Pilots and crews operating 14 Civil Air Patrol planes recently flew dozens of reconnaissance exercises covering hundreds of square miles of remote and nearby inaccessible areas to practice a new a growing role for CAP: homeland security.
Air crews and support personnel from Clovis, Roswell, Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Farmington, Los Alamos and Taos took part in the missions based on a terrorist incident scenario, said CAP Col. Frank Buethe, commander of the New Mexico CAP wing.
“We want to exercise the same way we would respond in the event of a national emergency,” Buethe said. “The type of missions we are flying during our exercises are the type we might by assigned by the Air Force.”
Pilots and crews were given the exercise scenario of a terrorist attack crippling a power substation between Alamogordo and Roswell.
Scenario reconnaissance missions flew over power lines looking for breaks or anything else unusual, photographing power stations and transmission lines along the way and reporting by radio what they saw.
They returned with digital photographic images that would be transmitted to the State Police, Buethe said.
Reporter’s notebook was compiled by CNJ staff writer Michelle Seeber. Suggested items may be mailed to editor David Stevens at P.O. Box 1689, Clovis 88102. The e-mail address is: