SANTA CLARA, CA – CAP members in California participated in a 3 day Evaluation Exercise on March 14-16, 2009. It was one of the largest and most extensive operations in California calling into action 127 members. It involved 52 sorties, a total of 126.6 flight hours and 20 different aircraft.
After much preparation, there were multiple scenarios in play that was to test California Wing’s CD, SAR and Archer capabilities. Targets throughout California were reported as CAP Public Affairs Officers covered each new development with operational readiness updates.
They delivered 350 high quality digital pictures of targets throughout California.
“Saturday turned out to be an exciting day with 3 real customers “according to 1st Lt. Jackie Tubis, Squadron 10’s Mission Staff Assistant. After a long day in training with Major Dana Ray Kirsch, she was able to monitor base activities firsthand at Reid Hillview Airport. “There was a lot of traffic coming from the communications room,” she said.
According to Major Kirsch, “There was some ELT activity around Livermoore, Oakwood and Oakland.” Mission Pilot Tony Stieber was on a sortie when he identified an ELT signal as he was flying out of Oakland Airport. “It’s not out of the ordinary to have training exercises and demonstrate SAR capabilities once the mission goes real time,” Major Kirsch commented
For 1st Lt .Brendan Gadd, a ground team leader, it was a weekend of training rated cadets and coordinating with base staff personnel. In fact, he and Major Dana Ray Kirsch, were eating at a local cafeteria when they were called to help a rescue senior citizen who was having a heart attack nearby. They found themselves in a real situation performing CPR and reviving the victim. After being stabilized, local paramedics were able to take him to the hospital.
They are both being recommended for a live saving award.
Like many CAP wings out there, CAWG members conduct their own training which, in this case, paid off. According to the CAWG Evaluation Project team, the operation went well and received an “Excellent Rating.” It’s good to know that all that training comes in handy when you expect it – and when you don’t expect it.