Auxiliary Takes A More Prominent Stance At Event
Civil Air Patrol members from the Congressional Squadron, along
with the Maryland and National Capital Wings worked hard to promote
CAP at the recent Joint Service Open House at Andrews Air Force
Base in Maryland.
Five CAP planes, a ground team vehicle and a promotional trailer
from National Headquarters were present on the flight line last
month, making the Air Force Auxiliary hard to miss. This national
display, a special Congressional Squadron project, highlighted
CAP's diverse capabilities and modern technologies including the
Archer hyperspectral imaging system, the satellite digital imaging
system and glass cockpit aircraft.
Cadets and senior members provided
information and answered questions for inquiring visitors as they
viewed the aircraft and vehicle exhibits which included the
- Gippsland GA-8 Airvan (provided by Middle East Region)
- Cessna C-206H Stationair (provided by Pennsylvania Wing)
- Maule MT-7-235 Super Rocket (provided by Pennsylvania
- Schweizer I-26 glider (provided by Virginia Wing)
- Cessna C-182T Skylane (provided by the Congressional
- Ford Expedition ground vehicle (provided by the Congressional
A strong showing like this is a first in many years. More
recently, CAP recruiting activities were limited to a hanger away
from the tarmac.
In addition to CAP's representation along the flight line,
cadets provided support in the distinguished visitors section which
is the viewing area closest to all of the aviation action. The
young members were tasked with restricting access to the area to
those with a special wristband. They also offered VIP escorts and
provided security at the nearby VIP/performer refreshment area.
Cadets also helped with streamer recovery following the Golden
Nights parachute jump and they assisted with the bagging and
removal of trash. Members of the National Capital Wing worked a
recruiting booth inside a nearby hanger with assistance from
Maryland Wing members. In the days prior to the air show, cadets
also assisted the German Embassy as they set up a hanger in
preparation for the event.
Members of the Maryland Wing's Cadet Advisory Council were
honored for their outstanding contributions during the open house.
C/Capt Erich Welch, C/2nd Lt. John Brennan and C/Capt. Mathew
Herten each received the Andrews Air Force Base Challenge Coin. Air
Force Capt Chris Woodham presented the awards to the cadets at the
conclusion of the air show for coordinating and overseeing the work
of the cadet volunteers during the three day event.
Coordinating Officer for the Maryland Wing, Capt. Jeff Welch
says he hopes CAP's presence next year is even bigger. "We hope to
add a WWII era CAP aircraft with a bomb mount on the belly. We also
would like to bring out more resources from the three surrounding
wings to be able to expand our service to the US Air Force during
the Open House and to better promote CAP," he said.
Welch adds that he hopes the local wings and the Congressional
squadron can join together this fall to begin planning for next
The Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the US Air
Force, was founded on December 1, 1941, less than a week before the
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the US into World War II.
CAP is a nonprofit organization with more than 55,000 members
nationwide. The organization's members perform 95 percent of
continental US inland search and rescue missions, as tasked by the
Air Force's Rescue Coordination Center, and was credited by the
AFRCC with saving 58 lives in 2006. Its volunteers also perform
homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the
request of federal, state and local agencies.
There are more than 1,300 members of CAP in Maryland. Last
fiscal year wing members flew 42 search and rescue missions and
were credited with 31 finds.