(From left) U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, poses for a photo with Col. Sean Crandall, commander of the Texas Wing, and Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, CAP national commander.
U.S. Rep. Stacey Plaskett, who represents the Virgin Islands' at-large congressional district, shares a laugh with Col. Barry Melton, Southeast Region commander, after being presented with her CAP Congressional Squadron membership certificate.
Photos by Maj. Robert Bowden, Michigan Wing
Civil Air Patrol members gathered today in Washington, D.C., for their annual Legislative Day visit to Capitol Hill to thank members of Congress for their support and share information about their respective wings’ service to local communities.
The CAP delegations used their meetings with members of Congress to brief them on the U.S. Air Force auxiliary’s primary missions of emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs.
During 2016, CAP members:
- Contributed $167 million in volunteer services to the 1,437 communities CAP supports nationwide.
- Completed 1,265 search and rescue missions in the continental United States, resulting in 92 lives saved.
- Flew 1,168 hours on 30 Surrogate Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) missions in Louisiana and Nevada to train U.S. and coalition forces from around the world.
- Escorted remote piloted aircraft missions in support of MQ-9 Reaper training in Syracuse, New York; 251 hours were flown to prepare for and support this operation in fiscal 2016.
- Flew impact assessment and aerial imagery sorties before and after Hurricane Matthew, involving aircrews from the Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia wings.
- Provided storm and flooding assessment support to Texas and Louisiana after multiple storms.
- Supported the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after flooding in Arkansas.
- Performed damage reconnaissance to West Virginia for flooding operations.
- Provided severe weather support in Illinois and Indiana.
- Flew wildfire support flights for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- Totaled 1,390 flight hours participating in air defense intercept training missions for the U.S. Department of Defense, helping prepare fighter units across the country for homeland security threats.
- Flew 9,693 hours in conducting 27,316 cadet orientation flights, allowing America’s youth to experience the thrill of flight.
- Taught leadership, physical fitness, character development and aerospace education to 24,000 cadets throughout the U.S.
- Helped promote aerospace history, principles of flight, lessons in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects and aviation-related careers to not only the organization’s cadets but also to over 200,000 K-12 students nationwide.
Friday and Saturday, CAP’s Command Council will convene in the nation’s capital for its annual winter meeting. The council consists of CAP’s national commander, national vice commander, chief of staff, CAP’s eight region commanders and its 52 wing commanders representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its members serve as advisers to the national commander. CAP’s chief operating officer and the CAP-U.S. Air Force commander serve as advisers to the Command Council.
The council’s agenda features reports on such topics as finance, safety, aircraft, operations, CAP’s development program, media relations, Wreaths Across America, the inspector general’s program and the organization’s Strategic Plan and government relations.