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Civil Air Patrol at Battle Creek

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Glenn Whitt
  • 217th Air Operations Group
One of the better kept secrets of the Air Force is its official auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol. Founded on December 1, 1941 by citizens committed to using civilian aviation resources to help bolster the nation's defense, Civil Air Patrol was established as a federally chartered nonprofit organization by President Harry Truman on July 1, 1946 and Congress passed a law on May 26, 1948 designating Civil Air Patrol (CAP) as the Air Force Auxiliary giving the CAP three primary missions - emergency services, cadet programs and aerospace education.

Today, CAP still serves as the Air Force Auxiliary in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. There are 1,400 squadrons and approximately 56,000 volunteer youth and adults nationwide. CAP operates one of the largest fleets of single-engine piston aircraft in the world, with 550 currently in the fleet. CAP flies more than 98,500 hours annual and this year, they have exceeded this number with 100,000 hours flown to date in fiscal year 2016. CAP also has ground emergency services with a fleet of more than 1,000 vehicles, additionally they have a well-established communication network.

Locally, here at the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, there are two CAP units housed. The Kellogg Field Senior Squadron is an all adult unit focusing on search and rescue, while supporting all other missions of CAP. They have a Cessna 182T Glass Cockpit aircraft housed in the t-hangers here in Battle Creek. The Battle Creek Cadet Squadron also meets on the base (in the Security Building) every Tuesday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cadet squadron is made up of youth aged 12 to 18 years of age, as well as adult senior members to support their operations. These cadets train in search and rescue, learn leadership skills and study aerospace related topics. Cadets are eligible for five powered orientation flights and five glider flights provided by CAP. Other areas that cadets work on is physical fitness, military customs and courtesies and community service.

Prospective cadets interested in the Battle Creek Cadet Squadron and their parents are encouraged to contact the unit commander, Capt. Terry Travis at: 269-719-5470 or to learn more about the program and its benefits. Both units are accepting applications for new members.