Members from Chilton County Composite Squadron to participate in trainingBy Emily Etheredge Published 4:17pm Thursday, February 6, 2014
Several members from the Chilton County Composite Squadron will participate in the Alabama Wing Civil Patrol’s Emergency Services School’s search and rescue training Feb. 14-16.
The competition will be held in Titus at the U.S. Air Force’s Vigilant Warrior training facility.
“We have about five or six from Chilton County coming to compete at this event,” Public Affairs Officer for the training, Morgan Bennett, said on Thursday. “There will be more than 100 participants conducting training in ground and air search and rescue, radio operations and incident command systems.”
Bennett said many of the participants in the training are CAP cadets ranging in ages from 12-18.
“The students will be learning techniques to search for missing people, how to manage the site of a small aircraft crash and how to set up a medical helicopter landing zone.”
Bennett said this is the 17th year for the training that lasts from October through March with one meeting each month.
“In March, we will do a final training mission,” Bennett said. “We do a full scale mission where we have personnel go out and pose as a missing person. Individuals participating in this training get to practice what they have learned throughout the months because this is a pass base training.”
If individuals competing in the training get a fully qualified rating, they will be eligible to be called up for special missions that could include a missing person mission.
“This is good training in general but most cadets get more out of it than search and rescue,” Bennett said. “It helps boost self confidence and self-esteem.”
The training used to meet at Maxwell Air Force Base but Bennett said the program rapidly grew with more participants.
“It is a great problem for us to need more space,” Bennett said.
Bennett said the program is governed by the United States Air Force with three congressionally assigned key missions including emergency services (including search and rescue by air and ground), disaster relief operations and aerospace education for youth and the general public.
For more information about the program, visit www.wess.alwg.us.