Civil Air Patrol Practices Emergency Drills
by Betsy Jibben, Reporter
October 26, 2013 5:07 PM
Just weeks ago, a fall blizzard hit the western part of South Dakota killing tens of thousands of cattle. Many organizations traveled to the area, doing their part to help out. One of those was the South Dakota Civil Air Patrol. Saturday, the units met again, this time for a different mission.
With 40 people and three airplanes, the South Dakota Civil Air Patrol prepares for the worst case scenario.
"If you don't practice, then you can't do it when it comes to the real mission," said Maj. Todd Epp with the Civil Air Patrol.
On Saturday, the units met in several cities across the state, practicing and perfecting their skills.
"This shows us where we are doing things really well and where we need to improve on," said Epp.
The unit was split into groups. Some were inside monitoring the airwaves. Others were split into groups to search on the ground and inside airplanes.
Their task was to find the missing. whether it be a hunter, a hiker or even a missing aircraft.
"These are typical missions we would perform looking for a missing air craft and taking flooding photos or disaster photos which has become a prime mission in the South Dakota wing," said Epp.
The Civil Air Patrol is considered a Civilian Auxiliary of the United States Air Force, which means they're volunteers. But they still have to be ready when the state, county or city is in need of their help.
"We do it cause we love our country, state, and our community. It's a way for us to help serve," said Epp.
Two cadets and 15 officers practiced in Sioux Falls. The patrol practices search and rescue drills several times a year.