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Virginia Wing transports COVID-19 tests for National Guard

May 21, 2020

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RICHMOND, Va. –   Civil Air Patrol’s Virginia Wing responded to a request to support the Virginia National Guard by transporting COVID-19 tests to and from Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  

 

After being contacted by the Guard with a request May 13 to transport the tests, the wing – acting as a component of Civil Air Patrol in its capacity as the U.S. Air Force auxiliary – quickly developed a plan to do so. On May 17 in Chesterfield, 262 tests were loaded into one of the wing’s 12 planes and flown to the Eastern Shore.  

 

On May 19, three teams split up the 559-mile drive to transport the tests for laboratory evaluation. Each team sanitized its vehicle and drove to a predesignated relay point, handing off the tests to the next team. 

 

“I am very proud of the responsiveness and quick reaction of the wing to make this happen,” said Col. Dean Gould, Virginia Wing commander. “Thanks to our dedicated volunteer members, we are strengthening our relationship with the National Guard and are a force multiplier benefiting the entire Commonwealth proving our capabilities and availability to respond.”    

 

The Virginia Wing is prepared to answer any future calls for support. Over 190 members throughout the state have indicated they’re available, and 30 have helped staff a virtual incident command post. 

 

CAP is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to non-military threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance. 

 

“In challenging times like these, partnering our auxiliary Air Forces with the Virginia National Guard is of great benefit to our nation,” said Joe Sanders, deputy director of National Security and Preparedness Center, First Air Force, Air Forces Northern, headquartered at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. “With the dedication and expertise of these CAP volunteer citizen airmen assisting the Guard, the response is more comprehensive for our country.” 

 

About Virginia Wing 
The Virginia Wing, with 23 squadrons spread throughout the Commonwealth, has approximately 2,000 members, 12 light aircraft, 29 multipurpose vehicles and two cargo vans. These assets are available to federal, state and county governments, emergency responders and law enforcement agencies to perform search and rescue, homeland security, disaster relief, humanitarian assistance and counter-drug missions. For more information visit the wing’s website at http://www.vawg.cap.gov  and Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VAWGCAP.    

About Civil Air Patrol  
Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine Cessna aircraft and 1,550 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often using innovative cellphone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 110 lives in fiscal 2019. CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies and, as a nonprofit organization, plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Members also serve as mentors to over 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. One of the premier public service organizations in America, CAP benefits the nation with an estimated economic impact of $209 million annually. Visit  www.CAP.News or www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information. 

For More Information:

Maj. Jacob Bixler, CAP – jacob.bixler@vawg.cap.gov – 540-664-4376

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