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

posted Oct 22, 2017, 9:21 PM by Kmberly C. Frady   [ updated Oct 23, 2017, 1:09 AM ]

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 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 a 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, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent 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 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.