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NC Wing, CAP Completes First Wave of Aerial Photo Missions

Winston-Salem Aircrew
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Lt. Col. Wally Courtney, Capt. Rheta Perkins and Maj. Arnie Andresen at Mission Base in Delaware. (click image to view full size)
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Two Wing Aircraft are Back in State Awaiting New Assignments

11/9/2012–– This past weekend, two North Carolina Wing aircraft, from Asheville and Winston-Salem, completed several aerial photo missions in areas severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. NC Wing Commander, Col. David E. Crawford said, “Our aircrews submitted more than 2500 digital images to FEMA from areas in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. We flew our standard grid patterns used when we are searching for missing aircraft, taking photos at 15 to 20 second intervals giving FEMA an aerial map of the surface. ” 

FEMA has implemented a highly efficient and rapid means of getting the photos to those who need them: Images are sent  to a team of volunteers all across the country who examine them, and then rank them as to the damage visible. The first day this method was used, 16,000 images were uploaded and the FEMA volunteers had them ranked within about 20 minutes.  

Crawford stated that the Middle East Region (MER) has asked us to put a team together to go to New Hampshire to relieve the CAP Area Command staff, and if we continue operations out of Wilmington, DE, MER will very likely send additional aircraft to augment the Delaware Wing.

The aerial photographs CAP is providing to FEMA are produced by integrated GPS-equipped digital cameras, which include location-coding of the localities depicted in the images. The NC Wing aircraft  flew a total of 25 hours and completed 11 sorties. 

“Current weather conditions have given CAP volunteers brief respite, while the Nor’easter that just skimmed by the NC coast is now bringing added misery to our neighbors up North,” Crawford said.  

Col. Rick Moseley, MER vice commander, said in a message sent to the seven wings in the region, “Your work is really appreciated by the folks we are working with at FEMA, and they asked us to express their gratitude for the work that all of our volunteers have done. On behalf of Col. Larry Ragland, (Middle East Region Commander), I would like to thank every member that has been supporting this mission for the great work you have been doing.”