Operation Wolverine 2022
Kimball, MI- The Michigan Wing Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was conducting its annual cadet-led emergency service practice Operation Wolverine on May 20 to May 22 at St. Clair County International Airport when it turned into a real mission after CAP was asked to take airborne photos of the tornado destruction that happened the previous Friday in Gaylord, Michigan.
While being involved in a simulated tornado task and other exercises, the call came in for assistance for the real tornado from the National Weather Service, asking for photos of the entire track it took through the area of Gaylord on Friday. Sunday morning, cadets at Wolverine mission base assigned a CAP aircrew from Northern Michigan to do a photo track starting with a location just preceding the first known touchdown, and continued past the last known point for full valuation.
Approximately 85 members (cadets and senior adult members) from across the state of Michigan participated in this year's exercise. The group practiced various emergency service operations such as mission person search, missing aircraft search, natural disaster damage assessment, and disaster relief. Kimball Twp fire department also participated this year by giving a training demonstration with a simulated medical scenario.
CAP Cadets serve in all leadership roles at Wolverine from being a ground team member all the way up to the cadet incident commander. “I have been doing this for sixteen years and I am continuously inspired by the drive and excellence form the cadets,” said Lt. Col. Jason Sherwood, Michigan Director of Emergency Services who serves as the senior member incident commander working alongside the cadet incident commander in-charge. “They teach me something every year.”
Volunteer aircrews from CAP have provided arial photography for the purpose of damage assessment with previous tornado, flood, and erosion disasters in the state of Michigan, using both single-engine manned aircraft and small un-manned aircraft.