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Air Force Grades South Carolina Civil Air Patrol as “Excellent”

posted Aug 16, 2014, 6:37 AM by Ray Schnell

Press Release - LANCASTER, SC- 11 AUGUST 2014

After sixteen grueling days of tests, tasks and simulated emergencies the Air Force has passed judgment on the performance of the South Carolina Wing of the Civil Air Patrol – and it is excellent.  Every two years the operational readiness of the entire wing is checked for preparedness, responsiveness and effectiveness with a graded evaluation under the auspices of the United States Air Force.  For the first time members and aircraft from CAP’s North Carolina Wing were also involved and played a critical role in a multistate scenario.

This year the simulation was built around a hypothetical extreme drought in the Carolinas.  The teams were measured on their response to both scheduled and unexpected demands from numerous federal and state agencies for immediate aerial reconnaissance, aerial photos and communications support as well as ground response across two states.  As the exercise progressed, other scenario inputs such as simulated lost aircraft, vacationers and hikers were thrown in to the mix in order to evaluate Search and Rescue, Disaster Relief, and Homeland Security Support capabilities.  The close coordination of both South and North Carolina in performing a safe, effective, and efficient mission was under close scrutiny.

The final evaluation?  An overall grade of Excellent.  Lt. Colonel Kevin Hubbard, USAF, the evaluation team leader said, “We were very pleased and impressed with what we saw out of both CAP wings.  The cooperation between them enabled an intentionally stressful exercise to be completed safely and professionally.”

Colonel Francis Smith, the Civil Air Patrol Wing Commander for South Carolina, commented, “I could not be more proud of the hard work and commitment of all of our members and the dedication of the senior staff in this exercise.  We’re very appreciative of the opportunity to work with our friends from North Carolina and prove once again that there are no borders in CAP when it comes to Emergency Services.  This is the third consecutive ‘Excellent’ rating for South Carolina and once again proves that we stand ready to assist our fellow Carolinian's whenever an emergency requires our skills and capabilities.”

Not many Carolinian's are aware of the vital role that CAP plays in support of local, state and federal responsiveness.  Civil Air Patrol was born one week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor when thousands of volunteer members answered America's call to national service and sacrifice by accepting and performing critical wartime missions. Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, the contributions of Civil Air Patrol, including logging more than 500,000 flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines, and saving hundreds of torpedoed sailors and crashed airmen during World War II, are well documented.

After the war, a thankful nation understood that Civil Air Patrol could continue providing valuable services both locally and nationally so on May 26, 1948, Congress passed Public Law 557 permanently establishing Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.  Three primary mission areas were set forth at that time: aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services. 

Civil Air Patrol Wings are generally organized by state or U.S. Territory.  Each Wing is made up of volunteer-professionals from every walk of life who train continuously to be immediately ready to assist in search and rescue, disaster recovery and support of civilian and government agency missions.  The “Modern Minutemen” continuously train for both air and ground support missions and have multiple types of aircraft, ground transportation units and sophisticated radio and digital communication equipment available to execute quickly and effectively.

There are local CAP squadrons all across both North and South Carolina and you can find our more on the national web site:


CAP Contacts

Colonel Francis Smith, Civil Air Patrol Wing Commander for South Carolina

(803) 261-4981 C

Maj. Philip O’Reilly, SAR Exercise Pubilc Information Officer

(484) 678-2600 C