Civil Air Patrol hosts search and rescue exercise in Lake Charles

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC)- The Lake Charles Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol hosted search and rescue exercises Saturday at the Lake Charles Regional Airport.

Both air and ground teams searched for different staged emergencies such as downed aircraft, missing persons, and various photo imagery missions throughout Southwest Louisiana.

Organizers of the missions said the exercises help prepare the participants for any real life emergencies as hurricane season quickly approaches.

"We have what is known as a practice search exercise," said Michael Dubois, Director of Emergency Services Training. "We practice in all phases what we would do in real life."

The Calcasieu OSHEP and the National Association of Search and Rescue coordinated a missing person search for a disoriented hunter in the woods.

Participants in the search said it further enhanced their skills in survival, first aid, and tracking.

"We've been through training for several different types of searches and we put those applications together as we listen to what the air patrol tells us," said Jim Slagle, a ground member in the search.

Cadets in the Civil Air Patrol program also trained during the search and rescue exercises.

"We're located in the control van where we are going to radio in the planes and they're going to give us information," said Gavin Conley, a cadet in the program.

In the year 2008, the Louisiana Wing saved four lives in their search and rescue efforts.

Through these search and rescue exercises, organizers hope to save even more in the future.

"If we wait until those missions come then we won't be proficient," said Dubois. "It's all a part of getting ready to go do missions for America."

Saturday's mission involved 40 individuals including cadets in the Civil Air Patrol program.

Airplanes for the missions came from all over the 5-parish region.

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