On February 19, 2019, C/Capt Jacob Kottraba was invited to give a speech about Civil Air Patrol cadet programs to the Chandler Kiwanis. The club has generously provided funding to the squadron in the past to assist cadet who wanted to participate in National Cadet Special Activities.
Kiwanis International defines itself as “a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time.” Click here for more information about Chandler Kiwanis.
Cadet Kottraba spoke about the importance of the special activities in helping cadets to further both leadership skills and preparation for military-related career fields. The text of the speech is below.
The history of public service performed by members of Civil Air Patrol dates back 78 years to the time of WW2. Many people at the time had a desire to support the war effort but, for a variety of reasons, were unable to become active duty members of the military.
General John Curry was the first national commander of CAP and succeeded in building a force of 100,000, what he called, “Flying Minutemen” from all across the country. These people took on jobs that the military didn’t have the time or ability to complete.
The mission of CAP in those days included things like:
• anti-submarine patrol and warfare
• towing targets for the Navy, and
• courier services
During WW2, CAP’s patrols flew 24 million miles, found 173 U-boats, attacking 57 of them, hitting 10 and sinking 2. By the end of WW2 some 64 CAP members had lost their lives in the line of duty.
Today there are more than 61,000 volunteer members of CAP, including 26,000 cadets. And while our mission may no longer include throwing depth charges out the window on L-5 Stinson’s, we do still provide a valuable service to our community.
Nationally, CAP regularly participates in things like aerial security and disaster relief.
After Hurricane Harvey in 2017, CAP planes were first on the scene to gather pictures from the air so first responders could better, and more safely, plan their response. 256 CAP members from 27 states answered the call to provide almost a quarter million images of areas damaged by the storm.
This is an example of how CAP assists in disaster relief.
During preparations for each Super Bowl, CAP members are tasked to assist NORAD with enforcing no fly zones. During the week leading up to this years Super Bowl, CAP aircraft played the part of errant general aviation planes that were then intercepted by F-16’s from the National Guard.
These are just two examples of things CAP does nationally.
Here in Arizona our activities are sometimes a little different.
In addition to flight intercept training with pilots from Luke and Davis-Monthan, CAP aircrews also work with the Border Patrol, and help to evacuate the Goldwater Bombing Range.
Arizona Wing also has the premier CAP Search & Rescue team in the country. CAP specializes in the location of downed aircraft but our ground team and aircrews also work with the various Sheriff’s departments and even local police to support their own search and rescue missions.
Arizona Wing has the only search and rescue team to earn an “outstanding” rating from the Air Force three times in a row.
These kinds of activities in CAP are not just for senior members. Cadets willing to get the necessary training and certifications can participate in nearly all activities.
I’m blessed to be one of those cadets.
During the summer of 2017 I went to Civil Air Patrol’s Texas Wing to take the CAP ground search and rescue certification class. After successfully taking the class I was certified as a Level 3. When I got back to Arizona, I took a class offered by Arizona Wing in wilderness emergency first aid, which made me eligible to be a Level 2 SAR technician. And I’m still an active member of the team, where I work with HRD canines.
Another CAP activity I’ve taken advantage of is flight training.
All CAP cadets are given the opportunity to take 5 flights in powered aircraft. Cadets interested in aviation can further this training with various cadet flight schools offered during the summer.
In Arizona Wing we have a flight school which trains members to be eligible to take their ground certification exam, the necessary step before beginning licensing flights. CAP, with the help of the Air Force, allows certain cadets to use CAP planes and pilots to get flight hours and training.
I plan to take my exam during Spring Break and, if I pass, I will be on schedule to earn my private pilots license when I turn 17 this December.
Other cadets in our squadron do things like participate in the national Cyberpatriot competition and national Honor Guard training. Cadets from our squadron are chosen regularly for staff positions at the annual CAP encampment at Fort Huachuca.
These are the kinds of things CAP offers for cadets and the cadets are participating and learning valuable skills.
Every summer thousands of cadets from all over the country attend one of dozens of special activities or encampments.
These activities activities range from the Pararescue Jumper Orientation Course given by the Air Force PJs to the Civil Engineering Academy at Tyndall AFB in Florida.
The purpose of these activities is to provide cadets with an introduction to military careers and to acquire skills that can be used later in life in any flight-related or military career they may be interested in.
In addition to the search and rescue school, I was fortunate to attend the Air Force Space Command course at Peterson AFB in Colorado last summer, where we learned about satellite command and control, missile operations, and spacelift.
This past summer one of my fellow cadets, Maddy Fredman, was privileged, by your generosity, to attend Cadet Officer School at Maxwell AFB in Alabama.
Cadet Officer School is a leadership academy for CAP cadets that is modeled after the USAF Squadron Officer School. The school teaches the psychology of leadership, problem solving techniques, effective writing and speaking, and group dynamics.
Participating in a leadership school like this is viewed favorably by military recruiters and will serve Cadet Fredman well when she joins the service after graduation this May.
My goal after high school is to earn an appointment to the US Air Force Academy. I feel that CAP has been a huge benefit to me in preparing to meet this goal. And the opportunity to participate in the extras offered by CAP has truly helped me towards this goal.
Cadet members of Civil Air Patrol who are looking to take advantage of opportunities available through CAP rely on the support of organizations like yours.
On behalf of Cadet Fredman, and all the cadets of the Arizona Wing of Civil Air Patrol, I want to thank you for making it possible for her to attend Cadet Officer School last summer.