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Civil Air Patrol, America's Air Force auxiliary, building the Nation's finest force of citizen volunteers...Performing missions for America.
The Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force, with members located across the nation in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. We are tasked with three missions which are discussed in depth below.
This specific group is a cadet squadron located in Nassau County, New York. We participate in activities throughout Long Island and New York State. The minimum age to join is 12 years old to be a cadet. Senior (adult) members are also welcomed, and must be at least 18 years old.
Below is more information on the missions of the Civil Air Patrol.
Focuses on leadership building, teamwork, making moral decisions, drill and ceremony, and trips and events that also encompass the other missions. Every summer is a leadership encampment at Stratton Air National Guard Base, in Scotia, NY, which is basically CAP's version of basic training. It is a completely voluntary event, but required to eventually progress to Cadet Second Lieutenant.
More information about our Cadet Programs can be found here.
Emergency Services (ES):
When CAP was originally created on December 1, 1941, it was mainly developed as a civilian defense force to protect our shores from German U-boats. After WWII, CAP turned to a non-combative role which built its foundation with Emergency Services. CAP is responsible for roughly 90% of all inland search and rescue operations within the continental United States for downed aircraft, missing hikers, lost people, etc. While search and rescue isn't exactly a major focus for Nassau County since local law enforcement and emergency services would be on the scene long before us, Long Island Group does host a search and rescue academy twice a year in Suffolk County, which can be viewed in more detail here.
Following 9/11, CAP was involved in its first wartime mission since WWII, as our aircraft were the only civilian planes allowed to fly in U.S. airspace, taking photos of ground zero. Since then, CAP has played a leading part in homeland security by over watching sensitive infrastructure and testing the intercept capabilities of the U.S. Air Force.
Within our squadron, cadets are encouraged to prepare for and take the required CAP and FEMA tests to participate in the search and rescue exercises and eventually become ground team members (GTMs). Members who are trained as GTMs are qualified to go on Air Force assigned search and rescue and disaster relief missions.
To read more about the ES mission, please click here.
Aerospace Education (AE):
Pretty much what the title says is what we do. After they join, all cadets are sent books about specific parts of aerospace history and developments that cadets must pass tests on to be promoted (along with leadership tests in the cadet program).
There is a rocketry unit in which cadets build and launch model rockets and can earn a badge to put on their uniform. CAP also provides orientation flights in Civil Air Patrol aircraft in which cadets can take control of the plane (under careful supervision of the pilot) and get experience flying the plane.
The senior member in charge of the Aerospace Education program is Al Cerullo, an aerial film coordinator and helicopter pilot who has been involved in such TV shows as Law and Order, and Royal Pains, among numerous other movies and shows.
You can read more about the AE program in our squadron here.
Joining Civil Air Patrol:
No special skills are required. Anyone who wants to join and who meets the membership requirements may do so by simply showing up to one of our meetings, which take place every Tuesday night from 7:00PM to 9:30PM at the Rosemary Kennedy Boces, 2850 N Jeruslaem Rd, Wantagh, NY, 11793, Use the eastern most enatrance that says buses only. To see when and where certain meetings and events are, please refer to our calendar for the most up to date information.
There is absolutely no obligation to joining the military if you join the Civil Air Patrol, however certain advantages may be available to those who do decide to join.
- Joseph Casazza
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