A New Role For Civil Air Patrol?
It’s about damn time.
Now, before any of you “stuck-wingers” start ragging me for hating on the CAP, let me first note that I am excited about the prospect of the CAP actually having a real purpose. Honestly, it’s been my experience that the CAP is a joke–teenage boys (and girls) of the dork variety hanging out at the airport on a Monday night dressing up in Air Force uniforms and masquerading as someone far more important than they actually are. It’s just like the State Defense force–civilians playing soldier on the weekend without actually going through the hard work and training it takes to earn the uniform.
Stop me if I’m wrong.
Regardless, I want to see more activation like this among the auxiliaries. Honestly, I don’t see why this didn’t happen sooner, but I do see it as a step toward the all-welcome, all-voluntary service that I wish to see our military adopt (a la Starship Troopers). There are hundreds (if not thousands) of able-bodied men and women in this country itching at the chance to serve in some realistic capacity simply being turned-away by the military. The CAP needs to become more of an all-volunteer martial arm of the Air National Guard to assist in operations and relief duties at home while the Air Force can concentrate on missions abroad much in the way that the Coast Guard Auxiliary has evolved to provide operational support inland while the Guard concentrates on its primary mission on the open sea.
“The passage of Congressman Dent’s Civil Air Patrol Homeland Security bill in the House today marks a major step forward in ensuring that Civil Air Patrol’s emergency capabilities are fully utilized by all Federal agencies…With 550 aircraft, thousands of trained and experienced aircrew, and a nationwide communications system CAP can be a valuable component of our national defense.”
–Maj. Gen, Amy Courter, CAP National Commander