More than 600 of Civil Air Patrol’s citizen volunteers are receiving multidisciplinary training over the next two weeks at the National Emergency Services Academy (NESA).
Now in its 14th year, NESA is held at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, a 35,000-acre Indiana National Guard facility in Edinburgh, Ind. NESA consists of three schools – National Ground Search and Rescue School, Incident Command System School and Mission Aircrew School. Each school consists of several courses conducted as one-week sessions focusing on specific skills. A total of 20 courses are offered.
“It is incredible to see how much NESA and CAP have grown and changed over the last 14 years,” said Lt. Col. John Desmarais, NESA’s founder and deputy director of operations at Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters. “The first two sessions of NESA held in 1996 and 1997 had less than 100 personnel, including both staff and students, and only focused on ground search and rescue. This year we expect more than 300 personnel each session week, and will have personnel from every state in the nation participating in all of the emergency services mission areas that CAP supports.”
National Ground Search and Rescue School provides members the skills they need to expertly perform ground searches for missing people and aircraft. Incident Command System School covers the skills needed for members to be leaders and staff officers at the incident command post and manage operations involving varying degrees of difficulty. Mission Aircrew School teaches critical skills needed for pilots and other crew members to stay at the top of their game and support some of CAP’s primary missions, like conducting airborne reconnaissance and delivering imagery for impact assessment after disasters like the current oil spill response on the Gulf Coast.
CAP performs 90% of all inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. In fiscal year 2009, CAP was credited with saving 72 lives. To date in fiscal year 2010, CAP has been credited with an additional 97 saves.
Civil Air Patrol volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 24,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 68 years. For more information: GoCivilAirPatrol.com.