Friday, May 4, 2012

Louisiana Wing, Civil Air Patrol to Participate in the National Level Ardent Sentry Exercise 2012

New Orleans May 2, 2012- Louisiana Wing, Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the U S Air Force Auxiliary, has been tasked by the 1st Air Force to participate in a national level, multi-agency exercise named Ardent Sentry 2012. The exercise will begin tomorrow May 3 and end May 6.

Locally, Ardent Sentry will evaluate the emergency management and disaster recovery capabilities of two CAP Wings, Louisiana and Texas. Specifically, it will measure CAP’s response to a simulated Homeland Security and hurricane disaster event. The Ardent Sentry exercise is begins with the appearance of a simulated massive tropical storm named Zelda. Simulated weather centers report sustained winds of 55 mph as the storm enters the Gulf of Mexico. They predict the simulated storm will become a major hurricane on a direct path to metro New Orleans. The Southeastern Parishes of Louisiana have already experienced three days of simulated rain and strong winds.

Overall, Ardent Sentry is a far-reaching event. Many civil organizations as well as the military arms of the US and Mexico are participants. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), U S Northern Command, U S Army North, and FEMA will all play important roles.

Louisiana Wing functions through fourteen squadrons located throughout the state. Its membership consists of some 560 highly trained professional volunteers. They serve the nation, state, and local communities 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The wing can field ten aerial reconnaissance and transportation aircraft, one of which is a unique airplane equipped with specialized optics. The wing also boasts an extensive UHF and HF radio network, a mobile command/communications van, and 14 ground support vehicles.

CAP aircrews and ground teams can provide real-time and near-real-time images and full motion streaming video to supported agencies. Among these agencies are the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), FEMA, and the Hazards Data Distribution Center (HDDC). The MARFORNORTH (U S Marine Corps Forces North) Intelligence Fusion Center, headquartered in New Orleans, has put the Louisiana Wing CAP on stand-by alert for requests for aerial photography, including both still images and full motion video.

CAP’s still photos are “geo-tagged” with target name, location (longitude and latitude), date, time, and imbedded north direction arrows. Several Louisiana Wing aircraft are equipped with Advanced Digital Imaging Systems (ADIS) that can send images in real-time through a satellite relay to its base of operations or directly to its emergency management customers.

Louisiana’s GOHSEP will establish and maintain communication with the Emergency Operations Centers of the state individual parishes. At the same time, it will coordinate requests for CAP to provide geo-tagged still images and full motion video imagery of high priority infrastructure targets for both pre-storm and post storm assessments.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 54 lives in fiscal year 2011. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 70 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.

Visit or for more information.

No comments: