NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS --
The Texas Wing of Civil Air Patrol has begun preparations to provide aerial and ground support for the state of Texas and FEMA as severe weather continues from Hurricane Harvey.
Hurricane Harvey slammed the coast of Texas as a Category 4 hurricane Friday night leaving a trail of mass destruction along the coast. Rockport and Corpus Christi took the brunt of the storm from the high winds and rain that pummeled the coastal communities.
As Harvey moved northeast, Houston and the surrounding areas have had an unprecedented amount rainfall in the past 24-hours and are due to receive additional 15 to 25 inches of rain.
The state of Texas has tasked the Texas Wing to take photos of the damage and flooded areas along the coast. Additionally, ground teams may be used to locate and deactivate emergency position indicating radio beacon locator transmitters on boats damaged during the storm.
“We’ve ask members to check their equipment and be prepared to start flying as early as Wednesday,” said Col. Sean Crandall, Texas Wing Commander.
Mission activities will coincide with preparation for Civil Air Patrol National Conference at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, so a temporary incident command post will be set up at the hotel.
An accumulations of 5 to 15 inches is expected farther south along the Texas coast and west in the Texas Hill Country and east into central Louisiana. Rivers located between Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Houston are forecasted to reach record levels causing additional flooding as the water moves south toward the Gulf of Mexico.
Approximately 1,000 of Texas Wing’s 3,200 members live along the Gulf Coast from Brownsville to Houston with the largest concentration of members residing in the Houston area.
CAP airplanes were initially moved out of the coastal area on Thursday and secured at locations further north.
The Texas Wing’s 3,200 members statewide provide support to various national, state and local agencies on a daily basis.
Texas Wing aircrew members have flown 5,182 hours, ground teams have driven 155,264 miles during training, support of search and rescue, counterdrug and homeland security missions in 2016.
Civil Air Patrol, is an all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees.
CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually.
Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief, and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program.
CAP has performed missions for the past 75 years and has received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans.
CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com for more information.