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Prince William Composite Squadron supports the 2017 Fall Search and Rescue Exercise

October 23, 2017

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CULPEPER, VA Twenty-five members of Prince William Composite Squadron of Manassas joined dozens of other Civil Air Patrol senior members and cadets in ground and air teams gathering early Saturday to flex the organization's search and rescue muscles in an exercise conducted from the Culpeper Regional Airport.  The scenario-based drill gave teams an opportunity for training and to hone skills needed in an actual search and rescue operation.


Aircraft and ground teams from across Virginia came together to find a “missing” aircraft according to the scripted situation.  The exercise demonstrated the rapid formation of command and control to begin a search based on the last known route of flight of the simulated missing aircraft.  

Beginning within minutes of arrival of the teams, search areas were planned and aircrews dispatched to begin the operation, while others sought more information about the likely courses the simulated missing aircraft might have taken.  Still, others began search of regional airports to check ramps for the aircraft.


Ground teams practiced litter carry and evaluated their preparation for field searches including wilderness coordination and safety with a check of proper equipment.  Buddy systems were established and prepped for the ground portion should it be needed.  Cadets directed the teams under senior member supervision. Six aircraft with aircrews and relief pilots, scanners, observers, and photographers were involved in the training with operations coordinated centrally ensuring search area coverage and safety.  


The following members of Prince William Composite Squadron including our Dispatch Team participated in the SAREX:

  1. Lt. Col. Tim Day, Ground Branch Director
  2. Lt. Col. Kimberly Frady, Ground Team Member Trainee and Wing Public Affairs
  3. Col. Ray Lyon, Mission Observer Trainee (wing staff and associate of Prince William)
  4. Maj. Nancy Carlson, Unit SAREX Coordinator and Mission Staff Assistant
  5. Capt. Ryan Blanding, Mission Pilot Evaluator
  6. Capt. Roger Pearce, Mission Pilot
  7. Capt. Jason Gibson, Mission Pilot
  8. Capt. Bill West, Aerial Photographer
  9. Capt. Karen Shaw, Ground Team Leader Evaluator Trainee
  10. 1st. Lt. Paige Carlson, Mission Radio Operator
  11. 1st. Lt. Sara Demyanovich, Ground Team Leader Trainee
  12. 1st. Lt. Ashlee Swartz, Dispatch Officer
  13. 2d. Lt. Beth Heidenreich, Dispatch Officer
  14. 2d. Lt. Jeovanni Rivas, Mission Observer
  15. 2d. Lt. Robert Maguire, Mission Pilot
  16. 2d. Lt. Dan Mostacciuolo, Mission Scanner and Mission Observer
  17. 2d. Lt. Suleyman Bahceci, Ground Team Member Trainee
  18. 2d. Lt. Aubrey Ralph, Ground Team Member Trainee
  19. S.M. Keith Goodman, Mission Scanner and Unit Public Affairs
  20. S.M. Elias Kontanis, Mission Scanner Trainee and Mission Pilot In-Training
  21. S.M. Angel Varias, Dispatch Officer
  22. F.O. Chance Callahan, Public Information Officer Trainee
  23. C/SMSgt. Garland Davis, Ground Team Member and Cadet Health Services NCO
  24. C/AB. Ayse Bahceci, Ground Team Member Trainee
  25. C/AB. Linus Kontanis, Ground Team Member Trainee

Col. Dean Gould, CAP,  Virginia Wing Commander, wrote, “The mission was successful in finding the practice aircraft panels in the late afternoon. I would like to thank the Minuteman Composite Squadron for hosting the event; The White Cell (Exercise Planners), Col. Dave Carter, Col. Jim Covel, and Maj. Matt Adkins for building and executing the scenario, and all the members who came to train. There were several qualifications completed from the most basic levels to Operations Section Chief. There was also a re-qualification of highly experienced Air Operations Branch Director (AOBD) after an 8-year hiatus, Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, back from his highly successful national command tour. I would be remiss not to highlight the fantastic work of our Communications Cell, that was all cadet. led by C/Capt. Hewitt-Qualls working on her CUL. Great work all!”

More images are available at


Civil Air Patrol is the longtime auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a valued member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine aircraft and 1,944 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). It 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 82 lives annually. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Operating as a nonprofit organization, CAP also plays a leading role in STEM/aerospace education, and its members serve as mentors to about 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.CAP.News or for more information.

For More Information:

Lt. Col. Kimberly Frady, Assistant Public Affairs Officer

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