Civil Air Patrol Acquires 10 Military-Grade Drones to Enhance Emergency Assistance in North Carolina

The North Carolina Wing has been on the cutting edge of the Civil Air Patrol small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) program that culminated in the first locate and save within CAP in August of 2021. The program continues to lead the way with a jump in training and equipment that took place on Saturday 6 May 2023 at the NCWG headquarters.   

The NCWG partnered with the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management to receive ten (10) Teal 2 drones. The drones were purchased by Emergency Management and were given to the NCWG Civil Air Patrol to provide drone / sUAS support across the state when requested. Capt Ralph Newcomb, Assistant Director of Operations for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles stated, “This is an exciting time for the NC Wing. We now have the high quality sUAS / drones that we need to adequately work in partnership with NC Emergency Management to assist the citizens across NC and neighboring states when needed for any request, from search and rescue to post disaster assessments.”   

The Teal 2, designed by Teal Drones a subsidiary of military technology company Red Cat Holdings, Inc (Nasdaq:RCAT), is a compact rugged drone designed to be portable and is powered by a Snapdragon 845 processor. The Teal 2 is the first sUAS to be equipped with Teledyne FLIR’s new Hadron 640R sensor. This provides end users with the highest resolution thermal imaging in a small (Group 1) form factor, optimized for nighttime operations. The drone weighs in at 2.75 lbs with a top flight speed of 22 mph and a flight time of 30 minutes per battery. “We’re excited to provide Teal 2 systems that will aid NCWG in providing emergency assistance to citizens across North Carolina and in neighboring states,” said George Matus, founder and CEO of Teal Drones. “Teal 2 is the world’s leading military-grade sUAS for night operations, and our partnership with NCWG is a great example of how technology developed for military purposes can also be used for civilian purposes – helping to keep Americans safe at home.”   

The Saturday and Sunday training session was led by Jarret Rhyner, Solutions Specialist, with Unmanned Vehicle Technologies (UVT) the exclusive vendor for the Teal 2. The training consisted of several classroom hours in which the mission pilots became familiar with the aircraft, software and mission functionality. The second day was spent actually flying the aircraft and completing the CAP Form 5U, CAP sUAS Pilot Flight Evaluation form, that must be completed by each pilot to be able to operate the drone on a mission. NCWG Director of Operations for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Capt Robert Rimmer stated, “The NC Wing drone program grew by leaps and bounds this weekend with the introduction of the Teal 2 drones.”  

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