McGuire AFB –The New Jersey Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) joined forces with other CAP units from the Northeast Region to conduct a simulated disaster relief exercise on Saturday July 31st. Approximately 38 members of the New Jersey Wing were involved including numerous air crews flying single-engine Cessna 172 recon aircraft throughout the state and ground teams training in Ocean, Monmouth, and Cape May counties.

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CAP Cessna 172 used for photo reconnaissance missions.

 

The exercise scenario involved response to a simulated, wide-spread category 4 hurricane disaster with sustained winds in exess of 132 mph which necessitated support from adjacent CAP wings including units in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont.

The supposed "Hurricane Hailey" flooded a wide expanse of coastal area and the heavy winds damaged multiple towns along the New Jersey and New York coastlines. The teams successfully conducted air and ground operations tasked by the Northeast Region Incident Command Post located at MacArthur Airport on Long Island. 

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 NJ CAP Wing Chaplain Lt. Col. Daniel Miles (R), a resident of Whiting, and Disaster Communications Leader Major Robert Eboch (L), a resident of Moorestown, test computer communications link to MacArthur Airport on Long Island prior to start of nine-state "Hurricane Hailey" disaster exercise

The New Jersey photo recon aircrews took high resolution images and transmitted them to the crisis and emergency management team at New Jersey CAP Wing HQ on McGuire AFB. After review by the Incident Command team in New Jersey, the photos were transmitted to the command post in New York. The New Jersey Incident Commander was Lt. Col. Steven Tracy, a resident of Jackson Township.

 After 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, communication breakdowns and interoperability were identified as critical areas for all government agencies. Saturday's simulation provided further training in region-wide communications as well as incident interoperability involving several states.

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Incident Commander Lt. Col. Steven Tracy ( at podium), a resident of Jackson, briefs the New Jersey CAP Crisis and Emergency Management Team on air and ground tasks required to complete simulated hurricane disaster mission operations. To his right is Lt. Eric Allen Cohen, commander of the Pineland Composite Squadron located at Lakewood Airport who is training as an Incident Commander.

Planning for this exercise began when the Northeast Region Commander discussed the concept of multiple CAP wings supporting each other in a natural disaster scenario by conducting joint search and rescue and distaster-relief training to simulate a measured response to an adjacent state.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 58,000 members nationwide. CAP performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) and was credited with saving over 100 lives in fiscal year 2009.Over 1800 members volunteered 8000 hours of their time during Hurricane Katrina disaster relief operations Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 25,000 teenagers currently participating in the CAP cadet program.

There are more than 1200 CAP members in New Jersey, the birthplace of the organization on December 1, 1941. For information about the New Jersey Wing including units located in your area visit http://www.njwg.cap.gov