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Are You Mission Capable

Started by etodd, December 16, 2021, 08:40:08 PM

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etodd

I saw this as part of another post and it got me thinking:

Quote from: Holding Pattern on December 16, 2021, 06:29:00 AMEVERY CAP MEMBER THAT IS CONSIDERED MISSION DEPLOYABLE ...

Do we ask this enough of visitors ... and shouldn't we?

  • What are your availabilities to jump and run, day/night if you get a call?
  • Do you have business and/or family obligations that would inhibit your ability to jump and run?

Why do we spend lots of time and effort training people who might only be available if the call happens to come on their day off, and they don't already have to take kids to their little league game? That might work if you had 200 members in a squadron. SOMEONE would be available. But most don't have enough.

As discussed in other posts, can't make agreements with agencies, unless we have enough people"available" to jump when called. Training should be geared to those people. Not folks that just want a ribbon, knowing they will never answer a call. For those, we should say this when they join:

"Hey, let me tell you about our Cadet Program. With your busy schedule, helping with Cadets at their regular meeting time would be a great option for you. :) "
"Don't try to explain it, just bow your head
Breathe in, breathe out, move on ..."

NovemberWhiskey

If your problem is that you have an excess of people looking to train and to participate, and are therefore looking for a reason to turn people away ... I suspect your experience is different from that of most people in CAP.

Holding Pattern

I spent several years asking my chain of command this question to no avail. That's when I realized that the answer was that I simply needed to set my own goals for the squadron and relay the information upwards.

It almost at times feels like CAP doesn't want to know what the answer to your questions are.

etodd

#3
Quote from: NovemberWhiskey on December 16, 2021, 08:46:28 PMIf your problem is that you have an excess of people looking to train and to participate, and are therefore looking for a reason to turn people away ... I suspect your experience is different from that of most people in CAP.


Oh no.  Just the opposite. Some Squadrons do quite well serving their local agencies. But it seems that is rare. Most squadrons don't have enough people to respond when the call comes. So they cannot really commit to a local first responder agency and say "Call us, we will be there!"

Hence we train so many, who rarely or ever get actual missions.

Maybe we need a greater emphasis on recruiting 65 year old retirees.  :)

But then again, as we've discussed over and over, fewer and fewer first responder agencies need us anymore. Most are better trained, certainly better equipped, and with plenty of manpower.

New purposes for CAP are out there somewhere. But not to be found by those who keep watching old black and white newsreels of days gone by.  Time for a new CAP.
"Don't try to explain it, just bow your head
Breathe in, breathe out, move on ..."

THRAWN



[/quote]

Oh no.  Just the opposite. Some Squadrons do quite well serving their local agencies. But it seems that is rare. Most squadrons don't have enough people to respond when the call comes. So they cannot really commit to a local first responder agency and say "Call us, we will be there!"


[/quote]

You've been saying this for a long time. What have you done to change it?
Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
NSS ISC 05-00
USAF SOS 2000
USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016

Eclipse

Quote from: etodd on December 16, 2021, 08:40:08 PM
  • What are your availabilities to jump and run, day/night if you get a call?

Few if any volunteers can answer this question with any legitimacy for longer then
the phone call they are on that day.

Professionals with legal obligations to respond aren't generally expected to function
under that sort of expectation.  People have duty shifts, etc., and then aren't burping
their kids or fixing their roof when the call comes.

(Yeah, Yeah, volunteer firemen, paid on call, etc. Not the same thing)

Quote from: etodd on December 16, 2021, 08:40:08 PM
  • Do you have business and/or family obligations that would inhibit your ability to jump and run?

Everyone does, and they can change your availability on a whim with the same lack of notice.

This is probably the biggest fallacy with CAP's volunteer ROI - the majority of response
is by a very small number of members with specific and unique circumstances, or who have
decided to treat CAP as a nearly full-time job, while the average member in flyover
isn't going to be able to do much outside scheduled evenings and weekends, especially
if they have to do it on their own dime, which is far too often the case.

"That Others May Zoom"

RiverAux

At one point I analyzed all the numbers of folks qualified in various ES specialties in our Wing and did some back-of-the-envelope qualifications comparing what we had to what we would probably need to guarantee the ability to get aircrews and ground teams out the door at any time.  It wasn't pretty. 

Its a definite chicken/egg issue -- The more missions you have the easier it is to recruit people to respond to missions, but if you hardly have anyone now, you aren't likely to get to go on many missions....

The lack of missions is one the major reasons by CAP activity has gone down to occasional posts on this board. 

etodd

Quote from: THRAWN on December 16, 2021, 09:40:17 PMYou've been saying this for a long time. What have you done to change it?

RiverAux answered this above. We can recruit folks all day long, showing them these youtube marketing videos that make us look so very active. But then all they see is endless paperwork and training for missions that don't come. And they leave.

I wish I had the answer of what CAP could start doing outside of SAR.  If we don't do it ourselves, it may be Congress that eventually decides for us when they rewrite our Charter to define new directions for us.
"Don't try to explain it, just bow your head
Breathe in, breathe out, move on ..."

Capt Thompson

Two thoughts.

When we hold weekend training, sometimes it's hard to scrape together enough for a team because everyone has something going on. Real mission pops up, and I have 14 members available, we end up taking the Squadron van and 2 POV's. Everyone wants to go to the dance, and since we aren't getting the invite all that often anymore, people tend to make time when the call does come in. Same thing a couple years before, call comes in at 0600 on Christmas Eve, we didn't have any trouble getting folks to respond.

In Michigan, we have MI Public Law 75 (2016) which protects CAP members who respond to missions. Not sure how many other States have similar laws, but here if I get a call while at work, I tell my boss I'm going on a mission and go. The only stipulation, is that within 30 days of obtaining my ES quals, I need to notify work that I'm qualified and what that means to them. This is accomplished by a letter furnished by the Wing Commander. Once they have the letter stating I'm qualified to be called out, I'm protected by law if that call comes.
Capt Matt Thompson
Deputy Commander for Cadets, Historian, Public Affairs Officer

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 1 OCT 00 (#11401)

Eclipse

The "I'll be there when it's real" stuff doesn't fly either as people need to have reps
to be of much use.

My state has job protection (in theory) as well, but I think for most people that's a
last-resort or something to use with your union rep. 

If you have to leverage a law to get time off to go help in a legit time of distress,
you're also probably not in a position to risk taking the time off due to the realities
of workloads and bosses.

These protection laws sound great on paper, but who is paying your bills while you're suing
for wrongful termination, or you get passed up for promotion, or you find yourself moved from
being a manager back to a worker bee.

I view those protection laws mostly as more theater.

"That Others May Zoom"

heliodoc

CAP has had 20 yrs to get on with true Disaster Relief missions similar to CERT and other volunteer training

IF Congress could only bust away from the current political drama to even re evaluate the CAP charter to define a "new direction" for us...we are going to see status quo

Time for all the NESA and HMRS folks to incorporate DR into their curriculum. The CAP world truly has to get out of the mode of overnight camping on SAREXs

Being a former wildland firefighter and spike camping away from a main body of a fire where food and water cubies were airlifted by helicopter.....CAP has a loooong way to go rough it

Like to know about those SARs in CA Wing...were those RTB after daily search or was there truly a 24/72 pack situation going on

I get it..we need to prepare to all eventualities...but very few of todays SM and cadets are overnite campers (need a true CAP survey)

BTW I am in a Wing that has very few calls and few Squadrons are reaching out to EMs for both skilled and non skilled assignments

ALOT need to be done in the realm of ES ESPECIALLY the ol verbiage about ES being a Squadron option.

I KNOW why....it's alot of planning and legwork....Time for BIG CAP to help out!!

Holding Pattern

#11
Quote from: heliodoc on December 17, 2021, 04:46:03 PMCAP has had 20 yrs to get on with true Disaster Relief missions similar to CERT and other volunteer training

In March of this year we hit an estimated 41,000 days of volunteer time on COVID operations.

Let's not pretend that the org is doing nothing on this front.

N6RVT

Quote from: etodd on December 16, 2021, 11:48:30 PMI wish I had the answer of what CAP could start doing outside of SAR.  If we don't do it ourselves, it may be Congress that eventually decides for us when they rewrite our Charter to define new directions for us.

I have 193 hours of mission observer time, 163 of which are actual missions.  80+ sorties

1.3 of that is SAR.  One sortie.  And thats only because a mission activated while we were getting ready for a proficiency flight.

heliodoc

41,000 days of volunteer time...congrats

Like many here have mentioned...It all depends on who is requesting CAP and myself asking my employer(EM) and other in Health and Human Services....basically, we'll get back to you. Also considering other peoples employers and situations in life....

Many were not lucky like you to be called....other arenas we have been


NovemberWhiskey

#14
Quote from: Holding Pattern on December 17, 2021, 06:42:29 PMLet's not pretend that the org is doing nothing on this front.
We should probably also not pretend that any distinctive CAP capability was used for the overwhelming majority of these volunteer days.

Anyone can (and does) help staff a food bank. It's great that we have members who want to participate that way. The fact they are CAP members, rather than well-meaning people straight off the street, adds essentially no value here though.

baronet68

Quote from: NovemberWhiskey on December 17, 2021, 09:22:20 PM
Quote from: Holding Pattern on December 17, 2021, 06:42:29 PMLet's not pretend that the org is doing nothing on this front.
We should probably also not pretend that any distinctive CAP capability was used for the overwhelming majority of these volunteer days.

Anyone can (and does) help staff a food bank. It's great that we have members who want to participate that way. The fact they are CAP members, rather than well-meaning people straight off the street, adds essentially no value here though.



True, CAP members are not much different than any other folks off the street, however...

Just my personal experience, having worked on several of these food bank missions over the past 18 months or so, it seems that CAP members do bring an extra value to the food bank.  Our paramilitary structure generally allows for better organization and work efficiency than what the food banks see from people straight off the street. 

This past weekend, the local food bank asked CAP to pack food for distribution at schools (to help food-insecure families through the holiday school break) and scheduled CAP to work for 3 hours. 

The food bank coordinator forgot how efficient CAP tends to be and had to cut us off after just 90 minutes, which even included a 15 minute break.  At the rate we were going, there would have been no food left for the next scheduled off-the-street group to pack. 

While not a distinctive CAP capability, members seem to enjoy doing it and our help allows CAP to provide a tangible service to our community.
Michael Moore, Maj, CAP
National Recruiting & Retention Manager

Holding Pattern

Quote from: heliodoc on December 17, 2021, 08:49:21 PMMany were not lucky like you to be called...

Luck had absofreakinglutely nothing to do with it.

I developed relationships by going to my established County SAR team's trainings. I showed up to COAD meetings. I showed up to LEPC meetings. I showed the flag at nearly every single public interaction my EMAs were at. AND THEN I CALLED THEM WHEN COVID HEATED UP AND WE WERE AUTHORIZED TO DO MISSIONS AND SAID "Hey, here's what we can do, can you use us?" Then I walked them through requesting us. Then I babysat the mission request every 30 minutes and probably annoyed my DO a bit.


Then when it was all said and done I sent written thank you letters to my wing commander and DO for helping to make things happen.

And I still have the thank you letter I got from the initial COVID Unified Command on my fridge.

Stop waiting for an incident to occur and for someone to have the bright idea to call CAP.

Sell your squadron.


heliodoc

#17
Quote from: Holding Pattern on December 18, 2021, 02:48:37 AM
Quote from: heliodoc on December 17, 2021, 08:49:21 PMMany were not lucky like you to be called...

Luck had absofreakinglutely nothing to do with it.

I developed relationships by going to my established County SAR team's trainings. I showed up to COAD meetings. I showed up to LEPC meetings. I showed the flag at nearly every single public interaction my EMAs were at. AND THEN I CALLED THEM WHEN COVID HEATED UP AND WE WERE AUTHORIZED TO DO MISSIONS AND SAID "Hey, here's what we can do, can you use us?" Then I walked them through requesting us. Then I babysat the mission request every 30 minutes and probably annoyed my DO a bit.


Then when it was all said and done I sent written thank you letters to my wing commander and DO for helping to make things happen.

And I still have the thank you letter I got from the initial COVID Unified Command on my fridge.

Stop waiting for an incident to occur and for someone to have the bright idea to call CAP.

Sell your squadron.


Been selling the Wing and Sqdn...we've had 50 yr members who haven't done the legwork ..the new guard is and...this AOR has to do the delicate tap dance of being in EM at many levels and many where we are at are about 30 yrs late on anything. We aren't waiting on anything ...we are covering numerous issues of promises and mistrust....many in our AOR are babysitting relationships....we are just not everyday buddies and certainly CAP leadership prior to my arrival did not visit the EM world until the last 5 yrs...hard to do when when a Wing has some narcissistic personnel who can't see beyond their own egos....

Holding Pattern

Quote from: heliodoc on December 18, 2021, 03:13:36 AM
Quote from: Holding Pattern on December 18, 2021, 02:48:37 AM
Quote from: heliodoc on December 17, 2021, 08:49:21 PMMany were not lucky like you to be called...

Luck had absofreakinglutely nothing to do with it.

I developed relationships by going to my established County SAR team's trainings. I showed up to COAD meetings. I showed up to LEPC meetings. I showed the flag at nearly every single public interaction my EMAs were at. AND THEN I CALLED THEM WHEN COVID HEATED UP AND WE WERE AUTHORIZED TO DO MISSIONS AND SAID "Hey, here's what we can do, can you use us?" Then I walked them through requesting us. Then I babysat the mission request every 30 minutes and probably annoyed my DO a bit.


Then when it was all said and done I sent written thank you letters to my wing commander and DO for helping to make things happen.

And I still have the thank you letter I got from the initial COVID Unified Command on my fridge.

Stop waiting for an incident to occur and for someone to have the bright idea to call CAP.

Sell your squadron.


Been selling the Wing and Sqdn...we've had 50 yr members who haven't done the legwork ..the new guard is and...this AOR has to do the delicate tap dance of being in EM at many levels and many where we are at are about 30 yrs late on anything. We aren't waiting on anything ...we are covering numerous issues of promises and mistrust....many in our AOR are babysitting relationships....we are just not everyday buddies and certainly CAP leadership prior to my arrival did not visit the EM world until the last 5 yrs...hard to do when when a Wing has some narcissistic personnel who can't see beyond their own egos....

The answer to your problems involves 3 good people dedicated to the cause. PM me if you want to set up a time to discuss it offline.

RiverAux

QuoteIF Congress could only bust away from the current political drama to even re evaluate the CAP charter to define a "new direction" for us...we are going to see status quo
Not needed at all. Current federal law actually lets CAP get involved in any sort of emergency management that we want.

Title 36 Section 40302
Quote(1) To provide an organization to—
(A) encourage and aid citizens of the United States in contributing their efforts, services, and resources in developing aviation and in maintaining air supremacy; and
(B) encourage and develop by example the voluntary contribution of private citizens to the public welfare.
(2) To provide aviation education and training especially to its senior and cadet members.
(3) To encourage and foster civil aviation in local communities.
(4) To provide an organization of private citizens with adequate facilities to assist in meeting local and national emergencies.
(5) To assist the Department of the Air Force in fulfilling its noncombat programs and missions.

Yeah, we have the nice airplanes and there are still some things that we can do with them that are helpful, but we are not mandated to only serve in the air. 

Sure, We are the Civil AIR Patrol, but if the nation doesn't need our aerial capabilities for any given situation, that doesn't mean we can't participate in some other fashion.  Its not like the Air National Guard doesn't occasionally get called on to do ground-based missions. 

And if many of these sorts of missions don't require days of training to perform does not that mean they aren't worth doing?  Do we have to only do stuff that requires specialized training?  As was shown in an earlier post, having a well-organized group of people that are motivated to serve may be all that is needed to help a local government or agency during a disaster. 

Of course, if there are ground-based DR activities that do require training, we should do that training.  I've been saying for as long as I've been on CAPTalk that we need a DR doctrine that should prepare us for such missions, but be flexible enough to allow us to help in other ways when needed.

fyrfitrmedic

 In regards to being proactive and selling one's squadron: The command staff at my former and no longer extant squadron received a smackdown and a loud "stay in your lane" from Group and Wing for taking those steps. Obviously everybody's mileage will vary.
MAJ Tony Rowley CAP
Lansdowne PA USA
"The passion of rescue reveals the highest dynamic of the human soul." -- Kurt Hahn

Eclipse

Quote from: RiverAux on December 19, 2021, 04:10:06 PMAnd if many of these sorts of missions don't require days of training to perform does not that mean they aren't worth doing?  Do we have to only do stuff that requires specialized training? As was shown in an earlier post, having a well-organized group of people that are motivated to serve may be all that is needed to help a local government or agency during a disaster.

Yes - at least that's why people joined CAP historically - access to missions and resources of a type and at a scale that is not accessible locally, or to adhoc "come as you are" situations.

The shelter, food pantry, and Amazon delivery missions CAP has been getting tennis elbow from
patting itself on the back about?

Nope.  No need for CAP there.

Do those organizations need help?  Sure.

Do they need uniforms, protocols, and the administrative BS it takes just to get 4 more people?

No.

CERT does not need or want CAP, they want to train their own people and have C2 of them.

Salvation Army?  Same deal, and there's a non-secular aspect that (kinda) conflicts with CAP's secular stance.

ARC - They want CAP's mailing list, not their uniforms.

Rinse / repeat. 

(And your local church being "super-thankful" that one weekend the cadets raked the leaves
doesn't count as a mission, either locally or nationally, those types of community service activities
are why people join Scouting, not CAP.)


Your local food panty / shelter / rec center / outreach?
Again, they may need help, but it is not skilled labor, they will generally take anyone who shows up,
and depending on the area the organization is located, there may be member safety and/or cadet protection
issues, and often the uniforms are a minus.

Trying to fly under an umbrella of "the charter says we can do anything" may work with Congress,
but it fails at the practical, and it fails for retention.

CAP has had an increasingly specific lane for decades, largely self- and lawyer imposed, has been ignoring quantifying capabilities pretty much across the board both locally and nationally (I dunno do people think NOT saying what CAP does actually helps?), and has shown it isn't interested in accepting the reality of the post-911 HLS / ES landscape where contractors and vigilantes have been increasingly performing the tasks.

The above, and the failure to properly develop leadership beyond "it's Jimmy's turn to be Commander" is
the reason CAP's in the state it's in.

The already initiated slowdown / standown due to Covid for another year will just continue to exacerbate the situation.

But no one will use that downtime to plan and make the tough choices needed to keep the organization viable
when CAP has all those Crisis ribbons to hand out.

"That Others May Zoom"

RiverAux

CAP has gone as far as it can in our traditional air-focused role.  There is nothing wrong with adding new types of missions.  Maybe CAP can't always provide unique skill sets, but sometimes there are needs that don't require special skills and if random people aren't showing up out of the blue to fill that gap, I don't see why CAP couldn't.

If some random National Guard units get called up to hand out food and water or some other non-specialized task, I don't see that as a mission that CAP should refuse to look into.


Eclipse

Quote from: RiverAux on December 19, 2021, 09:25:41 PMIf some random National Guard units get called up to hand out food and water or some other non-specialized task, I don't see that as a mission that CAP should refuse to look into.

Humanitarian type roles are literally and by definition one of the reasons Guard units exist
(at least in as much as their state roles).

Not so for CAP, and Guard "membership" comes with plenty of tangible benefits, with those types
of missions and activities being only a small part of the picture.

Good luck recruiting adults into CAP if your only (or major) mission(s) is something they can do
down the street for free in shorts.

I know it would not have been something I considered 21 years ago.  There's simply no need for
the extra level of BS when I can walk to the corner on my own volition.

"That Others May Zoom"

Jester

Quote from: Eclipse on December 19, 2021, 09:42:42 PM
Quote from: RiverAux on December 19, 2021, 09:25:41 PMIf some random National Guard units get called up to hand out food and water or some other non-specialized task, I don't see that as a mission that CAP should refuse to look into.

Humanitarian type roles are literally and by definition one of the reasons Guard units exist
(at least in as much as their state roles).

Not so for CAP, and Guard "membership" comes with plenty of tangible benefits, with those types
of missions and activities being only a small part of the picture.

Good luck recruiting adults into CAP if your only (or major) mission(s) is something they can do
down the street for free in shorts.

I know it would not have been something I considered 21 years ago.  There's simply no need for
the extra level of BS when I can walk to the corner on my own volition.

Duuuuuuuuude, why do you even stay in CAP?  What are you doing in your sphere of influence to make the organization better, at least what you consider better in your opinion backed by decades of experience?

All I hear is "can't, can't can't".

Eclipse

#25
Quote from: Jester on December 19, 2021, 11:40:57 PMDuuuuuuuuude, why do you even stay in CAP?

Mostly sunk cost, which I would hazard is why a lot of people still wrote a check this year.

Quote from: Jester on December 19, 2021, 11:40:57 PMWhat are you doing in your sphere of influence to make the organization better, at least what you consider better in your opinion backed by decades of experience?

That's funny right there. It's explicitly because I have spent two decades trying my
best to make things better that I have the right to informed complaint.

Also, perhaps a review of the Flat Tire Axiom is in order:
http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=23638.msg423339

Quote from: Jester on December 19, 2021, 11:40:57 PMAll I hear is "can't, can't can't".

Listen close, you're not hearing can't, you're hearing won't.

At the high level the fixes are simple.  The effort is herculean, and that assumes
member buy-in, but the necessary steps are relatively simple to convey.

Its starts with leadership who are more concerned with viability then popularity.

"That Others May Zoom"

Garibaldi

Quote from: Eclipse on December 20, 2021, 12:48:08 AM
Quote from: Jester on December 19, 2021, 11:40:57 PMDuuuuuuuuude, why do you even stay in CAP?

Mostly sunk cost, which I would hazard is why a lot of people still wrote a check this year.

Quote from: Jester on December 19, 2021, 11:40:57 PMWhat are you doing in your sphere of influence to make the organization better, at least what you consider better in your opinion backed by decades of experience?

That's funny right there. It's explicitly because I have spent two decades trying my
best to make things better that I have the right to informed complaint.

Also, perhaps a review of the Flat Tire Axiom is in order:
http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=23638.msg423339

Quote from: Jester on December 19, 2021, 11:40:57 PMAll I hear is "can't, can't can't".

Listen close, you're not hearing can't, you're hearing won't.

At the high level the fixes are simple.  The effort is herculean, and that assumes
member buy-in, but the necessary steps are relatively simple to convey.

Its starts with leadership who are more concerned with viability then popularity.

Eh, I've learned that the esteemed Eclipse, while opinionated, does raise valid points and causes some of us to think. And on occasion he's incited me to try and make some things better, at least locally.
Still a major after all these years.
ES dude, leadership ossifer, publik affaires
Opinionated and wrong 99% of the time about all things

etodd

Quote from: Garibaldi on August 03, 2022, 11:40:48 PMEh, I've learned that the esteemed Eclipse, while opinionated, does raise valid points and causes some of us to think. And on occasion he's incited me to try and make some things better, at least locally.

You waited 8 months to chime in?  ;)
"Don't try to explain it, just bow your head
Breathe in, breathe out, move on ..."

Garibaldi

Quote from: etodd on August 04, 2022, 12:29:42 AM
Quote from: Garibaldi on August 03, 2022, 11:40:48 PMEh, I've learned that the esteemed Eclipse, while opinionated, does raise valid points and causes some of us to think. And on occasion he's incited me to try and make some things better, at least locally.

You waited 8 months to chime in?  ;)

Well the thread was still open, I just returned from self-imposed exile...
Still a major after all these years.
ES dude, leadership ossifer, publik affaires
Opinionated and wrong 99% of the time about all things