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Arizona Wing

Record of success includes varied SARs, prestigious training exercises

The Arizona Wing counts the 2015 Super Bowl as one of its many successful missions. Not only were three wing planes deployed as targets during a defense exercise with F-15 fighter jets before the game, but members also devoted hundreds of volunteer hours to hand-delivering flight restriction information to pilots at nearby airports and assisting the Scottsdale Emergency Operations Center.

For the fourth consecutive year, during 2015 as many as 150 Arizona Wing members participated in Angel Thunder, the world’s largest international search and rescue and disaster response. Wing members used the skills that they sharpen at such exercises to save lives.

In 2010, the wing was credited with 54 saves in a single mission when it helped rescue people from a snowstorm in the Coconino Forest. Back in 1952, members helped direct the rescue of more than 1,000 hunters during a snowstorm, while in the late 1980s wing members rescued four people from a helicopter crash that went down under similar conditions. In the 1990s, wing members saved three people after their Cessna 306 disappeared from radar; they saved nine more from a plane that had belly-flopped in a remote desert area; and they joined forces with other CAP wings to help locate a missing A-10 Thunderbolt and its pilot.

Maj. Joe Wypych, left, and Lt. Cols. Jim Cheney and Bill Stickel converse while a CAP Cessna is prepped for flight. The Arizona Wing aircraft was one of three CAP planes deployed to act as targets in an air defense exercise with F-16 fighters from the 162nd Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Maj. Joe Wypych, left, and Lt. Cols. Jim Cheney and Bill Stickel converse while a CAP Cessna is prepped for flight. The Arizona Wing aircraft was one of three CAP planes deployed to act as targets in an air defense exercise with F-16 fighters from the 162nd Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
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