Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Squadron 150 Members Participate in Search and Rescue Training Exercise

On a cold, cloudy and dreary morning, a handful of Airmen from Civil Air Patrol huddled around to hear the mission briefing. The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) informed us that a small private aircraft was reported missing at 5:00pm the previous evening. The pilot did not file a flight plan for a leg of the journey, and the aircraft and crew could be anywhere from Hemet to Las Vegas. It was our job to find them.

Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182
(Photo Credit: SM Rommel Anacan)
Two aircrews were assigned, each one consisting of a Mission Pilot, Mission Observer and Mission Scanner. The Incident Commander assigned a specific sector for each crew to conduct their visual search missions-and it was now the job of the aircrew to plan their mission. Once the planning was completed, weather forecast checked (and checked again) and all information confirmed, the Cessna 182s took off in search of their target.

Both aircrews returned safely to mission base and debriefed on their respective missions; having logged several hours in the air conducting visual search in their respective areas.

While this wasn't an actual mission, the steps that we took to plan and execute the mission are the same. While we hope to never have to fly a search mission, our job is to prepare as if we could get that call at any minute. Since this was a training exercise the completion of our successful sorties resulted in a hearty lunch at a local diner!

Our thanks to the team who planned and executed this successful and productive Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX). The SAREX included members from squadrons in South Coast Group 7, including our squadron (Squadron 150) and Group 7 units in Fullerton and Costa Mesa.

There are many ways that one could spend a weekend-and if you're a member of CAP, flying around in a Cessna 182 may just be one of them! If you're interested in joining Civil Air Patrol, or would just like more information, please contact us!