Naples Senior Squadron (FL-023)
Naples Senior Squadron, is one of several squadrons serving under the command Florida Wing Civil Air Patrol. As a senior squadron, the unit’s membership consists of senior members (18 years old and older).
This squadron performs the tactical application of all three of Civil Air Patrol’s Congressionally mandated missions: Emergency Services, Aerospace Education, and Cadet Programs.
Following World War Two, the role of the Civil Air Patrol in servitude to its citizens needed redefining. On May 26, 1948 the 80th Congress passed Public Law 80-557 permanently establishing the Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the newly established U.S. Air Force.
Search and Rescue
Perhaps best known for its search-and-rescue efforts, CAP flies more than 85 percent of all federal inland search-and-rescue missions directed by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fl. Outside the continental United States, CAP supports the Joint Rescue Coordination Centers in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Just how effective are the CAP missions? Nearly 100 people are saved each year by CAP members.
Another important service CAP performs is disaster-relief operations. CAP provides air and ground transportation and an extensive communications network. Volunteer members fly disaster-relief officials to remote locations and provide manpower and leadership to local, state and national disaster-relief organizations.
CAP has formal agreements with many government and humanitarian relief agencies including the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Coast Guard.
CAP flies humanitarian missions, usually in support of the Red Cross-transporting time-sensitive medical materials including blood and human tissue, in situations where other means of transportation are not available.
Air Force Support
It’s hardly surprising that CAP performs several missions in direct support of the U.S. Air Force. Specifically, CAP conducts light transport, communications support, and low-altitude route surveys. CAP also provides orientation flights for AFROTC cadets. Joint U.S. Air Force and CAP search-and-rescue exercises provide realistic training for missions.
CAP joined the “war on drugs” in 1986 when, pursuant to congressional authorization, CAP signed an agreement with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Customs Service offering CAP resources to help stem the flow of drugs into and within the United States.
CAP’s aerospace education efforts focus on two different audiences: volunteer CAP members and the general public. The programs ensure that all CAP members (seniors and cadets) have an appreciation for and knowledge of aerospace issues. To advance within the organization, members are required to participate in the educational program.
Aerospace educators at CAP’s National Headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., provide current materials that reflect the highest standards of educational excellence. Aerospace education is divided into two parts: internal and external. The internal aerospace education program has two parts as well: cadet and senior. Cadets complete aerospace education as one of the requirements to progress through the achievement levels of the cadet program. Senior members have a responsibility to become knowledgeable of aerospace issues and the AE program that CAP provides.
They are further encouraged to share the information obtained with their local communities and school systems. CAP’s external aerospace programs are conducted through our nation’s educational system. Each year, CAP sponsors many workshops in states across the nation, reaching hundreds of educators and thereby thousands of young people.
These workshops highlight basic aerospace knowledge and focus on advances in aerospace technology. CAP’s aerospace education members receive more than 20 free aerospace education classroom materials.
To learn more about CAP’s aerospace education programs, products, and other resources available to our members, go to www.capmembers.com/ae. For information about joining as an aerospace education member (AEM) and to join online, go to www.capmembers.com/joinaem.
While there are many youth oriented programs in America today, CAP’s cadet program is unique in that it uses aviation as a cornerstone. Thousands of young people from 12 years through age 21 are introduced to aviation through CAP’s cadet program. The program allows young people to progress at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and moral leadership.
Cadets compete for academic scholarships to further their studies in fields such as engineering, science, aircraft mechanics, aerospace medicine, meteorology, as well as many others. Those cadets who earn cadet officer status may enter the Air Force as an E3 (airman first class) rather than an E1 (airman basic). Whatever your interests-survival training, flight training, photography, astronomy-there’s a place for you in CAP’s cadet program.
Each year, cadets have the opportunity to participate in special activities at the local, state, regional or national level. Many cadets will have the opportunity to solo fly an airplane for the first time through a flight encampment or academy. Others will enjoy traveling abroad through the International Air Cadet Exchange Program. Still others assist at major air shows throughout the nation.
Costs Of Being A Member
Fortunately the costs of being a member of Civil Air Patrol are minimal compared to other programs with the same goals. The first cost you will run into is membership dues. This is a small fee paid when you sign your child up and this recurs every year.
In Florida wing, membership dues are forty-five dollars. This includes the basics of the Air Force style blues uniform- a flight cap, shirt, pants or skirt, and a belt- obtained through CAP’s online resource, eServices. Cadets are required to purchase uniform items such as insignia and shoes to complete this uniform. This brings up the second cost – uniforms. Upon joining, cadets may receive the blues uniform, but to get the most out of CAP cadets will need to purchase the camouflage BDU uniform.
This can range anywhere between next to free all the way up to (and sometimes over) one hundred dollars. We understand that this is a high price, and we do have some uniform items to supply those unable to purchase their own uniform. Other costs may include activity fees, which can range from around one hundred and fifty dollars (wing-level encampments, for instance) to over three hundred dollars for special national activities.
NOTE: The activity fees usually include lodging and meals for the duration of the activity (usually a week or more). Also note that smaller, squadron and group level activities usually cost no more than twenty five to thirty dollars, if anything at all.
To learn more about becoming a member of CAP, please visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or speak with a senior member in the cadet office at the next meeting.