Civil Air Patrol

IL Wing Provides Aerial Imagery of Tornado to the National Weather Service and NOAA

05 December 2018

CIVIL AIR PATROL ASSISTS NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE/NOAA: AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY OF TORNADIC ACTIVITY

Taylorville,  IL —       

Civil Air Patrol’s Illinois Wing provided valuable geotagged aerial imagery for the destructive tornadoes this past weekend across the state focusing on the Taylorville, IL event which impacted over 500 buildings, injured dozens and is suspected in one death. One pilot and one aerial photographer captured over 550 images to be shared with the NWS National Weather Service, NOAA National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, IEMA Illinois Emergency Management Agency and FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Civil Air Patrol is often called upon to assist emergency management agencies, government agencies and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center to provide support in critical situations, whether it be aerial photography, air and ground search and rescue, or assisting in the distribution of life-supporting supplies. 

Major Ryan Stalets, CAP Incident Commander stated, “Our volunteers are proud to support scientists and decision makers during this tragic event. Every day our airmen stand ready to support our federal, state, and local partners during emergencies and disasters.”

Coincidentally, the tornadic event occurred on the same day (1 Dec. 2018) that IL Wing Civil Air Patrol emergency services incident commanders met to debrief a statewide exercise which eerily simulated a very similar situation.  The exercise simulated a major weather event which produced dozens of suspected tornadoes, localized flooding and multiple delayed or missing aircraft. 

Illinois Wing Director of Operations Lt Col Joe Long stated: “Even though Civil Air Patrol is a volunteer organization, we train to maintain our readiness to respond to any disaster that affects our community and nation, wherever the need may be.”

“The Illinois Wing of The Civil Air Patrol trains its members year-round to maintain proficiency and operational readiness.  Our volunteer Airmen will be ready to assist at the local, state or national levels when we are called upon for assistance. Our members are proud to serve and support the United States Air Force in accomplishing CAP missions” stated Col Robert Dempsey, CAP IL Wing Commander. 

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.

Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.CAP.news for more information.

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