The Civil Air Patrol is made up of volunteers and is the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. 

Recently they conducted a statewide training exercise where they simulate different tasks in preparation for when those situations arise while on duty. 

"Today we’re conducting a wing-wide training exercise," said Drew Teichman, a major with the Civil Air Patrol.

Teichman has volunteered with the Civil Air Patrol for 18 years. During this training, he’s the incident commander overseeing everything. Before the big day, a lot of work is done to make sure it’s valuable to everyone.

“We start planning six weeks out and about four weeks out we have our first planning meeting putting together our aircrews and just kind of putting together scenarios so that the objectives we give each crew are worthwhile," he said.

Those scenarios include search and rescue, aerial photography and disaster response. Pilots from across New York state fly to one mission base, completing tasks along the way.

“The training that we do here and throughout the year prepares us for incidents," said Teichman. "It’s vital to make sure that everybody’s skills are kept up to date and we’re ready to respond in a moment’s notice."

Communication is key to a successful mission.

“Communication is vital," he said. "Without communication we’re not able to communicate with our people and kind of direct them where to go and what needs to be done.”

The training gives everyone a chance to grow.

“From the pilots to the aircrew to my staff inside everybody’s always learning," Teichman said. "Even if you’re fully qualified and have been doing this for 20 years it's a great opportunity to learn.”