Join The Cadets

The Jamestown Composite Squadron of Civil Air Patrol is hosting an open house at the Jamestown Airport Terminal Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Civil Air Patrol is a volunteer auxiliary to the United States Air Force. Visitors have the opportunity to talk to members of the Jamestown Composite Squadron, fly a simulator and view pictures of activities in which the Cadets participated. For those who have questions about CAP, are interested in aerospace or the military, would like to volunteer in their community or would like to join the cadet or senior member program, this is an opportunity to have questions answered.

Civil Air Patrol was founded Dec. 1, 1941, six days before the infamous bombing of Pearl Harbor. Members of Civil Air Patrol were notably involved in World War II by flying coastal patrols. CAP pilots flew more than 24 million miles of coastal patrol, spotted 173 U-boats, attacked 57 of them and sunk two. CAP pilots also summoned help for 93 ships in distress, and 363 U-boat attack survivors.

Today, Civil Air Patrol is comprised of three basic missions: emergency services, aerospace education, and cadet programs, and works with the Air Force to provide support and services during natural disasters. CAP performs homeland security missions as well. Members are trained for ground team search and rescue, orienteering, survival and other necessary skills. Jamestown Squadron has had compass rallies, participated in mock disasters, practice missions, bivouacs and is working with other Western New York squadrons to help train Cadets and senior members.

Cadets in Jamestown Composite Squadron progress through a 16-stage program from Airman to Colonel, and will most likely have the opportunity to serve on staff. Cadets can join at the age of 12 through 18, and can participate in the program until the age of 21, at which time they can become a senior member. The Cadet Program is based on four core values: integrity, respect, excellence, and volunteer service, and these attributes are interwoven into everything CAP does. Cadets have opportunities to fly, are able to participate in classes, and also have the opportunity to participate in a weeklong summer encampment.The leadership encampment is packed with leadership instruction, physical fitness training and activities such as C-130 rides, orientation flights in a Cessna 172 and team building. Cadets also have opportunities to participate in regional and national activities. In addition, the military recognizes cadet progression. If a cadet reaches the grade of Second Lieutenant, he or she can join the Air Force as an E3 (Airman First Class), and any other branch as an E2.

Jamestown Composite Squadron is involved with many local events and has helped at occasions such as the Celoron Rib Fest, the Snowflake Festival at the Audubon Society, and the Busti Apple Festival. Jamestown Squadron is involved in several parades each year including the Memorial Day Parade, the Jamestown Christmas Parade and the Fourth of July Parade.

Coming up on Dec. 14, CAP will be performing a wreath-laying ceremony at Soldier’s Circle in Lake View Cemetery at noon as part of a nationwide effort to recognize and remember or servicemen and women. For more information or to donate a wreath, go to wreathsacrossamercia.org and look for the Lake View Cemetery location.

For more information about the squadron, visit www.jamestowncap.org.