CAP Participates In Anti-Terrorism Drill In Nevada
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) took part in a homeland-security practice drill in Nevada late last month, working with the U.S. military's Northern Command. The exercise, dubbed "Determined Promise '03," called for a simulated terrorist release of pneumonic plague on the Las Vegas strip. CAP aircrews patrolled highways where pharmaceuticals and medical equipment were moving to a dispensing site, and flew aerial reconnaissance above Clark County's quarantine borders. The mission of the CAP has changed profoundly since 9/11. While the organization still is focused on its traditional search-and-rescue efforts, the CAP is also taking on more of a homeland-security mission. Last year, the Air Force moved the CAP under the umbrella of the new Air Force Homeland Security Directorate. "There are not enough military and government agencies to protect the nation, so it's going to take everyone, citizens as well, to secure our borders," Melanie LeMay, a CAP spokeswoman, told the Boston Globe. "Our members are well trained, eager to help, and provide an inexpensive alternative for the government." Recently, the CAP bought a Gippsland GA8 Airvan to support its homeland-security missions, and plans to buy five more. The organization held its annual conference late last month in Las Vegas.