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Author Topic: Hurricane Harvey Response  (Read 1422 times)
TXCAP
Recruit

Posts: 37
Unit: SWR-001

« on: September 03, 2017, 09:51:44 PM »

I thought I would give the CAP community an update as to our response to Hurricane Harvey.  CAP has been operational on a FEMA Mission Assignment to support the response to Hurricane Harvey since 26 Aug 2017.  We currently have 38 aircraft and 2 full motion video aircraft operating out of two fixed wing bases and currently have 197 CAP members deployed here.  Our primary mission is image collections covering roughly 255 miles of coast line from the Corpus Christi landfall impact zone to Beaumont and Port Arthur.  Our collection area goes roughly 90 miles inland covering approximately 23,000 square miles including the City of Houston and 8 major rivers.  Through the Texas Air Operation Center in Austin we coordinate with a multitude of SAR and other imagery airframes to deconflict all air operations. 

Image collection is assigned by the Center for Space Research (CSR) and our current battle rhythm is a first wave of 20 - 22 aircraft are airborne by 0800 and fly the targets assigned.  Those aircraft land at a collection point downrange and off load their imagery to a courier aircraft.  The imagery is tagged by sortie number and geographical target.  Once the courier has all the first wave aircraft downloaded they fly to Austin where they are met by the CSR team who take the images for analysis and post them to the MOVES website and the FEMA HDDS.  Those may be viewed here http://csr08.tacc.utexas.edu/moves/public/ or at the FEMA HDDS.  Those aircraft get a crew break and refuel and are airborne by 1300 for the second wave either covering the same targets again or on to different targets.  The afternoon collections are again off loaded and taken to Austin by courier aircraft.  To date over 68,000 images have been provided to our state and federal partner agencies.  We are embedded at the Texas Air Operations Center (AOC) and the State Operations Center (SOC). Every morning the IC team has a conference call with the CSR Director to go over any updates or changes to the planned collections and every afternoon at 1530 we are on the National Remote Sensing call with all the imagery players discussing what is needed that is not being covered or needs to be covered again.  CSR combines the CAP imagery with that collected by many other platforms to provide the best possible situation awareness for our state and federal partners. 

This is a very large area and still a very dynamic situation with river flooding and we expect to maintain this operational tempo for at least the next 10 days.  We also respond to pop up requests such as one this afternoon from Texas Task Force 1 who needs radio repeaters carried in a High Bird for their communication as they begin the lengthy process of door to door SAR in areas that are starting to dewater.

There are no requests from the state for ground team support in any capacity so at the moment ground teams are not involved in this response. 

Just two weeks ago SWR had conducted a multi-wing, multi-region exercise.  Many lessons learned there have been applied to this response.  This is a multi-region, multi-wing response as we have brought in aircraft, aircrews and mission staff from Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, National Headquarters, and, of course, the Great State of Texas who has the lead for the response. 

Being on the National Remote Sensing calls I am happy to report the national GIS community is very impressed with the capacity and capability CAP has demonstrated in the imagery collection mission.

I hope that gives everyone a sense of the CAP response to Hurricane Harvey and you all can be very proud of what your fellow members have and are continuing to accomplish here as one unified CAP.

One last note, please do not inundate me with messages that you have an aircraft and crew ready to come.  That information should be forwarded up your Wing chain of command where it will be passed to the mission staff. 

Thank you for all that you do for your communities and your country,

Lt Col Steve Robertson
Director of Emergency Services, SWR
sroberson@cap.gov



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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 789

« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2017, 11:27:43 PM »


....and 2 full motion video aircraft operating ....

Would like to hears details of that! And hoping its not the Garmin Virb.

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Luis R. Ramos
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Posts: 2,509

« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 11:35:58 AM »

Thanks for the info.

Great job!
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CAPLTC
Member

Posts: 51
Unit: MER

« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 08:32:59 PM »

OP's info comports with what I have been hearing.
Have only heard positive comments about the CAP response...
Seriously good stuff.
This is going to be a long response/recovery. Everyone needs to stay positive.
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LTC Don
Seasoned Member

Posts: 354
Unit: MER-NC-143

JoCo CAP
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2017, 07:58:17 AM »

There are no requests from the state for ground team support in any capacity so at the moment ground teams are not involved in this response.


This, is very disappointing to see.


Not to diminish the outstanding work our air component is doing, and hopefully will continue doing especially as the southeast spins up for Irma.

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Donald A. Beckett, Lt Col, CAP
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jeders
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Posts: 1,994

« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 09:13:40 PM »

There are no requests from the state for ground team support in any capacity so at the moment ground teams are not involved in this response.


This, is very disappointing to see.

Yes and no. As a member of TXWG, I would love to be out there doing everything I possibly could to help my community, state, and nation. However, Texas also has many many many far better trained and equipped personnel from fire and police departments, not to mention the state guard, national guard, department of public safety, and county sheriffs. We excel in the air, and that's why we keep getting called.
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etodd
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Posts: 789

« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2017, 09:22:50 PM »

........ Texas also has many many many far better trained and equipped personnel from fire and police departments, not to mention the state guard, national guard, department of public safety, and county sheriffs. We excel in the air, and that's why we keep getting called.

Substitute the 'Texas' in the above for any other state name.  CAP will never match the other agencies on the ground. Like you say, we excel in the air .... until all these same agencies you mention have drone capability and don't need us for that anymore.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2017, 08:02:08 AM »

Lets not get carried away in giving some of these other agencies credit for being better trained in ground ops during disasters than CAP is or could be.  The clerk from the artillery unit down the road probably has much less training in disaster-related activities than the average CAP member with an ES background. 

The advantages these other agencies have over CAP is:
1.  Massive numbers of paid personnel that in some cases has no choice about whether or not to respond.
2.  Equipment more suitable for operating in areas hit by disasters than CAP's vans. 
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CAPLTC
Member

Posts: 51
Unit: MER

« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2017, 09:09:41 AM »

Lets not get carried away in giving some of these other agencies credit for being better trained in ground ops during disasters than CAP is or could be. 
The clerk from the artillery unit down the road probably has much less training in disaster-related activities than the average CAP member with an ES background. 

The advantages these other agencies have over CAP is:
1.  Massive numbers of paid personnel that in some cases has no choice about whether or not to respond.
2.  Equipment more suitable for operating in areas hit by disasters than CAP's vans.

That AND all those groups you describe have a very clearly defined mission and mandate.
I see neither a clearly defined mission for CAP ground teams (beyond finding ELTs) - nor a mandate from Fed/state/local EMAs.
A few wings have integrated smartly with their state's EMA, those are the Wings who go out and do missions beyond ELT work.
The hard work for CAP, for a variety of reasons, is meshing with 50 different states.
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NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,613
Unit: of issue

« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2017, 10:29:22 AM »

There are probably additional areas where CAP folks could get additional training which would be helpful for organizational integration into post-disaster scenarios. Shelter management, for example, *could* be a force multiplier.

In some wings, CAP is spun up as part of the State EOC in many scenarios, even if it winds up not being used. 

Recently our Bureau of Aeronautics activated the state EOC for a missing plane (no ELT ALNOT) and we were right there in the activation.  Several agencies were alerted for taskings (notably rotary wing aviation) and all demurred due to weather conditions. We prepared to forward-deploy a plane and crew to a nearby airport in the event the weather allowed a visual search, but since there was no ELT, even an electronic search in IFR conditions was out of the question. (the plane was eventually found when we helped the local emergency folks triangulate the location based on witness interviews... They had dozens of people saying they heard or saw something, but no idea how to integrate that information into something usable.  A local FD with apporpriate equipment then went to the location..)

This is becoming more and more frequent as our capabilties and value proposition are more widely understood by State-level decision makers. 

Now could CAP ground teams do more in disaster situations? Probably.  If the need is there and the composition of our teams is approrpriate and meets the customer's desires. If a state has a rule about people under the age of 18 participating, then a ground team comprised mostly of cadets is going to be a no-go.  Gotta play by the customer's rules. 

BITD (which was a Wednesday) we trained the holy heck out of DR scenarios and tasks.  As a Ground Team Leader, me and my teams could do damage assessments with appropriate reporting formats, etc.    And, more than a few times, we actually did that during real-world situations (nothing Katrina/Harvey/Irma sized).   Sometimes it involved damage assessments ("windshield survey"), sometimes it involved helping man or manage a site for evacuees (infrequent) and sometimes it involved spending a whole day filling sandbags as a river rose over its banks.

We didn't say "But, we're a 'search and rescue' team.. we dont' fill sandbags." No, we did the tasks assigned by our ICP (well, "Mission Coordinator") and were happy to be a part.  Was our 12 pax van appropriate for driving thru 3ft deep floodwaters? No, so weren't ever assigned to that kind of thing.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you're not going to be on your state, county or municipal emergency management's speed dial if you aren't making and maintaining that relationship thru professional contact and professional conduct. There are things we can be doing.
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 5,835

« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2017, 01:27:21 PM »

There are no requests from the state for ground team support in any capacity so at the moment ground teams are not involved in this response.


This, is very disappointing to see.


Not to diminish the outstanding work our air component is doing, and hopefully will continue doing especially as the southeast spins up for Irma.


Then we need to train for the tasks we can do like shelter management. They actually ran out of Red Cross volunteers and the National Guard had to divert troops to open more shelters. This is something CAP could have helped with, if we had the training...
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Mordecai
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,052
Unit: SI

« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2017, 02:56:14 PM »

Don't we even have an MOU with ARC?
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Eclipse
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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2017, 04:11:47 PM »

Don't we even have an MOU with ARC?

Yes - it essentially says both parties recognize the existence of the other and should work together.

Shelter Management is a horrible idea and off the charts ORM-wise for CAP members, especially involving cadets,
but regardless, CAP assistance isn't necessary or wanted by the Red Cross or Salvation Army, who are the
whales in regards to shelters.

They have no interest in people that require 8 phones calls to deploy and are not under their direct command.
They'd love our member list to recruit our people, don't really know what to do with a bunch of people
in different uniforms, BTDT specifically.

This is issue pretty much across the board when the discussion start regarding CAP getting involved in
duties and missions that are already covered by large, well-funded national organizations.

CAP needs to stick to it's core missions, develop a DR doctrine that doesn't step on other organization's
toes, and try to be the best at what it does.

Another huge issue with ground teams is that for some reason a lot of units seem to think GT is a "cadet thing",
which results in teams that in many cases aren't even allowed in the AOR due to age restrictions, CPT issues,
or the general availability and deployability of adolescents.

That's not intended as a knock against CAP's cadets, I know some personally who could out-GT me 5 days a week
(but then they get tired on the weekend and I step in), it's just reality.
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Mordecai
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,052
Unit: SI

« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2017, 12:10:21 AM »

Don't we even have an MOU with ARC?

Yes - it essentially says both parties recognize the existence of the other and should work together.

Shelter Management is a horrible idea and off the charts ORM-wise for CAP members, especially involving cadets,
but regardless, CAP assistance isn't necessary or wanted by the Red Cross or Salvation Army, who are the
whales in regards to shelters.

They have no interest in people that require 8 phones calls to deploy and are not under their direct command.
They'd love our member list to recruit our people, don't really know what to do with a bunch of people
in different uniforms, BTDT specifically.

This is issue pretty much across the board when the discussion start regarding CAP getting involved in
duties and missions that are already covered by large, well-funded national organizations.

CAP needs to stick to it's core missions, develop a DR doctrine that doesn't step on other organization's
toes, and try to be the best at what it does.

Another huge issue with ground teams is that for some reason a lot of units seem to think GT is a "cadet thing",
which results in teams that in many cases aren't even allowed in the AOR due to age restrictions, CPT issues,
or the general availability and deployability of adolescents.

That's not intended as a knock against CAP's cadets, I know some personally who could out-GT me 5 days a week
(but then they get tired on the weekend and I step in), it's just reality.

How is shelter management not considered "emergency services?"
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Eclipse
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2017, 12:48:04 AM »

There's a lot of "ES" that doesn't, and shouldn't include CAP.
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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.

etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 789

« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2017, 12:58:27 AM »

Don't we even have an MOU with ARC?

Yes - it essentially says both parties recognize the existence of the other and should work together.

Shelter Management is a horrible idea and off the charts ORM-wise for CAP members, especially involving cadets,
but regardless, CAP assistance isn't necessary or wanted by the Red Cross or Salvation Army, who are the
whales in regards to shelters.

They have no interest in people that require 8 phones calls to deploy and are not under their direct command.
They'd love our member list to recruit our people, don't really know what to do with a bunch of people
in different uniforms, BTDT specifically.

This is issue pretty much across the board when the discussion start regarding CAP getting involved in
duties and missions that are already covered by large, well-funded national organizations.

CAP needs to stick to it's core missions, develop a DR doctrine that doesn't step on other organization's
toes, and try to be the best at what it does.

Another huge issue with ground teams is that for some reason a lot of units seem to think GT is a "cadet thing",
which results in teams that in many cases aren't even allowed in the AOR due to age restrictions, CPT issues,
or the general availability and deployability of adolescents.

That's not intended as a knock against CAP's cadets, I know some personally who could out-GT me 5 days a week
(but then they get tired on the weekend and I step in), it's just reality.

Very good post Eclipse. I agree about sticking to what we do best.

As for GT .... we have so many Squadrons that have large age and health gaps. Cadets too young for GTs and Seniors with arthritis and hip replacements. We can't be consistent across the board when selling ourselves to other organizations.
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Luis R. Ramos
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,509

« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2017, 10:32:18 AM »

I don't think all shelters are established or run by the Red Cross or the other organization mentioned.

In New York City the shelters are operated by the NYC Office of Emergency Management. At least those opened using public schools. They ask for volunteers among New York City employees, a captive audience. I am not aware whether private schools are used as shelters by the Red Cross.

In any event, recent hurricanes that required opening up shelters, a Manhattan squadron was working there, in their guise as CERT volunteers with no issues. They set up cots among other stuff.

What issues can affect cadets? If the city assigns police, what poses a danger to cadets?
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Eclipse
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« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2017, 11:00:16 AM »

I don't think all shelters are established or run by the Red Cross or the other organization mentioned.

In New York City the shelters are operated by the NYC Office of Emergency Management. At least those opened using public schools. They ask for volunteers among New York City employees, a captive audience. I am not aware whether private schools are used as shelters by the Red Cross.

So this is a city endeavor using city employees - people who are indemnified and protected by their city employment and benefits (presumably), no need for CAP members.

In any event, recent hurricanes that required opening up shelters, a Manhattan squadron was working there, in their guise as CERT volunteers with no issues. They set up cots among other stuff.

If they are there under CERT, there is no need to be wearing a CAP uniform, they can be there as members of NY CERT.

What issues can affect cadets? If the city assigns police, what poses a danger to cadets?

Bad people are bad people, and will take advantage of situations as the opportunity arises.
The chaos of a disaster leaves any number of ways for a young person to be hurt, exploited, or worse.
If the city can afford PD personnel to protect them, they can likely staff the shelter, and if something
"exciting" happens to take that cop(s) away, now it's a bad situaiton potentially going sideways.

My larger point is that "CAP does what it does", and should work on being the best at that, not being
so desperate to get in the game that it will put its field goal kickers on the defensive line.  If CAP
doesn't "know what it does", then it needs to figure that out, including the doctrine and training, before
it tries to get involved in new missions and roles better served by other organizaitons.

Don't waste time trying to squeeze CAP's square peg into a round hole, just join a place that trains square pegs.
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THRAWN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,809

« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2017, 11:12:59 AM »

I love these cyclical discussions. After every major/multistate incident, the topic of "CAP should be included in emergency plans" comes up. It's kicked around a bit, and nothing gets done with it. Until the next big event. Then it is discussed...again. MODS, how about locking this for 6 months until the blizzards come, so we can be reminded again that CAP has no relationships with their local or state EMA/OEM....
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Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
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USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016
Luis R. Ramos
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,509

« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2017, 12:00:22 PM »

Quote
If they are there under CERT, there is no need to be wearing a CAP uniform, they can be there as members of NY CERT.

They wore their CERT uniform. I mention this as it was a potential need for other NYC squadrons to be there, with cadets in BDUs.

Quote
If the city can afford PD personnel to protect them, they can likely staff the shelter, and if something
"exciting" happens to take that cop(s) away, now it's a bad situation potentially going sideways.

They would not be taken away. The city at schools use School Safety Agents, which report to the New York City Police Dept. Then NYPD also checks here and there. The SSA are not armed. The two times I worked these shelters, the one I was at least was overstaffed with SSA. The city can do this, as schools except the shelters were closed so their SSAs were reassigned to the shelters!

Most SSA are women. You would think they are overweight. But they are not. They are, what we could say beefy.

In my career as a school teacher, I saw them (wo)manhandling high school students that you would think could have bested anyone, very tall and muscular. I certainly would not like to be on their bad side...

 >:D
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 12:08:07 PM by Luis R. Ramos » Logged

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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: Hurricane Harvey Response
 


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