S.C. Wing Conducting Post-Florence Flights
1st Lt. Rachael J. Mercer
Public Affairs Officer
South Carolina Wing
Members of the South Carolina Wing began staffing the wing’s mission base in Columbia on Monday in response to Hurricane Florence. The same day, pilots and aircrews from across the wing flew seven sorties throughout the state with the goal of photographing bridges, railroad tracks, interstates and other infrastructure that might be damaged by the widespread rising water.
In addition, aircrews flew a sortie designed to locate people in distress in the flood zone near the South and North Carolina border. The mission involved 75 Civil Air Patrol volunteers, with more expected to participate over the next few days. More sorties are expected to be flown today.
While pilots, mission observers and mission photographers play a vital role in the sortie completion, other roles are filled with senior members and cadets with other skill sets. For example, cadets are involved in data uploading to partner organizations after a photography mission.
Senior members are involved in planning sorties and arranging routes for efficiency and safety. Communicating with pilots throughout the mission to log their location and weather conditions is also important, and involves trained cadets and senior members.
CAP, acting as the Air Force Auxiliary, is supporting Air Forces Northern during Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations following the landfall of Hurricane Florence on the East Coast. AFNORTH's primary role is to support U.S. Northern Command's efforts to provide assistance to FEMA's Florence relief efforts.