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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | April 5, 2023

113th Wing and Civil Air Patrol join forces for Operation Fertile Keynote

By Senior Airman Essence Myricks

The 113th Wing and the Civil Air Patrol joined forces for their monthly exercise, Operation Fertile Keynote, March 30, 2023.

The CAP is an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, and its members are civilian volunteers who participate in search and rescue, disaster relief, and other missions. The organization also serves as a key partner in protecting the nation's airspace.

During the exercise, F-16 Fighting Falcon jets from the 113th Wing intercepted a CAP Cessna 182 Skylane airplane playing the role of an intruder to "take appropriate action to save lives," said Col. Eugene Egry, Civil Air Patrol Mid-Atlantic region commander. The objective was to maintain positive control over the protected airspace in the Washington D.C. area.

Alex Wagner, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, joined the CAP for the simulation.

“I’m looking to tell the Civil Air Patrol story, not only through the youth and STEM programs but also through its national security roles,” said Wagner.

The Fertile Keynote exercise provides training for both the 113th Wing and the CAP. It allows the two organizations to practice working together in a real-world scenario and to ensure they are prepared to respond in the event of an actual intrusion into restricted airspace.