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The Command Staff Go to Washington

posted Mar 14, 2013, 3:36 PM by Mary Giles

(From Left to Right) Lt Col Frances Smith, Col Jay Lindler, Representative Joe Wilson, Major Mary Giles, and Lt Col Art Giles

By Major Mary Giles, SCWG/PA

Washington D. C. – The South Carolina Wing Command Staff and Public Affairs Officer went to meet with the South Carolina Delegation at the Capital this month. The purpose of the meetings was to bring both the story of South Carolina Wing and the financial plight of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) to the Senators and Congressmen.  The team met with the Members or their staff, of both Senators and all but one Representative.  The legislative team had pleasure and honor of talking Rep. Joe Wilson (R-2nd District) for an extended period of time.  Rep. Wilson feels so strong that CAP is force for good, that he made time during his busy day to listen to the team’s concerns and pledge his support.

At each office the team presented the good works and amount of hours that the South Carolina volunteers have contributed to the state and nation. They also explained that immediately after Super Storm Sandy, 21 wings from the Middle East, Northeast and Great Lakes regions flew 696 sorties for 1,407 hours and uploaded 158,012 geotagged images for FEMA. For the first time, FEMA also used CAP imagery to allow residents who had to evacuate their homes to see the damage. Using crisis mapping tools developed specifically for this response, people were able to search online photos CAP took near their address.

The team went on to explain that as sequestration continued, the CAP would not have the funds to maintain aircraft and vehicles, or to train the members.  This would cripple the wings ability to prosecute Air Force Authorized missions.

The legislators received this information warmly and many pledged their support and thanked the team for the great work the CAP is doing.  Presently there is bill that has passed the House and is on the way to the Senate, which would restore 100% of the Civil Air Patrol’s funding for this fiscal year.

Maybe not the “Best Kept Secret” anymore.