Civil Air Patrol

Icebowl 2019 A Great Success

26 January 2019

-15 Degrees Doesn’t Stop Cold Weather Search and Rescue Training

Gilberts,  IL —      

Civil Air Patrol’s Illinois Wing  members tested their muster by holding training exercises in -15(F)s degrees this weekend at Camp Tomo-Chi-Chi Knolls in Gilberts, IL.  Members ranged in ages from 12 years old to Octogenarians.

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.  

Yesterday’s search and rescue mission provided opportunity to experience the physical endurance challenges conducting  air and ground searches through 10 inches of snow and ice on unlevel terrain. Safety training on how to conduct searches with limited exposure time was stressed to help mitigate risk of the rescuers becoming injured.

Equipment too acts different in adverse weather.  Members learned how equipment reacts to extreme cold conditions and how to compensate when battery life on search equipment is limited.  

Lt Col Ray Walden, CAP Incident Commander stated, “Our volunteers are proud to support our community – even in extreme conditions.  Every day our members stand ready to support our federal, state, and local partners during emergencies and disasters.  We practice so our members are better prepared and skilled with an understanding of how weather can affect our bodies, our equipment and our psyche.   Our priority is always the safety of members, so we train to ensure they understand the warning signs of exposure to the elements to mitigate risks.”

“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.  

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