The Nebraska Civil Air Patrol is a non-profit (IRS 501c3) company and state chapter of the national Civil Air Patrol (CAP) organization. Our operations utilize light air single engine aircraft, ground response vehicles, and professionally trained/ certified staff to provide search and rescue support, aerial reconnaissance imagery, interim tactical communications, and emergency transport of humanitarian supplies.
As a Total Force partner and Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, Civil Air Patrol is there to search for and find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster and work to keep the homeland safe. Its 56,000 members selflessly devote their time, energy and expertise toward the well-being of their communities, while also promoting aviation and related fields through aerospace/STEM education and helping shape future leaders through CAP's cadet program.
Civil Air Patrol's missions for America are many, and today's adults and cadets perform their duties with the same vigilance as its founding members - preserving CAP's 75-year legacy of service while maintaining its commitment to nearly 1,500 communities nationwide.
Civil Air Patrol - Nebraska Wing Communications Tower Project (Funding Needed)
The Civil Air Patrol is a federally chartered non-profit organization that provides Emergency Search and Rescue and Disaster Relief services using a fleet of small aircraft, ground vehicles, and trained personnel ready to respond 24/7.
Nebraska Wing (state charter of the national Civil Air Patrol organization) provides services to many different agencies. Upon report of missing or suspected crash of civilian aircraft within the operational area of Nebraska, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) will task Nebraska Wing to search, locate, and if needed, render emergency aid to injured parties until first responders arrive.
Another common area of support is for pre-and post-disaster situations. Pre-disaster example are the fire spotting sorties flown in areas of Nebraska determined to be of dangerous wildfire potential. These are typically Emergency Management Agencies or local sheriff requests for Civil Air Patrol services to conduct these types of operations. Post-disaster situations are typically events that involve Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to assist with damage assessment and or search and rescue operations.
Nebraska Wing leases office space from the Nebraska Army National Guard at Camp Ashland, Nebraska. From these facilities Nebraska Wing provides administrative and training support to fifteen CAP squadrons throughout Nebraska. However, operational control to direct actions to aircraft and ground assets cannot be executed from these facilities due to lease constraints that prohibit installation of radio wires and antennas to the exterior of the buildings. However, the Army National Guard has approved the installation of a self-supported antenna tower that can be installed at Nebraska Wing expense near these buildings.
The cost of this project is $11,000. The funding for this project was going to be covered by an appropriation from the State of Nebraska. The state has withdrawn funding because of deepening state budget issues.
If funding can be secured, installation of this tower would significantly upgrade Nebraska Wing operations from an administrative and training center to a full operations center with tactical and strategic communications capability. Nebraska Wing will be able to direct the operations of airborne and ground assets, link to several other radio repeater systems that extend radio coverage throughout the state, and operate a strategic HF radio service connecting us to the Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, FEMA, and Air Force stations for contingency communication.
Where the Money Goes
Studies Conducted by Previous Wing Commander:
Very few know the state is actually responsible for inland Search and Rescue (SAR)......locating downed or missing aircraft and locating inadvertent Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) so they can be shut down. But Nebraska is one of numerous states who has signed that duty off to the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. In the 1990s, as wing commander, I did a study of the amount of training and actual search time we did then using the wages of state pilots, the cost to operate their aircraft etc. What I found was for every dollar of state appropriation we received we saved the state $95....so a $95 savings for every $1 we received. In 2015 I studied the cost again and it was saving the state $125 for every dollar we received in state appropriation.
So Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) wise we had 5 exercises and averaged 70 people for 10 hour days. That's 3550 hours @ $15 per hour is $53,250 in man hours but that doesn't include the fuel cost for vehicles and aircraft or aircraft maintenance hours.
For the state fly in we had 39 people averaging 12 hour days for 468 hours x $15 is $7,020 in man hour savings. Again this doesn't count fuel/travel, per diem etc.
We also aren't counting the Unit Training Missions units do for continuing training or the promotion of aviation through aerospace education like we do. The Dept. of Aeronautics is tasked in state statutes with that.
Adding together the SAREX hours of 3550 with the state fly in hours of 468 hours, that is 4,018 hours. Multiply that by the $125 per hour cost if state employees had to perform those duties and it adds up to $502,250.
Lets see......spend $502,250 or give us $40,200 to do them.
One of the results of CAP Training: Please see picture in multimedia section
Lee Bird Squadron of North Platte traveled July 8 to Valentine to participate in a monthly practice with Valentine's Sandhills Composite Squadron. Both units belong to Civil Air Patrol's Nebraska Wing. The purpose of this meeting was for Lee Bird cadets to obtain an Orientation Ride in the Civil Air Patrol's Cessna 172 stationed in Valentine.
During one of the rides a cadet noticed smoke in the distance and notified the pilot, Lt Col John Wilson. One of the many missions of the Civil Air Patrol is fire patrol and due to the dry conditions around Valentine, Wilson overflew the area indicated by the cadet.
The sharp eyes of a cadet, the actions of the pilot and the quick response of the Valentine Fire Department kept this fire from gaining access to the canyons.
Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the United State Air Force.
Civil Air Patrol Demonstrates its Capabilities for the American Red Cross: Please see picture in multimedia section
On a beautiful October day, members of the Nebraska Wing, Omaha Composite Squadron, and Fremont Cadet Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol hosted Jill Orton, the Regional Executive of the American Red Cross, for a flight and demonstration of CAP resources in Nebraska.
Following up on a prior meeting with Ms. Orton that had been arranged by Dr. Arthur Weaver, Lt Col Dan Peterson and Capt Whit Bonifant met Ms Orton at the Millard Airport and introduced her to one of CAP's Cessna 182 aircraft. After receiving a certificate and a set of honorary CAP flight crew wings, Lt Col Peterson and Capt Bonifant departed with Ms Orton for a brief flight to Fremont, Nebraska. There, members of the Fremont Squadron met the flight and provided Ms Orton with a briefing and demonstration of the various ground assets that could be available to support Red Cross disaster relief efforts. Of particular interest was the NEWG Mobile Operations Center (MOC) which could provide Red Cross personnel with critical radio communications capabilities in the event of a disaster. Col Steve Kuddes, Lt Col Jim Kuddes, and Maj Dave Proctor also briefed Ms Orton on the various ground support capabilities that CAP can provide.
Upon her return to Millard, Ms Orton expressed appreciation: "Wow, what a delightful day! Thank you for my honorary Civil Air Patrol "wings". Beautiful weather, smooth flight, spectacular pictures, and good conversation…. I look forward to growing our partnership."
NEWG will continue maintain regular contact with the American Red Cross to support their needs for the transportation of personnel and blood products, and the utilization CAP's ground based communications resources. Special thanks to Dr. Arthur Weaver for his behind the scenes efforts to organize the introductory meeting with Ms Orton and her staff which led to the flight and demonstration opportunity.
Mission to Deliver Blood to Omaha; (Support of Red Cross) (Supported by both Kansas and Nebraska Wings
Col Nelson received the request from the Kansas Wing Commander around 2100 hours to assist in the delivery of a high priority of blood from Wichita, Kansas to the Red Cross Center in Omaha. He notified me of the request and asked me to assign at least two members to support this mission. Major Leo Larkin volunteered to assist me on this assignment. We were informed the that three teams from the Kansas Wing were relaying the shipment across Kansas and asked if we could meet them in Beatrice to complete the final leg to Omaha. Leo and I arrived at the designated transfer point in Beatrice 30 minutes past midnight and the Kansas Wing CAP vehicle arrived exactly 5 minutes later. The Kansas Wing Commander was a member of that team and expressed her appreciated for our support of this Mission.
Major Larkin and I proceeded on to Omaha via without any stops or diversions. Fortunately I had been at the American Red Cross Center in Omaha and we arrived at their location with no delays. After turning the shipment over the Red Cross, we returned to Lincoln.