Lt. Col. Brenda Reed recognized for superior service with Civil Air Patrol’s Distinguished Service Award
3/17/2018 — GRANITE, Md. — Civil Air Patrol’s all-volunteer force is an ancillary part of the national emergency response team and performs critical duties that support government and community missions. As such, our members, serving in positions of ground teams, communications officers, aircrews, pilots and public affairs officers routinely participate in search and rescue and national emergency response activities.
Lt. Col. Brenda Reed, Maryland Wing’s chief of staff, consistently reflects the highest credit upon herself, the Maryland Wing and Civil Air Patrol. Reed’s performance during the period from October 16, 2016, through October 21, 2016, serves as a primary example of her exemplary duty performance. Her actions were invaluable to CAP National Headquarters’ public affairs operation and enhanced their effort to provide almost daily coverage of CAP’s response to Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina and South Carolina throughout the week-long catastrophic event.
Col. Joseph Winter, Maryland Wing commander, accompanied by Lt. Col. Christopher Howell, the wing’s vice commander of forces, presented Lt. Col. Reed the Distinguished Service Award and medal recognizing her outstanding service during the October 2016 national emergency response to Hurricane Matthew. During October 2016, as the Category 5 hurricane approached the Florida mainland, CAP National Headquarters, Public Affairs activated a crisis communication media team response. In her capacity as the mission’s Public Information Officer for Middle East Region, Reed responded and became an integral part of the national media coverage for CAP’s contribution in response to the hurricane. Before, during, and after the storm and as it moved up the East Coast, Reed coordinated media relations among the Middle East Region wings, provided timely media releases to National Headquarters of potential news and stories obtained through interviews with the incident command staff and CAP aircrews and volunteers.
Lt. Col. Reed facilitated access for more than 50 local South Carolina media outlets and provided training to public information officer trainees and wing PAOs. While being deployed to South Carolina as the PIO, she was directly responsible for coordinating CAP news happenings with local South Carolina NBC affiliates and facilitating personal interviews between news media and CAP South Carolina wing commander and the incident command staff. Her due diligence resulted in excellent media coverage of CAP’s emergency response mission and actions which became lead stories on the evening and late night news, followed by a second night as a top story and later the same week. Reed’s skillful technical ability and leadership of local public affairs personnel resulted in multiple media outlets covering CAP flights in South Carolina and North Carolina as well as the NBC-TV Baltimore news affiliate providing news coverage and the Baltimore Sun newspaper dedicating a front page article covering the Maryland Wing’s contribution to the aftereffects of Hurricane Matthew. Historically, the Baltimore Sun paper premiere coverage was a first-time experience for the Maryland Wing.
The CAP Distinguished Service Award is presented for a conspicuous performance of outstanding service in a duty of great responsibility where the position held and results obtained reflect upon the accomplishments and prestige of CAP on a national scale.
Nearly 1,500 CAP members serve in Maryland. Last year wing members flew 13 search and rescue missions. The wing was credited with four finds. Maryland Wing flew 32 missions for the State of Maryland. Members flew 2,245 hours in all mission categories. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.6 million. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at mdwg.cap.gov or follow the wing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarylandWingCivilAirPatrol.
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.gocivilairpatrol.com for more information.
Capt. Alice Raatjes, CAP
Asst. Public Affairs Officer, Maryland Wing
(left) Col. Joe Winter, MDWG commander, accompanied by Lt. Col. Chris Howell, vice commander of forces, present Lt. Col. Brenda Reed the CAP Distinguished Service Award for exemplary service.
(right) Lt. Col Reed’s Distinguished Service Award certificate.