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Air Force Auxiliary, CAP, helps save lives with critical blood transport

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Cole Oakland, Civil Air Patrol

Kansas Wing volunteers conducted two blood transport missions transferring 27 boxes of blood among three states in support of the American Red Cross.

The first mission involved transport of blood to Tulsa, Okla., and Wichita, Kan. The second mission was authorized by First Air Force’s Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) for transport from Wichita to Aurora, Colo., by air.

Volunteers from the Air Capital Composite Squadron in Wichita drove 20 boxes of blood in two vehicles from the American Red Cross processing facility in Wichita to a Red Cross facility in Tulsa. The team also transported six boxes of blood back to the Wichita regional facility.

The Kansas Wing also received a request for an urgent transport of blood products from the Wichita facility to the University of Colorado Medical Center in Aurora. Because of the request’s time-sensitive nature, the AFRCC authorized Civil Air Patrol to perform the mission on behalf of the Air Force.

“CAP volunteers continue to meet critical needs for America,” said Brig. Gen. Richard Dickens, vice commander, First Air Force (Air Forces Northern). “We depend upon their assistance with life-saving matters.”

Aircrew members from the Air Capital squadron. and Smoky Hill Composite Squadron in Salina  flew one box of blood from Wichita to Limon, Colo., where a member from the Black Sheep Senior Squadron in Centennial met them transported the blood to the hospital.

Acting as a Total Force partner and official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, Civil Air Patrol performs missions assigned by First Air Force to rapidly respond in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage, and provide humanitarian assistance.

About Civil Air Patrol
Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 555 single-engine aircraft and 2,250 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90% of all search and rescue operations within the contiguous United States as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often using innovative cellphone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 108 lives last year. CAP’s 58,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief, and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies. As a nonprofit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education resources. Members also serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.

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