The Woodward News

Local News

January 23, 2014

Civil Air Patrol offers opportunities



While important, Mitchell said the cadet training program is only one of the Civil Air Patrol's “3 main missions.”

The other 2 missions are to promote aerospace education and to provide emergency services, particularly in terms of search and rescue operations, he said.

“Over 90 percent of search and rescue operations in the inland United States (as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center) are performed by the Civil Air Patrol,” Mitchell said.

In addition to search and rescue operations, the CAP also helps provide other emergency response services, such as taking damage assessment photographs following natural disasters like tornadoes and floods, Castle said.

To help fulfill these emergency service missions, the CAP depends on adult volunteers. But no prior aviation or military experience is required to volunteer with the organization.

“The misconception is that you have to be a pilot to be a CAP member, but that's not the case,” Castle said. “We're actually looking for people from all different backgrounds. Because each unit is required to maintain their own equipment and handle their own matters, so we also need people who are good with finances or communications.”

In addition, he said you don't even have to be a pilot to become a member of a CAP flight crew.

“When we go up for flights, we also need observers and scanners on our crews, which you don't have to be a pilot to do,” Castle said. “And we even provide the training.”

If you would like to find out more about Civil Air Patrol or how you can get involved, then visit the organization's national website at

Or you can contact the Woodward Composite Flight Commander Paul Mitchell at (580) 334-0883.

“They can call me and I'll walk them through what they need to do to join and when and where we meet,” Mitchell said.

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