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Flood response missions continue in South Carolina

posted Oct 8, 2015, 11:34 AM by Matt Hamrick


October 7, 2015

COLUMBIA, South CarolinaCivil Air Patrol members from three wings spent about 85 hours aloft in 14 planes Tuesday identifying locations in flood-drenched South Carolina that required or will soon require search and rescue missions, and the South Carolina Wing’s commander expects a comparable effort today.

Airmen from the South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina wings also provided damage assessment reports and photos for emergency officials on the ground, said Col. Francis H. Smith Jr., wing commander. About 100 CAP members were involved in the flood response Tuesday, Smith said.

“We expect similar numbers (Wednesday),” he added.

“Even now, there are CAP members that are compiling reports and continuing to plan for the next operational periods,” he said in an email late Tuesday. “We’ll kick off again early in the morning.”

“We will also have a couple of aircraft and aircrews set aside to fly federal, state and local officials that need to see what they’re dealing with,” Smith said.

In addition to two aircrews and planes each from the Georgia and North Carolina wings, Smith said, a GippsAero GA8 Airvan and an aircrew from Maryland arrived Tuesday and will fly today. A Cessna 206 from the North Carolina Wing is also expected, he said.

“Every bit of support we have asked for we have received without hesitation,” Smith said.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of Regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and 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. Civil Air Patrol’s 58,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its Airmen additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Civil Air Patrol received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. Congressionally chartered 74 years ago, the nonprofit organization also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.

CAP contact:
Capt. Matthew D. Hamrick, South Carolina Wing Public Affairs Officer – – 843-693-4700