La. Wing Flying Hurricane Impact Assessment Missions
Lt. Col. Amos Plante
Chief of Staff
Aircrews and ground teams with Civil Air Patrol’s Louisiana Wing have joined federal and Louisiana state emergency managers’ efforts to assess Hurricane Ida’s impact.
Their mission is to gather aerial and ground-level photos and data for use by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).
Beginning Tuesday afternoon, the wing has flown five extensive aerial sorties, photographing areas of severe wind damage and flooding in the Greater New Orleans Metropolitan Area and in areas extending from Thibodaux south to Houma and southeast to Galliano. The flights were launched from bases in Patterson, Gonzales and Baton Rouge.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Louisiana as they continue to endure the effects of the hurricane,” said Brig. Gen. William Betts, vice commander,1st Air Force, Air Forces Northern. “CAP is working nonstop with local authorities to help the community recover as soon as possible.”
Acting as a Total Force partner and as the U.S. Air Force auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol helps 1st Air Force rapidly respond to nonmilitary threats domestically in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.
The Louisiana Wing operates nine single-engine aircraft, some equipped with special camera and navigation systems for generating precise, high-definition photos. When called into service, these aircraft are flown by a crew of three — a pilot, an observer and a scanner/photographer.
The collected imagery and its imbedded data are immediately processed and converted into both 2D and 3D images for FEMA and GOHSEP emergency managers to use in planning and expediting recovery efforts.
CAP aircraft are also being used to maintain communications networks in Louisiana as well as in surrounding states after the storm.
"This wing has a long and distinguished history of responding to requests for assistance following disastrous hurricanes like Ida,” said.Maj. Tracy Breithaupt, commander for the damage assessment mission. “We’ll once again apply our unique capabilities in support of post-Ida recovery efforts.”
The flights are expected to continue today and through the weekend and possibly into next week.