Conn. Wing Carries Out Exercise with Submarine Base
Lt. Col. Andrew Liput
Government Relations Adviser
The Connecticut Wing participated in a training exercise, “Operation Bird Dog,” to demonstrate Civil Air Patrol capabilities in aerial anti-terrorism force protection support at Naval Base New London in Groton.
The exercise was also designed to train the U.S. Navy’s new submarine commanders through an opposing force simulated event.
Connecticut Wing aircrew members and mission base staff took part in the exercise May 5.
Five CAP planes were involved in the exercise, which featured three distinct command tasks:
- Submarine escort
- Aircraft violation of the submarine’s control area
- Observation and documentation.
Mission base staff coordinated tasks and operations and assured safety and operational security.
Seven Navy observers accompanied the aircrews on their tasks to evaluate CAP readiness and ability to meet future force protection needs. They also recorded the event for Navy senior leadership as well as official Navy publications.
This exercise is the first coordinated training mission between the Connecticut Wing and the Groton submarine base, with the potential for future long-term training and homeland security support missions on the horizon.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the Connecticut Wing,” said Col. James Ridley, Connecticut Wing commander. “The very real potential in developing a new partnership with a valuable homeland security mission with the U.S. Navy's submarine base here in Groton with the goal of extending their Force Protection procedures is exciting.
“Today's joint exercise worked out well for both the Navy and CAP. Pre-planning enabled us to execute a near-flawless mission, and we learned a lot of lessons which will serve us well as part of a longer-term mission, which I anticipate,” Ridley added.
“My hat’s off to all our professional volunteers on both the aircrew and mission base staff; they never cease to amaze me” he said. “I also appreciate the confidence the Navy has shown in us, and I thank them for this opportunity.”
Photos by 1st Lt. George D. Stewart, Igor Sikorsky Senior Squadron