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Greenville Civil Air Patrol prepares for hurricane response

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The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) squadron based at the Greenville Downtown Airport has been put on stand-by for mission tasking as Hurricane Matthew approaches.

The wing will fly surveillance patrols to monitor traffic flow along vital evacuation routes from the coast.

"We will provide air and ground crews as well as mission support staff to perform damage assessment, transport of equipment and supplies and monitoring of overall operations," said Major Ron Hardgrave, Commander of CAP's Greenville Composite Squadron, in a news release. "We are always ready to respond to emergencies," he added," but the possibility of a hurricane impact brings us to a heightened state of alert."

During the 2015 floods in the Midlands and Lowcountry, Greenville Composite Squadron sent aircrews from the Upstate to fly damage assessment sorties on behalf of Federal Emergency Management Agency along impacted river routes. The unit also sent mission support staff to the South Carolina Wing's Incident Command Center in West Columbia.

Similar support may be required both before the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in the Carolinas and in its aftermath.

"Our rescue work and aid are provided during floods, hurricanes, blizzards and other emergencies," said Lt. Christopher Chapman, emergency services officer for the Greenville-based squadron. "Civil Air Patrol strives to save lives and alleviate human suffering through a myriad of emergency services missions, including search and rescue, disaster relief, homeland security and humanitarian services.”

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