Louisiana Wing’s Aerial Photography Teams Activated
BATON ROUGE, La. – As Tropical Storm Harvey departed Southwestern Louisiana Thursday, the air and ground resources of Civil Air Patrol’s Louisiana Wing were activated to support the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in their recovery efforts in the flood-devastated Lake Charles area.
Using Lake Charles Regional Airport as a staging area, CAP aircraft from home bases around the state were tasked by GOHSEP to fly four aerial photography sorties over the city itself and over surrounding storm-impacted areas. One plane and aircrew were directed to identify and photograph damaged infrastructure and other targets of interest along the Calcasieu Ship Channel. They also flew eastward along the state’s Gulf Coast looking for and photographing possible damages resulting from tidal storm surge.
The images obtained by the CAP aircrews were flown back to the Lake Charles staging area, processed and delivered to GOHSEP. Information derived from these images enabled the agency’s emergency managers to more quickly and accurately determine how to direct recovery resources and personnel.
Louisiana Wing’s support for GOHSEP is being directed by Civil Air Patrol Incident Commander Lt. Col. Charles Smith. A resident of Monroe, La., Smith said, “CAP volunteers can produce near-real-time aerial views of storm damages at very low cost to our clients. We’re doing that today for GOHSEP.”
Civil Air Patrol’s efforts in Louisiana come a day after CAP’s aircrews began flying for the state of Texas and FEMA along that state’s coastline and in and around Houston. As in Louisiana, CAP members are taking photos of key infrastructure and resources over communities ravaged by then-Category 4 hurricane, which was accompanied by torrential rains that prompted unprecedented flooding in south central Texas.
Local CAP info:
Lt. Col. Amos A. Plante
Louisiana Wing, Civil Air Patrol
Public Information Officer
(o) 225.359.9497(c) 504.650.6570
Lt. Col. Johanna Augustine
Texas Wing, Civil Air Patrol
Public Information Officer
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.