Marco Pilots Photograph Oil Spill in Northern Gulf for Government
June 28, 2010
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  • Members of Marco Island Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol are flying photo missions to document the shape of Florida’s Gulf coast as a “before” snapshot in the event oil from the offshore Deepwater Horizon drill site reaches more of the state’s shores.

    The air patrol is the uniformed volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.

    Images from the mission, flown at the request of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, will be used by state and federal agencies for damage-assessment.

    Two Marco Island pilots, Capts. Richard Farmer and Bob MacNeill, completed a five-hour flight over a section of the Gulf Coast east from Destin, Fla., to a point southeast of Tallahassee.

    A photo operator snapped what will represent a seamless composite photo of the coastline, made from nearly 1,800 photos.

    Thousands of images have been captured by CAP air crews in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

    CAP’s missions in support of the oil spill response also include VIP flights over coastal waters to inspect oil containment barriers, transport of vital mission equipment and data collection.

    The air patrol is a nonprofit organization with 59,000 members nationwide.

    In its Air Force auxiliary role, the organization performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search- and-rescue missions as assigned by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited with saving 72 lives in fiscal year 2009.

    Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.

    The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 24,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs.

    CAP has been performing missions for America for 68 years.

    Source: THE NEWS PRESS
    Date: 2010-06-06