News>Civil Air Patrol hosts summer encampment at JBER
On Friday, July 27, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson kicked off Arctic Thunder Open House 2012. The events included an all-star lineup, featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 Flight Demonstration Team, the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team and many other civilian and military performers. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Joel Cooke)
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Civil Air Patrol Cadet 1st Lt. Elizabeth Bratton stands at attention under a B-52 Stratofortress wing July 28 during the Arctic Thunder 2012 Open House here. (U.S. Air Force photo/David Bedard)
by Airman 1st Class Ty-Rico Lea
JBER Public Affairs
8/9/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The Civil Air Patrol was founded December 1, 1941 by more than 150,000 citizens concerned about the defense of America's coastline, one week before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
"The Civil Air Patrol became the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force in 1948; charged with three primary missions - aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services," said Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Matt Gliński, Michigan Wing Civil Air Patrol. Gliński is here on a voluntary assignment and acted as the first sergeant of the encampment.
The encampment is a weeklong boot camp, which involves physical training, classroom seminars and proper military standards.
There are 1,100 senior members and 200 cadets in the Alaska Wing of the CAP who conduct 80 percent of all inland searches in Alaska. The air fleet of the Alaska Wing is composed of 36 corporate aircraft. The CAP in Alaska saved 140 lives during the past five years.
"The Civil Air Patrol encampment program is a great opportunity for individuals of all ages to participate in, especially those who have an interest for military enlistment," said Cadet Master Sgt. Daniel Bowen.
The CAP possesses their own ranking structure paralleling that of the Air Force, from airman basic all the way to general. Cadets are given a handbook known as the Basic Cadet Operating Instruction that contains courtesies, uniform and appearance policies, restrictions and the Airman's Creed.
"The CAP is a humanitarian and educational, non-profit organization of over 1,300 Alaskans who volunteer their time, knowledge, and energy to fulfill a threefold mission mandated by Congress, "said Capt. Laura Gossel, Civil Air Patrol Eielson Air Force Base Alaska Wing.
Opportunities abound for volunteer members to participate in activities such as honor guard, survival training, search and rescue, disaster relief and flight training (powered and glider).
"I joined the CAP cadet program in 2006," Gliński said. "I've been to numerous programs such as the Pararescue orientation course, I've judged national cadet competitions, and attended other activities across the nation."
As volunteers serve more time in the program and obtain rank, they are given more leadership roles and opportunities to demonstrate Air Force core values.
"One of the things we strive to accomplish in the Civil Air Patrol is transforming individuals into teams and leaders," Gliński said.
The CAP welcomes military members, be they active duty, Reserve, separated, or retired, enlisted or commissioned officers to join the program.
1st Lt. Adam Bowens of the CAP - formerly an Air Force staff sergeant of JBER fire protection, has been a member of the program since 1994 at the age of 12.
"When I joined the active-duty Air Force, I became a senior member and ultimately took the position of commandant during the Alaska Wing encampments," Bowens said.
People who participate in the encampment will also be awarded the Billy Mitchell award. The award gives recipients the chance to enlist in the Air Force with a guaranteed rank of E-3. The program also grants its members an opportunity to attend the Air Force Academy despite whether or not they have any college background.
"If you want to do something productive and life-changing, the CAP will surely have a spot for you," Bowens said.
If anyone is interested in becoming a part of the CAP program, the Alaska Wing contains three different squadrons in the area.
Bowens can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by visiting the CAP Alaska Wing website www.akwg.cap.gov.