Youth in the Civil Air Patrol participate in drill practice June 29. U. S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp
Civil Air Patrol cadets gain experience at Robins

by Wayne Crenshaw
78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

7/8/2011 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Young people are attending various types of summer camps this year, but a group of about 200 had a camp experience at Robins that surely would be hard to top.

The Civil Air Patrol cadets from around Georgia spent the week here learning military traditions and protocol, as well as touring areas around the base. The highlight, however, was a ride on two Chinook helicopters from Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah.

The camp serves as required training for cadets, who can enter the Civil Air Patrol as young as 12. Ages of the cadets in the camp ranged from 12 to 21.

The Civil Air Patrol is a nationwide organization of volunteers who promote aerospace education and conduct searches for missing aircraft.

Air Force Reserve Maj. Will Christian is a liaison to the organization. He said the patrols save the government a lot of money by being the primary search-and-rescue responders for lost aircraft in the continental U.S. They also conduct surveillance flyovers for natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

"For anyone who has an interest in serving their country through search and rescue, or in learning more about the military lifestyle, the Civil Air Patrol is a good introduction," Christian said.

Harrison Liu, 17, of Savannah, said he found the camp "fun and interesting" and a departure from the classroom training he typically gets at local CAP meetings.

"We get the opportunity to actually go out and do things," he said.

The cadets stayed in the dorms here and engaged in various activities around the base, including visiting the K-9 unit and the 116th Air Control Wing Explosive Ordnance Flight.

The Georgia wing of the CAP holds the camp each year in different locations.