The U.S. Air Force Rescue and Recovery Center has dispatched the Oregon Civil Air Patrol to assist Linn County Sheriff's Office in searching for a missing man.
The search is for a missing hiker aged 75 in the Marion Lake area. Sheriff Bruce Riley has asked for the CAP to join the search in the wilderness area of northeast Linn County. There are no roads directly to Marion Lake.
CAP was performing a training day today, so it has diverted three aircraft from training tasks to join the search. Two will fly search patterns while the third aircraft will perform a "high bird" function, flying at a higher elevation and relaying radio communications between the search aircraft and the CAP base at Aurora State Airport.
"We are happy to divert our aircrews and aircraft to support Sheriff Riley," said Lt Col Ira Rosenberg, who is the Incident Commander. "Performing this search will help us keep our skills sharp even better than our practice missions would have. We are able to respond very rapidly since we had aircraft fueled and ready, and our personnel had already gathered."
More than 57 people are involved in the CAP emergency services drill today. Five Cessna 182s and one Cessna 172 are active today. Activities are controlled from Aurora, but pilots with their aircrews took off from Hillsboro, Portland, Eugene and Bend. CAP and its Emergency Services teams practice frequently to maintain readiness and skill levels. They train vigorously to Federal Emergency Management Agency standards.
Civil Air Patrol was founded on Dec. 1, 1941, by a group of aviation enthusiasts and private pilots who wanted to donate their time and aircraft to protect the nation's coastlines during World War II and to perform other critical civil defense missions.
CAP, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force's Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually.
Civil Air Patrol's 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.