Vermont Wing Takes Flight to Assist FEMA Flood Disaster Relief Statewide

Photo above – A Civil Air Patrol aircraft prepares for takeoff at Patrick Leahy Burlington International Airport in support of FEMA flood relief missions. All photos courtesy of Capt. Bryan Holland, 1st Lt. Peter Steinerman, and 2nd Lt. Heather K. Forcier (all of the Vermont Wing)

Mission pilot Lt. Col. Don Majercik prepares to board the Vermont Wing’s C-182 aircraft for a photo mission over Vermont.

Civil Air Patrol’s Vermont Wing has flown numerous missions statewide this past week and planning more in support of relief efforts being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to severe flooding.

As of this morning, the wing had provided almost 4,000 digital images taken at low altitudes throughout the state. The images give FEMA analysts precise geolocation data for use in targeting assistance and prioritizing relief efforts.

Capt. John Compo, mission pilot, readies a flight plan in support of FEMA flood relief efforts.

Acting as a Total Force partner and official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, Civil Air Patrol helps First Air Force rapidly respond to nonmilitary threats domestically in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage, and provide humanitarian assistance.

Three-member aircrews — a pilot, a mission observer, and a photographer — from the Burlington Senior Squadron flew CAP aircraft out of wing headquarters at Patrick Leahy Burlington International Airport. Members of the Burlington squadron also served as mission support staff on the ground.

“Vermont Wing aircrews and support staff immediately responded to FEMA requests, relayed through our CAP Northeast Region command, for detailed airborne imagery taken over dozens of Vermont communities,” said Col. Richard Beach, the wing’s commander.

2nd Lt. Richard Estey prepares his camera for an aerial photography mission.

“Despite difficult circumstances in their hometowns, and concurrent with their participation in other flood relief efforts, our crews acted according to their training and commitment to the people of Vermont,” Beach said.

CAP’s New Hampshire and Massachusetts wings have also provided airborne assistance, he said.

The wing anticipates additional missions will be assigned this week.

Beach singled out the wing’s director of operations, Capt. John Campos, and assistant director of operations, Capt. Charles Webster, for praise for their hours of support of the mission, along with several members of the Burlington squadron:

Second Lt. Heather K. Forcier readies her camera for a photo mission over Vermont.

•              Lt. Cols. Mike Chase, deputy commander, and Don Majercik, health services officer.

•              Capt. Bryan Holland, public affairs officer.

•              1st Lt. Lucien Thresher, commander.

•              2nd Lts. Christine Estey, administrative officer; Richard Estey, logistics officer; Heather K. Forcier, information technologies officer; Tom Henderson, communications officer; and Jean Thresher, deputy commander.

“Our squadron members are to be commended for their dedication, technical proficiency, and spirited teamwork that enabled us to accomplish all tasks assigned us by FEMA,” said Thresher, the squadron commander.