Civil Air Patrol stays ready with training exercises at Griffiss

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The New York Wing of the Civil Air Patrol conducted large-scale disaster relief training exercising on Saturday, testing their capabilities and ensuring they’re ready should they be called to action.

Lt. Col. Paul Ghiron, the Wing’s Director of Emergency Services and Incident Commander for the exercise, said this exercise simulates a large-scale state-wide disaster. “It’s important to exercise and train in anything you do, and this facility and airport helps us further those goals.”

Aircraft and crew from all nine of New York’s wings arrived at the Rome base. Civil Air Patrol is prepared — both in the air and on the ground — to perform emergency services for state and local agencies and the federal government as the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.

Aerial reconnaissance is a core part of logistics and disaster situations, such as floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes — and the CAP provides key information when needed the most.

Major Grant Sussey, the Wing’s Director of Operations and Operations Section Chief for the exercise, said it is important to gauge how the Wing’s air crews would handle an emergency if called to action. “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.”

Using innovative cell phone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center with saving 110 lives in 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.

During the Sept. 11 attack, a CAP Cessna 172 was the only non-military aircraft allowed in United States airspace. It provided emergency management officials the first high-resolution images of the World Trade Center site. Nationwide, CAP volunteers transported blood and medical supplies to Ground Zero while also providing communication and transportation support for state and federal officials.

As a nonprofit, 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. For information, visit www.CAP.News or www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com

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