At one time, a United States Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol (CAP) squadron was alive and active in Owensboro/Daviess County.
Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the founding of Civil Air Patrol, Deputy Commander Patrick Deem is actively recruiting volunteers to revive the CAP squadron here in Owensboro. It will take 15-20 members to file for an official charter for the squadron, according to Deem, although several members are already active.
Volunteers are needed in the following roles:
- chaplain assistants
- emergency services
- aerospace education
- cadet programs
Civil Air Patrol was originally started by the Army Air Corps on December 1, 1941, coincidentally six days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and tasked with spotting submarines. CAP was credited with sinking one sub and finding several others in the Atlantic Ocean.
At the conclusion of WWII, the role of CAP transitioned to search and rescue. Patrolmen followed the transmitter signals to locate downed planes. In recent decades, CAP volunteers also assist the Red Cross and emergency responders during natural disasters.
Although CAP aircrews participated in the search and rescue effort when Dr. Dalzell’s plane went down earlier this year en route to the Owensboro Regional Airport, thankfully downed aircraft are rare. Deem says the focus of the Owensboro CAP will be on volunteerism and assisting with natural disasters. “We want to be active in the community so everyone knows we’re here to help any way we can. Our goal is to be a resource for Owensboro Fire Department, the Police Department, and emergency responders.”
Both youth and adults can be involved, and Deem says it’s not unheard of to have families volunteer with CAP together. CAP has developed a cadet program for youth ages 13-18. For their involvement, CAP offers a flight scholarship program where cadets can earn advanced rank in the military if they decide to join or credit toward an academy. CAP also helps pay for a cadet’s pilot license if they pursue one.
Learning new skills is another benefit of volunteering. CAP provides training to its members in corporate leadership, emergency response management, disaster relief, and search and rescue procedures. Deem says the trainings are great resume boosters. “Anybody who wants to better themselves and help the community would make a great Civil Air Patrol volunteer.”
A training exercise is planned for the second weekend in February at the National Guard Armory building near Mid America Jet. Search and rescue procedures will be demonstrated.
Any person or family interested in joining the Owensboro CAP squadron is asked to contact Patrick Deem at [email protected].
For more information about CAP, visit their website at capvolunteernow.com.