CAP Talk

Operations => Aerospace Education => Topic started by: RiverAux on December 25, 2006, 10:57:39 PM

Title: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: RiverAux on December 25, 2006, 10:57:39 PM
Another intersting thing is that CAP is apparently trying to move away from our only real AE program for adults -- NCASE.  According to the Nov NEC minutes we're going to try to shift it over to a consortium of aerospace organizations and not run it directly.  Apparently we haven't been getting enough people to show up to make it worth while. 

Seems to me that CAP really needs to re-think its AE mission.  As I see it, rather than as the third pillar of CAP we have been treating it as a subsidiary of the cadet program.  Besides the Yeager award there isn't any real AE program for seniors and there isn't really any apparent program for bringing AE to the public other than to kids.  But, we can probably say that we do (to quote one of our reasons for being established in the US Code): "provide aviation education and training especially to its senior and cadet members."

But, where is a powerpoint program that I as a senior member can give at a Kiwanis Club or other such group that will "Encourage and aid citizens of the United States in contributing their efforts, services, and resources in developing aviation and in maintaining air supremacy" and exactly what is CAP's strategy "To encourage and foster civil aviation in local communities"?

If all our AE program is really going to be about is giving some materials to teachers and making cadets pass tests then we need to stop saying it is one of the primary purposes of CAP. 

Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: Major Carrales on December 25, 2006, 11:39:02 PM
I think the AE program needs to be more refined and redefined.


Originally the itent of AE was different than today.  Back in CAPs founding and created 3 missions era,  I imagine a scene of Flight helmet wearing men in ridding pants riding into a county fair in a bi-plane and ministering to a crowd of boater, bowler and fedora wearing country folk all pointing and saying "Look, Mortimer...its one of them new fangled autogyros!"

This, according to by father and grandfather, was exactally what aviation life was like to the commonman in my neck of the wood in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

But today, I think the approach needs to be more technical.  A concentration on application centered AE instead of a basic intro.  Teach "aviationsmanship (?)" and make willing cadets into people poised to take to the sky.  CAP Officers to might benefit from "Professional Development" oriented AE.

Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: DNall on December 26, 2006, 02:18:48 AM
But, where is a powerpoint program that I as a senior member can give at a Kiwanis Club or other such group that will "Encourage and aid citizens of the United States in contributing their efforts, services, and resources in developing aviation and in maintaining air supremacy" and exactly what is CAP's strategy "To encourage and foster civil aviation in local communities"?
That would be recruiting!

I'm disappointed they want to push NCASE off rather than figure out how to fix the problems that keep it from being successful (namely w/o airlift it's too costly to attend). It is by the way just about the only external AE we do. I think the better strategy would be to seek out AFA & AOPA as partners.

I do agree though that the program needs redefining. I'd start by saying the AF doesn't fund such a program for good will. They do it cause the juxt of the program is supposed to be producing aviation minded young leaders for the military, and a public that supports a stong Air & Space force when talking to their congressman.

Now then, I'm all for a better defined AE program on the senior side. Yeager is nice, but it needs to go back to closed book, but maybe could be split in two sections to be more managable. Then there's instructor aspects & external aspects that can be covered. Some of that might well fall under the spec track that needs some work, but some might also be written into the overall PD program so everyone has to do a little at some point if they want to move up.

"aviationsmanship (?)"
Airmanship is the word you're looking for. Not the AF related version, that's just the word.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: RiverAux on December 26, 2006, 02:37:32 AM
Quote
That would be recruiting!

No, it would be promoting aviation and air supremacy.  CAP already has presentations to use in recruiting CAP members.  But where are the presentations showing the benefits of having a local airport or the importance of aerospace in maintaining our position in the world? 
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: JohnKachenmeister on December 26, 2006, 03:30:14 AM
We are SUPPOSED to be advocating aviation and air supremacy on behalf of the Air Force, and advocating for general aviation on behalf of the GA community.  We have abrogated those missions to the Air Force Association and the Aircraft Owners' and Pilots' Association respectively.

AE has always been the stepchild of CAP.  Personally, I think the fix is to find within our ranks in each wing some officers who yearn and burn to do aerospace education in the community, and structure a senior squadron or flight for them with no other mission than AE.  Let them run with it, and amaze us with the results when they are released from the burdens of managing cadets and maintaining mission proficiency.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: RiverAux on December 26, 2006, 04:02:47 AM
Part of the problem is that it is such a nebulous mission.  The CG Aux has as one of its main missions recreational boating safety.  Its clear what they are trying to do -- reduce boating accidents and save lives through boater education safety classes, doing boating safety checks, etc. 

What are the goals of CAP's AE program?  How are they measured?   Is it even necessary?  After all I think pretty much everyone recognizes the importance of satellites, air travel, etc. 

Just for fun I spent a few minutes browsing CAP's site trying to find out exactly what the AE program's goals were and couldn't really come up with anything concrete. 

So,  I went to the AE regulation (CAPR 280-2).  Interestingly, it mentions 2 of the 3 AE-related purposes of CAP but it totally ignores the part about developing civil aviation.

All in all, I'm fairly happy with our internal AE program.  Sure, its not great for seniors, but I don't think they're terribly interested in general AE anyway. 

So, what are the goals of the external AE program according to the reg? Well, they don't really say but basically seem to indicate that we're focused on providing AE to kids in schools, either directly or through educating their teachers.  And, I do think we've got a lot of stuff available to do this. 

But, to what end? 

The natural fit for CAP probably would have been to develop into the premier aviation safety organization in the country.  It probably should have been us, rather than the AOPA, that took the lead in this area.  It just seems like such a natural.  But, aviation safety isn't something we seem to be either mandated or interested in promoting. 
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: JohnKachenmeister on December 26, 2006, 03:47:40 PM
River:

Of course, you are correct. 

The AE mission was one which was tacked on by Congress, and one that has never been clearly defined.

But that lack of definition creates an opportunity, which CAP is letting slip away.  Or already has let slip away, depending upon your level of pessimism.

Even using AE as an extension of SAR and sponsoring survival classes for GA pilots would be better than the unfocused "Talk to teachers" approach we have now.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: A.Member on December 26, 2006, 04:11:47 PM
We are SUPPOSED to be advocating aviation and air supremacy on behalf of the Air Force, and advocating for general aviation on behalf of the GA community.  We have abrogated those missions to the Air Force Association and the Aircraft Owners' and Pilots' Association respectively.
While that may not be technically correct, I do agree.  Other organizations have filled the gap.  That doesn't mean we can't be equally effective as, say the AOPA, but the program needs a serious overhaul/refocus.

Quote from: RiverAux
All in all, I'm fairly happy with our internal AE program.  Sure, itís not great for seniors, but I don't think they're terribly interested in general AE anyway.
Personally, I think the AE program is weak.  This mission has been a distant 3rd and it really shouldn't be.  The idea is to promote aviation.  Aviation is at the core of the organization.  We're not the Civil Ground Patrol.  As discussed, more robust programs are need both for cadets as well as adults. 

Any formal adult program is virtually non-existent.  I'm not down on the Yeager as some people appear to be - it has value - but once you complete it, then what?  I don't have any answers but much more is needed.   In addition, the promotion of aviation to adults outside the organization is non-existent - that needs to change.  Some out of the box thinking is really needed here.

As for the cadet programs, let's see what we have:
*  AE modules - the text overall is not bad but more useful hands on activities should be supported.     
*  AEX program - a crappy program that National throws at squadrons.  It is far too elementary for nearly all cadets but especially the older ones.  A complete redo.
*  Model Rocketry - our cadets love rockets but the program doesn't seem to be pushed by National.  Rockets can be expensive, although grants, etc. can be obtained to subsidize some of the cost.  Still, it seems the program is just missing something to make it feel useful.

We should really be the premier organization on any aerospace related issue - not just like any other club you can join (i.e. model rocketry or r/c airplanes).  Some random thoughts - I'd really like to see:
*  significantly greater support for a broader range of hands on activities (actual detailed walkthroughs of aircraft, tours of facilities, museums, industry experts, etc.). 
*  O-flights more directly tied to AE exercises. 
*  Some greater CAP sponsored campaign to drive the public promotion of aviation.  The future of GA is under attack - what can we do to not only ensure it's existance but to help it thrive?
*  a concerted effort to really lobby our resources to provide us with access to some of the unique tools, facilities, etc. that could set us apart and help the program/organization excel. 
*  Help USAF better understand the available potential at a "local level". 

As for the original question, I can't speak to the value of NCASE because I've never been to one.   However, if any of the material that is put out by National is an indication (AEX program, as an example), I wouldn't have very high expectations for it (hopefully that's not true).  For an organization that supposedly prides itself on the promotion of aviation, accessibility does seem to be an obstacle. 

Like I said, I don't necessarily have the answers but discussions like these are where solutions start.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: DNall on December 26, 2006, 10:47:51 PM
Quote
That would be recruiting!

No, it would be promoting aviation and air supremacy.  CAP already has presentations to use in recruiting CAP members.  But where are the presentations showing the benefits of having a local airport or the importance of aerospace in maintaining our position in the world? 
Complete sentences my friend: "Encourage and aid citizens of the United States in contributing their efforts, services, and resources in developing aviation and in maintaining air supremacy" That means bring your skills/resources/etc as a CAP member... where your job is to dev/maintain aviation/air supremacy (AF mission). Or if you don't want to join CAP, then at least support the AF mission & us as we help w/ that mission. External AE ties into that, and isn't typically done at the Sq level. I'm not saying we don't need more & better AEOs, but there's a laundry list of things that come first.

Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: RiverAux on December 26, 2006, 11:38:04 PM
That doesn't even make sense.  You're saying that one of the purposes of the CAP is to get people to join CAP? No, it is obvious to me, and you hit on it later, that this is what we're now calling the external AE "program". 

Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: ZigZag911 on December 26, 2006, 11:45:12 PM
One fruitful area for support and public education would be in making the case for generala viation to the citizens of our communities.

In some areas CAO has become actively involved in saving GA airports slated for other development...but it would be so much more effective to get themessage out BEFORE issues arise
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: sandman on December 26, 2006, 11:54:05 PM
My question is: is external AE (or even internal AE) relevant in this day and age? With the web and "mainstream" media (I enjoy the "Military Channel" and the "History Channel" among others), what more can the AE program offer the general public? ???
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: JohnKachenmeister on December 27, 2006, 12:27:59 AM
My question is: is external AE (or even internal AE) relevant in this day and age? With the web and "mainstream" media (I enjoy the "Military Channel" and the "History Channel" among others), what more can the AE program offer the general public? ???

Actually, Sandy, what have we EVER offered?

And you are right, cable TV can reach a wide, if niche, audience.  Why aren't WE producing educational/documentary videos?  I'd rather see that than another re-run of "The Blue Angels Year" or "BUDS-- How We Screw With SEALS."

Why coudn't WE produce a series of 1/2 hour shows on CAP heroes?  We have a 65 year history of heroism; sinking submarines, running SAR, directing traffic...

D'Oh!
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: sandman on December 27, 2006, 12:41:33 AM
My question is: is external AE (or even internal AE) relevant in this day and age? With the web and "mainstream" media (I enjoy the "Military Channel" and the "History Channel" among others), what more can the AE program offer the general public? ???

Actually, Sandy, what have we EVER offered?
That's what I meant to say....and I go by sandy clause during the holidays (just a phrase I'm going through) ;D

Quote from: John K.

And you are right, cable TV can reach a wide, if niche, audience.  Why aren't WE producing educational/documentary videos?  I'd rather see that than another re-run of "The Blue Angels Year" or "BUDS-- How We Screw With SEALS."

Why coudn't WE produce a series of 1/2 hour shows on CAP heroes?  We have a 65 year history of heroism; sinking submarines, running SAR, directing traffic...

D'Oh!

Anybody care to donate a few million for production? Just send me the monies and I'll help set up the production company...after all, I'm right next to Hollyweird   ;D ;D
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: A.Member on December 27, 2006, 01:07:34 AM
And you are right, cable TV can reach a wide, if niche, audience.  Why aren't WE producing educational/documentary videos?  I'd rather see that than another re-run of "The Blue Angels Year" or "BUDS-- How We Screw With SEALS."

Why coudn't WE produce a series of 1/2 hour shows on CAP heroes?  We have a 65 year history of heroism; sinking submarines, running SAR, directing traffic...

D'Oh!
I actually think you're on to something.  Even if it's not having a series, how about advertising - PSAs, whatever.   That's our audience.

I've always thought that if a person could track down the right writer/director (or even get the screenplay written), a feature length movie (from "Hollywood" - for the theaters) on our WWII exploits are incredibly fascinating, almost completely unknown outside the organization, and make for a fantastic story.  If told/presented correctly, it would be huge in many respects. 

The fact that these niche channels/programs exist should illustrate exactly how much interest there is in aviation.  How can we, as an organization, exploit that?  I want to see aviation thrive at all levels.  That is supposedly is one of our core missions.  We need to make this a priority.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: JohnKachenmeister on December 27, 2006, 01:09:38 AM
Nice try.  Somebody wanted to start a CAP Heritage Flight, and I told them if they bought the planes, I'd fly them.  I'm still waiting.

Actually, I don't think it would take "Millions."   We have tons of historical and archival footage, and stills that can be interspersed into a production.  By using moving cameras, pan and zoom, we can create the illusion of movement with stills.

We have a collection of historical insignia, and volunteer actors, actresses, and technicians that could be used in production.

On top of that, we have the Science channel... How about taping one of our zipper-suited sun-gods talking about the science of flight?  We could do a whole series on that alone, and it wouldn't take much past a speaker, a camera crew, and some computer-generated graphics.

I'd just bet we have SOMEWHERE among the 56,000 CAP volunteers a few guys with TV/Video experience.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: A.Member on December 27, 2006, 01:12:56 AM
Nice try.  Somebody wanted to start a CAP Heritage Flight, and I told them if they bought the planes, I'd fly them.  I'm still waiting.
The problem is that no one even knows about CAP to support such a fantastic endeavor.   Once the word is out, I think a Hertige Flight could take place...would almost be demanded.  That's why a feature film told like "The Right Stuff" or "Band of Brothers" would be so significant.  Something that entertains and inspires.  It would generate significant interestfrom so many aspects. 

Not to say I'd want a film like Top Gun but the Navy, to this day, is still reaping the benefits of that production.  The point is, I think we could/should justify having such a production done professionally by real writers, directors, and actors.  Just throwing out ideas. 

Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: RiverAux on December 27, 2006, 01:15:57 AM
I hate to say it, but the failure to get CAP coverage on Wings (now the military channel) has got to be laid at the feet of the National PA program.  While I've got to believe they've tried, it obviously hasn't worked.  Any one of us could probably come up with 1 or 2 dozen angles that would work for 15-30 minute segments.  

However, to be fair, this would require granting the  networks fairly complete access to various CAP activities and that is something that can scare the bejeezus out of an organization.  Say, for example, we granted them full-access to an actual missing airplane search mission and they caught on film some base staff member making a huge mistake (sending 2 CAP planes to the same grid).  Even if nothing bad happened, it could make us look bad.  

However, as the old saying goes, "No guts, no glory!"
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: sandman on December 27, 2006, 01:19:18 AM
Actually, I don't think it would take "Millions.".....
Um, no. I need the millions to do it properly ;)

Really though, it would take a heafty sum to coax a reputable company to produce it and sell it to the History Channel or something similar. Editing fees are somewhat expensive too. But there are a lot of creative people out there with some powerful software and who knows....something good could be grafted together. Worth a shot anybody?
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: Major Carrales on December 27, 2006, 01:53:39 AM
Actually, I don't think it would take "Millions.".....
Um, no. I need the millions to do it properly ;)

Really though, it would take a heafty sum to coax a reputable company to produce it and sell it to the History Channel or something similar. Editing fees are somewhat expensive too. But there are a lot of creative people out there with some powerful software and who knows....something good could be grafted together. Worth a shot anybody?

We made a film about the USS Lexington as part of a TEACHING AMERICAN HISTORY GRANT...

It was fun...

http://www.tah.esc2.net/project_lexington.html (http://www.tah.esc2.net/project_lexington.html)

The only way would be to apply for a special AE grant.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: JohnKachenmeister on December 27, 2006, 02:14:04 AM
I made a 20-minute information video about the Army's transition to the Army Aviation Branch in two weeks with a rented camera, one cameraman, and one NCO.  We had editing facilities at Ft. Rucker, but did the edit ourselves.

That was two weeks from CONCEPT to COMPLETION.  We did the research, I wrote the script and did my own voiceover audio, selected background music, got PA officer approval of the script, did the historical research, shot the scenes, and edited the final product.

It was a LOT of 12-14 hour days.  After a 12-14 hour day, we'd stop at the club, have a beer, and plan the next day's activity.  I burned out my cameraman, who transfered right after the mission.  he didn't know he'd have to work that hard.  My commander was concerned that we were working too hard, and ordered us to go out to dinner with him.  We sat in a pizza-and-beer restaurant there in L.A. (Lower Alabama) watching the pilot film of "Knight Rider."  There was a scene where the talking car crashed through a plate-glass window.  Both my NCO and I said, "Dang, that was a great edit!"  Even over Pepperoni and PBR we coundn't put it down till it was done.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: ELTHunter on December 27, 2006, 03:37:37 AM
The decision makers should not underestimate the importance of AE and CP in supporting the organization as a whole.  I know several senior members that have joined because they are teachers, and were exposed to CAP through the AE program.  Then the teachers go back to school, excited and enthusiastic about AE and wanting to share the neat things they did during their summer workshop.  Next thing you know we get a few cadets join the squadron because of the AE program.

Also, in Tennessee, the Wing gets funding from the state Aeronautics Commission.  I have heard that when CAP goes in to pitch for $$, they tell the commission how much we do in SAR and such, and the commission is sort of OK, what else do you have.  Then when they are told, oh, we also have a cadet program, they are more interested in providing funding.  Cadets interested in aerospace = new pilots = good for the aeronautics commission.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: RiverAux on December 27, 2006, 03:40:08 AM
Oh I'm positive that the reason most towns/airports that provide free meeting space for CAP do so primarily because of the cadet program. 

Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: arajca on December 27, 2006, 03:41:51 AM
I know of at least two senior sqdns that get free meeting space at local airports. No cadets involved.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: ZigZag911 on December 27, 2006, 04:30:07 AM
Oh I'm positive that the reason most towns/airports that provide free meeting space for CAP do so primarily because of the cadet program. 


My experience has been that FBOs and government airport authorities want to demonstrate their commitment to the local community and to general aviation by supporting (and housing!) CAP.....if cadets are involved, so much the better when it's time for photo ops for the local newspapers....but I've often seen both senior squadrons and group headquarters helped with equal enthusiasm by airport managers.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: sandman on December 27, 2006, 04:57:29 AM
The decision makers should not underestimate the importance of AE and CP in supporting the organization as a whole.  I know several senior members that have joined because they are teachers, and were exposed to CAP through the AE program.  Then the teachers go back to school, excited and enthusiastic about AE and wanting to share the neat things they did during their summer workshop.  Next thing you know we get a few cadets join the squadron because of the AE program.

Also, in Tennessee, the Wing gets funding from the state Aeronautics Commission.  I have heard that when CAP goes in to pitch for $$, they tell the commission how much we do in SAR and such, and the commission is sort of OK, what else do you have.  Then when they are told, oh, we also have a cadet program, they are more interested in providing funding.  Cadets interested in aerospace = new pilots = good for the aeronautics commission.

I still contend that CAP areospace education is an obsolete concept. My point is that there are many avenues available to the public who are interested in learning history and current events in aviation.
What then is the point of CAP AE? Sure, it can reach a few people but the scope is narrow and the delivery outdated.
What I am reading from your post gives me the idea that AE is actually a subset of recruiting. That's OK, but not the original purpose of AE.

I hope I'm wrong....
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: JohnKachenmeister on December 27, 2006, 02:43:13 PM
The decision makers should not underestimate the importance of AE and CP in supporting the organization as a whole.  I know several senior members that have joined because they are teachers, and were exposed to CAP through the AE program.  Then the teachers go back to school, excited and enthusiastic about AE and wanting to share the neat things they did during their summer workshop.  Next thing you know we get a few cadets join the squadron because of the AE program.

Also, in Tennessee, the Wing gets funding from the state Aeronautics Commission.  I have heard that when CAP goes in to pitch for $$, they tell the commission how much we do in SAR and such, and the commission is sort of OK, what else do you have.  Then when they are told, oh, we also have a cadet program, they are more interested in providing funding.  Cadets interested in aerospace = new pilots = good for the aeronautics commission.

I still contend that CAP areospace education is an obsolete concept. My point is that there are many avenues available to the public who are interested in learning history and current events in aviation.
What then is the point of CAP AE? Sure, it can reach a few people but the scope is narrow and the delivery outdated.
What I am reading from your post gives me the idea that AE is actually a subset of recruiting. That's OK, but not the original purpose of AE.

I hope I'm wrong....

I would not say that AE is outdated, but CAP needs to keep its program current with the times and our target audience, which is still largely undefined.

For example, could we produce pre-packaged lessons in subjects OTHER than physics and science that emphasize the importance of aviation?  History lessons, economics, physiology, geography, mathematics, all kinds of subjects have a component that is effected by aviation.  Keep the lesson to 30-40 minutes so it would fit into a standard classroom period, with time for attadance, announcements, and the teacher's introduction.  Produce a teacher's guide to the lesson, and answers to pobable questions, make the video entertaining and interesting.  Teachers might just keep it as a standby lesson for when they have to bring in a "Sub."

THAT would educate the public about the overall social impact of aviation, AND have the side benefit of getting CAP in front of the target group for cadet recruiting.  This is called "Soft" recruiting, creating a favorable image without asking for a committment to join. 
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: A.Member on December 27, 2006, 03:34:15 PM
I would not say that AE is outdated, but CAP needs to keep its program current with the times and our target audience, which is still largely undefined.

For example, could we produce pre-packaged lessons in subjects OTHER than physics and science that emphasize the importance of aviation?  History lessons, economics, physiology, geography, mathematics, all kinds of subjects have a component that is effected by aviation.  Keep the lesson to 30-40 minutes so it would fit into a standard classroom period, with time for attadance, announcements, and the teacher's introduction.  Produce a teacher's guide to the lesson, and answers to pobable questions, make the video entertaining and interesting.  Teachers might just keep it as a standby lesson for when they have to bring in a "Sub."
I agree, the idea of AE is not at all out-dated.  There are many opportunities for the organization. 

We must redefine the organization's approach.  I really like the idea proposed above.  Kids are really very bright - possibly because there is so much information out there.  The result is that we need a program that speaks to that level and really allows for the development of concepts rather than some of the very elementary type exercises that are produced.  Perhaps that also means more experienced/trained AEO's. 

There are plenty of areas where CAP can develop programs to set it apart from any other organization in the AE arena.  In addition to a better classroom type curriculum, we need to form better partnerships with the business community - both at a national and local level.  At a more standardized/coordinated level we should:
∑   Arrange visits to maintenance facilities (airlines/military at best - our own at minimum). 
∑   Tear down engines and rebuild them. 
∑   Work with aerodynamics (allow for design and to see real wind tunnel tests and impacts).   
∑   Explore the physiology of flight (take a trip to a hyperbaric chamber and experience it's effects).
∑   Every cadet should go the USAF Museum at Wright-Pat.   
∑   Discuss specific aerospace career opportunities (from design to legal, ticket counter to programmer, balloon pilot to astronaut). 
∑   Tour ATC, Flight Service Stations, etc. 
∑   Visit an airlines operation center. 
∑   Participate as a sponsor, at some level, for aviation activities such as air rallys (http://www.airrally.com/2/english.htm), air races (http://www.redbullairrace.com/), air shows, aircraft visits to/from schools (middle school to high school), or even new events that take us into the next chapter of aerospace such as Ansari's X-Prize (http://www.xprize.org/) or Rocket Racing League (http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/10/11/popsci.rocket/). 
∑   View shuttle/rocket launches. 
∑   Tour NASA (and not just the general tour but a VIP type tour)
∑   Arrange incentive rides with the AF (maybe any cadet that earns a Spaatz)
∑   Tour manufacturers and designers. 
∑   TV programs/commercials (even if done as a PSA - educate the non-flying public as to why GA is important)
∑   Sponsor/advertise/host an on-line page for current events (similar to www.avweb.com or the like)
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: RiverAux on December 27, 2006, 11:35:56 PM
I guess my problem is that I tend to like to be able to determine success by measurable criteria.  I just don't see any in the external AE program.  Maybe they're there someplace. 
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: Pylon on December 27, 2006, 11:58:17 PM
I guess my problem is that I tend to like to be able to determine success by measurable criteria.  I just don't see any in the external AE program.  Maybe they're there someplace. 

Pretty much in a program like external AE, where the organization is educating members of the public with no need for a call to action but simply for awareness, it would be near impossible to measure success.  Awareness is expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to determine if you are doing your job right.

But it would seem that we're barely doing our job to begin with, as an overall nationwide organization.  We don't need a measuring stick to realize that the program itself needs a good look at and a significant, purposeful reorganization.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: JohnKachenmeister on December 28, 2006, 01:06:07 AM
As an IG, I've inspected lots of squadron-level units.  AE is the first thing to be thrown over the side to lighten the load.

And why not?  Like RiverAux said, there's no way to measure when you are successful, so there's also no way to measure failure.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: RiverAux on December 28, 2006, 01:10:41 AM
If you put your mind to it, you can figure out ways to measure public awareness.  However, to do it you would need to know exactly what key messages you're trying to put across.  What are the key messages of our external AE program?  Heck if I know. 

But, if you knew what message you're trying to get across you can determine if it is working. 

For example, if your message is focused on the importance of civil aviation you can conduct surveys of the public before and after a particular campaign to see if there has been any change in public opinion on some part of that issue (such as: Has the percentage of people in your state who believe it is important for local towns to fund airports risen?).

You're right about the cost and the difficulty though.

Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: A.Member on December 28, 2006, 02:38:36 AM
As an IG, I've inspected lots of squadron-level units.  AE is the first thing to be thrown over the side to lighten the load.

And why not?  Like RiverAux said, there's no way to measure when you are successful, so there's also no way to measure failure.
There are plenty of metrics that could be developed - even for external programs.  It wouldn't be overly difficult to do.  Someone just needs to take the time to do it.  That should be the role of National and conferences like NCASE.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: SarDragon on December 28, 2006, 06:17:12 AM
I would not say that AE is outdated, but CAP needs to keep its program current with the times and our target audience, which is still largely undefined.

For example, could we produce pre-packaged lessons in subjects OTHER than physics and science that emphasize the importance of aviation?  History lessons, economics, physiology, geography, mathematics, all kinds of subjects have a component that is effected by aviation.  Keep the lesson to 30-40 minutes so it would fit into a standard classroom period, with time for attadance, announcements, and the teacher's introduction.  Produce a teacher's guide to the lesson, and answers to pobable questions, make the video entertaining and interesting.  Teachers might just keep it as a standby lesson for when they have to bring in a "Sub."
I agree, the idea of AE is not at all out-dated.  There are many opportunities for the organization. 

We must redefine the organization's approach.  I really like the idea proposed above.  Kids are really very bright - possibly because there is so much information out there.  The result is that we need a program that speaks to that level and really allows for the development of concepts rather than some of the very elementary type exercises that are produced.  Perhaps that also means more experienced/trained AEO's. 

There are plenty of areas where CAP can develop programs to set it apart from any other organization in the AE arena.  In addition to a better classroom type curriculum, we need to form better partnerships with the business community - both at a national and local level.  At a more standardized/coordinated level we should:
[do a bunch of really kool stuff]

Who's gonna pay for all this?

I hear folks bemoaning swapping out $3 patches, and the $7 shipping for the patch, and our AF funding is decreasing, but now y'all want to spend thousands of dollars with no apparent source.

YMMV.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: A.Member on December 28, 2006, 06:29:46 AM
I would not say that AE is outdated, but CAP needs to keep its program current with the times and our target audience, which is still largely undefined.

For example, could we produce pre-packaged lessons in subjects OTHER than physics and science that emphasize the importance of aviation?  History lessons, economics, physiology, geography, mathematics, all kinds of subjects have a component that is effected by aviation.  Keep the lesson to 30-40 minutes so it would fit into a standard classroom period, with time for attadance, announcements, and the teacher's introduction.  Produce a teacher's guide to the lesson, and answers to pobable questions, make the video entertaining and interesting.  Teachers might just keep it as a standby lesson for when they have to bring in a "Sub."
I agree, the idea of AE is not at all out-dated.  There are many opportunities for the organization. 

We must redefine the organization's approach.  I really like the idea proposed above.  Kids are really very bright - possibly because there is so much information out there.  The result is that we need a program that speaks to that level and really allows for the development of concepts rather than some of the very elementary type exercises that are produced.  Perhaps that also means more experienced/trained AEO's. 

There are plenty of areas where CAP can develop programs to set it apart from any other organization in the AE arena.  In addition to a better classroom type curriculum, we need to form better partnerships with the business community - both at a national and local level.  At a more standardized/coordinated level we should:
[do a bunch of really kool stuff]

Who's gonna pay for all this?

I hear folks bemoaning swapping out $3 patches, and the $7 shipping for the patch, and our AF funding is decreasing, but now y'all want to spend thousands of dollars with no apparent source.

YMMV.
That's a valid question. 

We could stop wasting money on silly things like ARCHER and GA-8's.  That'd be a start.  But we'd also be looking for corporate donations (dollars, time, and/or resources)/sponsors, obtain Space-A flights, reduce paper costs, etc.   We must sell on the benefit we're providing as well.  Recently, we even had enough money to sponsor some silly NASCAR team.  I'm confident that we could find the funds if we were interested in looking.

BTW, we received a lot more funding this year for training than we did last year.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: Major Carrales on December 28, 2006, 06:35:28 AM
Who's gonna pay for all this?

I hear folks bemoaning swapping out $3 patches, and the $7 shipping for the patch, and our AF funding is decreasing, but now y'all want to spend thousands of dollars with no apparent source.

YMMV.

One point of order... never underestimate the determination of CAP Officers.   If there is any program that has a corps of CAP Officers that want to see it happen, they might just pony up the money to make it come to fruition.  Not only that, they might...if they really believed in it...spend countless hours, days and weeks making it happen.

My point is...if one loves something that much they will find a way.

I don't know if this is such a program, but if it was...and people really wanted it to succeed...I bet it would happen from MEMBER FUNDS, MEMBER TIME and MEMBER INGENUITY.  I honestly believe that.

Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: JohnKachenmeister on December 28, 2006, 02:09:22 PM
Who's gonna pay for all this?

I hear folks bemoaning swapping out $3 patches, and the $7 shipping for the patch, and our AF funding is decreasing, but now y'all want to spend thousands of dollars with no apparent source.

YMMV.

One point of order... never underestimate the determination of CAP Officers.   If there is any program that has a corps of CAP Officers that want to see it happen, they might just pony up the money to make it come to fruition.  Not only that, they might...if they really believed in it...spend countless hours, days and weeks making it happen.

My point is...if one loves something that much they will find a way.

I don't know if this is such a program, but if it was...and people really wanted it to succeed...I bet it would happen from MEMBER FUNDS, MEMBER TIME and MEMBER INGENUITY.  I honestly believe that.

"Civil Air Patrol:  That part of the Air Force that DOES have to hold bake sales."

"I am a CAP officer.  I have done so much with so little for so long that I am now qualified to do anything with nothing."


Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: sandman on December 29, 2006, 09:56:58 PM
Who's gonna pay for all this?

I hear folks bemoaning swapping out $3 patches, and the $7 shipping for the patch, and our AF funding is decreasing, but now y'all want to spend thousands of dollars with no apparent source.

YMMV.

One point of order... never underestimate the determination of CAP Officers.   If there is any program that has a corps of CAP Officers that want to see it happen, they might just pony up the money to make it come to fruition.  Not only that, they might...if they really believed in it...spend countless hours, days and weeks making it happen.

My point is...if one loves something that much they will find a way.

I don't know if this is such a program, but if it was...and people really wanted it to succeed...I bet it would happen from MEMBER FUNDS, MEMBER TIME and MEMBER INGENUITY.  I honestly believe that.

"Civil Air Patrol:  That part of the Air Force that DOES have to hold bake sales."

"I am a CAP officer.  I have done so much with so little for so long that I am now qualified to do anything with nothing."


1. Are there enough CAP officers with time and interest to keep an AE program afloat?
2. What value does it have to the Air Force?
3. Would there be enough people interested in ammending the congressional charter to de-emphasize the AE?
4. If #3 could be accomplished, what should be the replacement?
just questions, musings, ruminations.....
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: DNall on January 02, 2007, 09:46:03 AM
That doesn't even make sense.  You're saying that one of the purposes of the CAP is to get people to join CAP? No, it is obvious to me, and you hit on it later, that this is what we're now calling the external AE "program". 
Yes kind of. It's a mission to give people the opportunity to serve their Country by helping us help the AF, absolutely that' spart of our job. It seems pretty plain to me just the way it's written.

The external & internal for adults are about supporting the AF budget. The internal & external for kids are about inspiting them to want to be fighter pilots so they end up AF supply officers rather than tankers or even worse, bankers - sorry lawyers didn't rhyme.  ;D

Anyway, civil aviation is fine to the extent that kids are exposed to it & it makes fighter pilots, otherwise it's not the AF's job nor is it appropriate to spend AF money (read CAP's time) doing that. I think our role in general aviation is from a safety perspective & letting them know we're the people that'll be coming to get them. Kind of like a cessna is to an F22 as CAP is to PJs? Get GA pilots thinking of CAP that way & that's good for everyone. Otherwise you're talking about AOPA's world & they're pretty good at it already.

I don't think you can pull AE out of the charter. For one, it's already de-emphasized in reality regardless of the paper, plus that's not really what the charter says. Anyway, our ES isn't anything special, our cadet program is great but can be absoarbed pretty easily by all the rest out there. AE seems like no big deal but for some reason the AF big whigs think it helps them out. You need all of it together to make us a worthy investment, and really we need more than that as ES is changing around NIMS at teh same time ELT tech is coming online.
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: lordmonar on January 02, 2007, 04:45:44 PM
I think a lot of the AE program comes from the old days in befor the 1950's where air travel was not as common place as it is today.

I mean today we have air ports all over the place, flying is one of the most popular (if not the #1) method of cross country transportation.

Every major city has one or more major air ports.  Back in the 1940's they were still fighting with the Army about whether air power was even relevant.  They had a serious lack of trained pilots and very little home town enthusasm for flying.  So AE ogranisations were in the intrest of the USAF because it helped produce pilots, educated voters on the use of air power which in turn influenced congress.

Today...it is not nearly as important, IMHO.  Internally I think it is great.  Externally...I think it is at a point of diminishing return.  How much time and energey should I spend here at Las Vegas educating the citezens of this city about how air power helps them.  They alread have an air port.  Their concerns are about noise and property values.  They already have two air ports inside the city limits...the want to move them out!  So AE in my opinion here in Vegas is a losing proposition.

So NCAS is going away....if it costs too much....good.  Let's spend that money on another powered flight academy session. 
Title: Re: Bye bye NCASE
Post by: A.Member on January 02, 2007, 05:03:15 PM
Today...it is not nearly as important, IMHO.  Internally I think it is great.  Externally...I think it is at a point of diminishing return.  How much time and energey should I spend here at Las Vegas educating the citezens of this city about how air power helps them.  They alread have an air port.  Their concerns are about noise and property values.  They already have two air ports inside the city limits...the want to move them out!  So AE in my opinion here in Vegas is a losing proposition.
I think you just touched on why AE (externally) is more important than ever.  GA is under attack.  Satellite airports around the country are at risk.  The NIMBY crowd has a loud voice that must be countered.  AOPA does some of this, so can we.

Technology changes.  You mention that in the early days of aviation, greater exposure was needed.  How about today?  Air travel will become even more prevalent on many scales, despite industry issues.  And what about the "space" portion of the word aerospace?  It's a key component of future Air Force.  Hell, it's part of the mission statement.  We need to help people understand why this is important.  We're also in the very infant stages of commercial passenger space travel.  There is much to be shared.