Mt Airy Composite Squadron joined Bethesda Chevy Chase Composite Squadron on a Maryland Wing, Group 1, SAREX training mission on 10 September 2016. They gathered at Little Bennett Regional Park, Montgomery County, Maryland. Cadet Second Lieutenant Santos completed some of the familiarization and preparatory training with the assembled five cadets and two seniors while Major Knowles staged the mission scenario. The cadets practiced moving as part of a search line, employed scanning techniques while on foot, practiced communicating to other members of a search line and learned how to use whistle signals.
After establishing clues Major Knowles, Deputy Commander for Cadets at Bethesda Chevy Chase Composite Squadron, returned and passed out maps of Little Bennett Regional Park and provided the mission search scenario. The cadets suited up with their 24-hour packs, radios were passed out and tasks were assigned. Given the map and briefing, the team leader chose a hasty search pattern. The team began at a known trailhead and proceeded through a variety of terrain and trail switches. Radio contact with mission central was executed every hour and when a clue or major event occurred. Mission central also contacted mission ground when additional information became available.
Roughly one and a half hours into the search, the missing subject was found. The sortie then discussed proper procedure and protocols. Mission base was contacted; safety and first aid measures were discussed. Second Lieutenant Santos then led the sortie back to the trailhead where a debriefing took place. Everyone contributed something to the learning experience and the event was a success.