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Posted: 6/11/2003 10:21:10 PM EDT
Iv'e been to their website. Looking for opinions now: What are they like? Good for kids? Adults? Benefits outweigh the dues?
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 10:26:12 PM EDT
I was in the Civil Air Patrol. its a good program...but like all things its managment is questionable. My first squadron was really sucky! i mean really! i'll have to tell you the story tomarrow cuz i am about to go to bed. My second squadron wasnt all that bad. Infact i enjoyed it. Some fun things i do remember doing and enjoying, where the encampments, working airshows, infact we even got to hang out with f16 pilots all the time. just make sure that you check everything out first. Normally speaking its a good program.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 4:03:11 AM EDT
I did one year of it in high school. Had a fun time. I did kind of learn how to fly. Gave me about 2 hours in the air flying time. I would have never learned nor have been able to fly a plane with out them.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 4:46:29 AM EDT
I did a couple years as a cadet. I think it's a good program. It is actually part of the U.S. Air Force in a fashion. CAP has a combat record (IIRC they scored a sub in WWII). I wouldn't stop one of my kids from joining if they were interested.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 5:05:33 AM EDT
It is a volunteer organization that is the official Air Force Auxilary and performs missions as directed by the Air Force. These missions include: Search and Rescue Homeland Defense Counterdrug Misc missions such as delivery of vital organs, etc. They have a program for cadets and senior members. My squadron actually has more senior members than cadets. Things to consider before joining: 1. Not every squadron has an assigned plane. Those that don't have an airplane mainly focus on the cadet program. If you are interested in flying, find and join a squadron that has an assigned aircraft. 2. As stated by others, the cadet program is only as good as those who are running it. Talk to some of the cadets and ask them how they like the management. Benefits of CAP membership: 1. If you are a pilot and like to fly, you can get a lot of flying time in. If you are qualified and fly CAP missions the flying time is free. CAP aircraft are also available for [b]MEMBERS[/b] to fly at a reduced hourly rate ($45-50 an hour), with certain limitations, when they are not being used for missions. 2. For motivated teens, sucessfull progression in the cadet program can benefit them in a few ways. If you get promoted to a certain level you can later join the military at a higher grade (E-3). Exceptional cadets can even get a direct appointment to the Air Force academy. For years, the CAPs bread and butter was search and rescue and they still do quite a lot of this. Recently the counterdrug and homeland security missions were added. Counterdrug missions involve flying around and searching for plots of "whacky tobaccy" and vectoring LEO units on the ground into the location. Homeland security is mostly looking for and reporting suspicious activity around damns, pipelines, power stations, and border areas. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 5:12:27 AM EDT
I know that CAP pilots actually sank at least one german u-boat during WWII. Their tiny planes (think Cessna 172) were equipped with bombs. I just saw a documentary on it on pbs or the history channel.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 5:49:15 AM EDT
That was long before the 172. I believe it was more along the lines of a Piper Cub (L-3?).
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 5:52:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Brohawk: That was long before the 172. I believe it was more along the lines of a Piper Cub (L-3?).
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I just put that in there as a size reference, BTW they used whatever planes the pilots owned, they weren't gov't issue aircraft.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 6:17:32 AM EDT
I wasn't trying to be argumentative. Sorry if it sounded that way.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 6:25:26 AM EDT
I was in CAP about 14 years ago for only about a year. I was in the Dulles squadron, which sucked at the time. As previously stated, it all depends on how the squadron is run.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 7:19:31 AM EDT
Interestingly enough, that hottie that made the landing in the tore-up A-10 was in the CAP. [img]http://www.capnhq.gov/nhq/cp/a-10montage2.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:13:25 AM EDT
OK i can tell my story now. My first squadron i was in was ThunderBird. At the time I and my parents tried to help the squadron grow. We tried to help fundraising and I even wrote the president (KLINTON) to get a HUMVEE for search and rescue. It got all the way to some general at the pentagon and they said yes. I took this information to the CO and boy did i get chewed out! I ended up leaving and 2 years later discovered the reason i was getting chewed out. it was because by getting fundraising (which they shot down that idea) and a HUMVEE (which they also shot down) it was actracting too much attention from the HQ at maxwell airforce base. After an investigation, turns out he had smuggled $30K of CAP funds. he is in the fed pen now. He was never military...he was a lawyer!
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:19:55 AM EDT
Does the CAP have anything to do with small arms?
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:38:37 AM EDT
Cadet program is good and bad. The program itself is great, some of the squadrons are F'ed up badly, as are some of the higher organizations. It really has to do with the type of volunteer they get, some are really bad. The encampments are great. I joined the Corps because of them (once you figure out CAP cadets are harder corps then AD airforce, you aim higher.) Great experience, the flight encampmens are also great. CAP at the local level is a case of 'try before you buy'.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 9:14:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Brohawk: I wasn't trying to be argumentative. Sorry if it sounded that way.
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no problem.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 3:31:19 PM EDT
The Silly Air Patrol is kinda like the "flashlight police" of aviation, I guess they mean well for the most part, I recall a few years back they caught some flak over sending cadets out to airport ramps to peer into private aircraft, looking for anything "suspicious" to help catch drug runners! I was in it for a few years in HS, the leadership of the squadron I was in were cool, we pulled targets at HP matches 'n stuff. After those guys left it went downhill fast.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 4:50:48 PM EDT
While in CAP my son learned to rapel from a chopper, First Aid & CPR, set up a radio network for Search & Rescue, and other equally good skills. The skills he learned came in handy for him when later he was in the Army. He was often asked, "Where did you learn that?" "In CAP." During basic he was often called upon to aid in instructing other soldiers. Most of the CAP Cadets in his squadron were sons and daughters of our local deputies, police, and fire fighters. Almost all went into the military, and later LEO careers. Firearms training? Yes, I myself instructed them in firing Beretta pistols and AR15's. Locally they have been called upon to aid and suppliment police after a natural disaster. I just cannot speak more highly of Civil Air Patrol.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 6:48:26 PM EDT
I never recived any firearms training in CAP. Infact it was frowned upon. did a lil flying though. I wont credit it with getting me into flying. I was already flying before CAP.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 9:45:07 PM EDT
If you already have a Comm/Inst ticket they will make you a full bird Col. or a General right out of the box. Thats pretty impressive if you are into such things. Its actually a pretty good program, as long as you don't expect to much of it. You get to join the Flying clubs on military bases- which can save you thousands if you are trying to learn to fly.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 10:00:17 PM EDT
Comm/Inst = Commercial? and/or Instructor?
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 10:05:14 PM EDT
Thanks everyone for the insight. Your opinions and experiences help me get an idea of the program. Sounds like a lot of opportunity where it is functioning well.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 5:37:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Citabria7GCBC: Comm/Inst = Commercial? and/or Instructor?
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I think he meant commerical instrument.
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