Civil Air Patrol Volunteer Now

    National Cadet Special Activities feature wide range of training, experiences

    July 22, 2013


    Cadet 2nd Lt. Samuel Buckmaster of the Nebraska Wing’s Columbus Composite Squadron reviews his preflight checklist with an instructor before takeoff in a CAP Cessna 172 at Nebraska’s Fremont Regional Airport, site of one of five CAP Powered Flight Academies this summer.
    Photo by Lt. Col. Dave Halperin, Nebraska Wing

    Senior Member Pat Masse reviews preflight instructions with Cadet Staff Sgt. Khaleel Brown at the Powered Flight Academy at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis. Masse is a member of the Wisconsin Wing’s Brown County Senior Squadron, while Brown belongs to the Florida Wing’s Coral Springs Cadet Squadron.
    Photo by Maj. David Vriezen, Wisconsin Wing

    Cadet 1st Lt. Christopher Pineda of the Nebraska Wing’s Omaha Composite Squadron prepares for his instruction flight at the Powered Flight Academy in Fremont.
    Photo by Lt. Col Dave Halperin, Nebraska Wing


    Jennifer Kornegay
    Contributing Writer

    NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS  – Civil Air Patrol cadets represent some of the best and brightest youth in the U.S., and each summer they prove it by working hard to expand their knowledge, deepen their understanding and gain new skills participating in National Cadet Special Activities offered around the country. 
    Not that it’s work and no play. The diverse academies and courses offer the participants the chance to forge new friendships with fellow cadets and plenty of opportunities for adventure and fun.
    Powered Flight Academies
    The Powered Flight Academies are the first step many cadets take toward becoming licensed pilots, providing formal ground instruction and cockpit time with a certified flight instructor in an environment tailored specifically for cadets.
    CAP offers five such summer academies – in Illinois, Maine, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Virginia.

    Glider Flight Academies
    The entire range of knowledge needed to earn a private glider rating is included in these academies.
    Trips to aviation museums, aircraft reconstruction hangars and air-traffic control towers enhance the course, providing first-hand learning opportunities.
    Four glider academies are offered – two in Pennsylvania and one each in Illinois and Vermont.
    Model Aircraft & Remote Control Flight Academies
    These academies are aimed at cadets interested in learning how to become a model aircraft remote control pilot or those who already are and want to sharpen their skills. 
    Designed specifically for cadets, the academies maintain a low instructor-to-student ratio to ensure every participant gets the time and attention needed.
    This summer CAP is holding three such academies – in California, Kansas and Wisconsin.
    Pararescue Orientation Course & Advanced Pararescue Orientation Course
    Cadets find out fast what it takes to be a pararescuer in this intense one-week activities, learning survival techniques, rock climbing, rappelling and more from pararescue specialists.
    The advanced course takes cadets deeper into the pararescuer’s job and needed skill set, pushing cadets to push themselves both physically and mentally. By working with active-duty or reserve U.S. Air Force Rescue or Special Tactics Squadron members, they gain hands-on experience in teamwork, medical rescue and special tactics team operations.
    Both courses, offered at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., involve rigorous and increase physical conditioning and also build character.
    Undergraduate Pilot Training Familiarization Course
    This course’s goal is to give cadets a clear view of what it takes to become an Air Force pilot, exposing them to much of what Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training students experience, including classroom work, flight-line interactions, student pilot shadowing, hands-on training with Air Force instructors, simulated flight training and flights in Air Force T-1 aircraft. 
    In addition, participants get to tour parts of Laughlin AFB, Texas, where the course is hosted, and gain an understanding of life on a base.
    Hawk Mountain Ranger School
    Teaching participants they can do anything when they work as a team is the mission of this course, which challenges cadets to help and push each other as they hone search and rescue and emergency services skills in mission-field conditions in the Pennsylvania mountains.
    Hawk Mountain has a long tradition of molding cadets and teaching such valuable SAR topics and techniques as navigation; communication skills; woodsmanship; campsite selection and equipment; first aid; patient evacuation; specialized equipment; health and nutrition; and survival skills. Character development and leadership are also emphasized.
    Cadets participate in several course types and levels: Basic, Advanced, Special Advanced, Team Commanders and Field Medic.
    Michael King Smith Aviation Business Academy
    The academy offers cadets an in-depth look at the business side of the aviation industry by immersing them in the daily operations of Evergreen Aviation in McMinnville, Ore., including aviation business planning, heavy aircraft maintenance, ground logistics and support, helicopter operations, purchase and sale of aircraft, and agriculture and museum operations. 
    Cadets see first-hand why and how business decisions are made and how operations are controlled, and they learn other insider information about the private aviation business. Participants also get to see the famous “Spruce Goose” and other exhibits at the Evergreen Aviation Museum.
    National Cadet Officer School & Falcon Flight 
    Cadet Officer School and its graduate program, Falcon Flight, operate with one goal: to develop leaders. Cadets 16 and over undergo a combination of lectures, seminars and hands-on training exercises that guide them through the Air Force’s psychology of leadership, problem-solving techniques, effective writing and speaking and understanding group dynamics.
    COS focuses on strategic leadership, while Falcon Flight concentrates on executive leadership and personal leadership growth. 
    Conducted at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. – home of CAP National Headquarters – the courses also give cadets the chance meet and learn from a diverse lineup of guest lecturers, including military and industry leaders who discuss topics like human relations, critical thinking, leadership and national security issues.
    Advanced Technologies Academy
    This course at Peterson AFB, Colo., puts cadets on the cutting edge of technology, exposing them to the latest gear and tools used in fulfilling CAP’s missions. 
    They learn how to use the ARCHER (Airborne Real-time Cueing Hyper-spectral Enhanced Reconnaissance) system, aerial disaster photography and satellite technology and receive hands-on demonstrations of infrared and night-vision equipment. They also participate in the Systems Tool Kit program, learning how to use a state-of-the-art computer application to explore satellite missions, satellite orbits and more.
    After classroom training, cadets get in the air to use what they’ve learned, flying ARCHER sorties in CAP’s Gippsland GA-8 Airvan as well as taking aerial photos and then transmitting them back to base via satellite.
    Engineering Academy
    The Engineering Academy, known as E Tech, uses hands-on projects and instruction from NASA and Air Force researchers to introduce cadets to several engineering disciplines and the latest aerospace technologies. 
    Cadets participating in the academy at Auburn University in Alabama explore Aerospace & Fiber Engineering by designing and constructing a carbon-fiber airfoil to test in a smoke tunnel. Seeing how design affects engineering applications by participating in lab tests on balance, dexterity, strength and other human factors opens the door to Industrial/Systems Engineering. Mechanical Engineering and Materials Engineering are also covered with lessons and experiments using a solar-powered house, an electron microscope and more. 

    Civil Engineering Familiarization Course
    This course at Tyndall AFB, Fla., takes cadets inside Red Horse, the U.S. Air Force’s heavily armed engineering team that builds, repairs and defends bases in remote locations and harsh conditions during wartime. 
    Through interactive, hands-on activities and real-life simulations, cadets learn civil engineering basics and study heavy equipment, AutoCAD, robotics, construction and demolition to understand what goes into building an airfield from the ground up in hazardous surroundings. Classroom instruction covers the math, science and technology concepts of engineering, and participants also get the chance to career shadow Air Force officers and noncommissioned officers. 

    Space Command Familiarization Course
    For almost 30 years, this program has been on a mission to “motivate young men and women to the ideals of leadership and service through aerospace education and training.” 
    Hosted at Patrick AFB, Fla., by Air Force Space Command, the program achieves this by highlighting AFSPC’s important roles and purpose.
    The comprehensive course focuses on all five areas of space operations: satellite command and control, missile warning, space surveillance/space control, missile operations and space lift. 
    Cadets will have a chance to meet members of the 45th Space Wing and NASA providing support for space launch and exploration, and they’ll visit Kennedy Space Center.  
    Past visits have included the Morrell Operations Center, where launches from Cape Canaveral are controlled and tracked, and launch sites from the Mercury and Apollo programs. Cadets have also seen satellites readied for launch and have toured Delta and Atlas rockets on the launch pad. 
    National Cadet Competition
    Motivating some of CAP’s star cadets to shine even brighter, this activity – held this year in Dayton, Ohio -- puts top-tier cadets from around the country on regional color guard and drill teams that compete in exercises and events focused on leadership, teamwork, physical fitness, aerospace education and more.
    The program focuses on encouraging cadets to set high goals and then train to achieve those goals.
    Manufacturing & Maintenance Academy
    Providing up-close-and-personal access to the Cessna Aircraft Co. shop floor in Independence, Kan., the academy engages and excites cadets interested in how airplanes are built and repaired. Participants observe and assist Cessna professionals fabricating and building the company’s planes. They even get their hands dirty building both jet and prop aircraft on the production line.  
    Blue Beret
    A partnership with Experimental Aircraft Association puts CAP cadets participating in Blue Beret in the middle of the action at the annual EAA fly-in, AirVenture, in Oshkosh, Wis. – one the world’s largest, most prestigious air shows. 
    The show attracts more than 500,000 people each year and includes more 10,000 aircraft. Cadets provide support for and are involved with a variety of show areas, working everything from the flight line to exhibits.
    International Air Cadet Exchange
    Every summer, cadets from 18 nations come together through IACE. CAP cadets participating in the annual activity use their shared interest of flying and their passion for all things aviation-related to make new friends and promote goodwill with people in countries all around the world. 
    Conducted by the International Air Cadet Exchange Association, a league of 19 air cadet organizations, IACE has included CAP participation since 1948. IACE gives cadets unprecedented access to factories, airports, engineering laboratories and government agencies in addition to immersion in foreign customs and lifestyles. 

    National Emergency Services Academy
    Both cadets and officers can learn to be better prepared to aid themselves and others in real-world emergencies at NESA, held at Camp Atterbury, Ind.
    The academy trains participants in four levels (basic to advanced and skill-specific) in three schools: Ground Search and Rescue, Incident Command System and Mission Aircrew.


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