13:33 PM

Tenn. Wing Prepares to Assist Florence-Affected East Coast Areas

Lt. Col. Morgan L Torp-Pedersen
Public Affairs Officer
Tennessee Wing

The Tennessee Wing is preparing to provide assistance to its East Coast counterparts in anticipation of Hurricane Florence.

"We have alerted members of the Tennessee Wing and are waiting for deployment orders from the National Operations Center," said Col. Dent Young, Tennessee Wing commander. "The Southeast Region Civil Air Patrol has set up a virtual incident command post, and we have been communicating with members of the Middle East Region."

CAP, the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, operates the nation’s largest fleet of Cessna airplanes. CAP aircraft provides effective, low-cost options for aerial assessment of disaster areas and search-and-rescue functions.

"All CAP wings in Southeast Region stand ready to support hurricane recovery efforts, whether on the mainland or in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands," said Col. Barry Melton, Southeast Region commander.

"We especially want to support the Middle East Region since these folks came to our aid last summer during our response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. We stand ready to provide aerial imagery to state and federal agencies and can provide communications support, either on-site or from a remote location," Melton said.

Florence, recently downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, is expected to make landfall tonight or early Friday near the North and South Carolina border. Major inland flooding, dangerous storm surge and destructive winds are expected during what’s predicted to be a slow advance across the Southeast into early next week.

Along with the Tennessee Wing, CAP’s Southeast Region includes the Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Puerto Wings. The Middle East Regions consists of the North and South Carolina, Delaware, Maryland, National Capital, Virginia and West Virginia wings.