Budget cuts threaten Civil Air Patrol

Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) has introduced an amendment to the new defense spending bill that would dramatically reduce funding for CAP missions and programs for Fiscal Year 2013. The Senate is expected to vote on the amendment on Monday, March 18.

This amendment (called #50) would be made to HR 933, the full-year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 for Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. McCain’s amendment proposes reductions in CAP operations and maintenance funding in the new bill for defense by $4.5 million, reduce aircraft procurement by $6.8 million and entirely eliminate vehicle procurement.

South Dakota Wing Vice-Commander Lieutenant Colonel Rick Larson stated, “The Wing’s ability to react to requests for assistance from state agencies could be severely impacted by these funding cuts.”

Future support to state emergency managers, such as South Dakota Wing’s aerial photography of the extensive flooding in 2011, could be in jeopardy as the budget for maintenance of the Wing’s six aircraft could be slashed, possibly even grounding some of the planes, he warns.

According to the South Dakota Civil Air Patrol the potential impact of these deep funding cuts is very bad — CAP will likely run out of maintenance funds before the end of the year. It is likely that 75 or more of CAP’s aircraft fleet will have to be grounded, and that there would be a significant reduction in national headquarters staff. In addition, there would be a 21% reduction in overall support for Air Force missions compared to FY12 and a 52% decrease in homeland security and air defense training, as well as negative impacts on all aspects of the CAP program. If a sequestration cut is added on top of this reduction in funding, the impact on CAP could be devastating, officials say.

The South Dakota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol has more than 300 officers and cadets, six light aircraft and 17 passenger/cargo vehicles. These assets are available to federal, state and county governments, emergency responders and law enforcement agencies to perform search and rescue, homeland security, disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, and counter-drug missions. The state’s CAP officers conduct an aerospace education program and serve as mentors to more than 115 young people participating in the Wing’s cadet program.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions and is credited with saving an average of 80 lives annually. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 71 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.


  1. Roy says

    My father was an Army Air Corp Instructor Pilot during WW2 and after the war, he remained in aviation and as a result, I grew up around airports, pilots, mechanics and I started lessons with my father when I was 12 and at the same time, I was a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol. When I was 18, I joined the military, served volunteered for Vietnam and spent 71 and 72 there.

    I’ve owned a number of airplanes (and an airport) and as a pilot, I purchased my own search and rescue policy because I don’t believe taxpayers should foot the bill for the Civil Air Patrol. I also believe that if and when an aircraft goes down, the financial burden should be on the person or person being rescued.

    We as a nation export a great portion of our wealth to China, from whom we are borrowing massive amounts to pay our federal debt. Something has to give and if you look at all the squadrons there are across the country (sometimes 25 miles apart) you have to stop and think “enough is enough.” Look at Chicago! Three CAP squadrons are nearly a stones throw away from each other. Look at the Oklahoma City area! And in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, in a 50 mile radius, there are 19 SQUADRONS. For God’s Sakes, 19 SQUADRONS! Seven Squadrons are located in the Salt Lake City area! Fifteen Squadrons in the Phoenix area. Heck, Civil Air Patrol Squadrons are nearly as saturated as Starbucks and convenience stores. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    CAP owns the largest private fleet of Cessna aircraft in the world (at taxpayers expense) and God only knows how many vehicles are in the CAP fleet as well. I say “God only knows” because CAP is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. No taxpayer can file an FOIA request on this quasi-military organization because of their exemption. CAP is nearly a secretive society because they are able to hide from the record in regard to FOIA.

    As a pilot, I’ve reported fires and have searched for downed aircraft when air traffic control has requested it of me. In fact, General Aviation pilots are typically in the air, near the scene, when a request is made from ATC, long before any CAP member can put a uniform on and pull a Cessna out of a hanger and “leap into action.”

    The fact that CAP has a spy mission with the DEA is so distasteful to average citizens, it’s easy to find complaints on the internet. If someone has reason to believe another person is growing weed somewhere, let the local sheriff deal with it.

    CAP (at taxpayers expense) has a massive PR Machine in Alabama, cranking out press releases and stories for news media consumption, and 99 percent of newspapers run these stories when they are hand-fed the info. And when a CAP airplane is involved in a crash (as many of them have been) the PR assets at CAP are quick to respond with slanted info that is tainted with misinformation. How many CAP news releases have been produced showing “Pilot Error”? And if the NTSB report was made available to public sources, more and more taxpayers would be demanding that CAP be shut down.

    It’s time for CAP to be disbanded and the assets sold-off with the money returned to the U.S. Treasury.

    Disbanding CAP will not prevent any private citizen from volunteering time and effort to any worthwhile privately funded civic organization, nor will disbanding CAP prevent American youth an opportunity to sample a military career, because ROTC is offered in most of the school systems across the nation.

    CAP is a dinosaur and it needs to be disbanded. We are bleeding the treasury at too many levels, and as I submit this comment on 10-1-2013, our government is only days away of defaulting on their financial obligations come Oct 17.

    • propwash72 says

      Good people may disagree on whether CAP is a wise use of taxpayer money but there’s some factual issues with Roy’s post that beg to be addressed. For the record, I have 29 years in CAP, 8 as a cadet, mission pilot, stan/eval pilot, and one tour as a squadron commander. I have seen the good and the bad of the organization.

      The money that CAP receives from the Federal budget is around $20 million or so (annually), which is chump change compared to the trillions that are being wasted by our government. Disbanding CAP is taking a cupful of water out of a tsunami. The taxpayer money mainly covers aircraft/vehicle operations & maintenance, and the operation of National HQ. The local squadrons do not operate on taxpayer money outside of some funded SAR training, cadet orientation rides, and a few other things. Much of the operation at the squadron level is funded by the members themselves, and whatever fundraising they manage. The members don’t call CAP “Come And Pay” for nothing. And yes, that even includes paying for flight time on many occasions.

      Larger metro areas may have multiple squadrons, but numbers alone are misleading. Roy, are you implying that there are 19 squadrons in the DFW area with their own aircraft, burning all that taxpayer money? Sorry, that’s not the way it works. I don’t think there’s 19 CAP-owned aircraft in the entire state of Texas. Some squadrons are cadet-only, some are senior-only, some are composite. Not all have a flying mission. You may have an area where there’s senior-only unit that’s not interested in working with cadets, while a couple of miles down the road there’s a cadet-only unit that focuses solely on its program. Units are started at the local level when there’s a critical mass of volunteers in a given area that have a common interest. Again, those units are mostly self-funded.

      There’s approximately 500 aircraft and 900 vehicles in the CAP inventory nationally. It’s on the CAP website and in the annual report to Congress, as required by our charter. Easily available information, no FOIA request required. And I’d like a citation please in your assertion that NTSB reports involving CAP aircraft are somehow unavailable.

      People do disagree on CAP’s counterdrug role and I get that. I’ve grown some ambivalence in that area myself, mainly because I now question the wisdom of the War on Drugs as a whole. But what some people have posted about CAP’s involvement in counterdrug is pure crap. CAP is not going out and poking around people’s property. What CAP can do (and only at the request of law enforcement) is fly reconnaissance missions or provide other passive support, i.e. communications relay. They are not law enforcement and have no law enforcement powers. We cannot do surveillance. My past experience with CD was that of flying over anonymous swaths of ground (much of which was already public land) looking for signs of marijuana fields. No looking in windows. The infamous “Operation Drop-In”, which unfortunately did involve poking around people’s aircraft, died a quick death in the 1990s, largely because most CAP members refused to participate. I’ve even seen people claim online that cadets are out searching for drug labs on the ground, which is absolutely false.

      I’d also like a citation please of the slanted info in press releases. Every organization on the face of the earth that issues press releases will word them very carefully. To what misinformation are you referring? Are you implying that accidents in CAP are usually something other than pilot error? Last time I checked, pilot error in some form was the major cause of general aviation accidents anyway. By the way, CAP’s fatal accident rate is significantly lower than General Aviation as a whole. This despite the fact that much of CAP’s mission flying involves low-altitude maneuvering. This is yet another argument against having just any good samaritan with an airplane flying around looking for a crash. At least CAP crews have to go through training and evaluation before flying on searches, unlike the average GA pilot.

      Disbanding CAP would affect young peoples’ ability to sample a military career. JROTC is not nearly as prevalent as some believe. In my neck of the woods, none of the major school systems have JROTC, either because of the perception that it interferes with the sacred cow of athletics, or in some cases overt anti-military bias on the part of school administration.

    • Austin says

      Roy, what would you do if you went down and a regular pilot could not find you? CAP pilots are trained to work with ground teams to coordinate and find downed aircraft. Your average pilot could not do that. We have actual aircrews that usually consists of 3 people who are all volunteers. We also have ground teams that go out and search with DF equipment and who work with our aircraft. We save this country a lot of money in salary’s. If CAP went away then they would have to pay people to what we do with an actual salary. How about we take away Obama’a vacation funding and 20 million dollar replacement personal helicopters? We are a very effective organization who volunteers our time to help others.

  2. Jason McMillan says

    I spent 6 years in the CAP. I have been out for a while. I served with the Colorado Wing from 1984 to 1990.

    I was not a pilot at that time. I did work the flight line, Ground Team and flew as a scanner.

    Overall it is an excellent organisation. Since it is made up of humans it is not perfect.
    There are some issues with cliques, but that is true with every gathering of humans.

    I participated in several rescues, including lost person and aircraft crashes.

    Unfortunately, two of the crashes were CAP aircraft.

    Funny how the CAP detractors call it a flying club.

    The local flying club here is not expected to go and pick up the broken bodies of their own members.

  3. propwash72 says

    Surely Lee the Spammer didn’t just bomb the thread with links to a nonexistent petition. I smell a troll. Can an admin do something about this?

    • says

      Howdy all… I’m very sorry for the deluge of comments from commenter “Lee”. I desire, for our website and others, to be a place for spirited – and respectful – dialogue. Sadly, sometimes those discussions get off course… way off course. A single posting of a petition (in this case) would have been appropriate. Multiple copies of the same… not. To prevent future abuse, we’ve changed an admin setting to require ALL comments be approved by an admin. More work for us… yep. Protection from improper use of our website… yep. Thank you all, for reading General Aviation News…

      • propwash72 says


        Well, I certainly didn’t mean to cause more work for anyone…but that was just getting out of hand. Seems like discussing the CAP is a good way to get tensions running high , pro and con. Really enjoy GAN, thanks for all you do.

  4. Mark Strassburger, Capt, CAP says

    John McCain, for reasons best known to himself, has long had an axe to grind about CAP. He tried, and nearly succeeded, in 1995, to get CAP moved to DoT, which would have ended the Air Force connection, and probably the Cadet Programs.

    I am a longtime member of CAP, but even I question our relevance today. Others have pointed out better than I could how technology has advanced in the SAR/ELT detection role.

    Aerospace Education…that is not as central as it once was. Professional educators now have access to almost everything CAP does via the Internet.

    Cadet Programs is probably the main reason we still exist. It is the main focus of the Air Force’s interest in CAP (recruiting tool), and, for those who run the program right and for the young people who get into it seriously, it is valuable. However, the Air Force has even more interest in AF JROTC. Given that, I wonder if our CP is redundant, especially since CAP/AF JROTC cadets can have dual membership.

    Unfortunately, there ARE members who take the ranks too seriously. That’s a big reason why we got our metal rank and blue rank slides taken from us back in the early ’90s…there were CAP members trying to get AF members to salute them (which they do not have to do). CAP is not covered by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. An order given by a CAP officer to another CAP officer (and virtually all CAP members are officers, which I have always found strange) is not enforceable; all the member not wanting to follow the order has to do is just not show up any more. The ranks are also abused in other ways…rank is often given to those “in the know” in CAP’s “good ole boy network” and withheld from others over personal grudges.

    Also, CAP is now only the Air Force Auxiliary when on an Air Force Assigned Mission (AFAM). At all other times, it is a non-profit volunteer corporation. The ties with the Air Force have grown a lot thinner over the past 20 years. Except for the relatively small staff at CAP-USAF at Maxwell AFB, much of the USAF is unaware of CAP. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has a much closer relationship with the Coast Guard and directly supports them. CAP has not done direct support to the AF for some time.

    I have given much of my life to CAP, but I do wonder if it’s time to furl our standard.

    • Andre Martin says

      I have been a senior member of the Columbia Composite Squadron assigned to the Portland Air National Guard Base here in the Portland, Oregon area for 3 weeks now. CAP is an amazing organization. A friend of mine describes CAP as boy scouts on steroids! However as I am finding out, it is much more!

      I had to respond to provide a newbie’s perspective. Change is always difficult on us, and CAP is undergoing changes to all levels of structure – just like most of our nation. “Normal” has left the building, and it is doubtful to ever return. We are left with with the basics, and as with any volunteer organization, you get more when you give more.

      As our society changes, educational needs change, and even social situations evolve we never would have conceived of 50 or more years ago. But CAP has a structure for submitting suggestions to better everything from uniforms to curriculum. So lets’s make it better and more relevant in the process. Some things are way out of our control or influence – but I choose to focus on what I have in front of me.

      One thing that never changes is human nature. Cadets need help solidifying their moral character. Our nation is the greatest nation on the face of the earth because we think differently. We , as a society, have been changed by the principles CAP espouses. Excellence, education, moral leadership and freedom among others. It is good to question our relevancy today, but the question should be, “How can we adapt and be more relevant'”

      My two pennies!

      Chaplain Andy Martin
      SM, CCS

    • says


      I’ve started the petition “The senate and taxpayers: Stop taxpayer support for Civil Air Patrol” and need your help to get it off the ground.

      Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here’s the link:


      Here’s why it’s important:

      There have been a number of complaints posted on the internet by former Civil Air Patrol (CAP) members alleging that some units of CAP are run like good old boy and good old girl clubs. Moreover, I have personal knowledge that a squadron leader recently rejecting a CAP member’s request to transfer into their units based upon not being a “good fit” for their squadron, (They are an honorably discharged USN veteran, have a clean FBI record, and hold two master’s degrees, professional licenses and certification) and, in retaliation for complaints about their squadron leader and how CAP is run at times. Based upon the foregoing, unless CAP leaders enact certain protocols to protect and prevent potential discrimination, retaliation, and arbitrary treatment by some CAP leaders toward CAP members, and moreover, take steps to address arbitrary and capricious behavior, taxpayers should not be obligated to support CAP, nor should the military and government provide resources, classrooms, and training facilities to CAP, anymore than they should for the boy scouts or any other similar nonprofit organization that discriminates against LGBT persons, minorities and other individuals.

      Lee Davis

      • Dan says

        Please stop spamming everyone that has subscribed to this thread. This leads me to believe that you are either very passionate about your cause, or you have little knowledge of the internet and how people respond to receiving numerous emails with the exact same text cut and paste.

      • propwash72 says

        Someone doesn’t like having their assumptions challenged I guess. Lee, cut the spam. You at first might have had a legitmate complaint, but now you just look like someone with a vendetta who’s in desperate need of a hobby.

      • Scotty says

        So Lee, you wish to end funding to a program that saves lives (which I have personally helped do) provides aerospace education, helps train tomorrows leaders, is trained to perform in drill and colorguard services, etc. because a few squadrons don’t run how you want them to. Think about how this will affect good squadrons out there. Just think about it.

  5. David Moseley, Lt. Col., CAP says

    Just for the record. I am a soon to be 54 year member of CAP. Being exposed to the VOLUNTEER PROFESSIONALS in CAP helped shape my career. On my first structure fire as a volunteer firefighter, I was directed to that fire by a CAP aircrew who were training with the Coast Guard Aux for SAR. The Volunteer Professionals I speak of are the PhD’s who are engineers, among other job groups. One of our members is the engineer who invented the Electronic Locator Transmitters that are used in all aircraft now. He also flew the first night time ELT search in the Rocky Mountains. My deputy commander developed cameras for the SR-71~! My operations Officer was a Vietnam helicopter pilot who got shot down. I visited him in the hospital and found that he had wired the springs of his bed so he could monitor the VHF radio traffic from the local squadron who was on a search. There he sat, with his jaw wired shut, his eyeball just put back in it’s socket, building a model of the helicopter he was flying when he was shot down. I bought him that model, and had no idea of what he’d think about it. He LOVED it. Did I tell you he was a USAF veteran before he (Horrors!) Joined the Army. (I decided I wouldn’t hold that against him. He was the recipient of two Silver Medals of Valor and one bronze Medal of Valor by CAP, for duties above and beyond, at grave danger to himself and the 3 or 4 cadets. (They also got Medals of Valor,) The last I heard of one of the cadets was that he was a carrier pilot for the Navy. I got a Certificate of Recognition for saving the life of a driver who ran into a tree. My EMT License was earned in 1976, There are a lot of EMT’s in CAP. Lot’s of people taught First Aid, CPR, 1st Responder Training that are part of what one USAF General Officer described as, “The blue suit presence of the Air Force in the local community.”

    CAP members are force multipliers for local emergency management, EMS, and other organizations. I know because I taught classes to people in all of those groups. Just so you have a conception of what I mean by Proessionals, we had 3 people in our squadron who had Master’s Degrees, 1 PhD, 3 Chaplains who met the same requirements as Active Duty Military Chaplains, and lots of former cops, firefighters, and people who would put their life on the line in a nanno second.

    My eleven year tenure as a Squadron Commander ended last year. In addition to that, I spent 5 years as a Group Commander, and for 3 years as the Wing Director of Senior Training. For those of you who told stories about people wearing uniforms, swaggering around, and being obnoxious, I was their worst nightmare!! They either lived up to the expectations of the CAP, or I suggested they could do something more attuned to their ability. One I suggested that he apply to be a speed bump at McDonalds. A couple others I arranged to become residents of the local Barbed Wire Hotel. (That’s a jail for those of you who are keeping notes!)

    There are always problems with volunteers, unless there is strong leadership and direction, then I’d put them up agains paid peope anytime! CAP is full of Quiet Heroes. Don’t sell it short. Try not to get misty eyed when a family member says, “Thanks for not giving up on my daddy! or the one who looks up at you with relief on their faces and repeating, “Thank GOD you are here!” CAP is not where the budget should be cut!

    • J Sar says

      The most dedicated and highest qualified people in the world need not be supported in their frantic quest for wanna-be fighter pilot status via taxpayer dollars. They do good things, no doubt, but they have an indelible image problem labeled ‘ego’ and ‘arrogance’. I appreciate their talents and dedication, but I chose not to have to pay for it.

  6. Rick says

    The CAP serves a very very small segment of our population. See many minority members..No!

    It’s main mission can be handled by the Air Force and the Nat. Guard.

    It it’s such a wonderful org then it will survive w/o our tax dollars. IOW, the members will do it themselves and have more pride of ownership and accomplishment.

    It’s another Gov run redundant program of excess & waste.

    End it now!.

    • Merlin of Wales says

      I couldn’t agree more !!!!!! Complete waste of taxpayer money. Old boys club !!!!!!
      No real purpose in the 21st Century. Let it go. No more Taxpayer Funding !!!! We have much more important issues to address with our limited funds !!!!!!!!!!

    • REO says

      Yes, CAP missions can also be done by the AF and the National Guard. Financially speaking, you can get 3 National Guardsmen for the cost of one Active Duty, however, you can get an unlimited amount of CAP members for 1 National Guardsmen. Taxpayer money is spent more wisely by utilizing CAP members (unpaid volunteers) rather than our military forces. Why would you want to spend a ton of money to get a National Guard helicopter in the air to survey flood/tornado/oil spill damage, when a Cessna with free pilots is a very much cheaper option. To those of you who believe CAP is a waste of taxpayer money, you are sadly mistaken.

    • WILLIAM says

      Duh! Wowl There seem to be far too many Homer Simpsons around here. Oh, yeah, that god-awful U.S. Federal Gum-Mint wasting all our tax money to support the CAP. How many idiots out there have commented that it would be a good idea to save money by shutting down the CAP, Another “Big Government” expense, some say. Oh, as one moron said, it is better to let the Air Force and National Guard do the job rather than the CAP. Guess what, how much tax money are you saving by having (very much more expensive) USAF and National Guard doing what the CAP does not for free. Who do you think pays for the Air Force and National Guard, if it is not the same tax payer who’s bitching about the US Gum-Mint reimbursing a volunteer pilot for his gas money. Let’s see. How many think that it could possible be a good money saving idea to get rid of all the CAP’s Cessna aircraft (flown my pilots who volunteer their skills for free) and to be replaced by USAF SAR helicopter like the Dophin HH 65 that costs $5,500 an hour to operate? Duh! The Homer Simpsons just don’t get it.

  7. Zachary says

    So people think of CAP as a joke. I for one dont. CAP helped me get my life on track. It helped me get back on my feet. Im 18 years old now. But when i was younger i got hooked on drugs an had no disipline , respect for other people, and no goals in life. CAP really changed that. I got clean and joined CAP because i needed a good role model in my life, i knew i could find one there. When i started going i learned disipline thro addressing officier, wearing the uniform properly, etc. just being in civil air patrol changed my life forever. Im forever thankful for all the men and women that are the senior memebers that believed in me Cause honestly i didnt have the best home life, didnt have friends but after i started going i feel in love! I meet so many amazing people and looked forward to every meeting and event. But because if all my accoplishments i was able to go into the military as an E-3. I am now proud to serve as a United States Airmen. I signed as an aerial gunner. I couldnt be any happier. I love my job, but none of this could ever be possible without CAP. so before everyone goes talking bad about this program think about all the boys and girls, like i was, whose lifes get changed forever.

  8. Scrillimonger says

    I used to work at an FBO at a GA airport near Atlanta. We had a CAP aircraft (172) based with us. One night, two CAP guys came running through the door, breathlessly saying, “WE’RE WITH THE CAP….THERE’S AN ELT GOING OFF…WE GOTTA GO…WE’RE ON A MISSION…WHERE’S THE AIRPLANE…IS IT FUELED…WE’RE ON A MISSION…”

    “It’s parked where it’s always parked, and yes, its fueled.”


    “I can see it from here, and it hasn’t moved in the two hours since I personally fueled it.”


    These guys proceeded to fly around for two hours, searching for the ELT. When they returned, I asked if they had any luck. They mumbled that they couldn’t find out from where the signal was emanating. Turns out it was a Cherokee 6, that had a hard landing, at our airport, and was parked directly next to the CAP 172.

    I remember thinking that if I had a problem and went down and it was up to these idiots to find me, I would pretty much be doomed.

    • Eric says

      Scrillimonger, my guess is that you may be exaggerating just a tad… but in any case, does that mean you paint the entire CAP organization with the same brush that you paint a couple of perhaps below-average members whose training might be a little lacking? Gee, maybe a few extra bucks spent in training (much of which would have come out of the members’ own pockets) would have mitigated that incident.

      • propwash72 says

        Scrillimonger’s post illustrates the big problem with these internet debates over CAP. He may very well have run into two idiots from the local CAP squadron at that time. But his story doesn’t tell us much about the organization as a whole. National structure notwithstanding, CAP is very much a local organization…there are wide variations (for better or worse) between individual units and people. An anecdote about some idiot at Podunk Composite Squadron not going to be very illustrative unless that unit happens to be local, and the story happens to be pretty current. There’s a lot of blind men with an elephant on this discussion thread.

    • Major A. Charash says

      Assuming that EVERYTHING that the former GA FBO employee describes about that CAP crew is correct and unexaggerated, that CAP crew is certainly NOT a true representation of CAP crews and members in general. This gentleman may have encountered an overly excited and impatient crew that may not have been too professional and well trained. This is not who we really are. And that incident is all the more reason that funding should not be cut so our crews can have more training opportunities to improve their skills and approach.
      I (and many other CAP aircrew members) have flown ELT search missions for over 9 years and, if the ELT signals did not cease (which sometimes they do), we found the source with over 90% success rate. So, please do not condemn the entire barrel for one rotten apple (if indeed it really was rotten). Instead, come and join us with an open mind and then you will feel the great fulfillment, pride and satisfaction that we, CAP members, feel daily.

      Major A. Charash
      Civil Air Patrol
      Member of CA Wing

  9. Stephen Campagnola says

    The discipline, respect and moral leadership exibited by my 14 year old son as well as the other Cadets in the program is as astounding as it is priceless. Thank you to all the volunteer senior members!

  10. tom says

    A bit of info if I may: Here’s a discussion about SARSAT, ELTs, PLBs and Epirbs. http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/emerbcns.html

    Anyone with a cheap transistor sister radio could track a 121.5 ELT from the air or on the ground. Unfortunately, there are a lot of microwave ovens that also generate that as a harmonic, so the satellites kept CAP busy finding false alarms. And it took multiple satellite passes to narrow down to a 20 mile square area, so 121.5 beacons were good, but not great.

    The USCG initiated the 406.025 mhz beacon because it was an unused part of the spectrum with little harmonic interference. ICAO agreed and that is the worldwide standard beacon freq that transmits a pre-programmed registration number. AFRCC http://www.1af.acc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=7497 can look the number up, cross ref to a home phone and call the owner to get status, eliminating false positives. The new satellites can locate the beacon to within five miles with one pass,and if the beacon has a GPS data stream, the search is over.

    A 5 mile circle can be a large area if it is rough terrain. The 406 ELT also transmits a very weak 121.5/243 homing signal, so anyone with that transistor sister within a mile or two can home in.

    The problem is beyond one mile but inside that 5 mile circle the satellite drew. The 406 signal is high power, but transmitted in a burst every 50 sec. So you need a computerized transistor sister to remember the last bearing and update as you move. Sometimes it moves too if the lost people have a PLB, complicating the problem.

    The CAP aircraft are equipped with a Becker 517 DF box that will do that, as are a few state aircraft. The gadget consists of a horrible display that has poor backlight and washes out easily. The antenna and processor are in a coffee-can sized enclosure mounted on the belly behind the main gear. The gadget is rife with ways to screw yourself with ignorant button mashing, but when set up correctly, the box makes finding an ELT easier than shooting fish in a barrel. See a video of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r41jA33Rec8

    Note that TSO126a specifies the 406 aircraft ELTs but did nothing to improve crash survivability or reliability of the beacon and antenna. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-05-15/pdf/2012-11678.pdf That’s sad when you consider they ignored options for conformal antennas and solid state G-switches. They did manage to specify battery performance that pretty much limits it to LiOn, the same ones that catch fire when provoked.

  11. ME says

    Yah, let’s cut CAP funding while allowing illegals lower tuition rates. WTF is wrong here? I am absolutely appalled…especially since this proposal is coming from an ex-military guy…one I voted for back in 2008 nonetheless.

  12. AvPro1 says

    CAP at one time might have been a cost effective and somewhat efficient way to find downed aircraft. At one time they were practically the only ones with the capability. However a few things have led them on the path to obsolescence. One is the fact that a very large percentage of law enforcement agencies and other first responders these days seem to have aviation assets with a very large number being rotorcraft. Rotorcraft are better suited in many regards to SAR due to the fact that they can fly lower and slower than a fixed wing aircraft and even hover over a site. This allows them to not only perform better searches but also take better pictures and even lower a rescue worker to the ground. Heck in the case of disasters even the news copters are on the scene a lot faster than CAP can ever dream about and provide a lot of needed intel.

    Another factor is the new and much better 406 MHz ELTs. These are far superior to the old style 121.5 models. The 406 provides very accurate coordinates and also provides information about the registered owner. The owner information is very useful in determining early if it is a false alarm or not and a lot of money is saved by not being wasted on useless searches for a false alarm. The 121.5s must be located via directional finding techniques which take time. The 406 locates the beacon rapidly via satellite and GPS. When a 406 signal is detected, the time to target by local first responders is very quick. When a 121.5 goes off and CAP is called in to find it, it usually takes hours to find it if it is ever even found. Mandating 406 ELTs and retiring the 121.5 ELTs will greatly enhance save rates and also save the taxpayer a lot of money. This of course will also make CAP less relevant.

    CAP has not been the best answer to SAR for a long time.

  13. John Peck says

    Unfortunately, the CAP has become just a way for some pilots to get government funded flying time. It is also irritating to watch them play make-believe soldiers with their titles and uniforms. If we can no longer afford the CAP, then so be it. No great loss. If there is a real military mission, let the military handle it. In this neck of the woods, it seems they are mostly out cruising around looking for marijuana farms.

    • Tori Schwarz says

      Mr. Peck,

      I am an active cadet in CAP. Yes there may be a few pilots that want to be in CAP for the reason of funded flying but that doesn’t go for all of them. Most of the pilots in CAP are there because one they already fly for there job, two they want to help teach cadets, and three they want to help serve their country. Not everyone can go into the service but this is a closer step for them. And no we are not soldiers, we train to save lives. Yes some of our cadets go into the military but that doesn’t mean we are soldiers. If we lose CAP there will be a great loss. For one the leaders in the future will not be be able to do well. Two what would youth today do in their community? And three there will not be a lot of people coming back to their families from crashes or getting lost.

      Imagine yourself as pilot that just crashed out in the middle of no where. Who do you think would come looking for you (if CAP wasn’t around)? How long do you think it would take? Maybe they might call off the search if it takes to long to find you. CAP doesn’t give up hope very easily, we do our best to find people no matter what the weather conditions are like.

    • Eric says

      There are few who support the CAP and its mission with more enthusiasm than I do. But, John Peck brings up one good point. I do think the CAP goes a bit overboard with the quasi-military ranks and uniforms and procedures. I don’t need high school kids snapping to attention and saluting me and calling me “sir”. And I don’t feel obligated to salute and call someone “sir” who’s young enough to be my grandson. Below the rank of bird colonel the ranks don’t mean anything anyway… we have squadrons that are commanded by first lieutenants and captains who have majors and lieutenant colonels as (subordinate) members and deputy commanders, and it is a common thing. I think CAP would go a long way towards mitigating the “wannabe” image if they’d ditch the quasi-military stuff.

      • propwash72 says

        That’s been an internal debate within CAP for a number of years. Anyone who’s been in for any length of time runs into the wannabees who are a little too eaten up with uniforms and rank. My experience has been that the wannabees don’t tend to last very long. My position has always been that as long as we’re the auxiliary of the USAF, then we need to retain at least some semblance of the the USAF’s culture. Obviously if we were to move under some other part of the government, then the military structure would need to be rethought, but that’s not even on the radar. Rank in CAP (and this is often confusing to prior service people) is simply an indication of your level in the Professional Development program. It’s not tied to billet until you get to the Wing commander level.

        Don’t like the military aspects? Then don’t wear the USAF-style uniform or mess with achieving rank. It’s not mandatory. I have great contributing members in my own squadron who aren’t interested in that aspect of CAP, and they do just fine. As for the cadets, the military environment is a lot of the reason that a lot of them are there. They are specifically attracted to the opportunity to learn leadership in a military-style settting. If we civilianized into some aviation version of the Boy Scouts, I don’t think we’d have the interest that we do.

        • Eric says

          propwash72, you’re probably right. Personally I couldn’t be less interested in achieving rank… I’m in CAP to contribute my engineering and communications expertise to the effort, and because when 9/11 hit I was too old to re-up in the military, and for no other reason (I don’t fly anymore).

          When I first joined, my squadron commander said “Hey, you hold an instrument rating so I can make you a first LT” and I said “…uhhh…OK, sure, wth, why not”. That was before I realized that “Senior Member” is a perfectly legitimate title in CAP. Later I tried to give the rank back and just go by “Senior Member” and my squadron commander talked me out of it on the grounds that it would be seen as a demotion and people would wonder what I did wrong.

          There is some amount of pressure within my wing to achieve rank for rank’s sake. One time not long ago, my new section director let it be known that he didn’t want anyone under the rank of captain in his section. And during a recent Commanders Call, the wing commander said something about “All you first and second LTs really should get on the ball and make captain” or something close to that. And we have been told that we really should call higher-ranking senior members “sir” and “ma’am” and stand at attention when they address us, and salute them. Really??

          So yeah, I suppose that if it helps with the cadet program, and for some limited number of other legitimate functions, then fine, but for those of us who aren’t interested in that aspect of it, there should be absolutely no pressure whatsoever to play the game, including wearing any uniforms at all (AF-style or other).

          • JBO says

            The only way a CAP member should be allowed to hold rank is by earning it, not just by having this or that FAA ticket. I would only make an exception to honor a person’s rank achieved through serving in the military. To me, higher rank shows you’ve been in for long enough, and worked hard enough, to wear it. Kind of like in the Air Force.

            FWIW I hold rank of Major, after 10 years of training and missions, holding down staff and command positions, and putting in the required amount of PD. This year it’s NSC and finishing up the requirements for Level V, then I’ll be ready for LTC when I have enough time in grade next year. I’ll be proud to be allowed to wear that rank, and I’ll consider it a reward for all the classes, training, staff work, years as a commander, etc.

            BUT – What does any of this have to do with budget cuts?

          • JBO says

            Just noticed the bit about standing at attention, and sir-and-ma’am-ing everybody.
            The former sounds like someone who never got over being a cadet, and the latter should be done voluntarily as a courtesy when in a formal setting (or perhaps in the presence of cadets), but it should not be a requirement. And I think uniforms are necessary, even if only so that we are identifiable to the public and don’t look like a bunch of slobs – or like the flying club we’ve been accused of being.

            But gaining rank for its own sake serves no purpose. Sure, you could be a wannabe and go for the rank, or be a slacker and stay a senior member – but everybody should pull their own weight. For example, my policy as group commander is that pilots who don’t have a mission staff job go to the bottom of the SAREX flying roster.

          • Eric says

            (There must be a limit to the depth to which these replies to replies can be nested. I notice JBO’s message doesn’t include a “Reply” link. Hope this reply shows up below JBO’s in the proper sequence.)

            JBO, I get it. I do. You’re to be commended for the hard work and advancements in rank that you have achieved. That’s just not why I’m in the organization.

            As for what this has to do with budget cuts, some people on this forum think our funds should be cut because we’re a bunch of wannabes who want a publicly-funded flying club. So, all of this discussion seems legitimate to me.

          • Eric says


            Wow. “Be a slacker and stay a senior member”??? Guess that means I’m a slacker because I’m still a 1LT after 11 years in the organization, because I choose to spend my time providing services to the organization rather than working to make rank. Guess all the work I’ve done in communications doesn’t really mean much. OK, got it.

          • JBO says

            I should have been more clear – trying to say that the people who want rank for its own sake and the people who stay “only” senior members and never work towards any rank are not exactly working in the best interests of the organization, but only in their own interest. You have to have both to flourish in CAP.

          • Eric says

            Really. So I’ve been working only in my own interest all these years. Wow, who’d a thunk it? I can’t compete against that kind of bigotry so I’m out of this discussion.

        • Major G.W. Allen says

          I began flying with CAP after returning from Vietnam. At that time, we almost believed that CAP meant “Come and Pay” because we financed virtually everything we did by ourselves. Rank meant something, not just how far you were along. And NOBOBY wore all of those pretty, pretty ribbons ontheir chests because we didn’t award ribbons for eating your broccoli or knowing how to set up a remote radio station. We were awarded our ribbons for actually DOING something of note.

          Search & Rescue, Find, Unit citations, Distinguished service ribbons all meant that you performed in the field, not on a computer programmed learning exrcise. Our squadron commanders were all pilots or observers, and we didn’t have too many CAP planes — we used our own and didn’t get any subsidized flying unless you were reimbursed for use on a legit mission. A local pilot gave our squadron the exclusive use of his Piper Cub — on indefinite loan — and HE paid for the maintainence.

          Today I see cadets wearing full Battle Dress (everything except the M-16) and looking like they through that everyplace was Afghanistan. A local airshow had CAP doing flight line and gate ticket taking. On the second day they were asked to leave because of the hard-line military atmosphere they were imparting to the family oriented event. The general public was complaining — even exhibitors were complaining.

          After things started to change, I became a “general aviation” member without the military grooming (My beard) or the need to wear any uniform. All I had to do was show up when needed. Soon, that went by the boards and those who didn’t meet grooming standards had to wear uniforms designed to look like escapees from a 1949’s ganster movie. And eventually, you had to shave the beard and meed other USAF standards.

          Being an independent cuss, I left. And I never looked back.

          Don’t get me wrong … CAP is a great organization for which the aviation community can be proud. But having some 15-year-old tell me that I can’t go by my own Taylorcraft because it wasn’t parked behind a certain fence was a little rediculous. It was even worse when this little pimple told me that HE gave the orders because CAP is part of Homeland Security. I told him to call the cops and to get out of my way.

          CAP is self destructing with it’s military attitude. It was necessary in WWII, but not any more. And the look of cadets running around in battle dress uniform with an attitude toward anyone who isn’t in uniform is not healthy for the kids. And thats what they are: kids.

          May CAP have another 70 years. But may it return to a milder form of attitude that lacks the “Junior SS” demeanor.

  14. Steven says

    The CAP has been a nightmare for years. In the central Rockies the refuse to search where needed at the altitudes needed or when needed. It is indeed a taxpayer funded aero club. And yes they now have quite fancy planes to tool around in. Cut the budget? You bet, give those funds to the control towers that are being axed.

  15. J Star says

    Someone must have a poor memory. The CAP did NOT find Steve Fossett:
    “On September 3, 2007, Fossett was reported missing after the plane he was flying over the Nevada desert failed to return.[2] Despite a month of searches by the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and others, Fossett could not be found, and the search by CAP was called off on October 2, 2007. Privately funded and privately directed search efforts continued, but after a request from Fossett’s wife, he was declared legally dead on February 15, 2008.

    On September 29, 2008, a hiker found Fossett’s identification cards in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, and the crash site was discovered a few days later (on 1 October 2008) 65 miles (100 km) due south from Flying-M Ranch where he took off, and 5.3 miles (8.5 km) due west (282 degrees) of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area’s base operations, although his remains were not initially found. On November 3, 2008, tests conducted on two bones recovered about 750 feet (230 m) from the site of the crash produced a match to Fossett’s DNA.”
    Having been involved in local SAR for the past 28 years, I have NO recollection of the CAP every finding anyone….or anything. Certainly no ‘saves’ have been recorded in AZ that I know of.

    • SARGuy says

      I think your recollection serves you wrong. Having been in and involved with CAP for the past 20+ years, I have personally found a dozen missing aircraft in my state alone where we (CAP) was the first on scene. Call the survivors of this crash and ask them if the Civil Air Patrol is useless. While you’re at it, you might as well tell them they’d be better off dead because without CAP, they would be.


      Your statement about Fossett is accurate, however, as I was very intimately involved with that search. Educate yourself before posting comments like this.

      • tom says


        Some clarification is warranted with the Joshua Tree story: I assume CAP got the call from AFRCC, who looked at the national track analysis data and determined the incident aircraft’s 1200 transponder track led up to but not beyond Quail mountain. That tidbit makes the search rather easy because knowing what doesn’t need to be searched helps a lot. (For those who care, the program to do that using ATC data was developed by a CAP volunteer and ATC will gladly provide CAP the data but want nothing to do with track analysis, an attitude that needs adjustment).

        The weather sucked so no flying. (And it was night. CAP forbids night SAR, NVGs, IR sensing etc that is standard fare for the USAF and Coast Guard). So they called the park, who sent their paid employees out to do the rescue.

        There’s no mention of the ELT. Was it working and was it 406, or?

        Don’t get me wrong, CAP located the crash site with NTAP and never left the bedroom. Big hooyah! But paid employees did the rescue. So Sarguy is overstating CAPs role a bit.

    • CERTandPILOT says

      It is not called a “save” but a find and not to slight your extensive SAR time there have been “finds” in AZ almost every year including last year when a difficult find of a student flight was found by CAP by triangulating their cell phone patterns. CAP doesn’t advertise “finds” but just goes out and does the job when asked. BTW CAP was at the Fosset crash site and was part of the recovery. Fossett is a classic example of the value of CAP as with no ELT sounding off search patterns were conducted and guess what? Nothing was found because nothing was there and Fossett was so far away from reported sightings and wasn’t even close to where all thought he could be. When the plane was found it did not burn because there was no fuel on board.

    • says


      I’ve started the petition “The senate and taxpayers: Stop taxpayer support for Civil Air Patrol” and need your help to get it off the ground.

      Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here’s the link:


      Here’s why it’s important:

      There have been a number of complaints posted on the internet by former Civil Air Patrol (CAP) members alleging that some units of CAP are run like good old boy and good old girl clubs. Moreover, I have personal knowledge that a squadron leader recently rejecting a CAP member’s request to transfer into their units based upon not being a “good fit” for their squadron, (They are an honorably discharged USN veteran, have a clean FBI record, and hold two master’s degrees, professional licenses and certification) and, in retaliation for complaints about their squadron leader and how CAP is run at times. Based upon the foregoing, unless CAP leaders enact certain protocols to protect and prevent potential discrimination, retaliation, and arbitrary treatment by some CAP leaders toward CAP members, and moreover, take steps to address arbitrary and capricious behavior, taxpayers should not be obligated to support CAP, nor should the military and government provide resources, classrooms, and training facilities to CAP, anymore than they should for the boy scouts or any other similar nonprofit organization that discriminates against LGBT persons, minorities and other individuals.

  16. tom says

    CAP sells itself to county sheriffs, FEMA, Disaster and Relief, DEA, customs and border patrol etc as a ‘free’ service. Reality is different: they have to contact AFRCC to get a mission number that is paid by the USAF, who in turn bills all but the sheriff, and if he does it wrong, also gets the bill.

    It’s all about PR: Katrina et al got CAP a lot of PR so the mission number stayed open long after CAP proved themselves useless. They couldn’t communicate with anyone important and their photo/video capability proved useless, and what they produced was old news to the ground troops (“Hey, Nawlins is flooding. We’ve got pictures!” “You and ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and the dog on the hill.”) CAP’s big pat on the back was members who knew how to text and got thru when voice networks were jammed. Along with all the other kids on the ground.

    Anyone remember the Steve Fossett search? Good PR, the mission was kept open long after the griz were full. A crew also destroying a new C182 on the way home. Hooah.

    IMHO CAP does a wonderful job with the Cadet program. For a while NHQ made it hard to get them in corporate planes and impossible in private planes, so I steered the cadets to the EAA Young Eagles program to get rides. The kids loved it, NHQ sputtered, cried mutiny, promised payback, then fixed it.

    CAP also has flight academies where those old enough can solo. I taught at four OSH academies and solo’d 33 kids. I learned a lot.

    Each year a number of cadets are admitted into the service academies based on what they learned in CAP. Respect.

    The Aerospace education program seems to spend a lot of time memorizing silly stuff like the number of rotary bomb racks in the B52H and praising that other solution in search of a problem: NASA. School teachers love it because it’s a paid vacation to Huntville AL and continuing ed credits. Do they teach aerospace in school? Not many.

    • CERTandPILOT says

      I’m sorry you have such a poor recollection of what CAP did after Katrina. BTW CAP does not sell itself as a free service. I”ve been involved in many interagency missions and the upfront hourly costs are always explained. Between Katrina, Midwest floods and now even Superstorm Sandy CAP has conducted damage assesment and flight reviews and FEMA has in their action plan for CAP to be a first call asset.

      • CERTandPILOT says

        Just update you. The plane that crashed after Fosset search was not involved in that mission at all and was two very high time, experienced Air Force test pilots that were involved in the Fossett search but made a mistake on a routine flight.

        • tom says

          That’s certainly confusing: They were not involved, but they were?

          They made a mistake (and crashed a new C182)? Are you sure?

  17. George says

    When ALL communications failed during Katrina, and 9/11, it was CAP’s comm network that was up and running, making it possible to continue the organized and coordinated efforts by all agencies involved.

    • Eric says

      Well, OK, George… I’m an active CAP member and agree with most of what has been said here in favor of CAP and the work that we do, but let’s not go overboard here… I don’t have the statistics here in front of me and don’t have time to search them out, but my estimate is that MARS and amateur radio including ARES did a lot more than CAP to maintain communications and inter-agency coordination. So yes, CAP is a tremendous benefit to the nation in general and Katrina (and Sandy, and a long list of others over the years) in particular, but let’s not exaggerate.

  18. J Star says

    Unfortunately the CAP has become a taxpayer funded aero club for wanna-be fighter pilots. I say ‘Right On’ to cutting them completely out of our federal budget. True volunteers wanting to assist when search/rescue efforts are required use their own planes and pay their own expenses. CAP, as it is now constituted, is an expensive, unnecessary dinosaur.

    • ifrlady says

      As a 15 yr CAP member, having served as squadron commander of a flying squadron, mission pilot, scanner and observer, several of our squadron members have served our country as naval, marine and air force aviators. They continue to express their devotion to our country in civilian life by flying for CAP. Flying for CAP is done mostly at the members own expense for training and maintaining currency; some joke that CAP stands for “Come And Pay”. I usually spent about $1400/yr of my own money to be active in CAP, many spend much more. And you have to abide by 2 sets of regulations, CAP regulations and the FARs. It’s a LOT of trouble if your only motivation is a few free hours of flight. 99% of our CAP members are motivated by a desire to serve our country and communities, and volunteer a significant amount of time and funds to do so.

      • Brian says

        I was a CAP cadet back in the 1960’s and rejoined as a Senior Member after the 9/11 attacks. I have heard both the flying club stories and the Come And Pay stories and my experience is that the latter is the predominant case. And no one can argue that the cadet program is over-funded. Further, if the military or anyone else could conduct air searches more effectively or cheaper, you can bet they would already be doing it.

        • jim hanson says

          Can it be done cheaper? Absolutely. Several people have mentioned that during WW II, it was funded by the members–volunteering their own aircraft.

          Today, that function has been again taken over by volunteers–I mentioned the CERT volunteers in Mason City, Iowa. They fly their own aircraft–do their own training, and dispense with the rest of the government hierachy. Their success should make people ask–why is the connection to the USAF even neccessary?

          • WILLIAM says

            Reply to Jim Hanson:

            Re “Several people have mentioned that during WWII, it was funded by members-volunteering their own aircraft.” And did so, you believed, totally without some “government hierarchy” getting involved.

            I’d guess you were not around there then, Jim. Rather than say that you are wrong, or have been misinformed, I suggest you use your own common sense to figure this out.

            You see, back in those days, not only gas about $0.25 a gallon, but it was EXTREMELY HARD TO GET because of rationing. Sorry, Jim, but the only way those “free souls” could fly at all was that the mean old, nasty, US Gum-mint was able to make it possible for them to get the gas outside of rationing to fly.

            What! I suppose you’ve never heard about how gasoline was rationed during WWII.

            And, did you know that a lot of those “aero club” CAP Piper Cubs were fitted with 250 lb bombs which were responsible for attacking and hitting several German U-boats, and actually officially credited with sinking at least one U-boat.

            No, if it were not for the U.S. Government’s help to these CAP aircraft, where in the heck to you think those bombs came from? You think these good old boys, who don’t want any government control getting in the way just sat around and made these bombs up in their basements, and using their own money to buy the bomb-making materials to save the tax payers money. I don’t think so.

            Or, perhaps you think they just went down to the local town hardware store and bought home a few aerial bombs… which of course, you would expect them to buy these bombs on their own with their own money.

            No Sir. The idea that a bunch of civilian volunteers just went out on their own to look for German subs…. without any help or coordination from the government…. is ridiculous !!! It is the kind of thinking that could have caused us to lose the war.

            It is something that only a “Homer Simpson” would believe.

    • Major A. Charash says

      Dear J Star,

      Please tell all this to the people whose life we, the CAP volunteers, saved and to their families. If you were in a crash, or if you fell of a cliff while hiking, or stranded in flood or fire, you would wish that our highly motivated and unpaid members of our air and ground crews would be there to search for, and rescue, you.

      Not only we do NOT get paid for literally risking our lives to save others, we also pay out of pocket for all our expenses (uniforms, gasoline, food, lodging and more) that we incur in carrying out our duties as members of this fine, altruistic organization, the Civil Air Patrol. Quite often we also pay out of pocket large sums of money for our own flying profiency training for the benefit of the commuity, the State and the Federal Government we serve.

      Your unkind words fit a former CAP member who was expelled for a violation, or, at the very least, a very uninformed person. I extend to you an invitation to join us and to see for yourself who we realy are. Yes, we are “fighter pilots” as you said. We fight to save your lives!

      You can find us in all 50 States and on line at http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com.


      Major A. Charash
      Civil Air Patrol
      California Wing

    • ifrlady says

      This is ifrlady’s husband, who also once belonged to CAP.
      If you don’t know anything about CAP, listen, don’t talk.
      If you’re just a troll, as I suspect, take your juvenile self back to
      surfing porn sites!
      If you haven’s spent 4 hours, at night, in a slow moving aircraft
      circling over a bunch of teenagers practicing SAR skills, bug off!

      • J Star says

        Does 28 years of fixed wing SAR, including two life saving medals, count for some level of authority?..Not to mention many hours of fixed wing day & night drug enforcement surveillance (tailing suspects) in metro areas? I continue to believe that the CAP is NOT worth what it costs the taxpayer and is little more than an expensive public funded aeroclub.

        • Eric says

          And yet, J Star, we have shown you time and again how incredibly cost-effective and downright cheap CAP is in relation to the alternatives.

          Just repeating over and over that “CAP is little more than a taxpayer-supported flying club” does not make it so.

    • Lee says

      I can reply with this to your comment. As a child, at the age of 10 I became lost in Northern Oregon. SAR efforts by the local authorities after 5 days were called off. The local Composite Squadron Commander refused to call off CAP’s search and I’m alive today because of this organization. Frankly the unpaid volunteers are vastly more motivated to do the work than those who are financially compensated. I have been in CAP since I was 12 years old and am a proud member and pilot with more than 150 SAR sorties. Your “wannabees” usually wash out of the progam quickly because our planes are not available to them unless they complete service hours. Our Nation is forgetting what is truly important to fund, but if cuts do come, all of the fighter pilots like myself will step up and chip in. That being said, Mr. McCain is wrong with this bill and his attention could start with the bloated welfare budget in his own State that serves to provide aid and comfort to illegal aliens crossing the boarder daily.

    • CERTandPILOT says


      Just one thing. If you haven’t been involved then go visit a local CAP squadron. I’ve yet to see any local SAR activities other than Sheriff’s helicopters which spend the majority of their time practicing at a very expensive rate compared to cost effective CAP assets funded by the volunteers themself.

    • Carl says

      Many states provide grants to CAP in that state. In Alaska, CAP is the official govt agency for SAR. It would great if every state funded CAP in addition to the DOD budget.

      Those states that get funding are lucky, but those funds aren’t enough to run the entire VOLUNTEER organization.

  19. FJ Neeley says

    I am a Federal Employee who is suffering as a result of no cost of living increase and no pay increases for several years as well as very shortly my salary will be cut 20% for at least 14 pay periods (28 weeks). If no one has noticed we have been doing more with less for several years now in the federal government. Please note that no one in Congress or the Whitehouse will be getting a pay cut. Also the real cuts will come into play when they (Congress & the Whitehouse) play with people’s lives even more when they shut the government down in a few weeks. I am very surprised of all the negative comments about the CAP. I think the negative comments should be directed at the people that are being paid good money to not do their jobs – the politicians – we should not tolerate it. If it were the federal employee that did not do their job they would be fired.

    The CAP (volunteers) provides an incredible service that we should not be attacking and to be honest I would give several additional days of furlough (no pay) to keep the CAP flying. Some day it could be you or me that they are searching for.

  20. tom says

    Why is this article quoting South Dakota Wing Vice-Commander Lieutenant Colonel Rick Larson rather than the CAP NHQ commander? Does Rick have an inside track or credibility that the NHQ commander lacks? I assume NHQ has a congressional lobbyist or two. One wonders what the experts say?

  21. JBO says

    The Civil Air Patrol is not a “youth or service organization” but was created by an act of Congress as not only the USAF Auxiliary, but also is a not-for-profit corporation. CAP cannot self-fund any more than the Air Force can.

    CAP does search and rescue operations, but this is not just looking for lost campers. CAP is specifically tasked and equipped to find downed aircraft using electronics that can identify and track the emergency locator transmitters. You might remember that when Steve Fosset was found a few years ago, the CAP found him. Another growing mission is airborne photography, usually for post-disaster damage assessment. The pictures of Ground Zero taken after 9/11 were taken by the CAP when no other non-military aircraft were allowed in the air. If you’ve seen any official photos of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, they were almost certainly taken by CAP aircrew.

    When CAP does missions for the Air Force, the USAF pays, but when missions are flown for other agencies such as FEMA, NOAA, NWS, local EMA or law enforcement, they pay.

    The CAP is not a flying club – Larry seems to be implying that CAP exists for a certain privileged clique. That is insulting and untrue. Unless on a misison, CAP members pay for the plane and the gas out of their own pocket. Training budgets have already been cut so much that members are having a hard time keeping current on their training requirements. The CAP composed of over 60,000 volunteers who serve for free. Those members work hard and train hard to be mission-ready, and most have full-time day jobs as well. I resent the inference that CAP is some kind of taxpayer-funded leisure activity. CAP membership open to any American willing to put in the hours of training and effort, getting up at 4 AM to fly SAR, taking days off from work to photograph flood or tornado damage, and so on.

    Sure, you could cut the CAP down to nothing. Then, instead of getting these things done for $130/hour using CAP light aircreft, the Air Force can do it for $10,000/hour using jets or multi-engine aircraft and paid crews. The value of the entire CAP fleet (about 550 mostly Cessna 182 aircraft) wouldn’t add up to one-half of a single F-22 fighter. Not sure how many of Obama’s golf trips that equates to, but I agree with Troy – cut fat first.

  22. tom says

    One of the frustrations I had with CAP was the layers of management. Volunteers were allowed to think they were in charge unless it involved money. Then the State director – a GS-12 and USAF employee earning somewhere in the range of $60k-90k plus hardship pay – made the decisions, presiding over a gigantic $10k/year SAR training budget. There are also volunteers at the region and HQ level who are allowed to make some budget decisions unless the mother superior ‘executive officer’ disagrees. The frustration of who’s in charge over what and the micromanagement by overpaid civilians drove a lot of good people away.

    There are about 50 state directors making somewhere between $60k and $90k plus location hardship pay and they produce nothing, manage nobody. Fire them and save at least $3.75M. Oh John . . .

    • Gerry says

      State director position were eliminated last year. The state director were assigned to the regions. You probably refer to the wing administrators. They are the equivalent to a GS-9 to GS-11 and they make between 55000-65000 depending the area.

  23. tom says

    Searching the web for ‘john mccain, civil air patrol’, I find the headline to this blog is inaccurate. McCain is against an increase in CAP funding as proposed in the latest continuing resolution:

    · Provides $15 million for the Civil Air Patrol above the amount authorized by the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization bill, paid for by cutting the Air Force’s Operations and Maintenance funding. This is just two days after the Air Force announced that it will reduce pilots’ flying hours by 18 percent because of cuts to its Operations and Maintenance budget. http://politicalnews.me/?id=22115&pg=1&keys=WASTE-SPENDING-PORK-FRAUD

    Is this blog a classic case of complaining about a reduction in CAPs budget increase?

    • PAPilot says

      No, Tom. The headline is correct, but a little late because McCain introduced Amendment 50 last Thursday, intended to substantially reduce funding for Civil Air Patrol. The amendment was rejected the same day. Any talk of increases in CAP funding would be a more recent development, if such talk is even true.

  24. Daniel says

    I was an active member of CAP for over 15 years. I put my children through the cadet program and have flown 800 hours as PIC on CAP missions. Funding should not be cut. I do dot believe they need glass cockpit 182 to perform VFR missions though. Cessna had some good salesmen. The newer 172s are affordable, easy on fuel and maintenance. Mc Cain should have been left at the Hanoi Hilton.

    • says

      You can disagree with the Senator; however, your statement:
      “Mc Cain should have been left at the Hanoi Hilton” is way out of line and leaves you with no creditability.

          • Steve says

            Well let me strip you of your volunteerism and all you have dedicated and devoted to a volunteer program and then call you a gentleman, kind sir !!!

          • Lee Ensminger says

            Daniel, Steve: Something of which you may wish to take note in future.
            “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
            Too late for you on this occasion, but keep it in mind for the next time. You may not agree with Senator McCain’s politics or opinions, but your Hanoi Hilton remark was execrable. Shame on you.

  25. Derrick says

    In response to Jim Hanson in MN …
    Your probably right about a “save in the last 50 years”. Who in their right mind would want to save a damn democrat from MN, anyway ? As for John McCain, the truth be known he is nothing more than a democrat in a republican suit … should have been rail roaded out of congress years ago ! The best advise I can give you John is … GET A LIFE!

    • jim hanson says

      (laugh) Not ALL of us in Minnesota are Donks. Minnesota is like so many other states–liberals live in the city–most of the rest of the state is solid red.

      I often wonder what people in Washington must think of Minnesota–“The clown state.” Libbies sent “Landslide Walter” Mondale down there, Keith Ellison, and the ADMITTED clown, Al Franken. Hubert Humphrey looks absolutely sane, in comparison.

  26. tom says

    About ten years ago Sen McCain made similar budget cut recommendations and there was a report that his wife Cindy had been in CAP and treated poorly, hence some prejudice. I just searched the web and cannot find any reference to that, so it remains in the rumor category for now. According to this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cindy_McCain, she is ‘an amateur pilot’ whatever that is. However, since she is wealthy and prone to donating to various causes, it’s possible she donated to CAP and it did not go well. CAP has a disturbing history of dissing donors.

  27. Richard A. Burmeister says

    Knowing Senator McCain’s background I am surprised that that he would be proposing such an amendment. I have been a member of the CAP for over 35 years and here in Alaska it provides a service that can not be matched in the survival of downed aircraft and missing people. The CAP has saved many lives be being there when needed. The men and women that are part of this organization is dedicated to helping others. If the budget is cut, it will mean less aircraft available to provide the mission that CAP has been set up for. I think Mr. McCain should take a closer look at this again and maybe change the cut to adding funds to make sure the CAP can operate and continue saving lives. I think we all should contact Senator McCain and express our feelings.

    • says

      The CAP was originally established to have civilian aircraft and personnel perform national missions at little cost. We may have to go back to using member owned aircraft, flying for Homeland Security, with the SAR not a USAF function.

  28. Eric says

    I notice the short-sighted naysayers who call CAP a “flying club” conveniently ignore Troy’s true statement that if CAP can not perform its mission, its mission will just have to be performed by other government agencies at many times the cost.

  29. Edward Grossman says

    while looking for worthless programs to cut how about homeland security”s EAPIs program. Nice way to control US citizens movements and could not stop a bad guy from dropping a bomb on us. We did without it forever and flight service was always advised when we went or returned from another country. If we did not advise flight service there was a significant fine or a n F-16 would be right along side you ordering you to land now or else.

  30. jim hanson says

    This is long overdue. The CAP at one of our local airports was disbanded by national headquarters–it had become a flying club for the adults, and the kids barely got a ride.

    I can’t think of a single “save” attributable to CAP in the state of Minnesota in the last 50 years. In the meantime, a number of CAP people have been involved in plane crashes. If memory serves, there was a proposal by the Dept. of Aeronautics in at least one of the Western states a number of years ago to PROHIBIT CAP Search and Rescue missions, because so many CAP aircraft have been lost on those missions. The joke in the industry is “When was the last time you saw the CAP find a survivor of a plane crash?” The answer is “It happens all the time, the CAP members are in the same airplane!”

    CAP used to get hand-me-down Bird Dogs and T-34s–but had such a horrible accident records that the practice was discontinued. The CAP then bought Maules, and recently has been purchasing Cessnas. They also purchased gliders (Blaniks from former East Bloc countries, and Grob’s from Germany) to teach cadets. All this in direct competition with the FBOs who pay tax dollars to subsidize the operation.

    In Mason City, Iowa, a local group considered CAP–but took the government out of the equation by simply banding together for CERT Search and Rescue–using their own aircraft and radios. They hold training meetings, conduct training exercises, and make themselves available to local law enforcement officials for their use. They are organized as a non-profit–so the direct operating cost of the aircraft is a charitable contribution. The Iowa Dept. of Aeronautics has not only recognized them, but made emergency-band radios available to them. NO GOVERNMENT FUNDS WERE USED.

    Here we have the taxpayers buying new Skyhawks for this subsidized flying club–at a time when our own REAL military is begging for more flight time. Cut the CAP–give the mission–and the flight time–to the military.

    As Wikipedia puts it, “Postwar, the CAP has been in search of a mission.” Nobody likes to see pet programs cut, but cut we must–we can’t keep saying “Cut the OTHER guy’s program!” Kudos to McCain–a pilot and military man–for doing what should have been done decades ago.

    • Richard A. Burmeister says

      Alaska is much different, The CAP is a very important organization and spends many hours in search of downed aircraft and missing people both in the air and on the ground. The training that takes place both with the adults and young members can not be matched.

    • Patrick Scott says

      Full Disclosure…a member of CAP…I’ve been in very active CAP groups and others that have a good organization but little need of Search and Rescue component of CAP…but their mission is not just SAR’s or SAREX’s (search training)…no it’s training of USAF Cadets on vacation, orientation of younger people training to gain admission to our military academy’s, they have a mission for our nations defense and security, in some states they aid in environmental studies…it’s a stepping stone for many youth into the military Academy’s and a better quality life. There missions is not just search and rescue…they were founded by citizens to do coastal watch before WWII, using their own planes and gas…they became an associated group to the USAF after WWII.

      Cutting CAP’s budget is not new…every year that I’ve been in CAP the budget has been cut, the members Fee’s and cost of training has increased…they don’t fly the planes for free, ya know…maybe occasionally on a mission or paid training but generally most CAP pilots pay for extra hours for maintaining their quality or increasing a skill level…Commercial or Instrument training…the teachers volunteer their time as do the pilots and ground personnel…as far a I know the maintenance is generally paid to a civilian organization putting money back into the economy…but other than buying gas and oil, almost all of CAP stuff is paid or donated by kindly associated groups.

      It’s great to hear how well your Iowa pilots are doing hopefully one day it will pay off with a life saved…but really how hard is it to find downed planes in a corn field…after 9-11 CAP was the only group outside of the military tasked to fly mission in support of the disaster. They were tasked after the hurricanes struck the coasts…volunteers helping like so many others.

      The President visited my area for a 30 minute PR event this week…this GLAM visit cost more to hold than the entire CAP budget…let me see we have security, travel money, equipment and all kinds of back up expenses for Presidential Golf lesson’s with Burch Harmon, 18 holes with Tiger Woods, Mrs Obama jogs off to visit the kids at our expense, we’ve got $250 million for the Islamic Brotherhood government in Egypt last week Billions and Billions in direct checks for foreign aid but a Senator want to cut CAP’s budget beyond the bone…maybe the Senators should start with paying for their hair cuts, or the cafeteria we run for them or pay for the Navy private hospital that’s near their offices before they cut a humble program like CAP.

      Having been on the inside of CAP, it generally run like any political quasi government group…some fakes and wantabee’s but there are some really good dedicated people there. If one cuts some of the government red tape the costs would be reduced but then it wouldn’t be a “government group”. Sure their could be changes and re organizations…does every state really need a Wing Organization? But each state does deserve to have a place where our youth, Cadet’s; and other Americans can be in voluntary service to our country. CAP’s budget is about 2 cents for each person living in this country…is that really so much?

    • Gordon says

      As usual we expected someone like you to come from the woodwork on this topic. I love your highly authoritative, final authority references…wikipedia.
      The real question is how many hours have you volunteered in CAP, how many missions have you left home and work to perform, and how many lives have you changed, all for the wonderful hourly wage of $0.00, and expense reimbursements of $0.00 as well.
      IF you had done your homework with a real source, you would know that CAP is prohibited from providing any competition to flight schools, per official regulations.
      One has to wonder just what causes your predjudice.

  31. Terry says

    Why not cut the billions of dollars of funding to Pakistan, Egypt and those countries that hate us. Keep the CAP funded. It is a worthwhile organization that does much more than you might think. I’m not a CAP member, but have seen first hand some of the things they do.

  32. tom says

    Here are a few facts about CAP. Self reported, but better than wild speculation


    Most states fund part of CAP, at least their SAR mission. There are a few that don’t, Mostly in the NWUS, and have their own aeronautics departments that do the easy searches and call CAP when the bodied have cooled or they are out of ideas, but state agencies are fast to respond. Cap is slow to respond, but methodical once they set up their battle staff, SAR base, comm, computers, IT experts and other silly stuff only needed by micromanagers.

    About 2005 CAP decided to replace all 550 of their aircraft with new ones over a ten year period. They disposed of perfectly good steam-gauge C-182 aircraft that had excellent load-hauling capabilities with G1000 C-182Ts. The C182T hauls less and CAP raised the already high admission bar, which shrank the already tiny pool of pilots willing to put up with CAPs nonsense.

    The best way to spot a person, plane or car is to fill the plane with eyeballs. You cannot do that with the ‘T’. The C182T is a cross country ship with cockpit weather, autopilot and great IFR capabilities, not useful when searching for missing persons in the mountains.

    CAP inadvertently kicked out the best VFR only search pilots and ended up with the techno geeks who could master the G1000 but couldn’t find a battleship in a creek.

    Cap also filled the new planes with gadgets that few understood or could operate, such as a second audio panel; Becker DF, a 406 direction finder with a godawful interface and display; satcom with a company that was rarely available and could not handle photo uploads unless they were cropped and edited in the cockpit real time. Satcom rarely worked and there were no customers, so why bother? A digital VHF radio with a bizarre interface rounded out the boxes installed at Yingling and pushed the price tag up to the $350,000 range.

    • CERTandPILOT says

      wow Tom, Sorry you couldn’t convert over to G1000. Must say you probably don’t understand that you cannnot purchase a new airplane today without having a “glass” cockpit installed. G1000 is a fantastic, easier to use asset for search and rescue and due to the fantastic autopilot provides more flexibility for eyes outside the cockpit. Unfortunately some pilots have struggled to master the new systems and had to stay with flying the other airplanes – as CAP has not replaced every airplane with “glass” and will not for some years to come with less than 25% of the CAP fleet glass. Also the VHF radio you mention is standard now regardless of airplane and just like any technology takes time and effort to learn it. Unfortunately time and technology marchs on and it’s time to get with the new century of flight and instruments.

      • tom says

        certandpilot: If the SAR pilot is letting the autopilot fly a search so the pilot can search too isn’t that a violation of 60-1 or whatever that reg has morphed into?

        As far as not getting the G1000, in my defense I went to the Cessna G1000 school and took a new plane home to teach to a bunch of pilots who were forced to suffer thru the TAA IFR sylabus in order to fly it, and got to take two F5s a year for their efforts. The IFR pilots ate it up, but the VFR pilots hated it and stayed with the steamers until they went away. Then those pilots also went away, some of our best mountain men, instructors and cadet Orientation pilots. There were other reasons too, but the new planes led to a cluster that many used as the final straw to pull the trigger.

  33. Steve says

    As a former USAF officer assigned to oversee CAP, I have mixed feelings. CAP is a very cheap way to do SAR compared with using a military F-18 or C-130 or H-60 (all have been used in past searches), and more effective. On the other hand it has morphed from an organization of civic minded pilots into what one other poster called a good old boys flying club. Like much else of what our government funds it could afford to go on a diet.

  34. PAPilot says

    Come on, AOPA, this is old news. McCain submitted the Amendment 50 on Thursday, March 14 and it was killed later on the same day.

    To those who think it’s a good idea to eliminate funding for the Civil Air Patrol, think of who will search for your sorry a$$ at a moment’s notice if you’re in a plane that goes down, or your car rolls down a hill or gets stuck in a snowbank in a remote area, or an elderly relative (McCain?) wonders off into a cold night in his or her pajamas, or another Sandy decimates your part of the country and you need supplies and aerial photo reconnaissance, or any number of other needed services… CAP provides these forms of assistance at pennies on the dollar compared to public agencies like police and the military. Members of CAP are trained, dedicated VOLUNTEERS who value public service. The cost to maintain their aircraft is minuscule when you consider all the free labor involved.

    Then again, if CAP was an Auxiliary of the Navy instead of the Air Force, I doubt that McCain would ever think of taking such action. Or if his wife’s plane goes down while she’s flying it, he should tell the CAP search and rescue team to not bother looking for her because he doesn’t think their services are worth the pittance they already receive.

  35. David says

    Most of the comments I am reading here are apparently from people who have NO real understanding of what CAP is. CAP has NO funding outside of federal budget. They have NOT gone after additional missions that they were not ASKED to accomplish by local, state, & federal authorities, and do not undertake such without Air Force authorization. In performing these various missions that are NECESSARY to national air safety and national security, they save the taxpayers BILLIONS of $$$$ every year. PLUS the aircraft and vehicles purchased by CAP have assured THOUSANDS of Americans jobs!!!

    • tom says

      Not entirely true Dave. Alaska CAP is or was (my info is dated) almost all state funded. I know that ND,SD, MN, WI and MI taxpayers chip in, tho I don’t know the formula. USAF funded the new G1000 airplanes, and CAP has priority over state agencies at defense recycling depots, and there are private donors. So CAP gets bucks from many pots.

      • Carl says


        You clearly have a grudge against CAP. No matter what facts are presented, you have a negative opinion. We get it. Some how, some where along the way, you developed a chip. Too bad. Not everyone in CAP belongs to a rich flying club, those days are long over as CAP has been measured and evaluated under a federal grant program. That is the technical way CAP is largely funded.

        CAP has a small headquarters staff, about 100 people, we complain about them, like everyone complains about headquarters in the ilitay or corporations. They are hard working underpaid people. The coordinate the response to large national disasters, manage the maintenance of 500+ airplanes, a couple thousand vehicles and they develop training materials to introduce STEM to K thru 12 students.

        Then there are the 60,000+ members, teenagers and adult volunteers. They fly, drive and walk across almost every square mile in America, helping to find lost hikers, aviators, and respond to natural disasters. In border states, they fly homeland security missions.

        CAP volunteers support inner city schools to teach science, math or leadership.

        The teenagers and adults work together to deveop leaders. The former cadets have made it to the space station, the Thunderbirds, and become General Officers in the Air Force. They run businesses and serve in elected office.

        Sure there are bad apples. They are everywhere, inside and outside of CAP.

        CAP gets about $28M for emergency services training and aircraft maintenance. Some of that covers staffing at HQ. Another $4-5M is for buying or refurbishing aircraft. CAP flies about 100,000 hours a year. That takes a toll on aircraft which are mostly 172s and 182s from the 1980s and a more recent ones bought about eight a year. The is another $1m for vehicles. When CAP responds to a federal or state emergency, those agencies, like FEMA pay for the actual costs of that operation. During deepwater horizon, CAP volunteers worked for 108 days, flew 2500 hours and took 250,000 photos. It cost Taxpayers an additional $500,000. The US Coast Guard estimated cost for the same response is $26,500,000. So in one event, in just over three months, CAP saved more than its ENTIRE annual budget.

        Every year CAP submits a budget, just like his year. The air force cuts it by $5M or so, congress gives it back. Thats the difference between the $23M and $28M that you see, plus a reduction in aircraft and vehicles.

        Adjusted for COLA, CAP has had the same Budget with no increases.

        As a taxpayer, I think its a Hell of deal. What other federal agency can beat these numbers?

        • tom says

          As the one with a chip on my shoulder I have to comment as a Vet and taxpayer.

          John McCain is a war hero. If any of the naysayers and armchair critics bother to do a little reading, the guy has done more in perilous conditions than most of us will ever dream of. Remember the night the USS Constellation tried to burn to the waterline; flying battle damaged Skyhawks TO the target rather than abort; SAR ‘Sandy’ for downed aviators, and 5.5 years as a POW, declining early release for his injuries to ‘go home in the order captured.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McCain

          “His 17 military awards and decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal, for actions before, during, and after his time as a POW.”

          I wonder where we’d be if he had beat Bush in 2000 or Obama in 2008.

          We taxpayers are the dead end kid. We get the bill for all ideas and programs no matter how good or stupid either as a tax bill or the deflated buying power of our currency. A major part of that is DOD. The GAO declared DOD ‘unauditable.’ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/18/gao-audit-federal-government-defense_n_2507097.htmldefense_n_2507097.html

          DOD isn’t ‘t that way by accident: Congress specifically allows it. McCain’s bill to force standard accounting practices on DOD has been shot down annually, so the message is clear: We elect people who are Ok with fraud, waste and abuse in DOD. McCain isn’t one of them

          McCain has worked with the national taxpayers union since the early ’80s to cut spending and in 2011 he voted for the taxpayer more than any other senator. http://www.ntu.org/on-capitol-hill/ntu-rates-congress/members/senate/john-mccain.html

          It appears that nothing will happen to CAPs budget, so in the end some of the hand wringers and those who favor North Vietnamese torture can hold their fire for another day.

          • says

            Right on !
            I heard a recording of Sen. McCain’s speech when he presented his amendment. He recognized the dedication of the CAP volunteers and explained that he was trying to restore funding to two control towers at airports that the USAF utilize. (The USAF might have requested the senator to seek budget restoration for the control towers They certainly did not want to take the heat for redistribution of the CAP’s funding; McCain is already considered a bad guy in that respect, and is better able to stand the heat.)

            The House of Representatives did not include the requested amendment in their budget Bill sometime ago, and it has appeared that the CAP cuts will not take effect, or will not take affect because of McCain’s amendment.

    • Dan says

      I also pay about $70 annualy to Georgia Wing/National and another $25 to the Squadron. Additionally, if pilits are not in a CAP/Federal mission, they have to pay for the plane plus fuel ($36/hr dry for a C172P according to our bulletin board). I’d happily pay that, but our plane was taken away before I got my licese due to only getting about 100 hours a year.

  36. Barb Gosney says

    Please people — You need to find out WHAT Civil Air Patrol does before you talk about a “nice little cub plane”! As a CAP member and a ACE member, there is SO much CAP does. Character education, academic education, STEM education, and aerospace education. These people do so much in the search and rescue and every day development of our youth. Volunteers that help with so many things. As a teacher, I am proud to know these CAP members of our local chapter. It has been an honor and a privilege. In a time when character education has been left to teachers and after school programs – this is one of the most positive ones I can think of. I teach it and love it!

  37. Rick says

    I’m not sure those who think it’s a good idea to cut CAP have the big picture. Cutting CAP doesn’t mean something better or cheaper takes its place. Look at the numbers in a search scenario. Military CSAR costs an average $20k per hour! A state run helicopter operation, a Bell 206 for example, costs $250-$550 per hour excluding personnel and support costs (payroll, benefits, training, support facilities, etc). If the state is large in area, several assets are needed to be on call in different locations and there may be competition for assets by different organizations. CAP aircraft usually costs $130 per hour- total and despite any notion of a flying club, paid-flight funds are only used for organized SAREX training and related exercises. Any other flying is at the member’s expense, not the taxpayer.
    There is another pitfall from cutting CAP; it eliminates citizen volunteer involvement in community emergency services. CAP is on a short list of national volunteer organizations that requests its members get FEMA certification, emergency training, and participate in state and national exercises. I can’t think of a better use of funding that directly benefits communities nationwide. If you are still stuck on the idea CAP is a waste of money, wait until you see the bill for what would replace it!

  38. Dave Garfield says

    Ahhh… McCain’s at it again! Just can’t resist meddling in places where budget cuts have NO business! Time to retire, Johnny!
    Seriously, WHAT are these budget-slashing austerity folks thinking? (Answer is self-evident).
    As a former CAP volunteer, I have seen firsthand the good and valuable services that the CAP has provided, and to de-fund it is nothing short of INSANE!

  39. Rick DeMartino says

    I don’t think most people understand that CAP is made up of volunteer men and women from all walks of life who PAY dues to CAP and to their individual squadrons to give back to their communities. It is not a good old boys flying club. The squadrons train for a host of emergencies. Does the CAP have airplanes? Yes, little cessnas for searches to try and save lives. This is a fracction of the expense compared to using military or law enforcement assets. There is NO personnal use of the aircraft like taking family members or friends flying or anything like that. When the training involves the use of aircrews, often the pilot pays for the fuel and the usage cost for the aircraft. The senior members in CAP serve as role models for the cadets who are educated in Aerospace, leadership, and who are kept out of trouble. The CAP budget is exceptionally small. Are we sure this is what we want to cut? Of couse not. This programs fosters character, leadership and teamwork for our youth and future leaders. If anything, the program should be expanded. Please look at all sides of this and think it through carefully when weighing what to cut.

  40. David Moseley says

    Expenssive Flying Club? You have to be kidding me. What experience do you have to make that claim? The people that I know who fly in that, “Expensive Flying Club,” are retired AF Officers, Current and retired Airline Pilots, Current and retire FAA personnel, who have learned that they have a chance to use the skills they have learned in a lifetime of aviation to help people in their community. To quote a former Air Force General Officer, “CAP is the Air Force’s Blue Suit presence at the local level.”

    That doesn’t mean that the organization is composed only of retired military officers, but it DOES mean that it is full of retired PROFESSIONALS who set the example of what volunteering to help their fellow citizens means.

  41. Larry Shaw says

    By investing just $1.8 million over two years in payments for Washington lobbyists, Whirlpool secured the renewal of lucrative energy tax credits for making “high-efficiency” appliances that it estimates will be worth a combined $120 million for 2012 and 2013. Such breaks have helped the company keep its total tax expenses below zero in recent years.

    The return on that lobbying investment: about 6,700 percent.

    The Senate approved tax benefits for Whirlpool and a host of other corporations early on New Year’s Day, a couple of hours after the ball dropped over Times Square and champagne corks began popping. A smorgasbord of 43 business and energy tax breaks, collectively worth $67 billion this year, was packed into the emergency tax legislation that avoided the so-called “fiscal cliff.’’

    (Boston Globe Mar 17 ’13)

  42. Jim Wright says

    For some reason Sen. McCain has been against General Aviation as far back as I can remember. I have no idea why he has consistently been on the wrong side of this issue. Maybe he buys into the whole “rich guy’s toys” class warfare of the democrats. Lord lnows he sides with them mostof the time anyway.

  43. John Ritchie says

    Last summer I noticed a CAP plane flying a grid pattern just offshore from Jekyll Island Georgia. Probably another training mission, I thought. Got back to the house and found that a swimmer from St. Simons had been pulled out to sea in a rip tide. There was no one that could have a chance of saving this father or two except that CAP plane; I didn’t see any other assets in the air.
    Cut if you must, but remember there is no one to replace these fellows. They are not as visible as your local first responders, but may save your family one day.

  44. Skyhawk says

    None of you seem to be in CAP….otherwise you wouldn’t be talking as though this was no big deal. It’s a big deal. I fly on counter drug missions and we find the stuff they are smoking in DC.

  45. Propwash72 says

    No, Larry did not nail it. While CAP is a national organization, the rubber very much meets the road at the local and state level. That results (like most volunteer organizations) in a great variation in quality between wings and squadrons. I’m sorry if the leadership in your local area isn’t up to snuff but that doesn’t apply to the organization as a whole. My wing flies relatively new, well maintained equipment and everyone gets access to those aircraft, not just wing staff. What McCain doesn’t seem to get is that we return far more than we cost. Would he prefer that the National Guard take the SAR/DR mission over with paid crews and $1500/hour helicopters? How is that more cost-effective? Why should a federal or state agency hire aircraft for certain missions if a volunteer CAP crew would fit the bill? Not saying every mission is appropriate for CAP but a lot of them are. Politicians focus on things like CAP because they lack the courage to go after the big waste that would actually makes a difference.

  46. James says

    I am a CAP member – through the funding we have drastically reduced Drugs from entering the market and have found missing planes or worked with law enforcement to do search and rescue.

    Why doesn’t Congress reduce there pay, lifetime benefits they have given themselves and the free college their kids get. They are wasting our money too by not working together and getting paid extra for another sessions. The Congress needs replaced totally!

  47. Richard Carmichael says

    Yeah, let’s take money away from a VOLUNTEER organization that donates countless THOUSANDS of hours in search and humanitarian purpose flying. The joke already is that CAP stands for “Come And Pay.” We pay to belong, we buy our own uniforms, and we pay hundreds to check out and maintain currency in CAP aircraft.

    And the best part is that the money they save from this cut won’t pay for a single one of BHO’s taxpayer funded Hawaiian vacations.

    • Steve says

      Well put Richard. I am also a member of “Come And Pay” and have devoted thousands of dollars of my own money training, and tons of my free time have been spend volunteering to this organization.

  48. Jeff says

    Shame on you Mr. McCain! It;s about time for you to retire. Your service to the country has been appreciated but you have outlived your usefulness.

  49. Ed says

    It’s going to get to the point where everything but entitlement programs will be cut or eliminated since they are destined to become almost the entire federal budget.

  50. Troy says

    Slashing the tiny budget that CAP has is absurd. Why do we scrap the bottom of the barrel when there is so much muck on top? What would you all rather have: S&R missions conducted by local (unionized) police units at $600 per hour, or a CAP C182 with volunteer pilots at $130/hour (not to mention ground teams which also operate for free)? Trim fat before meat…

  51. Steve Vana says

    Well folks, sometimes it’s easy to bad mouth a group that you may not know much about but let me ask this question: How many flights of single engine GA aircraft equal one flight of a Guard or Coast Guard helo? This is the reason CAP flys 90% of all search and rescue missions in the U.S. CAP can do the work so much cheaper and provide so many more assets for the dollars expended. And this is not even considering the cost of training and proficiency for aircrews and ground teams, the majority of which is self-funded. Think about this the next time you hear about a missing aircraft or a missing person. Putting boots on the ground (the majority of which are local high school students trained for the tasks) and an air asset deployed (550 total aircraft, located in all 50 states) in quick enough fashion to effect a positive outcome can be a real game changer. And that’s not even mentioning one of the by-products of the program: The fact that CAP produces trained, civic-minded young adults that contribute to their local and national communities in a variety of manners.

    • Steve says

      As a CAP member I totally agree. I have to provide my own finances to keep up my currency an dto do my training. I don’t get paid like the rest of the military does. Also flying a C172 for under $90 per hour is a whole lot cheaper than paying a contracted company or the Coast Guard $600-$1,000 per hour.

    • Rick says

      Not if you count the AF and Nat Guard flying as training.

      Another gimme from out tax dollars to someone willing to spend it bec he’s on a mission. Save us!

      I love the CAP but it’s redundant & serves a very small segment of out society. Most important is we can’t afford it.

      • Steve Vana says

        I do not understand where you’re coming from on this. What is your frame of reference? I did not make up the “90%” figure, it comes from government records.

        • Rick says

          It’s simple. We can’t afford an expenditure that provides benefits for so few.

          550 aircraft sitting doing nothing most of the time. The goal in 2006 was to replace all tails with new by 2016. I don’t know how that’s going, so I’ll take a stab at a fleet average value of legacy plus restart @ $200,000/tail. 200,000×550=$110 million in static displays. Not to mention maintenance and upkeep provided by tax monies alon with bldgs etc.

          Let the NG and AF train and do their missions. They are sitting ard doing nothing most of the time also. Yes the CAP is totally redundant.

          Remove it from the budget and the particularly the AF budget.

          • Steve Vana says

            I’m not sure what “the plan” was back in 2006 but I know that CAP bought ten aircraft last year as replacements, and they were in the process of refurbishing a few. Our squadron flies a steam gauge 1986 172P with over 5,600 hours on it. Apparently there had been talk last year of NHQ putting it up for sale and thus getting us another aircraft, but that did not mean a new aircraft, just another aircraft. It could be a transfer from another squadron that was not utilizing the plane assigned to their location. Our wing has 11 aircraft – two glass 182’s, four Q or R model 182’s (late 70’s – early 80’s), four steam gauge P model 172’s (1980’s), and a GA-8 Airvan (special use requirements). Each of these aircraft fly a minimum of 200 hours yearly and are based at ten airports around the state. A number of these planes are on their second engine re-build like ours. This means 73% of our wing’s arircraft are 25 to 30 years old or more, planes that sit out in the weather every day but are required to be kept mission-ready. They are not exactly the “cream of the crop”but they are safe to fly.

    • tom says

      Steve V: A reference for your 90% number would help validate your claim. I don’t believe it because there are just too many better trained and equipped agencies that need to justify their existence.

      • J Sar says

        When it is a downed aircraft search, the CAP has primary jurisdiction but often refuses assistance or interference from local, volunteer SAR organizations. Therein lies the problem: CAP has become a quasi-governmental bureaucracy overwhelmed with its own importance and survival….and its ability to equip itself with all the latest bells and whistles at tax payer expense. It has outlived its usefulness.

  52. says

    CAP has been a ripe target for cost-savings for a long time, even more so with evolved satellite technologies. I sometimes cringe at what McCain does (the last time was when he sidestepped the plan to clean up air tour noise at Grand Canyon, which FAA has stalled for decades), but on this issue he is a winner. Essential Air Service is another winner he can focus on eliminating; i.e., EAS is ‘essentially’ welfare for a few inefficient air service providers keeping the skies a little busier with empty old metal.

    This is not to say CAP is a worthless program. It has value; it just does not need (nor should it receive) such federal subsidization.

    • JAC says

      Jeff, while appreciate your honesty, I will mention that USAF and most military groups are diminishing the use of satellites as UCAVs provide more time on task and better imaging and other various uses.

      CONUS this is not the case due to FAA laws etc and the use of satellites within CONUS also has several issues. CAP has gained extensive momentum by providing real time video and still photo streaming to our “customers”. We provide communication capabilities with multiple state and local agencies. We provide emergency transpo and cargo for medical and other supplies during weather events that are so prevalent.

      If they are not calling CAP then they are calling the National Guard and instead of paying $100/hr they are paying $6k/hour and most state and local govts do not funding to provide for training let alone for short and long term recovery from these events.

      We are volunteers (most current or ex military) and an inexpensive solution in a world of cost saving measures.

    • Frank says

      Unfortunately, what a lot of people do not realize is that there are many DoD missions that are carried out by CAP C-182 aircraft to eliminate the need for a Army or Air Force aircraft. I don’t have exact numbers, but I can guarantee that the C-182 cost per hour is a rounding error compared to what it costs to fly a Predator, Black Hawk, or F-15. Why not use civilian volunteers instead of high value assets to perform the same missions?

  53. Austin says

    Let’s cut a viable search & rescue organization, a vehicle for introducing candidates for military service & a conduit for launching the future pilots we will need, etc..
    Don’t, however, touch the boondoggles operated by academia, such as the study of “why lesbians tend to be obese”.
    Of course, don’t attempt to impact the proliferation of welfare programs such as EBT, which is used to pay for postage stamps, auto parts, etc. – with someone else’s earnings.
    I’d say our society is in a flat spin with no chance of recovery prior to impact…

    • David Moseley says

      When did you last try to support the largest fleet of aircraft, dedicated for Search and Rescue, Disaster Relief, and Cadet Orientation, with bake sales, candy sales, and going door to door selling whatever you can think of to buy and maintain aircraft?

      Civil Air Patrol is the best bang for the buck that the taxpayers get from the Volunteer Professionals of the CAP.

      Check with your local aircraft repair service, the avionics repair et al and figure out what it costs to maintain the fleet. Prices are astronomical when compared to what one pays to fix an automobile.

      AVGas is already over $6.32 per gallon. The current airplanes burn from 13-15 gallons per hour.

      Do the math. How many gallons per hour does a C-130 burn? What does it cost for the crew? All the USAF pays for is fuel and some maintenance money. Ask your local C-130 pilot what it costs per hour to fly. You can’t find one locally? Strange. You can find members of the local “Flying Club,” in many cities across the US. They are their to give back to their country.

  54. Bluiewest1 says

    Larry has pretty much pegged it. It the state I’m in all new assets are exclusively assigned to the squadrons that the state wing officials were formerly members of. The tax payer funded flying is reserved for those select few and the vast majority of members have to pay the hourly maintenance fee plus fuel costs on the clapped out cast-offs. It is a corrupt good ol boy network.

    • WalterB says

      Bluiewest1, I not quite sure what your goal is. It appears that you are a disgruntled ex-member who preferes to cast dispersions on an organization rather than resolve a potential problem. CAP is not your or any members flying club. The aircraft are there for missions and training. If there truly is a problem in your sandbox you have an obligation to refer the problem to you Region IG Officer. It is his/her responsibilty to investigate fraud/abuse.

  55. John Colman says

    CAP, by military definition, suffers from “mission creep”. If they would stick to their core mission of searching for and reporting the location of downed aviators they would have pleanty of money. Finding all the new angles to inject themselves into other missions duplicates what taxpayers are already paying for.

  56. Larry Maynard says

    Nice little flying club at the expense of the taxpayer. Don’t think many will miss it if it has to pare down like the rest of us.

    • Glenn Carman says

      Those like you who do not know will make comments as you did. Maybe you should research the facts before you speak. Hope you never need someone when your ELT is talking.
      P.S. I am an aircrew member of that “nice little flying club”.

    • David Moseley says

      You are spot on sir. How about stopping the Prez from using AF One like his personal taxi service. One flight for him to go golfing would pay for CAP’s maintenance costs.

      If the AF gets tagged with the responsibility to pay for doing SAR et al, they will spend huge amounts of money to get up to speed, as they don’t fly anything that is small enough or slow enough to do the job.

      Cutting the CAP budget is a stupid propostion. Did the senator sustain some brain damage while in North Vietnam?

      • says

        Colonel Dave Moseley you are right on with your posts. I have calculated conservatively, that CAP SAVES the Federal Government about half a billion a year in costs that would be expended to replace our services. So the 50 million or so in our annual budget is just a tip of the quarter on the table with what we provide the Air Force with Emergency and other services, like Search and Rescue.

        Then how do you calculate the service we provide with a Cadet Program that has been around 70 years. We have produced a great pool of leaders for our country, some went on to be Air Force, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard and Army Veterans.

        We are the Swiss Army Knife of the military. We are cost effective. The local squadrons are self funded. We get no budget or support to operate a CAP Squadron.

        CAP will be around for a long time, because we save money, huge amounts of money, that would cost the fed a half billion or more to replace us with paid personnel to do the same missions.

    • Max Kravitz says

      Yes, a nice little flying club that responds to disasters around the country without any personal compensation. I’m sure your little flying club transports essential items such as blood, personnel, and equipment to disaster areas to aid in recovery and mitigation efforts. As a pilot, I know that flying clubs often have members that volunteer with organizations like PALS or Angel Flights, but those organizations don’t have members that are trained in search and rescue techniques or in supporting relief efforts. CAP provides aerial photography for FEMA and other organizations at a fraction of the cost of federal or state assets (around $150/hr versus $2-4000/hr). Their pilots and crews are practiced in conducting searches both in the sky and on the ground. In no way is this a “flying club” at the expense of the tax payer. These missions have gone to help those harmed by Hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy, and the Iowa floods, in addition to countless other less noticed emergencies. Cutting CAP’s funding will increase the cost for tax-payers, as you’ll now have to pay federal employees doing what the trained volunteers of CAP do for free. Additionally, CAP does these jobs so that other federal personnel don’t need to be called away from their normal tasking to help.

      And this is in addition to supporting their other missions like promoting the general awareness of aviation and aerospace education, and leadership training for cadets.
      Larry, next time think before you speak (or post, as the case may be).

      • Steve says

        Larry has been smoking something. As you mentioned cutting CAP funding will only increase costs, not decrease them. There will no longer be FREE experienced pilots doing theses missions. Now they will have to pay pilots to do this missions and will have to pay for all their company benefits and will have to pay for all their training in much more expensive aircrafts as well.

    • Steve says

      Larry thats a pretty ignorant statement your making. I guess if you crashed in the woods and you saw a CAP plane flying over to help you that you would just wave off these folks and deny any help from these volunteers? I also doubt you have ever crawled out of bed at 3am to go fly a search and rescue meeting. How many weekends away from your family have you dedicated to go get trained and train others in seach and rescue missions? Did you know the only personal flying we get to do is with other CAP members (not our friends and families) and its strictly for proficiency and mission training? You should be more concerned over the people who volunteer 1 weekend a month for the Reserve or National Guard and get paid (we volunteer) and get a retirement for life, than a bunch of people working for free volunteering their time, with no paycheck or pensions. Heck, we even pay for our own uniforms.

  57. ManyDecadeGA says

    In an era where we can no longer keep even F-15s and F-16s maintained and flying, carriers deployed, and tactical air crews trained, even in the face of serious threats like North Korea, the middle east, and in Africa, ….it is pretty hard to get concerned about proposed cuts to CAP. Senator McCain’s is correct in proposing long overdue cuts to CAP. While perhaps CAP is still a worthwhile organization, it needs to now be self supporting and the beneficiary of charity support, at least to the degree at least of any other youth or service organization. Hence, except for DoD perhaps providing surplus military gear, any additional budget expenditures for things like new aircraft for CAP are completely inappropriate. The money is much more needed for the nation’s real defense.

    • CAP says

      The USAF tasks CAP with 90% of inland search and rescue missions. I doubt Congress would be fair in assuming CAP would be self sustaining in order to perform services for free. Unfunded mandate much?

    • Jim Wright says

      I hope you are never in need of SAR services. CAP provides most of the CONUS SAR services for the services and helps local communities when asked. This comes at a very small cost, but do indeed dismantel it in favor of the very expensive alternative.

    • aircare says

      What other charitable organization is flying at night as fighter training targets for homeland defense or is operating Predator ball equipped aircraft to help train warfighters in airpower coordination? Unlike any other 501(C) 3 charitable organization, Civil Air Patrol is the auxiliary of the USAF and when operating under AFAM (Air Force Assigned Mission) becomes an instrumentality of the USAF. For every taxpayer dollar provided to CAP, it is estimated that volunteer professionals give back $250 in value. Every penny is scrupulously accounted for, and since the USAF effectively took over CAP ten years ago, accountability and training to near Air Force standards has been implemented.
      I suspect that ManyDecadeGA views CAP as some good ole boys subsidized flying club. His criticism has some validity.In the post WW2 years, when CAP had only worn out, hand-me-down military equipment and its only primary mission was to track down now obsolete emergency crash locater beacons, some elements were poorly trained and there was limited oversight.
      That all changed about 10 years ago when CAP’s funding was transferred to the Air Force and became a line item in the budget. who does he think took nearly all the images of the damage done by Hurricane Sandy? 155,000 images at a total cost to the taxpayer of about $180,000.
      During Operation Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico CAP sustained a continuois volunteer operation for 152 days for a total cost of about $333,000, providing thousands of images and several thousand flight hours hauling in rescue supplies and moving out refugees from airstrips incapable of accomodating larger military aircraft.
      The McCain amendment needs to be defeated.. I urge everyone who reads this to call their Senators and request they vote down the amndment which should be coming to a vote as I write this. I invite ManyDecadeGA to take a look at CAP’s website at http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com and get a 2013 view of what the organization is doing.

    • David Moseley says

      ManyDecadeGA, I can tell by your comments that you’ve not been involved with surplus military equipment recently. How many of the people you know, can maintain sophisticated computer equipment airborne repeater systems and space age gear coming into the supply channels? People who understand how that stuff works are not willing to give up their hard earned skills for free very often. ALL CAP members do it for free.

      You guys who talk about needing CAP to do real defense work don’t know that the first airplane IN THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES on 9-11, other than AF Fighter planes were CAP aircraft who were streaming live video to the command post in New York.

      There are a lot of NEED TO KNOW missions that CAP performs that should make you pleased and proud of what these volunteers do.

      Put yourself in the place of a pilot who hung upside down in his crashed airplane for TWO days. “I KNEW the CAP was going to be looking for me, and that they [CAP] would find me.[“sic]

      When was the last time you looked in the mirror of your vehicle as you drove away from a SAR (Search and Rescue) HQ to see a huge circle of people holding hands and praying that CAP would find their friend and family member?

      Let’s do it on a charity basisd. The people that rent hangars, sell AV Gas and who sell aircraft and other types of radio equipment are going to wait for somebody to hold a candy or bake sale to buy whatever they think will buy what the aircrews and their ground support people need before as search is launched.

      In WWII CAP aircrews flew over convoys going to Europe to prevent someone from sinking them. Did you know that as recently as this current fight in the sandbox, that CAP aircrews were doing the same thing?

      I don’t know how many of you have been out over open ocean with no landmarks around who want to depend on a $3.95 compass that they bought from a neighorhood boy scout or army surplus store.

      If anything, the US Government should be PAYING the Volunteer PROFESSIONALS an hourly rate that would be equal to what their experience and training bring to the table.

      Before you guys badmouth CAP, ask yourself, WHAT have YOU done for your COMMUNITY AND YOUR NATION?

      • ManyDecadeGA says

        Times change. This isn’t WWII, looking for subs with cubs. I’ve been directly or indirectly involved with CAP for nearly 50 years now, and my family has been since WWII days. But it is now a different world in aviation. CAP may still have a place as a youth education organization, as do scouting organizations, and perhaps even to serve as local flying club for those who may not have had the privilege to serve in military aviation, …but CAP’s days as a critical national SAR or military asset are numbered. We now have 406 MHz beacons, satellite monitoring, ANG units with NVG, UAVs with IR sensing, security and local police airborne assets with primary geographic responsibility, radar post processing, broad com coverage, cellphones, and even new technical means on the way, such as capability via evolving ADS position tracking. Hence in an era of unfunded much higher priority requirements, it is past time to now take stock of CAP’s future role, mission, and funding. SAR is certainly important, but it can be done many more economical and efficient ways than by just trolling around in the mountain murk in some new taxpayer funded C182. Senator McCain’s concern and proposal is not only valid, it is right on the mark.

        • says

          Does that mean we should let down out guard because we have no subs to sink?? Oh short sighted past member. We face even more threats with the current bag of short sighted congressman and senators than we did in world war two. I have served in every command chain except for the NHQ CC position and have only been in CAP for 18 yrs but have seen every aspect of the so called good ol boys flying club to the most dedicated members who will do what ever it takes to find a lost A/C or hiker. I do not know all, but most of every project in the current CAP. I serve my country because I love it and thank every day for being born here with the opportunity to give back to MY country at my own expense. This is not about our meager budget but about our own elected officials not doing their jobs and standing up to the bologna that they are paid to stand up to. I would like to make my own amendment to Sen McCain’s amendment and demand that all congressmen and Senators take a 1/2 pay cut like we are all asked to do, including the President and Vice. They will have to live with everything they foist upon the general populous. Sir, I thank you for your 50 yrs of service to our great nation. Now if we can stop from giving away billions of dollars to those who despise us, maybe we can take back our county and run it like the founding fathers intended. Sincerely. a patriot member.

        • tom says

          Comrad ‘a member’: I’m a student of John Stossell, a much despised person in the media, despised because he cuts thru the silly talk and puts a pencil to the problem. When the EPA told residents of Leadville CO that thy had to raze houses built on lead mine tailings because it MIGHT be a health risk he and an MD asked: Where’s the proof? Thery took blood from all the residents and surprise: Their blood lead levels were below the national avearage and well below the arbitrarily set max allowable.

          Stossel looked at lifeguards who were volunteers at public pools and beaches vs paid peronnel. You get what you pay for. Volunteer training was substandard, and the response was slow and inappropriate compared to the paid staff, resulting in a lower cost overall. Capitalism works.

          When I was a member the hardest working were aircraft owners. Almost all wing staff and squadron commanders were owners. If a mission came up and a corporate plane was unavailable, private was easily authorized. That deteriorated to only allowing private aircraft use with special permission from the queen. I’m not going to imply that owners bailed en mass, but many failed to renew, feeling unappreciated for their efforts and financial commitment.

          Lets look at CAP Emergency Services: 550 aircraft sitting doing nothing most of the time. The goal in 2006 was to replace all tails with new by 2016. I don’t know how that’s going, so I’ll take a stab at a fleet average value of legacy plus restart @ $200,000/tail. 200,000×550=$110 million in static displays. Replace those with member owned aircraft and we’ve replaced a liability with a truly loved asset.

          • Lee says

            CAP is a waste of taxpayer’s money! My son and I joined a squadron and the Dictator (Captain) has several daughters in the unit, so basically it was all about the family getting awards. Also, one senior member told me they fudged on some of the cadets officer test, taken during mtg. In addition, the Dictator wanted me to out at the bottom officer rank, because I supposed that’s where they started. But, unlike them, I have two master’s degrees, prior military services, professional licenses, and currently working toward a PhD. Also, good luck trying to get a transfer to another unit, because the CAP dictator and good old boy and good old girl club will blackball you! Not only should these wanna bee officers-who would never make officers in the real military, lose their tax funding, but the military should cut all ties with them, especially a unit violates the state, federal, and civil rights of members!

          • Dan says

            Unless your military seevice was as an officer, you don’t get a gimme advancement in rank. If it’s that important to you, read the CAP regulations on promotions. I’ve been in the Air Force for over 20 years and active in CAP for about four years. I’m still a 2 Lt and my CAP paycheck is the same as the Maj in command of the squadron.

          • propwash72 says

            OK, this is the kind of CAP post that really chaps me. Lee, I won’t dispute your version of events because you may very well have been unfortunate enough to end up in one of “those” units. I’ve been in CAP for 30 years and I’ve heard the horror stories. But what needs to be pointed out here is that the rubber really meets the road in the squadrons, and there’s a lot of variation between units. You may have a bad leader in one unit and the one 50 miles down the road is excellent. You could quite possibly go back to your old unit 5 years from now and it’s a completely new leadership team. You can’t take one person’s bad experience in one unit and jump to the conclusion that the entire organization is a waste of money.

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