More than 200 Civil Air Patrol members from across the U.S. and overseas are already at Oshkosh, preparing to support EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019.
In all, 150 CAP cadets and 51 senior members will pitch in during the event, which annually draws more than 550,000 people and over 20,000 aircraft to Wittman Field, making it the busiest airport in the world for at least one week each summer.
The air show starts July 22, but CAP members descended on the area July 15, a week earlier, and will remain through July 29, a day after the show concludes.
They are participating in National Blue Beret, a CAP National Cadet Special Activity (NCSA). To qualify, cadets are required to complete nine courses, including several offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The first week is devoted to preparation and obtaining the qualifications required to serve on an intensive, high-tempo mission base.
According to CAP officials, National Blue Beret is one of five search and rescue mission bases activated across Wisconsin by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, each staffed by CAP members during AirVenture Oshkosh.
CAP cadets and senior members support the event by marshalling aircraft on the flight line, tracking and finding overdue aircraft, and interacting with the public. The cadets also often support the CAP National Recruiting booth, staffed by Wisconsin Wing members.
But it won’t be all work for the CAP cadets. At AirVenture, they get the chance to meet with any of the more than 900 exhibitors, as well as attend EAA workshops to learn such aircraft manufacturing skills as woodworking, welding, engine repair, electronics and fabric covering.
Opportunities are also available to meet legendary aviators, celebrities and aviation professionals. The education and career pavilion offers cadets transitioning into careers and college the opportunity to meet with representatives from more than 30 colleges, universities and service academies. In addition, many major aviation industry recruiters are looking for the next aviation professionals.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually.
CAP’s 64,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.
In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to more than 26,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.
Steven R. Hulland says
As an active CAP Major and retired USMC Capt, I cannot say enough good words about CAP members – both Cadets and Senior (adults). I joined CAP as a cadet around 1958 and learned many things and attitudes that helped me successfully hold every rank in the United States Marine Corps from Private to Gunnery Sergeant and then from Warrant Officer 1 through 3 followed by 1st Lt and Captain.
As a senior member I have been a Squadron Commander, Aircrew Member, Professional Develoment Officer and much more. For the past several years I volunteer with EAA’s Air Adventure Flight Line Operations Crew. We marshal many many thousands of arriving/departing/or repositioning aircraft throughout Air Adventure and the three days proceeding the actual show. CAP Blue Brett CAP members contribute a great deal to this demanding volunteer effort – as do the many “volunteer” FAA Air Traffic Controllers. Without the volunteers the FAA Controllers could not successfully work the demanding flow of aircraft ground traffic because it would take at least 150 FAA Ground Controllers to successfully (which they certainly could) work the ground traffic at Air Adventure – almost exclusively without any radio communications. Although volunteer Marshallese do not “Clear Aircraft To Enter/Cross Active Runways during Air Adventure, they ensure that the 16,000 or so aircraft successfully move throughout the airport safely and expeditiously to ensure that the FAA Ground Controllers are able to clear aircraft across, onto and off active runways with almost no radio traffic. Without the well trained CAP cadets assisting with the ground movement of aircraft this would be almost impossible.
And yes, I was an Air Traffic Controller in the Marine Cor0s holding positions from basic PAR, Tower/Approach/Flight Data Controller through Air Traffic Facility Leader/Manager.
When visiting Air Adventure this year, please take the time to get up close to the various Marshallese and ATC folks along RW 09/27 and the Approach end of RW 18R do their stuff – you will be simply amazed. Do not forget the many hundreds of other volunteers who park aircraft at the various aircraft parking areas. Without all of them Air Adventure would not happen.
Kevin mcginley says
I joined the White Plains squad in the mid 60s , but I moved out of the area It was an exciting time and gave me my Love for Flying
My guess is he wasn’t in CAP very long.
Good organization for kids. I was in the CAP from 1958 until 2000 as both a Cadet and as a Senior
Member. Once upon a time, I was a Squadron Commander in the California Wing (1980s), Squardon 79,
Group 10, Monterey, CA. Over the years, I was in the South Carolina, Florida, Indiana and California Wings. At the same time, I was in the Active Army, stationed in those states. Now, retired from all of it. No regrets.
All good experiences.
Daniel Carlson says
I used to know someone who boasted how he joined the CAP, right out of Junior High, & how he got to “shoot-down MiG’s using ANG F-16’s based out of Brackett Field (KPOC) every weekend.” Turns out, this guy couldn’t get a job cleaning toilets @McDonald’s. I’ve seen CAP cadets in action at various air shows, and they displayed PURE discipline, which this “BETTER than everybody else” person didn’t have. I hope the CAP’s around forever.