Air Force targeting 12 – 18 year olds

CAP offers many opportunities to cadets

Published: Sunday, September 13, 2009 7:56 AM HST

Open house Sept. 26 at Lyman Field hangar in Hilo

If you are between the ages of 12 and 18 years old, and want to learn about flying, aerospace, radio communication, search and rescue and serving your community: Come check out the Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Program at a special open house on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Lyman Field Composite Squadron’s CAP hangar located at the first left off Kekuanaoa Street heading toward the Hilo International Airport.

CAP is the volunteer, nonprofit auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Its three missions are to develop its cadets, educate Americans on the importance of aviation and space, and perform live-saving humanitarian missions. The Cadet Program provides opportunities for the learning and nurturing of leadership to over 26,000 young Americans nationwide.

With the advice and assistance from CAP senior members and the U.S. Air Force, cadets are exposed to a structured program comprised of aerospace education, leadership, special activities, physical fitness, and moral and ethical values through group and individual activities. The Cadet Program is divided into 16 segments, called achievements. Upon completion of each achievement, the cadet earns increasing responsibility, decorations, awards, eligibility for national and international special activities, and opportunities for both flight and academic scholarships.

Every CAP cadet is eligible for five flights in the CAP single-engine Cessna, and possibly flights in a military aircraft. They attend classes on the fundamentals of aviation and space, operate flight simulators, and participate in the model rocketry program. They also learn search and rescue techniques, how to operate and communicate by radio and may attend overnight encampments.

There is no military obligation with the CAP. However, cadets who earn the Billy Mitchell Award may enter the Air Force at an advanced grade (E-3) if they choose to enlist.

The service academies and ROTC also look favorably on CAP experience. Approximately 10 percent of the USAF Academy cadet corps got their start in CAP, said 1st Lt. Barbara Cooper, the Hilo public affairs officer.

The Lyman Field Composite Squadron Cadet Program meets every Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the CAP hangar at the Hilo Airport. For further information on the Cadet Program call the hangar at 935-6927. For further information on the Civil Air Patrol visit the Web site at:


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