing's Loughridge Honored as Radar Forensics Pioneer

Capt. Guy Loughridge of the Colorado Wing was honored at the Wing Conference in Grand Junction for his work as Civil Air Patrol’s radar forensics mission pioneer

The guest speaker for the conference, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, presented Loughridge with a copy of his Congressional Tribute to the CAP member, read into the congressional record Dec. 12.

“Loughridge’s contributions to the search and rescue community have had profound impacts," the tribute said. "He developed radar forensic software and trained radar analysts to locate missing and downed aircraft.”

“He decided to forgo his for-profit software business venture, and instead volunteer his time to the Civil Air Patrol to help further develop his radar forensic software. This led him to create the National Radar Analysis Team (NRAT), which became a squadron under National Headquarters.”

The tribute concluded: “His work has saved many lives and forever changed the search and rescue and aviation communities in our great nation.”

Loughridge, who previously had served as commander of Routt County Search and Rescue for several years, joined CAP as a member of the Steamboat Springs Composite Squadron in January 2000. He recognized the need for better radar data collection and analysis after a U.S. Air Force A10 Thunderbolt went missing in 1997 near Eagle, Colorado.

He has spent about 25,000 hours of volunteer time writing and perfecting software for the radar analysis team.

Loughridge was also honored with a Distinguished Service Award from National Headquarters for his achievements form Jan. 26, 2000-Nov. 20, 2016.

“I am humbled to be honored in such a way, but it is not about one person,” Loughridge said. “We are a team of over 56,000 members working together to save lives.

“While I have played a role in changing the way we conduct search and rescue missions, I would never have been so successful at making changes had it not been for our other team members, in particular our team commander, Col. Greg Cortum, and vice commander, Lt. Col. John Henderson.

“I have received support and encouragement, from all the Colorado Wing members at every level to the national commander, every step of the way. Without this support, none of this would have ever been possible,” he said.

Tipton told those assembled that “Capt Loughridge is one more example of what has made Civil Air Patrol such a great asset to the U.S. Air Force as it celebrates its 75 years of service to our great nation.”