Hawaii Wing Cadets Participate in Lane Flooding Response
Capt. Jennifer Herrington
Public Affairs Officer
Hawaii Wing cadets formed the bulk of a ground photography team Tuesday on Maui, gathering photographic evidence of the flash-flood impact resulting from Hurricane Lane, while an Oahu cadet filled an essential role on the Big Island as a mission radio operator at the Kona Incident Command Post.
The Maui Composite Squadron cadets were led by Maj. Charles Dryden, squadron commander, and Capt. Chantal Lonergan, the Hawaii Wing inspector general. The cadets were:
- Cadet Senior Master Sgts. Xiana Crenshaw and Jaden Pladera,
- Cadet Master Sgt. Kaiya Meier,
- Cadet Staff Sgt. Arnubi Gomes, and
- Cadet Senior Airman Jonah Wilsey-Botelho.
The ground photography team was sent out to examine and photograph four locations the Federal Emergency Management Agency identified as flood-impact areas, covering a distance of over 50 miles. FEMA has asked members of the Hawaii Wing and the general public to download the agency's app to their smartphones and use it to take photos of high-water marks (HWMs) from receding floodwaters and water “wreck lines” left by flash floods.
In an email to Incident Command Post personnel Tuesday, FEMA Geospatial Information Officer Christopher Vaughan applauded Civil Air Patrol’s contributions to the FEMA mission: “The deployment of CAP ground teams to collect HWM’s will drastically change how quickly we (GIS) can generate initial flood extents following impact.”
In Kona, Cadet Capt. Zachary Simbajon served as the mission radio operator for the Incident Command Post. Simbajon maintained communication between the post and members of the Maui ground photography team in order to monitor the status of their operations, their location and their welfare. The Maryknoll Cadet Squadron member also served as a mission staff assistant to the incident command team, performing whatever tasks would allow adult team members to keep up with phone calls, correspondence and customer requests.
Dryden praised the cadets’ performance. “The cadets executed the mission well. They faced and overcame a number of challenges to help make the mission a success,” he said.
“One of the biggest challenges was incorporating multiple technology platforms so that the team could translate location data received from the FEMA tasking into viable routes using available roads and paths. They also practiced radio communications, and at one site, they interviewed local residents affected by the storm,” Dryden said.