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[at-l] Re: military on the AT

Another element of the military you might see on the AT is the Civil Air
Patrol.  They're the civilian auxiliary of the US Air Force, and their
ground search and rescue element uses such areas to practice finding downed
aircraft and missing persons. In the Ga./NC area, they've trained around
Hawk Mtn. and in Great Smoky Mountains NP.  I went as an observer/instructor
at a SAREX (Search And Rescue EXercise) the last weekend in December in
GSMNP.  Most of the participant are "cadets"--12-17 year olds. They do some
surprising things--a search crew on a GSMNP trail missed two radio checks.
Knowing another missed radio check would trigger a search augumented with US
Army Rangers (more military that trains around the AT), they chose to walk
21 miles while wearing 60 lb packs (too heavy) in one day to a roadhead
rather than suffer the indignity of being "found." They were so glad they
avoid the Ranger call-out that the distance didn't seem to matter.

Jim Greenway
Bartow Co. EMA
Cartersville GA.   

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