Civil Air Patrol
  • Aircrew returing to base

Maryland Wing continues COVID-19 support in Montgomery County

April 28, 2020 — SILVER SPRING, Md. — This week marks the sixth week that Civil Air Patrol Maryland Wing’s Airmen have put volunteer service before self while supporting the COVID-19 mission in Maryland.  During this time, 50 MDWG members have stepped forward to support their communities with some commuting 55-mile one-way from St. Mary’s County, Md., to Silver Spring, Md., to join assigned support teams.  Many of the Airmen have volunteered multiple days during the six-week span. In turn, our Airmen were more effective due to the learning curve being minimized.

Maryland Wing teams went from assisting the emergency operations center with trained personnel in plans, operations and logistics to providing personal proactive equipment (PPE) delivery services across Montgomery County, Md., with two 16-passenger vans with rear seats removed.  For over two weeks, the noticeable Civil Air Patrol white vans were a welcomed site at many local nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and medical clinics. 

Since commencing activities on March 23, 2020, the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has delivered over 100,000 N-95 respirators, 300,000 surgical masks, 110,000 pairs of gloves, 13,000 surgical gowns, 12,400 face shields, and a host of other PPE. In one fashion or form, MDWG members have had a hand in each one of these deliveries.

Colonel John Knowles, one of the mission incident commanders, stated “I am in awe of the outpouring of generosity and service of our members.  The support staff led by Lt. Col. John Henderson, wing vice commander, and Lt. Col. Bob Midkiff, emergency services officer, have ensured that when volunteer resources are requested, our people show up. Col. Wes LaPre, wing commander, has been supportive of all received requests and volunteered his time to work alongside our warehouse team for a day”.

The MDWG continues to support the logistics mission through warehouse support and logistic planning with shipping pick lists and manifests often seven days a week.  This week as a major push of PPE to group homes is complete, MDWG begins a new mission focused on assisting with traffic control at two new test sites.   Execution of the new mission will run in concert with continued support on emergency “pop-up” missions associated with transportation and coordinating with medical materials management teams.

Nearly 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 mdwg.cap.gov 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% 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 more than 80 lives. CAP’s more than 65,000 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 nearly 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.cap.news for more information.

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Col. John Knowles, CAP
jknowles@cap.gov

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