Cadets and senior members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) along with members of the 172nd Cavalry Regiment (VT ARNG) came together for some cold weather training. Vermont Wing members from both Rutland Composite Squadron and Bennington Composite Squadron were given a cold weather briefing that covered frostbite, dehydration, and general cold weather safety. The exercise took place in Willow Park, in Bennington, shortly after a severe ice storm in the area.
Vermont Wing and Guard members spent the day practicing search and rescue techniques, emphasizing safe operations in cold weather conditions: snowshoeing, sled pulling, erecting a cold weather tent, and preparing special cold weather M.R.E.s (Meals Ready to Eat) for lunch. The exercise concluded with a review of lessons learned, as well as any needed operational and other improvements.
Captain Jonathan Mercer, commander of the Bennington Composite Squadron, noted “This event was the latest of several successful joint exercises with Sergeant First Class Justus Keith and his colleagues from the Vermont Army National Guard. This was the first time our squadrons worked with the members of the 172nd Cavalry Regiment, and we are grateful for the leadership and skills they demonstrated to our cadets and senior members. Best of all, it was great to see the guardsmen and the cadets working and having fun together.”