On Friday night, April 8th, Group 3 of the Tennessee Division of the Civil Air Patrol, which is a United States Air Force Auxiliary, traveled to the Lafayette Municipal Airport for the weekend, to conduct a Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) for the Cadet Program.

 

Each year cadets have the opportunity to participate in leadership training, physical fitness and moral leadership to prepare for emergency services and operational missions, as the Civil Air Patrol continues to save lives and alleviate human suffering. Best known for its SAREX efforts, cadets from Murfreesboro, Gainesboro and Sumner County, spent two days of intensive training at the airport, which will enhance operations for all future missions, including natural disasters, missing persons and aircraft.

Camping out for the weekend, the cadets spent several hours in the classroom, and mock exercises were held at various locations. The Civil Air Patrol has two components: one is providing emergency services and the other part is youth development. The Auxiliary also has formal agreements with many government and local agencies including the American Red Cross, FEMA, TEMA, Federal Aviation Administration, among others.

According to 1st Lt. Russell Carter, of Westmoreland, even though it is a volunteer non profit organization, the Civil Air Patrol follows military protocol and squadrons are made up of a mixture of adults and youth, who also work closely with local emergency service organizations, along with assigned tasks by the Air Force when needed.

“This training session has been planned for the last two months, thanks to Jerry Cherry, of CKC Adventures LLC,” said Lt. Carter, “and the airport facility provided us with substantial space for the weekend event. We had several mock missions including a downed airplane, disaster response and a missing person, which help the cadets stay sharp. We offered classes, videos, flight line marshalling, (the handling of an aircraft once the pilot has touched down), courtesy of Richard Thomas of Lafayette, among other drills.”

“Our goal is to instill integrity, teamwork, self-discipline, respect, initiative, responsibility, and self-confidence in the cadets. The Cadet Program offers an immense amount of resources and activities for our youth and if anyone is interested in joining the Civil Air Patrol, we are looking into starting a squadron in the Lafayette and Westmoreland area, for ages 12 to 18, and senior members and up. Everyone certainly did a great job over the weekend, proving we are ready to respond if needed, and it was a great effort from all involved.”

“We would like to thank Jerry & Crystal Cherry for allowing us to use the Lafayette Municipal Airport facility, Richard Thomas, the Macon County Chronicle and area retailers who donated food for the training exercise,” Lt. Carter concluded.

For more information contact Lt. Russell Carter at 615-633-6804, or go to www.gocivilairpatrol.com.

“The Lafayette Municipal Airport is definitely headed in the right direction,” Cherry stated on Monday morning, April 11th. “We’re getting more airplanes coming in and we hope to get more commercial traffic. We are growing steadily in these hard economic times and we’re very pleased with the support from the community, so come out and visit us anytime.”