MIDDLETOWN, Pa. --
Civil Air Patrol cadets visited the 193rd Special Operations Wing to meet Airmen and tour the facilities June 21.
The visit was coordinated as part a week-long Pennsylvania Wing Encampment training event that was held at Fort Indiantown Gap.
The Encampment encompassed CAP cadets from 11 wings, each of which representing a different state.
CAP Tech. Sgt. Brad Kenny, a Tactical Officer with the Civil Air Patrol, discussed the training that CAP cadets receive while at Encampment.
“Basic Encampment is a program where our CAP cadets come in, usually they are younger in the program, and it kind of gives them a little bit of a higher intensity environment to learn leadership skills,” said Kenny. “This way they kind of come together as a unit, they learn how to think on their feet and they learn how to take care of each other.”
Kenny also discussed the role that CAP has with the Air Force and the importance these types of visits play into the training.
“Civil Air Patrol is a United States Air Force auxiliary and we have a strong partnership with USAF, part of that is getting exposure to our cadets to the military,” said Kenny. “So whether that’s Air Force, which is great because you guys are our parent organization, or other branches, it really gives them the experience of what the military might be about.”
CAP Cadet Townson, a York native who has been in the program for about seven months, said the experience was absolutely amazing and found it very interesting to learn about the 193rd SOW’s aircraft and mission.
Townson acknowledged that when it came to the Air Force he was unaware there was even a base here.
“We went to the Harrisburg International Airport a couple months ago to fly down to my grandmother in North Carolina and didn’t see this at all,” said Townson. “It’s sort of one of those hidden in plain sight sort of things.”
According to the CAP website, CAP is America’s premier public service organization for carrying out emergency services and disaster relief missions nationwide.
“The thing that separates Civil Air Patrol from other organizations is that our cadets can have a real-world mission,” said Kenny, “These kids here might one day get radio operator qualifications, base staff or even ground team qualifications where they can actually go out and help find people who are lost. They can actually take part of missions.”