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Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise A Success

posted Jun 11, 2013, 7:55 AM by Winston Cutshall   [ updated Jul 12, 2013, 8:49 AM by Lana Holub ]

DALLAS-It was a lovely day in the neighborhood. A perfect day for a search and rescue practice mission (SAREX). And that's exactly what the 391st Composite Squadron, Group III Texas Wng Civil Air Patrol set out to accomplish. Normally, this type of training is performed only at the Wing or Group level. Said Lt. Col Russell Miller who complimented the squadron for its' initiative in obtaining USAF permission to conduct the practice search and rescue exercise.

The exercise began friday evening with notification with telephone calls and text messages by 1st Lt Ron Kratz deputy squadron commander. Squadron personnel were told that a practice ELT had been activated near Waco Texas. The squadron was instructed to report in uniform saturday morning June 8 at 8am for briefing and any further news or instructions. Following the briefing by Incident and Squadron commander Lt. Col Bob Sides, ground team members proceeded by corporate van to the location near Penelope Texas (actually a rural estate owned by the advisor to the commander, Mark Holub.) Shortly after the ground team left Dallas, an aircraft was launched to scout the central Texas area from the air.

After the ground team arrived, by utilizing sophsticated radio direction finding equipment they were able to pinpoint the exact location of the beacon. Later in the day the ground team spread on the ground a hugh 12 by 24 foot blue tarpolean with the letters H,H printed in white paint This gave the air and ground team practice in communicating with only a signal mirror and the tarpolean. This method of communication is practiced in the event of radio equipment failure. 

Deputy squadron commander 1stLt Ron Kratz was highly complimentary of everyone who participated in the exercise. Commenting "this is a great way for the squadron to practice and be ready to go into action when we receive the inevitable middle of the night call to search for an actual downed aircraft or errant ELT.

At the close of the exercise, cadets and senior members were treated to a cookout on the Holub estate as a reward for another "Job well done".


For more information contact: Bob Bruton Capt CAP
Public Affairs Officer
391st Composite Sq
Group III, Texas Wing
Civil Air Patrol
817 688 4940