Alexandria Civil Air Patrol to train in a search and rescue exercise at Mankato airport

12 other Minnesota CAP squadrons will participate in the training with Minnesota first responders.

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Cadets of the Alexandria Civil Air Patrol Squadron demonstrate drill practice to potential recruits.
Alexandria Echo Press file photo

MANKATO — Thirteen Minnesota Civil Air Patrol Squadrons, including the Alexandria Composite Squadron, will participate in a search and rescue training exercise alongside municipal, county, and state emergency personnel on Saturday, July 16, at Mankato Regional Airport.

"One of the main missions of the Civil Air Patrol is to be ready for search and rescue in case of an emergency," said First Lieutenant Rebecca Walsh, squadron commander for the Alexandria squadron. "By having members go down to do these exercises, it makes sure we have people available from our squadron that can help out in case of an emergency. We are always training for real-life situations."

Walsh says this will be the first search and rescue training the Alexandria squadron has attended since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a release from the Minnesota CAP, the exercises will consist of training in direction finding techniques for locating a downed aircraft equipped with an emergency locator transmitter radio beacon, practice searching and locating missing persons, and various emergency services tasks. The squadrons will also train for basic radio communications, hot/cold weather injuries, compass use, map reading, and land navigation.

Four aircraft will be involved in the search along with numerous ground teams.


Emergency personnel from local police and fire departments, county sheriff departments, Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Search and Rescue teams, and first responders will train with CAP members.

“This exercise is designed to simulate an actual emergency scene that we will face out in the real world," said CAP First Lieutenant Micheal Dyer, project officer for the event. "Our goal is to work side by side with emergency personnel, EMS Fire and Police like we would in an actual real mission."

The training will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thalen Zimmerman of Alexandria joined the Echo Press team as a full-time reporter in Aug. 2021, after graduating from Bemidji State University with a bachelor of science degree in mass communication in May of 2021.
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