ES Training Bivouac A Huge Success
Capt. James Ridley, Sr., PAO

RIVERHEAD, NY – June 4, 2007.  The torrential rain on Friday evening didn’t dampen the spirits of the cadets and senior officers who attended an Emergency Services Training Bivouac held at the Indian Island County Park in Riverhead, NY.  The E/S bivouac was held at the park from Friday afternoon June 1st until the late Sunday June 3, 2007.

The weekend was planned by the E/S officer of the Col. Francis S. Gabreski Squadron, Capt Nate Hillard and featured a variety of training sessions and activities.  Maj Warren Ratis, the LIG ES Officer said of Capt Hillard’s outline, “The plan is one of the best I have seen to date”.  Maj Ratis continued, “I would change nothing. Great job!”

The training began on Friday evening with a Basic Radio Communications class conducted by Maj Danny Rogers of the Long Island Group staff.  Capt Hillard then took the cadets and senior members on a road march with full gear, simulating the penetration of a wooded area where a plane would have been known to have crashed.

On Saturday the trainees were given a course in land navigation followed by a practical exercise in which using a compass, they were to find 5 points along a designated course.  Afterwards they were given a first aid lesson and were instructed in ELT search techniques using a DF unit.  This was followed by a practical exercise in which 5 teams were sent out using CAP DF equipment in search of an ELT target planted within the park grounds.  Two more land nav courses, line searching techniques and a more difficult ELT search took place on Sunday prior to the bivouac’s completion.

Training was not the only activities the cadets took part in, there was also a spirited game of volleyball which added a little fun to the weekend’s events.  “This was great” c/Amn William Kennedy was quoted as saying; “I learned a lot and had a lot of fun finding the nav points and especially finding the ELT.”  “If we’re ever called out on a real mission, I know we’ll be prepared.”