Alameda County Emergency
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NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS – Texas Wing members, operating
from their new mission base in Houston, are receiving offers of help from
across the nation as they launch dozens of flights each day to photograph
damage wrought by Hurricane Ike.
Lt. Col. Dennis Cima, commander of Texas Wing’s Group 4, which includes much
of the storm-ravaged areas of the Lone Star State, said about 65 members
gathered at the West Houston Airport today to aid the relief effort. Six CAP
aircraft are stationed at the airport, with four more inbound, he said.
More planes and members are expected to arrive at the mission base over the
next few days as CAP’s damage assessment flights continue for the Federal
Emergency Management Agency, 1st Air Force and the Texas State Operations
Texas Wing Commander Col. Joe Smith said although CAP members were among
those devastated by the hurricane, they still came forth to assist.
“Everybody’s pitching in saying, ‘What can I do to help?’” he said.
“We’re Texans and we’re proud,” said Cima. “We take care of each other.”
CAP’s assistance was necessary after Ike made landfall early Saturday,
damaging thousands of homes and businesses along the Texas and Louisiana
coasts and knocking out essential services like power, water and fuel
services. Aircrews have spent much of the past four days photographing
critical infrastructure like roads, bridges and power lines, assisting state
and federal officials who are working diligently with local officials and
private sector partners to restore these services.
CAP flew 55 sorties, logging more than 130 flying hours, over East Texas and
southwestern Louisiana on Tuesday and Wednesday in support of the relief
efforts. About 30 more flights are planned today, mostly in East Texas.
The digital aerial images taken by the aircrews are being stored on a public
http://magic.csr.utexas.edu/Storm/08ike/Imagery.php (click on the “Maps”
link at the top). A sampling of the photos also has been posted on CAP’s
national Web site. They can be assessed at
As the recovery missions continue, Smith said other Civil Air Patrol crews
from Arkansas, Oklahoma and other wings in CAP’s Southwest Region are poised
to pitch in to relieve Texas Wing crews who have been in the skies above
Galveston and other East Texas coastal communities for nearly a week now.
“All over the country, not just here in the Southwest Region, crews are
ready,” said Smith, who has fielded offers of assistance from as far away as
“It makes you feel good that all these people are wanting to help,” he said.