The 13th Air Force, in support of the state of Hawaii Civil Defense, launched planes from Civil Air Patrol’s Hawaii Wing Saturday morning for statewide tsunami warnings following an 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chili.
About 80% of the shoreline in Hawaii does not have a fixed base siren, said Hawaii Wing Commander Col. Roger Caires, adding, “CAP aircraft are the only resource for issuing tsunami warnings, via a speaker system attached to the outside lower portion of their plane’s fuselage.”
Nine Cessnas with full crews flew pre-assigned warning routes around the islands to look for anybody on or near the shoreline. The planes began sounding the tsunami warning at 6 a.m. Hawaii time.
In addition, CAP’s Pacific Region Incident Command Response Team, made up of 20 highly trained members who can dispatch within four hours, prepared to deploy to Hawaii if needed.
“I am proud of our members,” said Caires. “They again met the standard of being ready to launch within one hour.”
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 59,000 members nationwide. CAP performs 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 72 lives in fiscal year 2009. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions, as well as play a leading role in aerospace education and serving as mentors to the more than 24,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. For more information: GoCivilAirPatrol.com.