Civil Air Patrol To Assist In Southwest Homeland Security Exercise

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | August 24, 2003

MAXWELL AFB, Ala. — Civil Air Patrol volunteers will be part of an upcoming homeland security preparedness exercise next week near Las Vegas.
CAP volunteers from the Nevada Wing and possibly other CAP wings will assist in “Determined Promise,” an exercise sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. Scheduled for Aug. 18-29 at Indian Spring Air Force Base, the exercise is expected to involve as many as 5,000 local, state and federal participants.
CAP, the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, will perform missions at the request of the newly created U.S Northern Command.
The exercise will test the federal government’s ability to distribute the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile in response to a mock spread of deadly pneumonic plague in the Las Vegas area.

“The fact that CAP has been asked to take part in this exercise demonstrates the effective role civilians can play in our national homeland security effort,” said CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Richard Bowling. “Our members work hard to maintain a high level of preparedness, both in training and resources. Like all Americans, we take the threat of terrorism very seriously, and our work with CAP is one way for us to help keep our families and our communities safe.”

CAP, the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force with more than 64,000 members nationwide, has been best known for its search-and-rescue efforts over the years. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, CAPs focus has expanded to include more security missions. Last year, the Air Force moved CAP under the umbrella of its new Homeland Security Directorate. Several months ago, CAP leaders were invited to meet with Homeland Security Department Secretary Tom Ridge to discuss ways its trained civilian volunteers can help protect their communities.

CAP performs 95 percent of continental United States inland search-and-rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the almost 27,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 60 years.

On the Web: http://www.capnhq.gov