Hawai‘i Wing Civil Air Patrol Prepares for Olivia
The Hawaii Wing Civil Air Patrol launched aircrews on Monday to warn the public on Maui and Hawaiʻi Island of the Tropical Storm Warning in effect.
Planning for Olivia began on Friday last week, with Hawaiʻi Wing Civil Air Patrol collaborating with the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency. Planning continued during the Hawaiʻi Wing Annual Conference which took place at Hickam Air Force Base over the weekend.
Wing Commander Col. Chantal Lonergan and Assistant Director of Communications 2nd Lt. Kamalama Kaikuana attended HIEMA briefings on Sunday, and Kaikuana attended HIEMA briefings on Monday.
From the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, Incident Commander Lt. Col. Dana McLaughlin has been coordinating planning for mission requests from both HIEMA and FEMA. In an email to Hawaiʻi Wing staff on Monday, Lt. Col. McLaughlin said, “For storms like this, preparedness is always important. We are working closely with both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and HIEMA… to make sure that everyone is prepared before the storm hits.”
In addition to the pre-landfall flights that were launched on Monday, damage assessment flights are anticipated after the storm’s passage.
Although Olivia was downgraded to Tropical Storm status on Monday afternoon, Hawaiʻi residents are being urged to prepare for the storm’s arrival. Hawaiʻi Wing has been encouraging its members to prepare their family, secure their property, check on the needs of their neighbors, and make plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer US Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90% of continental US 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 80 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. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.