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New joint Maryland Civil Air Patrol – Air National Guard operations trailer unveiled

New mobile incident command post trailer
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The new joint Maryland Civil Air Patrol and Maryland Air National Guard mobile incident command post was unveiled during a recent communications exercise. (Photo credit: Lt Col Mike Starr, CAP)

1/24/2017––Prior to Inauguration Day, Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol communications staff visited Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Md., and saw the new joint Maryland Civil Air Patrol and Maryland Air National Guard operations trailer.

Lt. Col. Mike Starr and Maj. Marty Brown toured the new mobile incident command post which the ANG has outfitted with a large variety of equipment to allow for remote operations. Some equipment includes a generator, tables, chairs, equipment racks, antenna masts. Radios will be installed and a joint training session will be held sometime in the spring.

“The Maryland Wing Civil Air Patrol is incredibly grateful for the total force partnership with the Maryland Air National Guard and the joint effort to add to our capabilities a mobile incident command post,” said Col. Joe Winter, Maryland Wing commander. “This new addition will afford us access to state-of-the-art technology while deploying to nearly any location for extended periods of time providing robust emergency services response and capabilities of the Air Force Auxiliary alongside the emergency managers of the Maryland Air National Guard.”

While at the site, Starr and Brown also toured the ANG mobile communications units used for the inauguration. ANG wings from Washington, Maine, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, DC, and Illinois joined Maryland in this exercise as they prepared for the upcoming mission. Electronic interconnectivity between units allows for video feeds from unit to unit, and the ability to display DC street cameras so decision makers have a situational awareness.

On the day of CAP’s visit, the ANG units were performing practice communications setup in preparation for the mobile units to be dispersed throughout the Washington, D.C., area for Inauguration Day. Satellite dishes were set up in the hangars while UHF and VHF antennas masts, communications racks, and satellite uplink and downlinks were tested for interconnectivity.

Lt. Col. Mike Starr, Maryland Wing’s assistant communications director, noted, “It was amazing watching portable satellite dishes automatically deploy and point to the satellite.”

In the spirit of community, the Louisiana ANG provided authentic Cajun cuisine for lunch.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime 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 continental 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. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP 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.capvolunteernow.com for more information.