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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: CAP's Non-Response to Harvey
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Author Topic: CAP's Non-Response to Harvey  (Read 3343 times)
Fubar
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 626

« on: August 27, 2017, 10:56:43 PM »

I'm sure I'm not alone in having my local paper filled with articles for the past few days about the Red Cross volunteers, Salvation Army volunteers, national urban search and rescue teams, national guard units, disaster medical assistance teams, and even ham radio guys that are in or headed to Houston.

We've got time for a convention that's adjacent to the hurricane.

Hopefully the brain wizards that descend on San Antonio will dedicate some time to discuss what we can do as an organization to be more of a resource in our country's time of need. Or, perhaps decide that's not in our wheelhouse and remove stuff like this from our marketing:

Quote
Disaster Relief                               
Another important service CAP performs is disaster-relief operations. CAP provides air and ground transportation and an extensive communications network. Volunteer members fly disaster-relief officials to remote locations and provide manpower and leadership to local, state and national disaster-relief organizations. CAP has formal agreements with many government and humanitarian relief agencies including the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Every agency listed has responded to Harvey. None apparently needed our help so far.

Even if they did, would we be able to? Do we have a sufficient number of pilots to handle a high-tempo sustained operation? Are ground teams sufficiently trained to wade into a very dangerous situation alongside the professional ground teams FEMA has sent in? Is our communications infrastructure capable of providing comms everywhere we need to hear from?

As CAP shrinks, our ELT missions fade away, and our aircraft fleet size gets smaller, it's time to formally decide what we want to do.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 865

« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2017, 11:00:02 PM »

How many of those others agencies you mention depend on so many teenagers for the ground work? The teens are a big part of our chartered  mission, but greatly hinders  our ability in many areas to 'pick up and go'.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 865

« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2017, 11:05:58 PM »

We have quite a large fleet of small planes that could fly in small loads of supplies in a continuous stream from the surrounding states. Single pilot crew transport flights to maximize payload. Even in a C-172, with average pilot size, you could fill it with nearly 400 pounds of supplies per flight. A couple dozen planes flying just one flight per day each,  could get quite a few tons of supplies into some of these areas in short order.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 11:19:51 PM by etodd » Logged
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 5,885

« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2017, 11:43:20 PM »

We only go when we are requested. WE DO NOT SELF DEPLOY. FEMA knows what we can do.
Disaster Relief is our job and it happens during the recovery effort.
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SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,085
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2017, 11:49:52 PM »

Flying in supplies when the weather still sucks is inefficient at best. They can't be brought directly to where they are needed most, so long distance ground transport will still be required.
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Dave Bowles
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 865

« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2017, 11:52:29 PM »

We only go when we are requested. WE DO NOT SELF DEPLOY. FEMA knows what we can do.
Disaster Relief is our job and it happens during the recovery effort.

I didn't say 'self deploy'. I was just thinking out loud what we could be doing once weather clears a bit.

FEMA 'knows' we can do AP, and I'm sure we will have a couple crews or more flying that. But FEMA just might not be knowledgeable about our full capabilities. Has Hdqs ever sold them on supplies transport as I mentioned above, for example? Maybe they have and FEMA isn't interested. But other agencies handling relief in some of the outlying cities might be excited to hear about us (as FEMA concentrates on Houston).

I don't know ... just thinking out loud. Would be interesting to know what Hdqs does push out there marketing wise besides AP for this type of disaster.

And truly seems sad if we have dozens of planes and pilots 'standing down' when some organization would be happy to see us.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 12:10:00 AM by etodd » Logged
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Eclipse
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2017, 12:32:58 AM »

24 planes times 400 = 9600.

A C17 can haul 170,900 lbs in one flight, and last I checked, the US has lots of those,
not to mention 130's, commercial cargo planes, helicopters, etc., and my understanding
is pretty much anywhere a Cessna could land, so could a 130 or a C17, and in far worse conditions.

This will be one more incident on the hit parade where the response is late, short, and disjointed,
emphasizing again that CAP does not even >have< a DR doctrine, nor a major incident response plan,
let alone the manpower to execute one.

If history informs the future, there will be a lot of emails floating around with instructions
to "check your gear" and units/groups/wings doing "readiness checks" without enough
detail to actually respond in a meaningful way, (most volunteers can't provide open-ended
readiness without details of where and how long) then nothing for a while, then
frantic calls to deploy immediately mid-day on a Tuesday to drive 17 hours with no logistical
support, a bare-minimum team, and no real mission plan.  Some will spin up, then be told
to "hold for instructions", and then it will be a cluster of emails and calls trying to
figure out who is in charge, where to go, and who is paying for it.

More then a few people will burn vacation time, spend a lot of their own money (expecting
reimbursements that never come), and make great effort to sit in an ICP somewhere with
no tasking because the local people don't even know they are there.

A few outside the immediate DA will go because the stars aligned on them personally, not
through any structured preparedness, and the rest will sit and watch TV, gear packed by the
door, again, to hear nothing, go nowhere, but still keep telling work and family "any time now".

CAP has never been, nor is it capable now, of being a national deployment force. What capabilities
it has are focused around local response by day-players who can get a few days off work, and when those
rare few are depleted, there's no second wave.

Moving aircraft regionally, let alone nationally, is a logistical nightmare most members don't understand.
Assuming you can get past 8 regions and 52 wings of special instructions, approvals, and the NOC, there's
still the non-trivial issues of duty days, range, and how many planes are actually operational for cross-country
flying.  Plus, every plane you send is one less at home, reducing an already stressed fleet for normal ops.

Getting them home, often without the "get-there" pilots, is even worse.

For better or worse, these situations are now cash-cows for professional resources and contractors who will
fill-in where local people are stretched beyond capacity and need help.  The places where CAP can get involved,
assuming there are even relationships to begin with, shrink every year.  There are always anecdotal successes,
but on the mean, and strategically, very little CAP can do better, even at the rate of "free crews".

This will almost certainly be the first major disaster incident where UAVs are a factor in searching the DA.
People need boats, or have to wait until the water subsides to go looking.  An inexpensive, consumer-friendly
UAV, with a good operator, can be doing house-to house checks as soon as the wind is calm enough.

Be prepared for lots of photos and stories of members, especially cadets, with wet, GES-only 101 cards handing out water
and helping clear out flooded homes.  Those just make the people who spend their time and money training
ask what the point of the certifications are when clearly anyone can throw on a vest and help when the
water is actually rising.

Has it been mentioned that CAP has no DR doctrine, nor the manpower to execute one?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 01:04:52 AM by Eclipse » Logged

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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 865

« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2017, 12:53:32 AM »

Good response Eclipse.

Mind if I copy and paste that into our recruiting materials we hand out? Maybe add it to our website? Give folks a bit of reality? LOL

Maybe we really ARE just a bunch of folks who like to wear purdy, starched uniforms with meaningless bling. ;)
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Eclipse
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2017, 01:02:53 AM »

Until people in positions of leadership accept the reality of the situation, nothing will change.
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Matthew Congrove
Recruit

Posts: 23

« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2017, 01:45:01 AM »

How can you classify anything as a "non-response" while the disaster is still on-going?

Presumably all the aircraft in the area were relo'd west; do you suggest those aircrews hop in their C172 and fight through IFR and the SIGMET to a flooded airport? Do you suggest we send ground teams out when the only reliable method of rescue at this time is either boat or helo hoists? Most of our members in the Houston area are just as stuck as everyone else, and sending outside folks in while the danger is still coming is an awful idea.

I have never been under the impression that as a CAP member I would be out in the middle of a HURR/TS doing fast-water rescues with the fire department; I don't think anyone else in CAP is, either.

We will do AP, we will do high-bird, we will do ground teams for a variety of tasks, we will do something to assist just like all those other agencies. Rest assured that TXWG and NHQ are preparing to deploy the moment Harvey drifts away. We have staff sitting with the State Guard, Nat'l Guard, and at the Texas SOC as I type. And yes, we are having our annual conference right next door, and that's where the ICP will be next week.

I understand your overall point, and I wish I could get in my truck and head there right now, too; 75% of my unit is willing to ditch work and do the same. But as long as I've been in CAP, this is not the timeframe during which we respond.

Also, what Eclipse said  ;D
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Maj. Matthew Congrove, CAP

Cicero
Forum Regular

Posts: 132
Unit: TBKS

« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2017, 04:14:44 AM »

https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2017/aug/27/fema-arranges-aid-texas-louisiana/
FEMA arranges aid in Texas, Louisiana

The Civil Air Patrol is providing aircraft, vehicles, and personnel to accomplish aerial and ground imaging, damage assessments, and transportation of personnel and light cargo.


https://www.financial-planning.com/opinion/hurricane-harvey-prepare-your-firm-for-natural-disaster
Voices Hurricane Harvey: Prepare your firm for natural disaster
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LTC Don
Seasoned Member

Posts: 354
Unit: MER-NC-143

JoCo CAP
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2017, 08:58:04 AM »

How many of those others agencies you mention depend on so many teenagers for the ground work? The teens are a big part of our chartered  mission, but greatly hinders  our ability in many areas to 'pick up and go'.

In terms of Ground Operations --

Rule Number 1:
Cadet Programs is NOT Emergency Services, and Emergency Services is NOT Cadet Programs. 

Most broken rule in Civil Air Patrol:
Rule Number 1.

As a former Wing DR guy, it breaks my heart to see something like Harvey happen (as we speak), and hear NOTHING about mobilizing the thousands of CAP members out there that want to help.

To see the now viral picture of the elderly trapped in the nursing home, with water up to their waists, and the desperate pleas for more and more boats, and to know CAP is so risk averse to any real ground operations (because of the fear little Jimmy might get hurt), is just.......depressing.

Among other cultural issues, it has been our downfall.


There was a time when............
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 933

« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2017, 09:28:19 AM »

In terms of Ground Operations --

Rule Number 1:
Cadet Programs is NOT Emergency Services, and Emergency Services is NOT Cadet Programs. 

Most broken rule in Civil Air Patrol:
Rule Number 1.

As a former Wing DR guy, it breaks my heart to see something like Harvey happen (as we speak), and hear NOTHING about mobilizing the thousands of CAP members out there that want to help.

To see the now viral picture of the elderly trapped in the nursing home, with water up to their waists, and the desperate pleas for more and more boats, and to know CAP is so risk averse to any real ground operations (because of the fear little Jimmy might get hurt), is just.......depressing.

Among other cultural issues, it has been our downfall.


There was a time when............

This.

Setting up a donation cache and collecting clothes, food, and other relief items to be distributed, or having a bottled water stand, is within the purview of any CAP unit to run without higher-level oversight.

It's not feasible, or responsible, to take minors and have them go around in 15 inches of water "rescuing" people. Most CAP members aren't even trained to do that. They've spent so much time coddled in their own little world of ES training in a metropark to locate a transmitter, or even training solely on local airfields, than to suit up in and conduct operations in disaster areas.

This isn't to knock the important ELT-finding work that those guys and gals train for, and sometimes get called up for. But CAP, in most cases, is not trained for the "big job." I don't know if that's due to funding, a lack of interest, or a lack of will of people to go out and actually do it. Way too many CAP members are "all talk;" they act like they're these highly qualified SAR dogs and they wouldn't be able to handle Houston.

Is CAP able to do it? That's the question. Before you want to be deployed, are you capable of the job?

When I say "you," I don't mean anyone in particular on this forum. Just generally speaking.

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Fubar
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 626

« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2017, 10:43:30 AM »

How can you classify anything as a "non-response" while the disaster is still on-going?

Waiting until after the disaster is over to create a response plan for people and planes seems a bit late. Everyone else is on the way or already there performing their stated missions. Doesn't make sense that our involvement is so minimal we're holding a conference right outside the affected area. I've been getting Red Cross emails since news of the Harvey broke, taking stock of what we have, who is available to respond, and running checks to ensure we're qualified for what we're asking to do. I haven't heard a peep from my unit/group/wing/region/NHQ emergency services folks.

While other organizations see the response to the Houston area as being so monumental that assets are responding from all over the country, Texas wing is able to handle the entire CAP response to this disaster? Doesn't add up. It's certainly good that TXWG will be providing some support, it's just too bad we couldn't increase that support by bringing in resources from 51 other wings (like say the Red Cross or even the Southern Baptists do).

As others have said for better than I can, the reason we're not going is we're not prepared for disaster response. There's no training, no doctrine, and no plans for either. These types of disasters become blank-check-all-hands-on-deck FEMA responses, yet CAP can't seem to do more than do some AP sorties. Which is also likely all we're capable of right now.

When you read articles like this one about NY TF1 responding, I don't see how CAP could ever be a player in ground support past handing out water bottles:

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/08/27/fdny-crew-heads-to-texas-to-help-with-hurricane-harvey-rescues/

In fact, it looks like several of the FEMA SAR teams are responding:

http://www.firehouse.com/news/12363165/rescue-teams-from-across-the-county-respond-to-tx

It would take a lot of money, training, and people to be able to jump into that kind of action.

Perhaps having a conference where attendees had to drive around (hopefully nobody is silly enough to drive through) affected areas to get there will prompt a discussion about why we're not being more helpful. Or everyone will remain worried about their mess dress for the rubber chicken dinner, who knows.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2017, 10:56:04 AM »

There was a time when............

Was there, really?  Because if so it is at least two decades past.

We joke about the photos in Nat Geo and how things have changed sine the 50's, but seriously,
how much of that is sepia memories, and how much is true?

Sure, there may have been more people and resources, but that just makes brute-force, last minute
efforts a little easier, one of the reasons the lack of any strategic plans exposes the potholes so much quicker
in CAP, but beyond anecdotal / circumstantial successes, how much of any of the hype was real?
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Luis R. Ramos
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,535

« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2017, 10:56:19 AM »

Comparing apples and oranges.

Show me responses from all-volunteer agencies.

DO NOT post the New York FDNY or Task Force responders.

All NYC emergency agencies like FDNY are a 24-7-12 operation. New York City also has an overseeing management operation that again runs 24-7-12 basis!

It is easier to plan and designate when you are on duty at 4:00 AM, or have a team on duty all day and night!

Once CAP runs a 24-7-12 operation, it will be valid comparisons.

Same with the Red Cross. Not all their responders are volunteers. SOME are PAID, and they have crews 24-7-12.

 ???
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 11:09:43 AM by Luis R. Ramos » Logged

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Jester
Seasoned Member

Posts: 225

« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2017, 11:02:35 AM »

So how do you fix it?  Is it even doable with our capabilities, either desired or real? 

Or is it just mission creep to justify our existence, and therefore we can quietly edit it out before someone more visible than this post asks why we say we can do it without being anywhere close to it in reality?

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Panzerbjorn
Seasoned Member

Posts: 279
Unit: MER-NC-048

« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2017, 11:05:30 AM »

Wait until the weather clears a bit.  FEMA will flood (no pun intended) CAP with AP requests as that is something we as an organization do REALLY well for disaster relief.

Send ground teams in immediately? Even during Katrina, CAP ground teams were not the first ines in doing house to house searches.

I'd be willing to bet, though, that CAP has a presence at the State EOC.
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Major
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stillamarine
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Unit: SER-AL-134

« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2017, 11:13:28 AM »

CAP is already in the State EOC and preparing to assist as needed.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 865

« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2017, 11:25:19 AM »


Setting up a donation cache and collecting clothes, food, and other relief items to be distributed, or having a bottled water stand, is within the purview of any CAP unit to run without higher-level oversight.

PLEASE read this before setting up any facility to collect goods. Its important:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/when-disaster-relief-brings-anything-but-relief/
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 865

« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2017, 11:29:05 AM »

So many of the very first responders to Katrina were volunteer church groups. Who brought in portable kitchens and more, feeding tens of thousands of meals DAYS before the Feds came in.

There are opportunities and ways to help.

And to repeat from page one ... this is very important. Sometimes our ideas of helping can be a nightmare actually. Please share this link:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/when-disaster-relief-brings-anything-but-relief/
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MS - MO - AP - MP
Spam
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Posts: 970
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2017, 11:32:02 AM »

How many of those others agencies you mention depend on so many teenagers for the ground work? The teens are a big part of our chartered  mission, but greatly hinders  our ability in many areas to 'pick up and go'.

In terms of Ground Operations --

Rule Number 1:
Cadet Programs is NOT Emergency Services, and Emergency Services is NOT Cadet Programs. 

Most broken rule in Civil Air Patrol:
Rule Number 1.

As a former Wing DR guy, it breaks my heart to see something like Harvey happen (as we speak), and hear NOTHING about mobilizing the thousands of CAP members out there that want to help.

To see the now viral picture of the elderly trapped in the nursing home, with water up to their waists, and the desperate pleas for more and more boats, and to know CAP is so risk averse to any real ground operations (because of the fear little Jimmy might get hurt), is just.......depressing.

Among other cultural issues, it has been our downfall.


There was a time when............


As corollaries to that Rule, how about a couple more suggestions?


Rule 2: we QUALIFY people based on demonstrated ability to meet minimum standards, regardless of age, sex, color, etc. Thus, we will sign people off regardless of if they're teenagers or in their seventies.

Rule 3: we SELECT people for deployment and specific tasking based on factors including physical capability, mental experience, and financial (*e.g. job/school impacts of being away) ability to complete the anticipated tasking. Thus, if I need a team to fly an IFR ELT hop, I'm cherry picking a crew based on all the advice I can get, and I'm doing the same with ground team folks for extended periods or technical work.

Rule 4: we DEPLOY people in accordance with plans and MOUS that are (ideally) exercised regularly to reinforce bonds and communication with our agency customers. Without a deployment plan (to include a sustainment plan in place) and without a clear set of rules of engagement, taskings, and withdrawal criteria, we should never put our teams and aircrews down range where they become a liability. We should never go in, without knowing when/how we will get out (and the criteria for why/when we will withdraw).


Within the above construct, it can and has been possible to take minors (qualified, selected, deployed IAW a good plan) to conduct DR ops in '15 inches of water' as Hornet says. I did so safely in the great flood of 93, routinely, and my people earned their accolades. However, as Dirty Harry said, a man's got to know his limitations, and I'm afraid Id agree that most of us haven't been planning for major deployments nor documenting those plans nor negotiating them and practicing them.


So... will we? We're (re)writing the plans in our Wing, with the specific objective to exercise them next year in a scenario where half our Wing will be in self care mode, and the other half will project aircrews, GTs, and base staff to preplanned bases (my conops for the "hunker down" half is that they'd play visiting crews/teams from out of state, so we can train to accommodate a surge to full ramps/lots). I've been beating that drum for decades though and mostly on my own, so I'm not holding out hope - I agree with Eclipse here. We have almost no doctrine, almost no willingness to write and update and exercise realistic plans for major deployments, etc. and a serious delusion that real world events happen just as they would on a sunny Saturday SAREX where everyone is off work and available and gets cheeseburgers between scheduled sorties.


How many Wings routinely have such plans as required in the 60 series pubs, and practice them and update them with their EMA customers?  Few. How many of you keyboard warriors have devoted time to help WRITE A PLAN AS REQUIRED, and then TRAIN TO THE PLAN, rather than criticize and complain here? Absent that, I'd say acting on the itchy desire to go there and "do stuff" could make things far, far worse. 


Unless you've been there, done these types of missions and are working in your area to meet the planning and operational requirements, I suggest you give TX Wing a break. They're busy. They will call for your expert help when ready per an executable supportable plan, for the right people for the job (age, sex, and funny hats aside).


V/r
Spam

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kwe1009
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 758

« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2017, 11:36:23 AM »

During Hurricane Matthew last year CAP had cadets in flooded areas with zero safety incidents.  The job could not have been done without them either.  There just wasn't enough SMs to go around.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2017, 11:50:30 AM »

During Hurricane Matthew last year CAP had cadets in flooded areas with zero safety incidents.  The job could not have been done without them either.  There just wasn't enough SMs to go around.

Which begs the question as to whether CAP should have been involved at all.

You also really can't compare CAP to other volunteer groups, churches, etc., not even the ARC, since
the scales of response don't line up.

I could go right now and grab 5 guys and vigilante all over TX, to great press coverage and probably good effect.  CAP doesn't do that.

And the ARC has huge money with nothing but essentially a single-threaded mission - DR in all it's forms.  CAP doesn't have the money, nor the focus.

The bigger, more far-reaching problem is that CAP doesn't learn anything from it's mistakes, nor adjust ops based on the situation.
It's all "Getting started with SAR 101" with every incident, and generally fails on the logistical side nearly completely, and one of the non-trivial
reasons for this is the shortage of manpower, established teams, and established doctrine.

No one can say who is going, when, for how long, or where the money is coming from for anything but AVGAS.
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"The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does." - Napoleon Hill.
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 933

« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2017, 11:51:29 AM »


Setting up a donation cache and collecting clothes, food, and other relief items to be distributed, or having a bottled water stand, is within the purview of any CAP unit to run without higher-level oversight.

PLEASE read this before setting up any facility to collect goods. Its important:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/when-disaster-relief-brings-anything-but-relief/

Absolutely true, and good article on it.

I was just speaking generally, and more so using it as an example in the locale.



@Spam,
Great point.

I have yet to see the SAREX that really trains for a major disaster. I've the IC setup, and sending out the air crew and ground crew sorties for SAR. Show me the mass casualty conflicts and flood zones.

I think a major contributor to why it's not often done is due to the logistics of it, including the finances that can go into training something like that. That's a very real scenario that requires a lot of training.

Playing IC/TOC and chasing down a target in a van is not the same as putting on waders and searching flooded homes.

Now I get, that's the gung-ho aspect of SAR. That's the stuff nobody wants to really have to see but gives some of that rush---whether helping people or being in the middle of the adrenaline swarm that is a natural disaster, whatever the reason may be. There's that whole other side with performing logistical functions and support roles which is still very important.

CAP is so widespread at times and fickle in how things are trained and how people prepare. There's a lot of "This is what we're interested in, so this is what we'll train." Some Wings, and even some squadrons, are very close with their state agencies and really do "train for the fight." Others do more of the lost aircraft, missing person SAR training than the disaster relief SAR. They're too very different worlds.

I have essential zero experience in performing disaster relief. I have a huge respect for it and I wouldn't mind getting into it. But it's a lot more than "I'd love to help out! Where do you need me?"

One thing I don't feel like we do enough in any of our training in CAP is dealing with victims and the human impact. How many people are experienced in grief counseling and dealing with emotionally traumatic scenarios? There's a significant psychological aspect that goes into that type of job. And we don't teach it enough, if at all in most exercises. I think, a lot of times, we try to avoid focusing on those areas to sensitize the topic. We do the first aid training, the PowerPoints, the lectures, the CPR exercises. Show me the mass casualties, severe injuries, families grieving who lost their homes or loved ones. That's what this type of job takes. Working in an airline, we regularly train in incident response to air disasters. We have to simulate calling families of victims and doing the notifications, and there's people that can't really handle that. Now try being there in person at the scene. Send someone who has never been to an accident scene, even a mock-up, and expect them to not break down---bad idea.
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Matthew Congrove
Recruit

Posts: 23

« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2017, 11:52:10 AM »

Waiting until after the disaster is over to create a response plan for people and planes seems a bit late.

Again, preparations are on-going. We have LOs in multiple locations working with multiple organizations including State Guard, Nat'l Guard, and at the State SOC. We are preparing now while the disaster is unfolding so we're ready to go the moment we're able to, currently tracking for Wednesday.

If you think that it's clear enough for us to go in now, I provide the following insight from Houston METs/journos:

"Buffalo Bayou—the main river in downtown Houston—now expected to rise another *11 feet* above current levels by Tuesday night." (2 hours ago)
"We're still in the height of this multi-day disaster." (2 hours ago)
"Harris County says they've performed 1500-2000 high-water #harvey2017 rescues. Other state resources are having trouble getting in." (10 hours ago)

I haven't heard a peep from my unit/group/wing/region/NHQ emergency services folks.

Sounds like an issue for your unit/group/wing, then. TXWG has been communicating routinely to the wider audience as they coordinate with NHQ, and there's a flurry of activity at the lower levels, especially here in Austin/Group 5. I went through numerous HURR/TS during my 10+ years in FLWG, and the communication and coordination on-going for Harvey surpasses.

... Texas wing is able to handle the entire CAP response to this disaster?.

TXWG is bigger than most; we have more personnel in the Houston-area alone (~1,000) than many CAP wings have total. Putting out an all-call and having 3 people from New York be able to take a week off work and afford to come help isn't effective. If assistance is needed, I'm sure coordination with nearby wings (OKWG, LAWG) will be a priority.

I have no problem at all with criticizing CAP's response to a disaster, as we all need to constantly be learning and evolving, especially with the meteoric rise of technology that's suited for such taskings. I just think that criticizing a "non-response" in the middle of the disaster is premature, and doesn't help in any way. As it stands, we are exactly on track for where we need to be to respond at the appropriate time with the standard HURR/TS CAP taskings.
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« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2017, 12:16:16 PM »

I took some of the American Red Cross classes on disaster preparedness and management. Among the things they told us is they not only get monetary donations, and Federal money, but some of the money they collect for their courses ends up in Disaster Relief.

And the video that etodd listed reminded me of this training. ARC does not collect clothing. Instead they donate money to survivors. Because their studies have shown that:

1) the most any survivor needs is to be able to get to work, donated clothes will not fit the requirement of going back to work clothes
2) survivors receiving donated clothes mark them psychic, it is best for them to get monetary contributions since they can get their own needs.

Lastly, when Sept 11 happened, while I was "secretly hoping" there would be missions closer to ground zero and not getting any, I got a call to assist in a donated food pantry sorting food donations. We had to make sure among the donations were 1) no cans with rusted spots, and there were plenty, and 2) that no food donations the pantry was to make could have cans of food from the FDA food program, and again there were plenty.
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JoeTomasone
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« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2017, 12:22:54 PM »

One could also check our own news site....  #justsaying

http://www.cap.news/texas-wing-prepares-for-hurricane-harvey-aftermath/

"The state of Texas has tasked the wing with taking photos of the damage and flooded areas along the coast. Additional tasking of ground teams may be requested to deactivate emergency position indicating radio beacon locator transmitters on boats damaged during the storm.

Col. Sean Crandall, Texas Wing commander, has asked members to check their equipment and be prepared to start flying as early as Wednesday. Mission activities will coincide with preparation for Civil Air Patrol’s National Conference this week at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, so a temporary incident command post will be set up at the hotel."

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Cicero
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« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2017, 01:06:21 PM »

I appreciate the positive responses. Looks like Texas Wing is doing an awesome job. If you need help, do call out!
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jeders
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« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2017, 04:31:17 PM »

I love all the people not in Texas who assume that there is no response because they haven't heard about it. Classic.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2017, 04:38:40 PM »

I love all the people not in Texas who assume that there is no response because they haven't heard about it. Classic.

I don't think anyone is insinuating that - obviously TXWG, SER and SWR will be heavily involved, if for no
other reason then they are standing in the water.

It's the "dragging people across the country" non-plans that were the start of this.

If TXWG can sustain their own ops, good on 'ye - that wasn't the case for other recent similar incidents in other parts
of the country, nor is it consistent across the organization.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2017, 04:59:05 PM »

I'll say this, every photo I see is worse then the last - the water doesn't seem like it's going to stop.

That just makes it more frustrating for those of us who want to help and can't, for whatever the reason,
be it ability or logistics.

I have a garage full of gear that would be far more useful there then here...
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jeders
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« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2017, 05:04:53 PM »

I love all the people not in Texas who assume that there is no response because they haven't heard about it. Classic.

I don't think anyone is insinuating that - obviously TXWG, SER and SWR will be heavily involved, if for no
other reason then they are standing in the water.

The OP did, just look at the title of the thread; so have others.

Hopefully the brain wizards that descend on San Antonio will dedicate some time to discuss what we can do as an organization to be more of a resource in our country's time of need.
...

Every agency listed has responded to Harvey. None apparently needed our help so far.

As a former Wing DR guy, it breaks my heart to see something like Harvey happen (as we speak), and hear NOTHING about mobilizing the thousands of CAP members out there that want to help.

That certainly sounds to me like someone who is an armchair quarterback or an internet IC.

It's the "dragging people across the country" non-plans that were the start of this.

That's certainly not what the OP stated. But I can tell you as a matter of fact that TXWG, particularly the wingCC, DO, and DOS work closely with the state EOC in Austin as well as the county judges of the major counties. Plans are in place for us to be activated as needed; that need typically occurs AFTER the disaster is over. I can also say for a fact that we have been preparing for the possibility of a hurricane for at least a couple of weeks by getting people in place to move critical assets out of the path of the storm; although it was considered a small chance until late last week.

If TXWG can sustain their own ops, good on 'ye - that wasn't the case for other recent similar incidents in other parts of the country, nor is it consistent across the organization.

We can, but only for so long. Not every wing has 3000+ members, so I can see how other wings can quickly become overwhelmed. Right now, the groups in and around the affected area are on alert, and the remaining groups are ready to support them as needed. We're just waiting on the word from above to get to work. I'm sure if we become overwhelmed, the call will go out within the region and elsewhere for qualified personnel.
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NC Hokie
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« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2017, 06:17:28 PM »

As a former Wing DR guy, it breaks my heart to see something like Harvey happen (as we speak), and hear NOTHING about mobilizing the thousands of CAP members out there that want to help.

That certainly sounds to me like someone who is an armchair quarterback or an internet IC.

I know LTC Don and have to say that your read on this is 100% wrong.  I don't see any criticism of TXWG or SWR in this comment.  I see a long time member that has "been there, done that, and has the t-shirt to prove it" commenting on CAP's inability to leverage its NATIONAL resources to respond to an obvious need.  Baptist Men, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and others are driving to Texas from across the United States right now to be on hand to do their thing as soon as it is safe to do so.  Contrast this to CAP, which historically waits until local resources are exhausted to request assistance from the rest of the organization.

I'm sure if we become overwhelmed, the call will go out within the region and elsewhere for qualified personnel.

That's the problem right there!  You WILL get overwhelmed and CAP should already be working to get the second (and third) wave of volunteers ready to relieve your people.  That, as usual, doesn't appear to be happening.
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« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2017, 06:33:10 PM »

I'll say this, every photo I see is worse then the last - the water doesn't seem like it's going to stop.

That just makes it more frustrating for those of us who want to help and can't, for whatever the reason,
be it ability or logistics.

I have a garage full of gear that would be far more useful there then here...


Got a boat?

If not, then no.

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zippy
Recruit

Posts: 38

« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2017, 07:47:52 PM »

Comparing apples and oranges.

Show me responses from all-volunteer agencies.

DO NOT post the New York FDNY or Task Force responders.

All NYC emergency agencies like FDNY are a 24-7-12 operation. New York City also has an overseeing management operation that again runs 24-7-12 basis!

It is easier to plan and designate when you are on duty at 4:00 AM, or have a team on duty all day and night!

Once CAP runs a 24-7-12 operation, it will be valid comparisons.

Same with the Red Cross. Not all their responders are volunteers. SOME are PAID, and they have crews 24-7-12.

 ???

The Coast Guard Auxiliary has already sent a huge number of people to Texas from all over the United States. The Coast Guard Auxiliary can permit members from all over the nation rush to Texas, but not CAP? CAP is the Air Force auxiliary, so the set up is similar to the Coast Guard's.

The Air Force is already helping in Texas. The Coast Guard is flying in CG auxiliarists in Coast Guard aircraft.

The Air Force is paid.
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Nick
Seasoned Member

Posts: 473
Unit: SWR-TX-001

« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2017, 08:33:57 PM »

The point here is that there is nothing for CAP to do right now. It’s IFR to MVFR across the entire affected area, so no air ops. The airports in the affected area are closed, no transport missions. The roads in are flooded, no ground ops. The only thing to do is plan for the response once conditions warrant, which is happening internally and in conjunction with state and Federal partners. And the plan changes daily, because the forecast for Harvey changes daily.

We already know we will exhaust our resources. Coordination among the SWR wings has already happened.

Stand by for further.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Nicholas McLarty, Lt Col, CAP
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beachdoc
Recruit

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« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2017, 08:52:12 PM »

As an experienced disaster responder I feel the need to offer a couple of thoughts.  I was a member and deputy commander of the NC-1 DMAT for 14 years and participated in many deployments over those years.  Our deployments ran 15 days.  How many of us can just up and leave work and family on little or no notice for such a period?

Prior to deploying to a hurricane or other event, members must be trained to a professional level and certified through job performance on training exercises.  Just as no IC wants Fred and Joe to show up in their Bugsmasher 400, nor for that matter, a crew of not mission trained CAP personnel, there is no place for walk on's without a logistical tail to support them with food, water, and equipment in a situation like Harvey.

I was not a member of CAP during our Hurricane Matthew response, but in listening to members who participated, crews were flying 9 hours daily doing pre-landfall  route surveys of the evacuation routes in the coastal areas.  Following the storm, they flew endless photo-recon missions and took tens of thousands of photographs for FEMA.  There were also many courier and transport flights for officials.

The niche for the WING resources was local support.  You can help your neighbors as North and South Carolina did, but out of wing operations are difficult.

I would encourage anyone who wants to participate in large scale disaster relief operations to seek out an organization that DOES that type of thing.  Think Red Cross, Salvation Army, Baptist Men, Samaritan's Purse, FEMA teams such as your state's Disaster Medical Assistance Team, Urban Search and Rescue Team, Veterinary Medical Assistance Team, or Disaster Mortuary Team.  Locally, participate in your community's CERT team.

The time to look forward to participating in the NEXT disaster is NOW, not when it happens.

I feel your pain, I would like to be there too.  But our organization presently does NOT have an established large scale mission.  I applaud the selfless sacrifice and dedication of those that are there.

Regarding the CG Auxiliary, they are firmly integrated with the active component.  They stand watches on shore facilities, have the option of participating offshore on underway vessels, and the Aux Air component ferries active duty people around on official business regularly.  The CG Auxiliary is a NATIONAL program, not defined by states. (spoken as a former AuxAir Aircraft Commander).
« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 08:57:24 PM by beachdoc » Logged
Major Jeffery S Anderson, M.D., CAP
MAJ, MC, FS, USAR (ret)
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MER-NC-022
North Carolina Wing
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Mitchell 1969
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« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2017, 09:13:29 PM »

24 planes times 400 = 9600.


Which is about 1200 gallons of bottled water.

Not exactly the Berlin Airlift.

And it gets worse.

Disaster supplies are gathered at collection points and packed onto pallets. Now comes 24 CAP pilots, each saying "Give me 400 pounds of something to fly into the disaster area." Somebody has to break the stuff down, perhaps having to open crates or cartons. Then, when each pilot has his 400 pounds, they ask, in unison..."Can somebody give us a ride to East Swinebladder Municipal?"

Assuming that happens, AND if WX allows, they fly to the disaster area. Or, near it. Maybe 50 miles away, because closer airports are closed or recovering. They then announce "Hey! I've got 400 pounds of SUPPLIES here! Where should I put them?" (There may be some immediate answers that would be physically impossible). Now what? If they all brought water, then that will be an additional 5000 or so bottles on top of the tens of thousands on tens of thousands already there. If each plane carried 400 pounds of something different, then somebodyvwill have to open it, sort it, catalogue it, distribute it. Meaning that eventually a few cases of diapers, bandages and beans show up somewhere, probably long after Salvation Army, Red Cross, National Guard, FEMA and the Hong Kong Police Motor Scooter Underwater K9 Unit are all set up.

Nah, a CAP micro-airlift isn't the solution to much.
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Panzerbjorn
Seasoned Member

Posts: 279
Unit: MER-NC-048

« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2017, 11:05:09 PM »

I was not a member of CAP during our Hurricane Matthew response, but in listening to members who participated, crews were flying 9 hours daily doing pre-landfall  route surveys of the evacuation routes in the coastal areas.  Following the storm, they flew endless photo-recon missions and took tens of thousands of photographs for FEMA.  There were also many courier and transport flights for officials.

Yes, there were plenty of those to do after the storm passed.  I flew many many hours doing AP missions tracking the flooding, and then flew officials around to meetings here and there afterwards.  Harvey will be no different.  Those who are griping about how they haven't been called up for duty from halfway across the country clearly haven't done this before.  Just be patient.  If you're not being called up to go, frankly, it's because you're not needed yet.

As been already discussed, supply hauling in a handful of 182s is not the most efficient use of our resources.  Aerial photography in damage assessment sorties is going to be our niche.
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Fubar
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« Reply #40 on: August 29, 2017, 01:50:57 AM »

Waiting until after the disaster is over to create a response plan for people and planes seems a bit late.

Again, preparations are on-going. We have LOs in multiple locations working with multiple organizations including State Guard, Nat'l Guard, and at the State SOC. We are preparing now while the disaster is unfolding so we're ready to go the moment we're able to, currently tracking for Wednesday.

So is CAP's response going to be strictly aircraft? That's too bad, the marketing materials suggest we can do more than that. But I of course do understand we have to wait for the weather to clear before our aircraft can fly and take pictures.


Quote
I haven't heard a peep from my unit/group/wing/region/NHQ emergency services folks.

Sounds like an issue for your unit/group/wing, then. TXWG has been communicating routinely to the wider audience as they coordinate with NHQ, and there's a flurry of activity at the lower levels, especially here in Austin/Group 5. I went through numerous HURR/TS during my 10+ years in FLWG, and the communication and coordination on-going for Harvey surpasses.

Ok, fair enough. Care to share here what the national response plan is since I apparently can't count on my wing?

Quote
... Texas wing is able to handle the entire CAP response to this disaster?.

TXWG is bigger than most; we have more personnel in the Houston-area alone (~1,000) than many CAP wings have total. Putting out an all-call and having 3 people from New York be able to take a week off work and afford to come help isn't effective. If assistance is needed, I'm sure coordination with nearby wings (OKWG, LAWG) will be a priority.
I would think the Red Cross has more people in Texas than most states, Salvation Army probably has more people in Texas that most states, and so forth. But if TXWG can work this monumental disaster alone, than goodness, you guys are a model for the rest of the country (I say that without internet sarcasm). I do think though that if we were providing all the services we advertise that we do, I think TXWG would need help. If we're solely in the business of flying photo sorties, then we need to stop pretending we do anything else (none of which is TXWG's fault). I know this is back-of-the-envelope math here, but how long do you think TXWG can sustain a high ops tempo photo mission on its own? A week? Month? You request backup before you need it, not when you need it. But if it's a month away, the delay is understandable.

Quote
I have no problem at all with criticizing CAP's response to a disaster, as we all need to constantly be learning and evolving, especially with the meteoric rise of technology that's suited for such taskings. I just think that criticizing a "non-response" in the middle of the disaster is premature, and doesn't help in any way. As it stands, we are exactly on track for where we need to be to respond at the appropriate time with the standard HURR/TS CAP taskings.

If we do all the things we claim we do, we should have mobilized by now (before the disaster, not in the middle of it, just like every other disaster response agency). But if we're limited to aerial photography, then yes, I certainly understand why WMIRS still shows zero activity.

Best wishes to TXWG, stay safe and make the rest of CAP proud.
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♠SARKID♠
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« Reply #41 on: August 29, 2017, 02:28:32 AM »

Waiting until after the disaster is over to create a response plan for people and planes seems a bit late....I haven't heard a peep from my unit/group/wing/region/NHQ emergency services folks.

A sample size of one; we got our warning order Sunday night. Maybe your locale is slow on the uptake, but bags are being packed.

Quote
As others have said for better than I can, the reason we're not going is we're not prepared for disaster response. There's no training, no doctrine, and no plans for either. These types of disasters become blank-check-all-hands-on-deck FEMA responses, yet CAP can't seem to do more than do some AP sorties. Which is also likely all we're capable of right now.

So get on it. Those teams are deploying because they trained and prepared for this. If you're going to wait for CAP to do it for you, give up now and take up golf. It's much faster and there's nicer polo shirts. Find the teams around you that are deploying, make some connections, and starting having playdates. Take what you learn, build a training plan, execute it, go forth and multiply.
You make AP sorties sound like the short end of the stick. Is it fun for us ground guys? Of course not, but it's not like CAP is being given a coloring book and told to sit quiet in the corner.

If we do all the things we claim we do, we should have mobilized by now (before the disaster, not in the middle of it, just like every other disaster response agency). But if we're limited to aerial photography, then yes, I certainly understand why WMIRS still shows zero activity.

What exactly is being claimed and who is "we"? Be careful to not let your ideal image of what CAP should be affect your perception of what CAP actually is. Despite the fact that on occasion we've done it, I've never heard CAPNHQ come out and say that we're equipped to send ground personnel into disaster areas and perform rescue operations. Or pass out water or fill a sand bag for that matter. Air ops? Totes McGotes they fly that banner on a gold brick flagpole. But DR ground ops? A vague footnote in a recruiting brochure at best.

The word of the day is "Wednesday". Are we spearheading the invasion of Texas? No. But second wave isn't half bad for a bunch of weekend warriors.


Sidenote: There's a mission in WMIRS called "Spicy Sauerkraut". So that's a thing...
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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                WI-002/CC
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N6RVT
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« Reply #42 on: August 29, 2017, 09:24:35 AM »

We have quite a large fleet of small planes that could fly in small loads of supplies in a continuous stream from the surrounding states. Single pilot crew transport flights to maximize payload. Even in a C-172, with average pilot size, you could fill it with nearly 400 pounds of supplies per flight. A couple dozen planes flying just one flight per day each,  could get quite a few tons of supplies into some of these areas in short order.
Coast Guard Aux Aviation just mobilized every plane and everyone fully trained who could go.  I'm only still here because I haven't flown all my trainee hours yet.
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Dwight J. Dutton, CAPT CAP
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« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2017, 09:44:48 AM »

We have quite a large fleet of small planes that could fly in small loads of supplies in a continuous stream from the surrounding states. Single pilot crew transport flights to maximize payload. Even in a C-172, with average pilot size, you could fill it with nearly 400 pounds of supplies per flight. A couple dozen planes flying just one flight per day each,  could get quite a few tons of supplies into some of these areas in short order.
Coast Guard Aux Aviation just mobilized every plane and everyone fully trained who could go.  I'm only still here because I haven't flown all my trainee hours yet.
Every trailerable boat is already gone.  As you might expect, that did come first.
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Dwight J. Dutton, CAPT CAP
Mitchell 1975 (before numbers)
ZigZag911
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« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2017, 02:42:52 PM »

Perhaps you've heard the saying, "All politics is local".

There is an analogy to DR service.

Personal relationships make a difference.

Taking the training courses from FEMA, ARC, Salvation Army helps.

Participating in multi-agency exercises on the city, county and state levels makes a huge difference. CAP starts to develop a reputation and a track record. Emergency management officers in government, sheriff's officers and others who coordinate wide scale response begin to get a sense of our capabilities and limitations.

This can include CAP cadets...planning sessions for exercises provide a chance to explain our members' training, and the liability insurance programs that cover CAP.

Exercise participation lets us show DR partners that we are not offering "kids", but trained and qualified CAP cadets to undertake age-appropriate work...which could free up more experienced personnel for more mission-critical duties.

I am aware of instances in which ARC, for instance, loves to get cadets' help with shelter management. Most ARC shelter managers are on the older side, and appreciate some young, energetic helpers setting up cots, moving cases of food and bottled water, doing administrative lists and inventories, and so forth.

National, and most wings, have MOUs or similar documents with a variety of DR response agencies...but implementing them is still something for the wing to direct, and the local groups and squadrons to accomplish.

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Disenchanted
Recruit

Posts: 8

« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2017, 09:22:51 PM »

Another faith based organization involved in Harvey Operations is Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. 
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Cicero
Forum Regular

Posts: 132
Unit: TBKS

« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2017, 11:42:37 PM »

http://www.newson6.com/story/36267659/oklahoma-civil-air-patrol-leaves-for-texas

http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/news/state/4320649-south-dakota-civil-air-patrol-sending-aircraft-texas
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JoeTomasone
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,660

« Reply #47 on: September 02, 2017, 09:44:47 AM »


I am aware of instances in which ARC, for instance, loves to get cadets' help with shelter management. Most ARC shelter managers are on the older side, and appreciate some young, energetic helpers setting up cots, moving cases of food and bottled water, doing administrative lists and inventories, and so forth.

I took a weekend-long ARC shelter management course as a Cadet back in the '80s.
 
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 865

« Reply #48 on: September 03, 2017, 01:29:54 AM »

Off topic, but I wonder if anyone is somehow able to track just how many people have been saved from their flooded homes by the "bass boat, jon boat, SeaDoo good ol boys"?

Based on the video and photos I've seen, I'd bet its a very big percentage of the people being brought out.

Probably never know the numbers. Heads will be counted at relief shelters and the media will assume the gov't response teams did it all. LOL
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MS - MO - AP - MP
PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 5,885

« Reply #49 on: September 03, 2017, 12:20:38 PM »

Well, when you look at the resources the first responders and the National Guard had to make water rescues and the shear number of requests it's a very good thing  that "civilians" stepped up to help their neighbors.
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Johnny Yuma
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« Reply #50 on: September 03, 2017, 08:20:36 PM »

It appears that all this thread has done is given Aux Buffoon News more ammunition to attack CAP and its members. 
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"And Saint Attila raised the Holy Hand Grenade up on high saying, "Oh Lord, Bless us this Holy Hand Grenade, and with it smash our enemies to tiny bits. And the Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs, and stoats, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and lima bean-"
 
" Skip a bit, brother."
 
"And then the Lord spake, saying: "First, shalt thou take out the holy pin. Then shalt thou count to three. No more, no less. "Three" shall be the number of the counting, and the number of the counting shall be three. "Four" shalt thou not count, and neither count thou two, execpting that thou then goest on to three. Five is RIGHT OUT. Once the number three, being the third number be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade to-wards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuffit. Amen."

Armaments Chapter One, verses nine through twenty-seven:
PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 5,885

« Reply #51 on: September 03, 2017, 08:58:52 PM »

It appears that all this thread has done is given Aux Buffoon News more ammunition to attack CAP and its members.

They do that even when we don't give them any ammo. ::)
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SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,085
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #52 on: September 03, 2017, 11:23:35 PM »

Yeah, I think we're done here.

More encouraging info here.
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Dave Bowles
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: CAP's Non-Response to Harvey
 


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