Civil Air Patrol plane supports communications for Texas A&M Task Force 1

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) A Civil Air Patrol (CAP) aircraft that will help Texas A&M Task Force 1, and teams like them, was in College Station Tuesday demonstrating its capabilities.

The specially equipped aircraft has an antenna and communications equipment installed so they can fly in support of search and rescue missions across the nation.

Texas A&M Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) has used the aircraft in some of the state’s largest and most devastating search and rescue missions, such as Hurricane Ike and the Wimberley Floods, when the size of the search area, the destruction or the terrain prevent normal communications equipment from working optimally.

By placing communications gear on the CAP airplane, which circles the operational area, Task Force members have a 3,000-foot antenna instead of a 30-foot antenna, which allows communications to function over a significantly wider area.

They hope to create a common airborne communication system that allows all first responders to talk to one other.