Civil Air Patrol’s Tornado Response Continues

2 more CAP wings flying reconnaissance missions following tornado outbreak
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. ­ Two more Civil Air Patrol wings ­ Tennessee
and Mississippi ­ have taken to the skies to photograph the devastation
wrought by this week¹s deadly tornado outbreak across the Southeast. The
Tennessee Wing flew today above Lincoln County, where tornadoes caused
widespread destruction and killed a couple living in the Flintville area.
Wing Commander Col. Bill Lane said aircrews were taking photos in Lincoln
County and neighboring Moore County so that the Tennessee Emergency
Management Agency could assess the damage. In Mississippi, a CAP aircrew
from the wing¹s Golden Triangle Composite Squadron took photos Tuesday in
two tornado-ravaged areas near Tupelo and Louisville. ³They saw a lot of
destruction,² said Mississippi Incident Commander Lt. Col. Mike Hainsey. At
least 15 people have died in Mississippi as a result of tornadoes. The CAP
flights in Tennessee and Mississippi followed two days of flying by aircrews
belonging to the Arkansas Wing. The aircrews took aerial photos as well as
video of hard-hit areas in central Arkansas and photographed a tornado track
for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A similar flight
following the path of the Tupelo tornado was made today by the Mississippi
Wing, and another is planned Thursday in Tennessee. Civil Air Patrol, the
official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with
60,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its
Air Force auxiliary role, performs about 85 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
70 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals 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 25,000 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 over 72 years. CAP
also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember,
honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.