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Elderly woman rescued from North Carolina woods through First Air Force/interagency effort

  • Published
  • By Air Forces Northern

An elderly dementia sufferer who had wandered nearly five miles into the NC woods was located, rescued and returned to safety in under eleven hours, as the result of the combined efforts of First Air Force and its interagency partners across the Southeast.

The N.C. Emergency Management Association requested assistance through 1AF’s Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC), after a 78-year-old woman wandered away from her senior living home. The AFRCC coordinated with the Air Force’s official auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol, which responded by assisting local authorities with two ground teams and a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) drone team.

Following the woman’s safe return, 1AF recognized the sUAS and CAP ground teams for their significant contribution to another life saved.

“As a Total Force partner and Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, one of CAP’s many roles is to search for and find lost individuals,” said Brig. Gen. William D. Betts, 1AF vice commander. “This most recent save is a testament to their selfless devotion of time, energy, and expertise towards the well-being of our communities.”