DENVER — More than 500 members of the Civil Air Patrol headed home to their respective states after the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary annual conference, held in Denver Aug. 15-19. 

Locally, Col. Dan Leclair, former Maine Wing commander and now Northeast Region commander, and Wing Commander Col. Marc Brunelle of Maine attended. Brunelle is a graduate of Lewiston High School.

Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr said, “Our direct support to the Department of Defense and our defense support to civil authorities are expanding exponentially. We want to call special attention to ways our unpaid professionals contribute to our nation’s defense.”

Two missions that stood out were Hurricane Sandy and the Oklahoma tornadoes. Aircraft and image evaluation teams on the ground captured and processed 158,000 digital photo of Sandy’s destruction. These efforts helped FEMA and other emergency management agencies respond faster and more effectively.

CAP members were honored for their service during the award ceremony. Maj. Ray Hanson, Maine Wing, was recognized as Communication Officer of the Year. The Northeast Region received a number of awards for the mission that Northeast Region CAP members participated in during Hurricane Sandy.

Special guest was retired Air Force Gen. Stephen R. Lorenz, who gave his perspectives on leadership. Lorenz serves as president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Air Force Academy Endowment.

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