In 2019, when asked, “What is Civil Air Patrol?”
The answer goes all the way back to WWII and a response about small airplanes hunting submarines off our coastlines.
While that is a proud feature of the founding history, those pilots and crews would be astounded at what Civil Air Patrol is doing today.
Today’s all-volunteer Auxiliary of the United States Air Force owns the largest fleet of single-engine aircraft in the nation, over 500.
In 2018, Civil Air Patrol youth and adult members contributed $187 million in man-hours to accomplish its missions in emergency services, aerospace education, and youth development.
But, what does that mean at the individual and squadron level?
Two-way opportunities abound. Members not only serve their local communities, state, and nation.
At the same time, they learn skills and gain valuable experiences that translate to meaningful entries on a career resume.
Skills that today’s employers want. Teambuilding, goal and mission accomplishment, technical skills like computer literacy, administrative and logistical support are some prime examples.
“But I’m not a pilot . . . can I still join?” Yes. While the opportunity to become part of a flight crew is offered to all qualified members, it is not all we do.
There are many volunteer jobs in CAP. They are seeking FAA-licensed pilots along with motivated community difference makers. Youth program volunteers are needed to serve helping to build America’s next generation of aviation leaders through our Cadet Program for young people, ages 12-18.
Is terrestrial radio communication your thing? We have that, too.
Since its founding CAP has operated a large land-based VHF radio network to “pass the message,” in the event of natural disaster or other event that renders our telephone (including cellular) communications networks unusable.
While we do not hunt submarines anymore, we are still serving our communities from the air. Civil Air Patrol wings and squadrons conduct 90 percent of the inland search missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. CAP has formal agreements with many government and humanitarian relief agencies including the American Red Cross, FEMA, FAA, National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Coast Guard.
CAP also flies humanitarian missions — usually in support of the Red Cross — transporting time-sensitive medical materials including blood and human tissue, in situations where other means of transportation are not available.
CAP has come full circle by being called upon to be a major contributor to our country’s critical Homeland Security efforts.
During natural disasters and other times, they fly vital supplies and personnel to where they need to be and provide airborne imaging for decision-makers to best understand how to help victims and speed recovery.
As a Total Force member of the United States Air Force, we provide cost-effective flying assets and personnel for Homeland Security training missions. CAP also assists local and state agencies that need qualified, professional aviation resources to provide “eyes in the skies,” to meet their needs.
There are over 61,000 well-trained volunteers in 1,500 units nationwide. But, in Humboldt County there is a need for new volunteers.
That leaves this question, “How can I join this dynamic organization and help fill this urgent local need?”
Simply call the Humboldt County Composite Squadron, at 775-625-2081 and they will give you the details.
You can also contact them on Facebook, @HumboldtNVCAP, or through the Nevada Wing website at http://www.nvwg.cap.gov.
For more general information about Civil Air Patrol, visit http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com.
The opportunity and need are now. Will you take advantage?