Staff Sections

Main Content

Standing ready to assist during the storm.

Story Tools

NC wing responds to a severe weather occurence

2/21/2014––Last week the southern United States was impacted by a strong winter storm which left most of the State of North Carolina under several inches to a foot or more of snow .

While news agencies were pleading with viewers to stay indoors and ride out the storm, members of the North Carolina Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) were being asked to volunteer to respond to the needs of their fellow citizens in case they were called upon to render assistance.

The response to the request for volunteers was immense. Maj. John May, NC wing director of emergency services stated “over the 4 days of Thursday, February 13 to Sunday, February 16, Seventy ground team members from twelve squadrons, sixty-two aircrew members from 7 squadrons, and 8 aircraft were all made available to respond to any request made by the governor or United States Air Force.”

While the overall storm impact did not require any assistance from CAP, May stated, “the unselfish spirit of these senior members and cadets alike speak to their commitment to selfless service that has become the benchmark of the Civil Air Patrol over the past seventy years.”

Throughout the United States, approximately 60,000 members of the Civil Air Patrol train countless hours in various scenarios to respond to the needs of their fellow countrymen. The major area that the members focus their training is in search and rescue both by air (the Civil Air Patrol has a fleet of over 500 aircraft), and with ground teams. Additionally, members have become trained in disaster assistance as well, aiding in managing points of distribution for supplies and post disaster photo recon-naissance to aid officials in determining the scope of the disasters just to name a few.

The amazing thing to remember about this committed group is, they do it for free. In fact, they pay for all their uniforms and much of the equipment. Most volunteer for years, even decades without ever receiving recognition for their service outside of the squadrons they serve. As the calmer weather entered the region on Sunday, the members were allowed to stand down and return to their routine lives.

This Saturday, many of these same volunteers will again give up their day off to participate in a Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) to refine skills and procedures that they can use when their services are again needed throughout the state and the country.