78 members, including adults and cadets as young as 12 from all across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Tennessee practiced hands on Search and Rescue techniques under harsh winter conditions to help them know what to do in the event of a real missing persons search or other emergency. Since missing person searches can happen at ANY time of year, under any conditions, it is important to train for all possible scenarios. They also learned important survival techniques they can use to keep themselves alive and safe in inclement weather.
Experienced members taught skills such as camp setup, fire building, how to keep warm, and land navigation to their fellows. Back at base, staff members were trained in support positions to help the total mission.
“It’s important to train like this because supervised training under the harshest conditions sets you up to do our best in any environment,” said Cadet Chief Master Sergeant DeRubeis from Allegheny County Composite Squadron, “When I get back to school on Monday it’s nice to know I had a fun weekend learning important skills.”
“I am very proud of all of our members, cadets and adults, who have taken the time this weekend to come out and train for our Emergency Services mission. Training like this keeps us ready for missions like the one we participated in this past week in Somerset County for the missing snowmobiler who was found safe,” said Colonel Sandra Brandon, Pennsylvania Wing Commander.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 71 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com to find a squadron near you.