07:32 AM

Wyo. Wing Delivers COVID-19 Test Samples, Kits

The Wyoming Wing's Teton County Senior Squadron flew 470 COVID-19 test samples and three boxes of test kits from St. John’s Medical Center in Teton County to the Wyoming Public Health Lab in Cheyenne on May 29.

The squadron conducted the mission in coordination with Teton County Emergency Management Coordinator Rich Ochs and the state Office of Homeland Security.

The samples, in two large sealed coolers, were transported to Miley Memorial Field by Public Health’s Stephanie Lund and loaded on a Civil Air Patrol Cessna piloted by 1st Lt. Alex Heil. Heil flew to Cheyenne Regional Airport, where the samples were unloaded and delivered to Public Health’s Cari Sloma.

Lt. Col. Rick Fawcett, Wyoming Wing director of operations, served as the mission’s incident commander, and Lt. Col. Rod Burnett, assistant director of operations, served as air operations branch director.

Heil’s return flight was delayed by severe weather conditions near Big Piney, requiring an overnight stay in Cheyenne. Heil completed the return flight May 30 with the empty sample coolers, avoiding windy conditions to land safely back in Big Piney.

The pilot wore protective gear during the flight ,and the aircraft was cleaned and sanitized in accordance with CAP’s COVID-19 procedures.

Acting as a Total Force partner and the official U.S. Air Force auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to non-military threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.