Capt. Lynne Albert
Public Affairs Officer
North Carolina Wing
The North Carolina Wing received a priority tasking on Friday – with normal services disrupted by flooding and other damage spawned by Hurricane Florence, multiple sick infants in eastern North Carolina were running out of special baby formula they needed to survive.
The state Department of Health and Human Services asked for Civil Air Patrol’s help in getting the specialized formula to the infants in the small town of Wallace. At least one premature baby was at critical risk of running out of the special formula, officials said.
A four-member ground team – Capt. Tim Bagnell, Cadet Maj. Cody Matthews, Cadet Master Sgt. Cooper Morton and Cadet Senior Airman Anastasia Vermillion -- left Wing Headquarters in Burlington around noon for the state agency’s Nutrition Services Branch in Raleigh, about 60 miles away, to pick up the formula.
The team then headed east to make the delivery. Reaching Wallace required dodging flooded roads and highways – including submerged sections of Interstate 40 – and taking multiple detours and side roads along what’s normally about a 100-mile route.
Upon arrival, the four North Carolina wing members were met by a local law enforcement officer who escorted them to the delivery location. Upon receiving the much-needed formula, family members thanked the CAP team profusely for their efforts.
“It was a great honor to represent Civil Air Patrol and help the Health Department get this formula to these vulnerable babies,” Matthews said.
Bagnell is emergency services officer for the Orange County Composite Squadron. Matthews is a member of the Winston Salem Composite Squadron. Morton and Vermillion belong to the Burlington Composite Squadron.
The North Carolina Wing is using its 18 aircraft, CAP vans and almost 2,000 volunteer members to support emergency services missions for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the North Carolina Department of Emergency Management, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other federal, state and local agencies as the state works to recover from Hurricane Florence.
To date, the wing has flown 110 missions to date and has conducted the same number of ground missions. With more than 225 flyover targets for damage assessment photographs, the air operations branch has generated 1,214 still images showing the storm’s impact. More flights are expected the next few days as rivers crest in affected areas.
CAP, acting as the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, is supporting Air Forces Northern (AFNORTH) during Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations following the landfall of Hurricane Florence on the East Coast. AFNORTH’s primary role is to support U.S. Northern Command’s efforts to provide assistance to FEMA's relief efforts.