S.D. Wing Assists NORAD Wind Farm Radar Impact Study
Lt. Col. Michael Marek
Public Affairs Officer
South Dakota Wing
The South Dakota Wing conducted nine flights Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in support of the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s 2021 Field Test and Evaluation radar coverage study in proximity to wind turbines.
The flights allowed CAP to assess whether wind turbine interference limited radar coverage of small aircraft.
Aircrews conducted multiple flight patterns at varying altitudes in the vicinity of wind farms in South Dakota and Minnesota supporting NORAD’s Homeland Defense mission.
“Civil Air Patrol plays a vital role in all of our mission sets, from training our alert aircraft to natural disaster recovery assistance; they are a valued member of the Continental U.S. NORAD Region-1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern) team,” said Brig. Gen. William Betts, vice commander, 1st Air Force, Air Forces Northern. “With their [the South Dakota Wing’s] assistance, NORAD was able to complete field testing ahead of schedule by one week.”
The wing performed a radar coverage study in proximity to wind turbine farms for NORAD at the request of CAP’s National Operations Center at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
“We came up with a plan to fly approximately 100 hours in support of the NORAD mission,” said Lt. Col. Craig Goodrich, incident commander for the mission and South Dakota Wing vice commander. “We’re glad could be of service supporting NORAD.”
“We are a go-to resource for local, state, tribal and federal agencies needing aircraft, ground teams and small search drone operational support,” said Lt. Col. Jeremy Langrock, South Dakota Wing director of operations. “We’re trained in air-to-ground visual searching, airborne damage assessment photography and ground operations.”