What's your favorite CAP experience ever?

Started by yolo, January 10, 2022, 10:24:16 PM

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etodd

For just plain fun, I would say spending a week in Syracuse flying the Reaper Chase missions.

For a different kind of fun, seeing the joy and happiness of Cadets I give O'Rides to is a feeling hard to match.

Currently, as a CFI, it was seeing a Cadet I'm instructing, fly his first solo, and cutting his shirt tail. :)
"Don't try to explain it, just bow your head
Breathe in, breathe out, move on ..."

coudano

WIWAC, for most of a summer, I 'deployed' to CAP mission base for CAP's response to the midwest floods in 1993.  Sandbags, Comms, Flight Line, A/C Maintenance assist, What we now call "mission staff assistant", general duties.

Awesome.

Spam

#3
Quote from: coudano on January 11, 2022, 04:32:03 AMWIWAC, for most of a summer, I 'deployed' to CAP mission base for CAP's response to the midwest floods in 1993.  Sandbags, Comms, Flight Line, A/C Maintenance assist, What we now call "mission staff assistant", general duties.

Awesome.

Unbelievable.  I was reading down the list and was going to type mine, then read yours. My favorite experience since I joined as a cadet in the early 80s was my very first squadron command, St. Louis Comp. Sqdn, when we activated for the 1993 floods. We were activated for about four months, sand bagging, running shifts in the EOC in St. Charles, flying sorties out of Wentzville since all 7 metro GA airports were flooded out, and helping the seven thousand homeless families in the area.  I am pretty sure you and I crossed paths that spring/summer, which was the most meaningful in my CAP life.

Cheers Teammate,
Spam

Edit: second favorite would be finding a missing boy alive in 97 after an all night search and seeing his parents faces when we brought him out to them. Don't think we ever put ourselves in for anything, the faces were enough.

TheSkyHornet

Honestly, I think I've hit a point where I can't hone in on one specific experience. I've gotten to do some cool stuff that I never would have been able to do: C-130 flight, C-17 flight, getting to hang out with the Thunderbirds for a day...

But, honestly, I've had the privilege of helping to organize a lot of events that were similar moments for them but on a totally different level. For me, a lot of those events involved me still being in a planning or oversight role, and I'm scrambling around trying to make sure the event is still going smooth. I'm part of the experience, but it's not really for me as the target audience. I'm staff. It's like being the bouncer at a rock concert. Sure, I get to see the band, but I'm working.

The best part, really, is watching everyone else experience it all...the giant smiles, experiencing their first airplane ride or getting to meet their "hero;" getting to do something that they would never have the chance to do maybe ever again. It's awesome.

CAP, for me, isn't a single moment. It's a long road of planning, stress, chaos, and then that final instance where it all fit together perfectly in the end (or at least nobody else knew any different), and it was just an amazing opportunity for the audience, particularly cadets because that's where I've spent my entire time in CAP and remains my focus today.

I love watching that transition over the course of years to see how far someone has come, and them reflecting back on the things that they got to do as a cadet. I don't have "WIWAC" since I was never a cadet. Maybe what I got to do as a senior member is comparable. But I get to watch today's cadets build their later-in-life WIWAC stories, I guess.


Let's not forget that there are these little moments where we just have fun an event. There's probably not enough context to share with anyone else who wasn't there in that instance. There's probably a few things not necessarily appropriate for a public forum. But I have those, and they're still hilarious.

In the end, I work with some fantastic people. I've made some amazing friends. It's all my favorite.

Capt Thompson

A few hours north of us, the National Guard has a gunnery/bombing range that several states utilize for target practice. Once a year they have an open house, and we were asked to do crowd control. Every 15 mins or so, they would announce over the PA what Squadron was inbound, from what state and what they were flying, and then a few mins later you'd have a group of F-16's, A-10's etc fly in, strafe a few targets (old tanks and jeeps strewn across the field), some dropped bombs (inert), a few fired off missiles at targets at the other end of the field far from the spectators. That was the first time I saw an A-10 unleash it's gatling gun at close range.
Capt Matt Thompson
Deputy Commander for Cadets, Historian, Public Affairs Officer

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

THRAWN

Since 1994, there are a few.

Taking command of a squadron.

9/11 as NJ Wing ES Director.

GSAR Schools as a student and as a commander.

Working as a member of a reserve joint SOF training task force.

Saving a couple of lives.

The Cadets and friends that became family.

Yeah, a few....
Strup-"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
NSS ISC 05-00
USAF SOS 2000
USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016
USMC CSCDEP 2023

754837

My best CAP memories are ones that led to lifelong friendships. I met the sister of a fellow cadet & now she has been my wife of many years.

I have mentioned this in earlier posts but in the 1970's, my pals and I were, in our minds, CAP cadets all the time, not just Tuesday evening from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM.  Because we were cadets, we felt very special, maybe even superior to other kids. The rules were different then - cadets had only minimal senior supervision and we did a bunch of stuff which is most likely why there are more rules today!

I had a "break in service" and came back to CAP as an adult in my early 40's. Because my 1970's cadet experience was so powerful, I had a very difficult time adjusting to the role of a senior member and to the evolution of regulations.  My frame of reference was that of a self-important teenager of some 25 years earlier.  I am one of "those guys" who has a difficult time unlearning or adapting to change!  I still have to convert airspace to the "new system" (TCA's, airport traffic areas etc. to Class A, B, C airspace, etc.)!

Looks like I am hijacking the post: my cadet experience was wonderful and as I sit here and write, I have a smile on my face.

Holding Pattern

Babysitting my squadron's first state mission number request this century for support up the chain of command and walking the requesting agency through the process.

Then getting another mission request after they knew we existed.

Proving we existed and could be called was something I was told for a half-decade couldn't be done and I did it in spite of the Department of No was my favorite part of being in CAP.

NEBoom

Probably encampment when I was a cadet.  Active duty Air Force Base (Grand Forks, ND).  O flights on a KC-135 and a UH-1, plus tours of the whole base (except the obvious restricted areas).  Learned a lot, made some awesome friends I kept in touch with for many years after.
Lt Col Dan Kirwan, CAP
Nebraska Wing

Майор Хаткевич

I owe CAP a lot of what I learned about Integrity and Leadership. 

I owe most of my professional success to what I learned as a cadet and Senior. 

But with all those experiences, my favorite would be the time I stood up for the right thing, and effectively ended my 15 year relationship with the organization I loved.

N6RVT

1974 Encampment when I was a cadet.  Also on an active duty Air Force Base.  I would count both years, first when I wore two stripes (still actually on the sleeve in those days) and the second time when I went as a 1LT.  No senior experience has come anywhere close to that.

RiverAux

Encampment as cadet when AD SPs took all the cadets hostage as part of a terrorism drill.  Woke up with gun in my face.  Some cadets fled down the flightline and were detained by SPs that knew nothing of the drill and were a little sensitive as there were nuclear missiles around. 

Stonewall

Cadet in 1989: I had been a cadet for a little over two years when me and a few others managed to spend a 3-day weekend in the field with the Florida National Guard's 20th Special Forces Group during their training weekend in the Ocala National Forest.  Carried M16's the whole time, rode in deuce and a halfs, ate MREs, rappelled, and watched them jump. Just hanging with them was like a glimpse into adulthood and real life. I still have pictures and am friends with a couple of those cadets.

Senior 1999-2003: For five winters in National Capital Wing, I organized a winter ES exercise called WINTEX. It would be three days, two nights, and only the seasoned cadets who were qualified GTMs could participate. For seniors, it was usually just about four or five of us, all former cadets and current/former military. It got so popular that in 2003 members from MDWG and NJWG joined us. It was as cool as it gets, and the cadets from those years turned out pretty good. One is a PJ, one is a Special Forces Officer, a few others are academy grads and other great officers or enlisted; Firefighters and paramedics.



Serving since 1987.

Shawn Stanford

#14
I'm going to go with the time [redacted] during an air show at which my squadron was working.
"Where in my job description is the word 'nice'?"

AirDX

Night over water... 80NM offshore, in and out of clouds, no stars above, no lights below, just us and some F-22s.
Believe in fate, but lean forward where fate can see you.

754837

This is a great question - please share some more thoughts!

Toad1168

Quote from: coudano on January 11, 2022, 04:32:03 AMWIWAC, for most of a summer, I 'deployed' to CAP mission base for CAP's response to the midwest floods in 1993.  Sandbags, Comms, Flight Line, A/C Maintenance assist, What we now call "mission staff assistant", general duties.

Awesome.

Former Missouri Cadet?
Toad

NovemberWhiskey

Quote from: AirDX on February 01, 2022, 11:39:37 PMNight over water... 80NM offshore, in and out of clouds, no stars above, no lights below, just us and some F-22s.

Presumably not in a single-engine piston?!

arajca

IACE '84 - West Germany. Teaming up with a Canadian and British cadet to spray "IACE '84" on the Berlin Wall.

James Shaw

I have had many that come to mind. However the best one yet was just last night with my youngest son and former Cadet Chief Master Sergeant. He is now an OS3 in the Coast Guard. He was an observer at a Live Exercise with the Coast Guard in his Sector. The exercise hit a technical snag and he was able to assist with the work and help keep the exercise going. I can't offer up more details as he couldn't share it all.

He was approached by his Sectors Senior Chief and asked why he understood the S&R stuff and process better than most with little over a year on active duty. 

He directly attributed his understanding to the Civil Air Patrol and his years as a Cadet with several encampments, GAWG Frostbites under his belt, and a dad that won't shut-up about safety, emergency management, and being prepared.
Jim Shaw
USN: 1987-1992
GANG: 1996-1998
CAP:2000 - Current
USCGA:2018 - Current
SGAUS: 2017 - Current

PHall

Quote from: NovemberWhiskey on March 08, 2022, 01:05:05 AM
Quote from: AirDX on February 01, 2022, 11:39:37 PMNight over water... 80NM offshore, in and out of clouds, no stars above, no lights below, just us and some F-22s.

Presumably not in a single-engine piston?!


Why not? It happens every day in places like Alaska and Hawaii among other places.

NovemberWhiskey

Not in a CAP aircraft, under current regulation, without a special operational mission approval from the NOC.

AirDX

Quote from: PHall on March 08, 2022, 03:58:57 PM
Quote from: NovemberWhiskey on March 08, 2022, 01:05:05 AM
Quote from: AirDX on February 01, 2022, 11:39:37 PMNight over water... 80NM offshore, in and out of clouds, no stars above, no lights below, just us and some F-22s.

Presumably not in a single-engine piston?!


Why not? It happens every day in places like Alaska and Hawaii among other places.

Yep. A 182.
Believe in fate, but lean forward where fate can see you.

PHall

Quote from: NovemberWhiskey on March 08, 2022, 10:03:59 PMNot in a CAP aircraft, under current regulation, without a special operational mission approval from the NOC.


If you have water survival equipment on the plane and everybody is current in water survival you should be good.
All stuff the FRO checks before granting your release. Plus the mission they were flying are normally executed and released by the NOC since it's a "high interest" mission.

Eclipse

My assumption was this was a fueler o-ride off one of the coasts.

There aren't too many places inland in CONUS you can be 85 miles from a shore.

That's the only kind of plane I'd want to be in, over water, at night.

"That Others May Zoom"

NovemberWhiskey

The parameters described above require a SFRO release, a Wing CC/CV/DO release, and a CAP/DO (or designee) release through the NOC, and even then both front seaters would need to be current, instrument-rated, qualified Mission Pilots.

I don't know what CAP mission this is, but it sounds nuts.

PHall

Quote from: NovemberWhiskey on March 09, 2022, 04:04:01 AMThe parameters described above require a SFRO release, a Wing CC/CV/DO release, and a CAP/DO (or designee) release through the NOC, and even then both front seaters would need to be current, instrument-rated, qualified Mission Pilots.

I don't know what CAP mission this is, but it sounds nuts.

Playing slow moving target for the F-22s.

AirDX

Quote from: PHall on March 09, 2022, 04:25:40 AM
Quote from: NovemberWhiskey on March 09, 2022, 04:04:01 AMThe parameters described above require a SFRO release, a Wing CC/CV/DO release, and a CAP/DO (or designee) release through the NOC, and even then both front seaters would need to be current, instrument-rated, qualified Mission Pilots.

I don't know what CAP mission this is, but it sounds nuts.

Playing slow moving target for the F-22s.

That was the mission. Both current and qualified. I was Wing SE at the time. PIC was CAP member who was also AD AF, on staff duty in my day-job office, after a tour as an MC-130 pilot. When he left he went to Beale to fly the U-2. We knew what we were doing.

Sorry, I didn't realize this was a "justify how you did your favorite CAP experience" thread.

 
Believe in fate, but lean forward where fate can see you.

Garibaldi

I guess it would be encampment '84 at what is now known as the Air Dominance Center in Savannah GA. Being on flight staff afforded us the opportunity to stay up til all hours ostensibly having staff meetings. Reality, of course, was different. Anyway, long about midnight we saw a black clad figure peeping in the windows, then at the far door. Quietly opened it, and snuck down the aisle. We saw he was dressed like a ninja and seemed surprised when he found out we could see him. No match for us adrenaline-fueled teens, we quickly subdued and hog tied him, eventually tossing him out the door he came in through. He eventually got to his feet, hopped around and immediately fell into a shallow ditch where he spent the remainder of the night.
Still a major after all these years.
ES dude, leadership ossifer, publik affaires
Opinionated and wrong 99% of the time about all things