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Maryland Wing ground team members thanked for standing by; no longer on alert to support Hurricane Katrina relief effort

9/12/2005––Ground team members of the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) are no longer on alert to deploy to Mississippi to assist in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort there.

Maryland Wing members who pilot the GA-8 Airvan and aircrews certified to operate CAP’s satellite digital imaging system do remain on standby however, for possible deployment to Hattiesburg, Miss.

“The Maryland Wing has performed outstanding over the last few weeks,” said Maj. John E. Henderson, the wing's director of operations and the wing's incident commander for Hurricane Katrina operations. “We have had two separate ground callouts and one air callout to support the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. All of those missions ended up resulting in a stand down, but the fact is that the Maryland Wing was able to answer the call.”

Each of the wing’s three groups was able to supply a ground team and/or an aircraft when needed.

Nine members from the Hagerstown, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Frederick, Mt. Airy, Carroll and Glenn L. Martin squadrons in the wing's Group's I and II were scheduled to deploy on Sunday evening for a seven to ten-day mission to Mississippi until the request was withdrawn by CAP’s National Operations Center at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

"Our job is to keep doing what we have been doing and when our assistance is requested, respond as we have been. This will be a long mission and I'm sure there will be more requests and along with the requests comes the chances of cancellations, but the fact that we had two teams up and ready to depart to Mississippi for seven to ten days within 6 hours is a wonderful accomplishment in itself," Henderson said.

Members of the wing have been advised to continue to report their availability, on a bi-weekly basis through their chain of command, for deployments as tasked for the relief effort, according to Col. Kay Joslin Walling, commander of the wing.

"We need to be patient and be prepared to support requests for assistance over the next few months as the need arises," added Lt. Col. Kevin W. Redman, the wing's chief of staff/operations.

More than 3,000 homes have been visited and more 6,000 citizens checked on over the past week by the CAP members, according to CAP National Headquarters.

"All signs are that we will get additional taskings in the future weeks to support the hurricane recovery effort in Alabama and Mississippi," added Maj. John Long, the wing's director of emergency services.

CAP continues to serve Mississippi residents as they move door to door to survey three counties, according to CAP National Headquarters. Most of these citizens are claiming that CAP is the first contact they have had since the hurricane.

According to CAP National Headquarters, 10,225 CAP volunteer members for hurricane Katrina have provided more than 10,000 relief effort hours.

The Maryland Wing is also accepting donations for the relief effort of the CAP wings in Louisiana and Mississippi, according to Lt. Col. Jett Mayhew, donation project officer. Checks should be made payable to the Maryland Wing CAP and in the lower left hand corner of the check the words "donation relief fund" should be written. Checks should be mailed to P.O. Box 18341 Baltimore, MD 21240.

CAP volunteers currently on the relief mission are from Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, and the Southwest Region. There are also members assigned to CAP National Headquarters involved in operations.