Thursday, May 19, 2016

Civil Air Patrol conducts exercise in Corinth, Alcorn County, Mississippi

Roscoe Turner Airport will be the site of a joint exercise as the Mississippi (MSWG) and Tennessee (TNWG) Wings of the Civil Air Patrol visit the airfield to conduct their activities.

Weather permitting, flying on Friday, May 20 and will continue throughout the weekend. Exercises will conclude on Monday, May 23.

Members from both Wings will work together to simulate real-life Search and Rescue and Disaster Relief and Recovery scenarios, in preparation for their biannual Operations Evaluation.

“Not only is the first time the Civil Air Patrol has conducted their activities at Roscoe Turner, but it is also a multi-state venture which is rare because the Mississippi and Tennessee Wings haven’t done so before,” said Corinth-Alcorn County Airport Manager Donna Briggs. “During natural disasters such as tornadoes and other emergencies such as a missing child or person, the Civil Air Patrol steps up to help locate missing persons as well as those injured in disasters.”

Wings throughout the country are observed and graded by the United States Air Force (CAP/USAF) every two years. The purpose being to determine a given Wing’s readiness to perform missions assigned to it by the USAF, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC), federal, state and local agencies.

"This is the first time that two Wings will be graded jointly and separately,” said MSWG Incident Commander, Lt. Col. Hank Rogers. “The purpose is to see how well adjoining states can share their assets and personnel over a multi-day mission.”

“Not since Operation Deepwater Horizon has the MSWG had the opportunity to work so closely with an adjoining Wing,” he continued. “Our goal is to demonstrate to the United States Air Force our ability to work as a team to accomplish the tasks assigned to us."

Roscoe Turner Airport was chosen as the location for the exercise due to its close proximity to the Mississippi and Tennessee State Lines. It also affords the opportunity for both Wings to emulate real world tactics and procedures as if it were a real mission. Returning to Corinth, the actual OPS/EVAL will be conducted the second weekend in July.

During the event, both Wings will bring their their aircraft, aircrews, ground teams and Urban Direction Finding Personnel. In addition to lost individuals and tornadoes, the practice will include scenarios such as simulations of missing aircraft, post flooding rescue and recovery efforts. Counter drug interdiction will also be covered.

“The Civil Air Patrol will demonstrate its latest aerial photography equipment, designed to provide departments of HLS, FEMA, MEMA and other state and federal agencies the tools they need to make damage assessments and decisions on where and when to send needed manpower and materials.”

The exercise will receive one of four possible Operations Evaluation ratings: unsuccessful, successful, excellent and outstanding. The Mississippi Wing scored an overall Outstanding on their 2014 evaluation.

A non-profit organization with 57,000 members nationwide, the Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and has been performing missions for America for 75 years.

“Many volunteers who serve in the Civil Air Patrol are former military, retired military or physicians,” said Briggs. “So, CAP is made up of people from a wide variety of different backgrounds.”

“This exercise is good for the airport because of the increase in aviation fuel sales and the hangar fees that activities like this typically bring,” she added. “It is also good for the community because Wings will be booking local hotels and coming together as one to see what our little town looks like and what we have to offer. Hopefully, they will come back once the exercise is over.)

Taking to the evening sky at 5 p.m. on Friday, spectators can expect to see anywhere from two to 10 planes in the air.

(For more information about CAP, visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com.)

Read more: Daily Corinthian - Civil Air Patrol conducts exercise in Corinth 

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