In addition to having a job specialty, Level II requirements include completing the Officer Basic Course, and Squadron Leadership School (SLS). SLS provides CAP’s adult members with a basic understanding of CAP operations at the squadron level and how those operations affect CAP’s national missions. Additionally, members learn more about CAP customs, core values, and communications. Case studies, discussion, and group assignments are integral facets of the SLS. (Download SLS curriculum guide)
On April 13th, senior members gathered for training at Davison Army Airfield. Among the events ocurring that evening were routine safety training, and specialized training on the operation of the CAP Technisonic FM radio. Installed in CAP aircraft, these radios are used by aircrews to communicate with other CAP aircraft, ground teams, and mission base during exercises and real world operations. The combination of knobs, buttons, and switches on this radio is complex and CAP volunteers who may not use the radio on a frequent basis benefit from occasional review and instruction on settings, tips, and best practices that will keep communications flowing smoothly during CAP missions.
On April 27th, senior members again came together for training. Lt Col Lou Volchansky presented instruction on search and rescue flight patterns used by CAP aircrews during emergency services missions. Volchansky discussed altitude, airspeeds, flap configurations, track spacing, scanning techniques, as well as the specific reasons a particular search pattern should be chosen based upon weather and other conditions. Whether members are working toward initial aircrew qualifications, or are seasoned veterans, review of these procedures is essential for keeping skills sharp.
Later that same evening, Mount Vernon cadets stood in formation for a promotion and awards ceremony. Capt James Kavanagh, the squadron’s deputy commander for cadets, presided over the ceremony during which four cadets were promoted and several were recognized for participation in the annual Wreaths Across America event.
The public will be able to eavesdrop Dec. 24 as Civil Air Patrol helps the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) track Santa Claus. The NORAD Santa Tracker website will provide a link allowing parents and children worldwide to listen to audio from CAP’s national radio nets as they support Santa’s epic journey.
Listeners will hear CAP radio operators across the country report local weather conditions and other factors that could affect Santa’s flight operations and navigation. The radio messages will be addressed to North Pole Mission Base.
At least seven CAP national net control stations will be managing net operations and providing periodic updates on Santa’s location. The CAP stations will begin Santa reports at 7 p.m. Eastern and 4 p.m. Pacific time. The stations will remain on the air until at least midnight.
“The HF radio systems CAP is using for the Santa Track net are an important resource,” said Malcolm Kyser, CAP’s chief of communications. “During emergency service and disaster relief operations when telephones and Internet may not be working, CAP’s volunteers routinely use radio to report damage assessment, conduct aerial photography and perform other essential missions.”
Civil Air Patrol members and their families are encouraged to spread the word about the new Friends of CAP program among their family, friends, co-workers, emergency service provider partners and anyone else who may have an interest in supporting CAP. Annual dues for Friends of CAP are only $35, which is tax-deductible, and they can sign up quickly online. Friends of CAP support the organization without any of the commitments involved with membership. This program does not replace CAP’s Patron members and is an easy way for people to support the organization. CAP Friends receive two printed issues of CAP’s magazine, Civil Air Patrol Volunteer, annually along with emails from national staff about all the great things CAP is doing. Additionally, CAP Friends can take advantage of selected benefits and discounts.
The two major benefits of Friends of CAP are: 1. Increased public awareness about the organization and the great things our members do to help their communities, states and nation. 2. Some of these Friends of CAP (to include CAP alumni) may want to become regular members in the future when their life circumstances permit them time to participate.