An enlightened perspective

In response to today’s training needs, Civil Air Patrol is using virtual meetings to gather groups of people who, under any other circumstances, would have never met to interact and broaden their world vision. Springville Cadet Squadron is utilizing every resource available to meet the goals and vision of Civil Air patrol. The goal is to establish a viable and effective awareness program that will assist not only unit Aerospace Education Officers (AEOs) in promoting an interest in aerospace careers, but cadets and aerospace education members (AEMs) as well.

CAP offers and infinite number of career choices and educational opportunities designed to excite and motivate CAP members to learn more about an aerospace career they can achieve. The program is to help collaborate a more comprehensive understanding of the aerospace and related career fields for a cadet or senior member, and open new vistas for them.

The vision: “Civil Air Patrol, America’s Air Force Auxiliary, building the nation’s finest force of citizen volunteers performing Missions for America.” Since the shelter in place began, we took strides to ensure that our cadets would still have access to the personal and leadership enrichment tools available through this program.

We have had 20 guest speakers along with our senior cadets speak on Aerospace/Rocketry, professional/ character development, safety and security, and introductions to different aspects of Civil Air Patrol via personal experiences. These visits would have been nearly logistically impossible if each guest had to fly in from points around the United States and abroad.

Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine Cessna aircraft and 1,550 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center.

Often using innovative cellphone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 110 lives in fiscal 2019. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief, and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies.

As a nonprofit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards based STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. Members also serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. One of the premier public service organizations in America, CAP benefits the nation with an estimated economic impact of $209 million annually.

The entire world has been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another. People have lost their livelihood, their homes, their good health, and some even their lives. This disease has even changed the mindset of those who have not even been affected by its devastation firsthand. From wearing face masks to specific ways of entering and exiting public establishments, COVID-19 has established “social distancing” as a new part of the American way of life.

This pandemic has made 2020 a year like no other. It could very easily be used as an excuse to focus solely on the negative. However, the command and senior members at Springville Cadet Squadron made a conscious effort to sharpen ours and our cadet’s viewpoint to the positive. Let us focus on what we can do instead of what we cannot. Then take every moment we have together and make them teaching moments. Thereby, making this time in history, in our squadron, truly one of enlightenment and personal growth. We must be ever watchful, faithful, and grateful over what we do have instead of groaning over the things we do not.

As we are entering the phase of meeting in person again at the Armory in Springville, a special thanks goes to all the volunteer guest speakers who have and are continuing to make this period of enlightenment a success.

SSgt. La-Tunya Flowers
Public Affairs Officer, Springville