Civil Air Patrol: Training Mission Air Crews

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There were more than a hundred Civil Air Patrol (CAP) senior members and cadets that participated standardized training designed to produce consistent quality mission pilots and mission observers. The Civil Air Patrol conducted forty-four training sorties, flown in seven aircraft and four ground teams in the three-day event. Each aircrew consists of a Mission Pilot trainee, a Mission Observer trainee and a mentor pilot. Aircrews practiced search and rescue techniques that included air-to-ground coordination with ground team members. During these exercises, Ground Teams searched for emergency locator beacons, and worked on their rescue coordination skills.

One of the event’s Mission pilot trainees is Col. Ross Veta, CAP California Wing Commander. As the volunteer arm of the USAF, two CAP-USAF representatives participated in the event. Lt. Col Melvin Korsmo, Commander Pacific Liason Region CAP-USAF, flew with an aircrew on a training mission, while Maj. John Sauceda, CAP-USAF member, joined the ground team on an ELT search.

Lt. Col Korsmo commented that the level of professionalism, dedication to duty, and demonstrated proficiency of the participants are commendable. After the air school, mission observers that get qualified will be ready to go on missions. Mission pilots have additional training to complete the check-ride before they can go on any CAP mission.

As a trained disaster preparedness relief organization, Civil Air Patrol has been engaged with government agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acting as a Total Force partner and official civilian auxiliary of the Air Force, Civil Air Patrol is aligned with 1st Air Force to rapidly respond to non-military threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.

The missions of CAP involve search and rescue, photo reconnaissance, and disaster relief. Most sortie profiles call for flights at 1000 ft and mountain terrain. There are support positions as well, encompassing administration, communication, airborne photography and ground team coordination.

The San Diego squadrons utilize a turbocharged Cessna 206 providing superior cruise performance at high altitude; a Cessna 172 and a C182T, both equipped with the latest avionics. San Diego Senior Squadron 57 is a proud neighbor of the San Diego Aerospace Museum, currently meeting the first, second and third Wednesdays of each month. Meetings are hosted at the Gillespie Field terminal, located at 1960 Joe Crosson Rd, the west side of Gillespie Field, El Cajon from 1900-2100.

For more information, visit

San Diego Air & Space Museum

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