On July 1st, 1946, President Harry Truman established the Civil Air Patrol. It was charged with three primary missions: Aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services. Over the past weekend, members of Indiana’s Wing of the Civil Air Patrol were in Knox conducting exercises to prepare themselves for whatever disasters they might be called to in the state.
The Commander for the evaluation was Col. Mark Reeves of Indianapolis.
Before the maneuvers began, Ted Hayes from our staff was invited to go on a simulated mission. Lt. Col. Matt Creed, a commercial pilot and mission commander for the weekend, talked about the exercises.
“They’ve given us a really, really bad low pressure front with storms and an earthquake all at once,” he said. “We’ve been asked to go and provide aerial photographs of bridges along the Kankakee River from the Starke/LaPorte County line up to State Road 4 where the river splits.”
Col. Creed talked further about what they did.
“Essentially what our game plan will be today is we’ll take off out of here, turn westbound and go find State Road 39 and we’ll be able to locate where the river crosses the highway. We’ll just follow the river parallel and whenever we find a bridge, we’ll line up and we’ll take pictures from each direction.”
First Lt. Lindsay Shipps is the Public Affairs officer and she said the Civil Air Patrol is also called in to look for downed planes.
“A lot of our business is to look for a plane that may have crashed or a plane that may have had a an incident in flight,” she explained. “Sometimes we’re asked to help with that. That will involve different types of capabilities for us. We’re probably not going to be focusing on taking photographs that day. We’re going to be focusing on using our directional finding equipment to locate that aircraft as fast as we can and to make sure everybody is safe. If we’re looking for someone who’s lost, we want to make sure the folks back who are coordinating that search and who are really worried have the information that they need as fast as possible.”
First Lt. Lindsay Shipps, and Lt. Col. Creed took Ted and Dave Sinn of Hamlet up on Friday to shoot pictures of bridges in Southern LaPorte County, and Northern Starke County.