The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) Red Deer Zone will be hosting a Western Canada Search and Rescue exercise out of the Red Deer Regional Airport from Friday through Sunday. Left to right: Jim Thoreson (Pilot), Nicole Holinaty (Spotter), Denis Smith (Navigator) (Photo contributed)

Red Deer airport hosts major search and rescue exercise

Search and rescue volunteers from B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan involved

Search and rescue aircrew from Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. will touch down in Red Deer this Friday for a major training exercise.

The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) Red Deer Zone will be hosting the Western Canada Search and Rescue exercise out of the Red Deer Regional Airport from Friday through Sunday. CASARA is an organization of trained individuals who support the Royal Canadian Air Force search and rescue missions as spotters on military search aircraft.

The organization also provides pilots, navigators, spotters, ground crews and aircraft when needed.

In this week’s large-scale exercise people filling all of those roles will participate in the training to find missing people and aircraft. The search area will span from Three Hills to Drayton Valley and into the Rocky Mountains.

A mass briefing will be held on Friday at Red Deer’s Holiday Inn Express and Suites hotel in Gasoline Alley. Participants will be briefed on the overall operation and will receive their assigned tasking for the next day. Search headquarters will be set up at Red Deer Regional Airport.

On Saturday morning, crews will receive their weather briefing and an updated briefing for their flights for the day. Sunday morning will be a repeat of Saturday except the crews will complete their tasks by noon after which a mass debriefing will be held and the crews will be released for their trips home.



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