Nine area Civil Air Patrol members – including one Oakdale – recently completed the 2016 California Wing Encampment, held June 24 through July 1 at Camp San Luis Obispo. Cadets that attended were: Elizabeth Benavente, 13, of Modesto, Nicholas Desomma, 13, of Turlock, Gino Estrella, 13, of Modesto, AnneMarie Fiori, 14, of Modesto, Nicholas Hahn, 15, of Hughson, Lucas Hardy, 13, of Oakdale, Zoe Hines, 14, of Modesto, Austin Kuesthardt, 15, of Modesto, and Domenica Spaner, 17, of Tracy. Hosted by the California Wing, more than 200 cadets and staff came from all across California.
Training over 200 cadet basics was the top priority during the eight-day event. Activities included classroom sessions on Civil Air Patrol and U.S. Air Force topics, aerospace education, and emergency services. In addition, cadets trained in drill and ceremonies, Military Obstacle Course, Rifle Range M-16, Cadet Physical Fitness Test, Drill and Volleyball competitions, Barracks Training, Military Career Briefing and Model Rocketry. Cadets return to their home squadron filled with new experiences and highly motivated to succeed. Encampment has also become a requirement for advanced cadets who want to attend national level activities such as Powered Flight Academy, Pararescue Training and many more.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
Lt Col Arthur King Composite Squadron is located in Modesto at the Modesto Airport. The squadron has an active cadet and senior program. The cadet program meets weekly to train members between the age of 12 and 18 in leadership, aerospace education, and emergency services. The senior program involves adults 18 years of age and older and meets weekly for aerospace education training, emergency services training, and planning in support of the California Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.
More information about Civil Air Patrol and Squadron 50 can be found on their website at http://sq50.cawgcap.org.