Moving To Richmond Ahead Of Ivan
Civil Air Patrol National
Headquarters, located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery (AL),
was getting ready Wednesday to move its operations center to
Richmond (VA) if necessary. The Montgomery area was bracing for
damage or power outages as Hurricane Ivan moves into Alabama
Wednesday night and Thursday.
CAP members have been working hurricane impact assessment in
Florida since hurricanes Charley and Frances struck the state. They
will continue to work in Florida, as well as other affected states,
after Ivan passes through.
The CAP National Operations Center coordinates CAP personnel,
aircraft, vehicles, and communications equipment for large-scale
missions. If the Montgomery-based NOC cannot be manned, CAP will
move its national operations center to the CAP Advanced Technology
Center in Richmond (VA). The 24/7 contact number, 888-211-1812,
will remain the same. The CAP National Headquarters director of
operations, John Salvador, will be on site in Richmond to receive
the shift in operational support.
In the meantime, CAP National Headquarters closed Wednesday and
was to remain closed Thursday, except for staff manning the NOC. As
the hurricane moves into the Montgomery area, CAP officials said
they would make the decision on whether to shift operations to
Once Ivan is no longer a threat, CAP will respond to requests
from emergency management agencies to provide ground and aerial
reconnaissance to assess the impact of the storm. For hurricane
support, CAP has been operating under the direction of the Air
Force National Security Emergency Preparedness Agency and with the
support of 1st Air Force under the US Northern Command.
Even before Ivan became a threat, CAP wings in other states had
sent in their own aircraft and satellite-transmitted imaging
equipment to support the teams working in Florida.
CAP members use this equipment to capture digital images of
damaged areas from the air. They download the photos to a laptop
computer onboard the aircraft, and then transmit the images from
the air via e-mail and a satellite phone link.
"We're able to transmit these images in near realtime," said
Maj. Gen. Dwight Wheless, CAP national commander, "and that helps
state and federal officials more quickly prioritize the allocation
of disaster relief resources."