12:13 PM

Michigan Cadets Lead Wing Training Exercise

Beacon search

MIwing1Cadets once more took the lead when more than 100 Michigan Wing members participated May 19-21 in the annual youth-led Operation Wolverine search and rescue exercise.

For Operation Wolverine, cadets fill the leadership roles typically held by adult members. They plan, organize, and lead the weekend exercise, serving in such roles as logistics, planning, operations, public affairs, radio communications. 

In April participating cadets began planning, coordinating, and laying the foundation for the exercise for a successful weekend,

"When the time comes in this program, which will eventually happen, where they need to go out into the field and actually execute a search and rescue mission, hopefully to save someone's life, they will be able to do that effectively," Cadet Lt. Col. Jared Terry, Operation Wolverine incident commander this year, told a reporter for WWMT-TV, the CBS affiliate in Kalamazoo, which aired a report on the exercise.

Operating from Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg Field, cadets took on various scenarios and missions that imitated possible situations Civil Air Patrol might be called on to assist in, including searches for missing individuals or aircraft, aerial photography, and flooding response. 

Cadet staff stayed at the airport, managing their teams on the ground and coordinating the activities of eight Civil Air Patrol aircraft, managing and maintaining radio infrastructure, writing press releases, partnering and coordinating meals with the Kalamazoo Salvation Army, communicating with the teams in the field, and managing the mission budget.

Making plans

Cadets on the ground conducted emergency locator transmitter searches for missing aircraft and searched for missing individuals in urban and rural settings.

In the skies above, some participated as aircrew members.

"For people who are depending on us, for the imaging that's going to help their insurance claims in the case of a flood, to find them and save their lives in which aircraft have gone down in the rural north of the state, we gather here in places like the Battle Creek Executive Airport and practice these things, so that when the New Madrid Fault lets go, or the series of dams breaks, we are ready and prepared to go in the air and on the ground," Lt. Col. Steve Tupper, Michigan Wing vice commander, said during the WWMT report.
Cadet Maj. Matthew Stewart 
Oakland Composite Squadron
Michigan Wing