Maryland CAP vigilant over land and sea
The Maryland Wing has had plenty of experience with storms and hurricanes, including Agnes in 1972, Floyd in 1999, Isabel in 2003, Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012, during which CAP captured more than 157,000 photos — one of the largest missions in CAP’s history, with digital aerial images used by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to assess damage to coastal waterways. Wing activities during hurricanes include photographing devastation, monitoring evacuation routes, helping evacuees, observing floods, assessing damage, ferrying emergency service officials, providing radio communications, airlifting medical supplies, carrying out search and rescue missions for stranded victims and missing planes, staffing emergency operation centers, operating power units and emergency vehicles, manning rowboats and even pushing brooms.
The wing flies seasonal weekend and holiday Sundown Patrols over Chesapeake Bay, seeking boaters in distress and coordinating assistance with the U.S. Coast Guard or Maryland Natural Resources Police. Since 9/11 aircrews have surveyed infrastructure, including the Bay Bridge and power plants.
Operating out of Cumberland Airport, the wing coordinated all search efforts in the 1964 five-day search for five Air Force crewmen after a B-52 bomber crashed on Big Savage Mountain; a wing observer in a Cessna 179-B helped locate one of two survivors. After a Boeing 707 crashed near Elkton in 1963, members worked around the clock for nine days at the crash site and later stood honor guard during a memorial service.