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Tue, Jun 03, 2008

CAP Officers Promote Service At Andrews Open House

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 following:

  • 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 Wing)
  • Schweizer I-26 glider (provided by Virginia Wing)
  • Cessna C-182T Skylane (provided by the Congressional Squadron)
  • Ford Expedition ground vehicle (provided by the Congressional Squadron)

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 year's show.

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.

FMI: www.cap.gov

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