Aircrews from the Minnesota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol have accumulated more than 100 hours of high-tech flying time in recent days, supporting disaster relief efforts in the Red River Valley in North Dakota.
“Minnesota Wing has a reputation of excellence and providing a strong response when called upon. This has been demonstrated repeatedly during the Red River flooding,” said Maj. Paul Pieper, Minnesota Wing’s emergency services director and incident commander for the wing’s ongoing flood response missions.
As of March 23, the bulk of the wing’s flying time has been dedicated to Civil Air Patrol’s expanding ARCHER operations in Minnesota and North Dakota. Twenty CAP members from the Minnesota Wing have taken part in 33 flights in support of Airborne Real-time Cueing Hyperspectral Enhanced Reconnaissance, or ARCHER, which produces high-resolution aerial images that are assisting state and federal emergency management officials in their assessments of flood damage.
In the early days of the disaster relief effort, from March 3-17, wing members took part in 11 air sorties totaling 16 flying hours as the wing ramped up its preparations for flood response missions based in the Fargo, N.D-Moorhead, Minn., area. In all, 35 wing volunteers worked the preparation flights, accumulating 210 personnel hours.
Mission tempo increased when ground teams from across Minnesota were dispatched to the area on March 16, assisting with sandbagging and dike building efforts. Reports from North Dakota Wing indicate that more than 30 dwellings in the two cities were saved due to CAP’s ground team efforts. The ground team portion of the mission involved 85 members who provided more than 3,000 hours of service. Aircrews flew five sorties totaling 13 flying hours in direct support of the ground team efforts.
The Minnesota Wing consists of 23 squadrons located in every area of the state, with more than 1,300 members and 17 light aircraft. The wing routinely flies thousands of hours per year of operational flights and contributes some 10,000-plus hours to search and rescue, counterdrug, disaster preparedness, homeland security and other humanitarian mission flying.
For more information: GoCivilAirPatrol.com.