Concrete, Wash. – Skagit Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, already established in Burlington since 1942, formed a new flight in Concrete this month with meetings starting August 1. Meetings will be held at the Mears Field Pilots Lounge; 7879 S Superior Ave, Concrete, WA 98237 on Tuesday evenings, 6:00 – 8:30 pm. Visitors are welcome to attend.
The Concrete Flight expects to grow strongly with regular meetings and events at Mears Field. Claus Joens, a local resident, a teacher in Concrete, and Civil Air Patrol officer (Captain) with the Skagit Composite Squadron, will be leading the new flight (a ‘flight’ is a smaller unit attached to a squadron) with other Concrete residents who are also officers and cadets. The new flight has the full support of the local school administration and other officials who recognize Civil Air Patrol as a way for youth ages 12-18 to learn aerospace education, ground search and rescue and emergency services skills, and develop into responsible citizens who are leaders in their communities. In addition, each youth member is eligible to receive five instruction flights in a powered aircraft and an additional five in a non-powered glider with one of the program’s Certified Flight Instructors.
CAP is also a great way for adults of all ages (with or without military experience) to give back by volunteering their time and expertise. Active and retired military personnel typically find CAP to be a positive way to share with those who may or may not be looking for an armed services career but benefit from that experience nonetheless. Leaders hope the new flight will draw new members in from well beyond Concrete.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.
Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.
Written and Submitted by:
1st Lt Robert Shupe
Skagit Composite Squadron
Public Affairs Officer