VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE -- For Civil Air Patrol Squadron 101 members and cadets, CAP is more than just a program; it is an opportunity to grow, learn and serve those around you.
Civil Air Patrol is a nationwide 501(c)(3) non-profit organization split between two sections. The first is comprised of members with specialized skills who support the local community. The second is a cadet program designed to mold and polish young leaders.
“Civil Air Patrol is very similar to the Air Force regarding structure and core values, but Civil Air Patrol has four values: Integrity, Volunteer Services, Excellence and Respect,” said Capt. Zoe Colgan, 30th Medical Group clinical social worker and CAP liaison officer. “We also have military structure in terms of rank, uniform standards, customs and courtesies, and test physical fitness every month.”
In early 2019, CAP Composite Squadron 101, from Central Coast Group four, re-joined Vandenberg AFB after an extended hiatus and is ready to help support the mission by monitoring the installation air space, as well as providing aid to the local community.
According to Colgan, instead of contracting out pilots, CAP can support Vandenberg AFB’s mission by monitoring and identifying potential hazards in the air space before launches.
Along with checking the air space, Squadron 101 also plays a vital role when it comes to search and rescue, safety and disaster relief, and emergency services for state and local agencies. These members are able to use their training and abilities within the community, using their specialized skill sets to fly and assist with emergency medical services, natural disasters and missing person searches.
Aside from providing assistance, CAP Squadron 101 also offers flight and cyber training to cadets through their aerospace education program.
Civil Air Patrol Squadron 101 hosts a monthly meeting for each program to teach a wide variety of life and military skills, which follows agendas and curriculums provided by CAP. Some of the curriculum and more specialized programs that CAP Squadron 101 offers are air space education, cyber patriot and rocketeering.
“We offer air space education, a course led by civilian or former military pilots that teaches cadets how to fly and participate in search and rescue, a cyber patriot [cyber security] course that competes in national competitions, and our newest program rocketry, which was just implemented last year,” Colgan said.
Similar to CAP’s members with specialized skills, CAP Squadron 101 cadets also provide support within the local community.
“We just supported an air show,” said Maj. Kenneth Bull, 30th Space Wing readiness reporting lead. “Our cadets scanned the area throughout the airshow to identify hazards and ensure safety.”
According to Colgan, Squadron 101’s cadet program not only helps the local community and Vandenberg AFB, but also teaches leadership skills and character development through the courses, as well as physical fitness to prepare cadets for whatever career they chose in life.
Through a new national initiative, the CAP hopes to help support the Air Force mission, and appreciate the Air Force as they host a place to meet and continue education and training.
“Through our cadet programs, we hope to raise a new generation of individuals who would be protecting this country and its quality and way of life,” Colgan said.
Squadron 101 is open to anyone who would like to bring a specific skill to support CAP and U.S. Air Force missions, while cadet slots are open to anyone ages 12 through 20.
For more information on CAP, contact Squadron 101 at 805-346-2955.