The program for youth centers on aviation, leadership skills
During World War II, German pilots flying along the U.S. East Coast were reported to have complained to their superiors about those “pesky yellow airplanes.” They were referring to the Civil Air Patrol, which flew over the ocean and reported locations of U-Boats to the U.S. Navy.
Civil Air Patrol planes are still flying out of Ormond Beach Municipal Airport, but today they go on search and rescue missions and to help in emergencies. Before 2011, there was also a Civil Air Patrol at Daytona Beach International Airport, but the two were merged at the Ormond Beach headquarters.
Another big part of CAP is the Cadet program, which held an open house on Oct. 4 for young people interested in the program. For ages 12 through 20, the program focuses on developing leadership, aerospace education, fitness and character development.
“You get to fly,” said Cadet Bryan Lemus, who attends Matanzas High School, when asked what he liked about the program. Cadets get five free training flights in an airplane and three in a glider.
The Cadets meet weekly, with special events once a month, such as a trip to Charleston last summer where they spent a week aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Yorktown.
The cadets rise through the ranks as they increase their knowledge and skill levels.
“It’s a fabulous way to teach leadership,” said Andrea Giles, 1st Lt. for cadet activities.
Cadet Airman Leigha Bauder said she loves being a cadet.
“It teaches you respect and discipline and prepares you for adult life,” she said.
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