Civil Air Patrol Delivers PPE Daily to the Front Lines of Granite State’s COVID-19 Response
CONCORD, N.H. — Civil Air Patrol’s New Hampshire Wing continues to answer the call to the evolving operational needs of the State of New Hampshire as it enters a seventh week of COVID-19 pandemic support missions. Among the varied tasks Civil Air Patrol has been asked to carry out, the most visible has been the transport and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) to those who need it most.
|Civil Air Patrol Second Lieutenant John Laramie (left) and Cadet Technical Sergeant Kathleen Laramie from the Nashua Composite Squadron help set up a point of distribution for personal protective equipment for New Hampshire first responders and healthcare workers.
Photo credit: Col Darin Ninness
In its capacity as the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, and at the request of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and the New Hampshire Emergency Operations Center, Civil Air Patrol members have been picking up and transporting hundreds of cases of PPE daily. The volunteer airmen are transporting trailer loads of PPE directly to hospitals and other major facilities in addition to setting up central points of distribution around the state where first responders, healthcare professionals, and other critical service providers can pick up PPE.
“When agencies providing critical services throughout New Hampshire are at risk of running out of the PPE they need, Civil Air Patrol is working daily in the background to make sure they have it,” said Colonel William Moran, Civil Air Patrol Incident Commander. “On any given day, we have up to four CAP vehicles and trailers, escorted by State Troopers, traveling hundreds of miles to transport PPE or issue it from points of distribution.”
New Hampshire Wing has distributed more than 1,500 cases of PPE including masks, face shields, and gowns since it was tasked with this mission by First Air Force on March 25. Civil Air Patrol and the New Hampshire National Guard have been working daily to distribute a delivery of 91,000 pounds of additional PPE which came to the state from China.
“Every day for the last month, CAP airmen across the Granite State have been engaged in supporting our first responders in the fight against COVID-19. Distributing PPE to the front lines is a critical need that our Airmen are proud to fill,” said Colonel Darin Ninness, commander of the New Hampshire Wing. “This may well be the largest nationwide response from Civil Air Patrol volunteers since our World War II coastal patrols and we’re proud to be leading from the front.”
Three legislators were among the Civil Air Patrol members volunteers distributing PPE: Major Mark Pearson (Rockingham, District 34), Major Tim Lang (Belknap, District 4), and Lieutenant Colonel Jess Edwards (Rockingham, District 4) are State Representatives in New Hampshire Wing’s Legislative Squadron.
Acting as a Total Force partner and official civilian auxiliary of the Air Force, Civil Air Patrol is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to non-military threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.