By 2d Lt Marcia Moran
The Omaha Composite Squadron held an Emergency Services training exercise on Saturday, January 3, 2015. Those in attendance included all air crew (pilots, mission scanners, and mission observers), ground team members, and all other mission essential personnel. This table top discussion was orchestrated by Major Steve Johnson and was a great way to kick off a brand new year for the OCS.
All in attendance were asked to bring with them items they would
use as part of a CAP Search and Rescue. This included the all-important CAP ID cards, 101 cards, flight gear and sectionals for the air crew, 72-hour packs for the ground team, plus checklists, and any other necessary items for the entire emergency services team.
Before the discussion started, Lt Col McCartney showed the attendees the ES crew monitoring board used to manage and monitor aircrew positons, ground team positions, crew rest, and names of those who can fill the designated positions based on 101 cards and training. This is a simple, at a glance check, to see who is available for the mission, if they are currently active on the mission, who is on the required 12 hours for crew rest, and where there are necessary positions that need to be filled.
The table top exercise started with focus on proper regulations and procedures in conducting airborne and ground searches. All were reminded of the proper check-in procedures, and then were given a brief of the mock scenario, in this case, a downed aircraft west of the Council Bluffs area.
Maps and sectionals were used to review the area. The ground team was able to locate roads to reach the search area, and the pilots were able to plot a course. While a search would be done on the ground and in the air, it was stressed just how important communication would be between the teams and to have a good communication plan. Practice radio conversations were held, and the ground team learned how to log all transmissions and radio checks.
Communications out procedures were reviewed, including how ground teams can fold a tarp to signal the aircrew. Also, the aircraft in-flight maneuvers for passing navigation instructions to the CAP van.
Other things all crewmembers must remember include: obtaining permission from a land owner before venturing onto private property, using the buddy system to mitigate possible injury response, continually passing mission status information to the Incident Command Post, keeping as complete a radio log as possible, and using the interview sheet to interview witnesses, etc. All members must attend a mission aircrew/ground team debriefing, and must fill out all necessary reports to ensure a proper and complete Incident Action Plan may be completed. Finally, all who responded to the emergency must check out with mission control (Incident Commander/IC representative) when it’s time to check out from the incident Command Post.