Civil Air Patrol
  • Aircrew returing to base

Maryland Civil Air Patrol assists local health departments with planning and logistics

March 30, 2020 – SILVER SPRING, Md. — Civil Air Patrol members are assisting local communities in many ways as a response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), such as transporting tests and assisting with food supplies to those in need.  In Maryland Wing, as part of the wing’s partnership with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, CAP members are augmenting various agencies across the state, including the Montgomery County Health Department Emergency Operations Center (HDOC).

As of March 23, CAP officers trained in the national incident management system and incident command system are working in plans, operations, and logistics.  From reviewing existing generic operations plans and developing task specific COVID-19 plans, to reviewing and collecting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies recommendations for COVID-19 response, our CAP team members are making a difference.

One of the key areas in which Maryland members are helping is working with Department of Health and Human Services staff with medical material management.  As the U.S. and state government’s release supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile to local agencies, the materials must be inventoried and allocated based on the state’s priorities.  Our logistics section physically handles the material and sorts shipments for delivery to the local nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals.  The item allocations for these items come from the operations section of the medical materials management group as our members work with requests and match them with available materials.

CAP’s ability to assist is rooted in the required training our incident command system members: incident commanders, section chiefs, and mission staff assistants are required.  Following these principles, Civil Air Patrol Airmen are using skills normally utilized for search and rescue or disaster relief to support the health department leading the response to the health emergency impacting our entire nation.

Members who have responded and are working the mission include Lt. Col. John Henderson, incident commander; Lt. Col. Bob Midkiff, response coordinator; and those staffing the HDOC: Col. John Knowles, Lt. Col. Jon Royer, Lt. Col. Charles Davis, Maj. Bob Thompson, Maj. John Ralph, Maj. Rachel Knowles, Capt. Christophe Marchand, and 1st Lt. Michael Heuss. 

Keep washing your hands, maintaining social distance, and supporting your neighbors in whatever way you can. 

More than 1,500 members serve in Civil Air Patrol’s Maryland Wing. Last year, wing members flew 13 actual search and rescue missions. Overall, the Maryland Wing flew 32 missions for the State of Maryland, flying 2,245 hours in all mission categories, and was credited with four finds. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.6 million. For information, contact the Maryland Wing at or follow the wing on Facebook.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, 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 82 lives annually. CAP’s 61,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit or for information.



Left:   Civil Air Patrol 1st Lt. Michael Heuss and Capt. Christophe Marchand (right) prepare inventory and pack supplies destined for local facilities and agencies at the Montgomery County Health Department Emergency Operations Center in Silver Spring, Md.  (Photo credit:  Lt. Col. Jon Royer, CAP)

Right: Civil Air Patrol Maj. Rachel Knowles (left) and Lt. Col. Charles Davis (right) assist the Montgomery County Health Department Emergency Operations Center in Silver Spring, Md.  (Photo credit:  Col. John Knowles, CAP)

This article was a collaborative effort by

Col. John Knowles, CAP

Lt. Col. Brenda Reed, CAP
Public Information Officer, Mission 20-1-4908

© 2015 Maryland Wing. All rights reserved. | Web hosting provided by Dreamhost