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AFNORTH’s CAP takes flight to assist tornado recovery

  • Published
  • First Air Force - Air Forces Northern

AFNORTH Civil Air Patrol aircrews are flying storm surveys to assist the National Weather Service and the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency in gauging the official intensities of the deadly tornadoes that ripped into the Midwest on Dec. 10.

Acting as a Total Force partner and as the U.S. Air Force auxiliary for missions managed by First Air Force - Air Forces Northern, the Civil Air Patrol Kentucky Wing is rapidly responding.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the tornado devastation, especially during this holiday season,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Kirk Pierce, First Air Force-Air Forces Northern commander. “Our auxiliary support flying aerial surveys are working diligently to help the interagency response effort so our Kentucky neighbors can get through these challenging times.”

Kentucky Wing aircrews carried out a dozen sorties over the past two days, flying nearly 20 hours to provide imagery for the recovery effort in their state. More than 1,200 photos were taken on Sunday, the first day of operations.

CAP’s volunteer professionals routinely train to perform such aerial surveys with federal partners such as the National Weather Service, the Department of Homeland Security and state and local emergency management agencies.

CAP members are on call throughout the Midwest to participate in the tornado response.

{Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the tornado devastation, especially during this holiday season}Air Force Lt. Gen. Kirk Pierce, First Air Force-Air Forces Northern commander

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 more than 2,100 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems and performs about 90% of all search and rescue operations within the contiguous United States as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often using innovative cell phone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 107 lives during the past year. 

CAP’s 56,000 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 resources. Members also serve as mentors to nearly 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.

Visit www.CAP.News or www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.