RAPID CITY, S.D. — South Dakota and North Dakota Civil Air Patrol members are sharpening their search and rescue skills under winter conditions in the Black Hills Saturday and Sunday.
The annual Winter Ground Team Academy teaches cadets (12-18) and senior members (18+) essential individual survival skills and how to conduct missing person searches as a team in challenging weather and terrain conditions.
Many of the SDWG’s recent search and rescue efforts have occurred in the winter in the Black Hills and the Badlands.
Four years ago this month, SDWG ground teams were involved in the search for nine-year-old Serenity Dennard, who remains missing.
“The Winter Ground Team Academy provides members an opportunity to practice their skills in a very realistic scenario which adds more value to their training,” said 1st Lt. Jacob Roth, the project officer for the training.
CAP members will also train with Pennington County Search and Rescue and the Rimrock Volunteer Fire Department. The SDWG often works with other emergency responders in missing person searches.
Around 30 CAP members from across the Dakotas are attending.
The event runs all day Saturday through early afternoon Sunday near Johnson Siding.
The SDWG has units in Rapid City, Spearfish, Custer, Pierre, Brookings, Sioux Falls, and Tea.