News>Grissom Emergency Management, CAP work together
GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- Senior Airman Ryan Covert and Staff Sgt. Timothy Jones, 434th Communications Squadron ground radio maintenance apprentices, work in the Grissom emergency management trailer during a training exercise in Kokomo, Ind. The exercise was meant to test the response capabilities of the emergency management team and the local Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Dustin Schimp
GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- A member of the local Civil Air Patrol operates a radio direction finder during an exercise with the Grissom emergency management team and members of the 434th Communications Squadron in Kokomo, Ind. The exercise gave the organizations the opportunity to work together and train with their equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robert Wydock Jr.)
GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- Senior Airman Zachary Gray, 434th Communications Squadron network systems journeyman, shows a local girl a land mobile radio during a training exercise in Kokomo, Ind. The exercise was meant to test the response capabilities of the emergency management team and the local Civil Air Patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Dustin Schimp)
GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- Members of the local Civil Air Patrol prepare to conduct an exercise with the Grissom emergency management team and members of the 434th Communications Squadron in Kokomo, Ind. The exercise gave the organizations the opportunity to work together and train with their equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robert Wydock Jr.)
GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- A mobile communications center is set up during an exercise for Grissom's emergency management team and the local Civil Air Patrol in Kokomo, Ind. The exercise tested their response capabilities to a plane crash scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robert Wydock Jr.)
by 2nd Lt. Dustin T Schimp
434th Communications Squadron
7/27/2012 - GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- An F-16Cs flight is suddenly disrupted by a bird strike disabling the aircraft's only engine, forcing the pilot to eject before the aircraft crashes into a field in southern Miami County.
Upon parachuting back to the ground, the pilot's leg is broken due to a harsh landing. With no help in sight, the injured pilot's only link to the outside world is his emergency locator transmitter.
Although this scenario didn't really happen, it was part of an exercise that tested the response capability of Grissom's emergency management team and the local Civil Air Patrol.
During the exercise, a convoy of government vehicles converged at the Howard-Miami Mennonite Church in Kokomo, Ind., where personnel from the 434th Communications Squadron hustled to establish the critical links between rescuers.
"We have the capability to merge the CAP, emergency, medical, fire and law enforcement communication networks together which really multiplies the effectiveness and cooperation of first responders," said Senior Airman Ryan Covert, 434th CS ground radio maintenance. "The centralized capabilities that Grissom's state-of-the-art emergency management trailer provides can be crucial in the aftermath of a natural disaster or major accident."
Shortly after the emergency management trailer had arrived on scene and established communications with the Grissom command post and other agencies, CAP launched an air and ground search party to locate the simulated downed pilot. With the ground view obscured by foggy conditions, CAP Flight 131 used the pilot's emergency transmitter to help determine his location.
Once the CAP plane had a lock on the pilot's location, they were able to direct a ground search team to the crash site and provide immediate medical attention and care to help evacuate the injured pilot.
Using the emergency management trailer, the on-scene commander and CAP representatives could coordinate their efforts with state and local authorities to be as effective as possible.
"What made this exercise so important it was the first time in memory where CAP and the 434th (Air Refueling Wing) worked together to test their resources," said Mike Moran, the Indiana state director for the Civil Air Patrol. "This exercise proved CAP can be valuable to the base and gave all participants real-world, real-time practice."
Daniel DeAngulo, Grissom's emergency manager, said the exercise marked the start of a deepening relationship between Grissom emergency management and CAP, one that will be further refined through subsequent exercises that will continue to promote Grissom's disaster response capabilities.
"This was an excellent opportunity to provide hands-on recovery training to the Civil Air Patrol," said DeAngulo. "They got to interact with and get valuable training from Miami County EMA and life support and emergency management assets from Grissom."
"It also allowed us to deploy our mobile communications center to an off-base site along with (communication) squadron equipment," DeAngulo added. "We can now respond to a major disaster site and establish comm reachback to the command post and the Indiana State Emergency Operations Center."
With the success of the first exercise behind them, Grissom's emergency management team is already planning further exercises that will be more challenging and sophisticated. As for the Civil Air Patrol, they are always available for both real-world emergencies and exercises, should the need arise.
"CAP looks forward to more opportunities to demonstrate its usefulness and service to the nation," said Moran.