According to CAP Northeast Region Commander Col. Dan Leclair, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is eager for state emergency management agencies to have drone assets for post-disaster photography as well as search and rescue missions.“I see ground teams taking a DJI Mavic or some type of fold-up drone out of their 24-hour pack and assisting with ground searches or disaster photography when we cannot get aircraft to the area,” Leclair said. “Since new radio-controlled airplane technology is very like what is being used by the U.S. Air Force in its Remotely Piloted Aircraft, making the connection between today’s drone technology and UASes/RPAs is easy.“CAP Operations has started a UAS program within a few test wings, and in the Northeast Region states some of the wings are starting to train for search and rescue with drones,” he said. “CAP currently has two drone STEM Kits for cadets to explore the technology, and a summertime UAS Flight Academy where cadets can learn to fly drones.”
That's an NCSA picture...
Has there been a time when any CAP unit has not been able to provide airplanes for disaster photography?
During a SAREX, I can understand. But during a mission? Or on an Air Force evaluation? Affected wings move Hell and High Water to insure it is covered. But on a SAREX? The need to cover, and the interest, is not there...
Here's one little problem with CAP using anything larger then the small hobbyist drones with a GoPro camera.The Air National Guard has been getting UAV's assigned to their units lately and they are starting to use them for DR work and searches under their state mission umbrella.The California Air National Guard has used their UAV's in a couple of the major fires and also this past winter during the flooding.Cal OES likes using them because, due to their sensor fit, they deliver a much higher quality product then CAP can with handheld cameras.
Do we operate under Part 107?What is the aircrew concept? How do we train?How do we manage the force of trained pilots?How does this interface with the normal management programs for aviators?Is a staff position required?Insurance?How do we integrate member owned unmanned aircraft?etc.
I would be interested in hearing from someone who knows what CAP HQ Operations and the nine units working with the DHS developed hexacopters are doing?
Course description:These courses are to prepare CAP members to work towards becoming operational with Mini-UAVs. CAP has 8 wings, one in each region, that are beta testing mini-UAV kits developed in conjunction with a DHS Science and Technology program to be able to support imagery collection by CAP ground teams using these units. CAP personnel will have to meet the FAA Part 107 requirements to operate the units on missions, and CAP will only support emergency missions (SAR and DR) with these units so that personnel are not put at additional risk by being too close to high risk activities like counterdrug and drug interdiction law enforcement support missions.
Mississippi State selected to lead Homeland Security UAS test siteSTARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State University will lead a major research and development project for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after a rigorous and highly competitive review process.The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has selected Mississippi as the new base of operations for small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), commonly known as drones, and a Mississippi State-led partnership will oversee the initiative.According to Brooks, thanks to the diversity of the Mississippi Partnership’s offerings, DHS S&T will be able to conduct exercise and training to support a wide variety of simulated scenarios, including disaster relief (flood, fire and earthquake), highway and rail accidents, border protection, and containment of hazardous materials spills.All of the planned exercise events will incorporate small UAS to assist DHS in monitoring and assessing the simulated scenarios over both land and water.“Unmanned aircraft provide unmatched data that first responders and homeland defense agencies can use to make faster and better decisions across a range of critical situations,” Brooks said.“Mississippi is fast becoming the nation’s hub as public and private partners work to successfully — and safely — integrate UAS into our national airspace system, and Mississippi State is leading the way,” Brooks noted.