Successful COM-EX Conclusion

posted Nov 6, 2016, 5:14 AM by Richard Qualls
More than 45 Civil Air Patrol (CAP) wings and regions participated in a short-notice Department of Defense (DoD) exercise Sunday and Monday, October 30-31.   
The exercise simulated tasking of CAP aircraft and operational teams during an event which resulted in the temporary loss of all commercial and DoD long-distance communications – both terrestrial and satellite, telephone and internet. The mission included active radio communications by CAP with other agencies, and a tabletop simulation component within the DoD and in several CAP wings.
“Our DoD customers were very happy with CAP’s response and effectiveness in conducting this mission,” said Malcolm Kyser, CAP chief of communications. “In addition to accepting air taskings by survivable HF radio circuits, CAP also injected several report messages back into DoD and those CAP reports defined the scenario, driving how DoD elements executed their role in the exercise.”
The messages simulated results of CAP flying operations as well as reports of asset available for operational missions, such as HF radios, aircraft and ground team vehicles. 
“Because our messages actually contained information the battle staffs needed to conduct the highest levels of this multi-agency exercise, CAP was both a participant and a trusted agent for the exercise scenario,” noted Kyser.
Kyser added that the exercise was notable not only because it relied exclusively on long range radio communications but also because it asked operations staff in several wings to conduct all the flight sortie planning, crew selection and other actions as they normally would except that the sortie taskings were simulated as part of the table-top event. These tabletop operational actions were then reported to the DoD via HF radio. 
“CAP’s successful participation in this important exercise shows that our volunteers can meet high level national mission needs with little to no notice, when it is absolutely critical,” said John Desmarais, CAP director of operations.  “This showed what we can do, and I expect our success will generate more potential mission opportunities for all of CAP in the future.  Great Work!”