MONTGOMERY – The New York Wing of Civil Air Patrol conducted a large-scale disaster relief training exercise on Saturday that tested the surge capabilities by having all operational aircraft converging and re-launching from Rome, NY.
An aircrew from Catskill Mountain Group, based at the Orange County Airport in Montgomery, was tasked with a photo assignment on their way to the Rome base. Meanwhile, ground teams from the group stayed in the Montgomery area to train.
Lt Col Doug Jensen, the incident commander for the exercise, said it simulated a large-scale state-wide disaster. “This scenario not only helps us exercise and train, but allows us to see where we are now and what we need to do to improve our readiness for the community”
Members from Orange County Cadet Squadron and Sullivan County Cadet Squadron participated in the training.
Capt. Michael Mazenac, the ground branch director for the exercise, said it was good to get out and train since the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause to in-person training. “This was a great opportunity to train after 18 months of not being able to because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mazenac said.
Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force.
In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine Cessna aircraft and 1,550 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center.
Often using innovative cell phone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited with saving 110 lives in fiscal 2019. CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. As a nonprofit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Members also serve as mentors to over 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.