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Emergency Services News

WAWG Records USAF Find

posted Jun 25, 2014, 11:58 AM by John Reno   [ updated Jun 25, 2014, 3:06 PM ]

Superior performance and job well done to WAWG crew that located and silenced an errant ELT located at Auburn airport on Friday night June 13, 2014.  Aircrew: SM Chris Garg, Capt Jose Cabrera, and 2d Lt Scott Story: UDF Team: Maj Khoi Duong, Capt Wade Hasbrouck, and Capt Lowell Silver; Comms team: 1st Lt Chris Mac Spadden and Lt Col Michael Sinclair.  The weather was poor requiring the aircrew to file IFR for the initial search but they were able to locate the ELT to near or on the Auburn airport while eliminating surrounding areas and airports. With the aircrew supplied data, the UDF team departed Boeing Field to Auburn airport and located and silenced the ET within minutes of arrival.  Unique to this mission, the MRO team was able to pick up the ELT signal from their base (home) confirming the initial reports from ATC and data provided by the AFRCC; and, of course, provided superior comms support to the air and ground teams as well as to the IC.  The USAF (AFRCC) awarded WAWG with a Find for the mission.  Mission personnel are acknowledged for their commitment, competence, and energy in successfully and safely completing the mission.

WAWG Conducts Missing Person Search

posted May 12, 2014, 2:53 PM by John Reno   [ updated May 12, 2014, 2:58 PM ]

On 26 Apr 2014 the Thurston County Sheriff's department, through the AFRCC, requested CAP assistance in locating an elderly gentlemen missing in the Nisqually Flats area just East of Lacey, WA. A total of 13 Washington Wing members participated in the search effort and aircrew flew 6 sorties over two days in the unsuccessful effort.

ELT Found and Silenced

posted May 7, 2014, 3:32 PM by John Reno

Late evening, April 18, The Yakima airport terminal manager called to report an ELT transmitting somewhere on the field and requested assistance.  James Bales, Dave Franklin, and Dawn Holbrrok, all from the Yakima Composite Squadron, responded and quickly located the errant ELT.  Nice job!

Volunteers Needed to Help OSO slide Victims

posted Apr 24, 2014, 1:28 PM by John Reno

Want to volunteer to help victims of the 530 Slide? Looking for a meaningful squadron-based community project? Opportunities are available to assist with rebuilding and helping clean up damaged homes and also packing care packages for victims.  This is another chanced for volunteers to help people in our community affected by the largest disaster in Washington since the Mt. St. Helens eruption in 1980.  It is also an excellent opportunity for team-building and increasing morale.  Please contact Teresia Sayler at

WAWG’s new relationship with the US Coast Guard

posted Apr 15, 2014, 4:34 PM by John Reno

The USCG Sector Puget Sound has contacted WAWG to assist in reporting oil spills or oil slicks or “mystery sheens” on the Pacific Coast, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Columbia River and associated waters and rivers.  This is not a one-time mission but an ongoing effort by the Coast Guard to facilitate rapid reporting of environmental pollutants (oil) so they can respond swiftly to contain the damage.

This program is for both seniors and cadets.  In particular, aircrews on missions, training flights, proficiency flights, O-rides, etc. that fly over these waters.

The USCG’s interest in CAP goes beyond simply reporting and they would like to train our professional volunteers to observe characteristics of the spill.  To this end the first step is complete the training on-line available at:

This Aerial Observation of Oil Spills training was designed for USCG aircrew.  You will have to create a user name and password once you're in the site. Once you complete the training, about 1 hour, you will take a quiz.  It is important that you take the quiz so that your course completion is recorded but you do not have to have the results sent to me. Alternatively, send me an email that you have completed the course.

If there is sufficient response (interest) from WAWG personnel, as shown by the course completions, the local USCG would like to present particulars of oil spill spotting in Washington waters in person that we will also make available via webinar to everyone in the Wing.

Prevention, mitigation, and, clean-up of environmental disasters is a primary activity of the USCG. This could be the start of a broader relationship between the USCG and WAWG.  

WAWG – Missing Persons Search, Cathlamet, WA Mar 7, 2014

posted Apr 15, 2014, 10:57 AM by John Reno   [ updated Apr 15, 2014, 11:06 AM ]

Wing DOS received a call from AFRCC with a mission for a missing persons search in SW WA State.  A couple left Cathlamet on Feb. 27 and was not heard from since. The search was for the vehicle the couple were driving and covered roadways between Cathlamet and near Astoria.  Mission pilot Capt Mike Fuller and mission observer Capt Chad Schultz flew a 5.2 hour sortie looking for the couple’s car but no signs were found. The coms officer was Maj Jim Johnston. Recent press reports indicate the couple remains missing.

WAWG – Wanapum Dam Mission March 17, 2014

posted Apr 15, 2014, 10:36 AM by John Reno

On February 28, inspectors found a 65 foot crack in the Wanapum Dam, a major Columbia River dam in Grant County.  Subsequently, officials lowered the water level to allow safe inspection of the damaged area; however, this may have exposed siphons up river that farmers use to draw water for irrigation. The growing season begins about Apri 1.  Washington State Dept of Ecology officials contacted WAWG to obtain photo recon of the siphons.  Organized by Major Mark Kemner, on Mar 17 WAWG aircrews flew two extended photo sorties totaling 4.6 hours and provided the photos to Ecology officials. Mission pilots were Lt Col Chic Jensen and Maj Dave Franklin, Mission Observer was Maj Mark Kemner, and Mission Scanner was State Senator Lt Col Jim Honeyford.  Coms were organized by 1Lt Steve Lynn with cadets  at ESTA.

WAWG at Oso

posted Apr 14, 2014, 6:01 PM by John Reno   [ updated Apr 15, 2014, 10:35 AM ]

Mission Priorities:

1.       Provide highbird communications relay for air and ground teams operating in the slide area.

2.      Take photos of interest defined as areas above and on either side of the slide that appeared to move or thought to be in danger of moving.

3.      Keep track of and report on flight activities in the area consisting of rotary and fixed wing aircraft operating on a variety of missions.


Number of days: 2 (23-24 Mar 2014)

Number of aircraft: 4

Number of personnel: 11 unique individuals, some worked both days

Number of sorties: 21 (actual in slide area 7 sorties)

Number of flight hours: 30.0 (actual in slide area 19.6 hrs)

WAWG received high praise from the Washington State Patrol for its work; all eleven participating CAP personnel received the CAP Disaster Relief Ribbon with Silver V (presidential declared).



Alaska Shield - Ardent Sentry 2014 Recap

posted Apr 7, 2014, 10:32 PM by John Reno   [ updated Apr 10, 2014, 6:28 PM ]

Alaska Shield 2014 (AS14) was a large, regional exercise conducted March 27 to April 3.  It was timed to occur on the 50th anniversary of the Great Alaska Quake of 1964 and as such was centered in Anchorage.  There were many linked exercises: Ardent Sentry, Vigilant Guard, Artic Edge, Turbo Challenge, Ultimate Caduceus, Mobile Lifesaver, Artic Care, and CRME-LOGEX.  The linked exercises were conducted largely independent of FEMA but with their coordination and allowed other governmental emergency response agencies and functions to participate in a large focused training exercise.   PCR-CAP was part of Ardent Sentry and sponsored by NORTHCOM.

FEMA is now in an evaluation phase prior to beginning another stage of the exercise called Silver Phoenix TTX that is composed of Alaska Recovery TTX and then Capstone Recovery TTX. All stages will be complete by the end of April.  Lest FEMA rests/recovers, another large regional exercise started planning as soon the planning for Alaska Shield was completed many months ago  – stay tuned.

CAP's Alaska Wing, of course, was the primary focus for Ardent Sentry but also participating were WAWG and ORWG.  All wings were tasked for aerial photo recon missions.  AKWG photo targets were largely pre-determined and were mostly population centers but ORWG and WAWG were left to devise their own training regimens. Rather than just take the same ol’ photos of overpasses, dams, and the like ad nauseam, Maj Wayne Humphrey, WAWG DOH and I met with the FEMA Region X GIS group in Bothell, WA and asked if they have any specific requests.  They immediately jumped on the opportunity and requested shoreline photos in both Oregon and Washington in support of coastal flood studies; that is, understanding the geomorphology of the beach areas.

Both ORWG and WAWG were largely weathered out. WAWG got in three sorties and ORWG reverted to a single ground sortie.  You can view all of the photos from Alaska, Washington and Oregon on the following sites (I do not know how long the links will be viable):

These are publically available and open to everyone so no passwords are required.

For WA and OR, use this link:

For AK, use this link:

Center the map over the desired area and use the “+” button to enlarge the area. Click on a single green dot to upload the associated photo. Enjoy.

John Reno, Lt Col, CAP

DOS, Washington Wing

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