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Author Topic: Is CAP going to continue as an Air Force auxiliary?  (Read 19010 times)
skymaster
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« on: November 16, 2011, 12:09:29 AM »

I recently had a long discussion with a lobbyist friend of mine from many years ago, who regularly schmoozes with 3 and 4 star level Air Force officers on a regular basis.  This person is not just some fly-by-night wannabe, but I can confirm from my contacts in the military contracting field that he is 100% the "real deal" in who he actually deals with as part of his job, and thus his subject matter discussion holds a little bit more weight in my eyes than the average CAP member.  The matter of discussion he called me about dealt with the possible future of the CAP organization continuing to be the USAF Auxiliary.  The information that he came into, again, from individuals who would be in a position to discuss such things, indicated that there are certain officers at that level, who think that the funds currently being spent to support CAP as it currently exists, would be better served by CAP's elimination as one of the auxiliary services, with either outright disbandment, or standing up a new Air Force Auxiliary that is completely under Air Force control (more along the lines of an American version of the British Royal Auxiliary Air Force or an Air Division of a State Defense Force).  Normally I would think this is overly cautious worrying from one friend to another, but I am not so sure at this point.  In the past month, I have already heard from multiple sources that CAP member access to base facilities is to be severely restricted if not outright eliminated, as a general practice; as well as the fact that one wing (Georgia) has recently been requested to remove their Wing HQ office from Dobbins Air Reserve Base. (They are now in a facility at a nearby municipal airport).  This, together with an intended more "civilianized" logo design discussion item by CAP leaders, frankly has me a bit worried for the future of CAP in its current form.  I am hoping that this is not the case. Maybe it is a "chicken little" moment for a few people, and maybe several people misheard the same erroneous information, and it really is not anything that the average CAP member needs to be worried about.  What do all of you think?

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RogueLeader
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 12:13:59 AM »

Such a change would be required to pass congress. So, even if the AF did want us gone, it would take congressional and presidential support. I doubt it will happen.
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 12:17:27 AM »

The USAF has no compunction about axing heritage items to save money (see base closures) so it wouldn't come as a big shock to me if at some point the USAF said no mas to CAP.

One of the things that has always irritated me about the relationship between CAP and the USAF is how different it is from AFROTC and AFJROTC.  I get that the missions are different but we've always been held at arm's length from the USAF.

If we were to get separated from the USAF I don't think we'd disband.  I think we'd be absorbed into another organization similar to CAP.
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 12:18:45 AM »

Such a change would be required to pass congress. So, even if the AF did want us gone, it would take congressional and presidential support. I doubt it will happen.
Especially with the current polarization... They'd practically oppose it just cause one side introduced it.  ::) >:(
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 12:27:19 AM »

The roughly 30-35 million that CAP gets through the AF budget is mice nuts in the overall AF budget.  It might buy one F-16.  If anyone seriously wants to get CAP out of the AF hierarchy, there are more important fish to fry.
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Paul M. Reed
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 12:41:38 AM »

We have major supporters in both houses of congress. Some random 3 or 4 star can cry all they want, but congress wont kill us.

If you watch carefully during election cycles, every once in a while, a politician up for re-election will trot out "his money saving idea to use CAP instead of multi=million dollar AD assists". It allows that congressman/senator to tell his local constituency that HE saved them tons of money.

Plus it would require the AF to spend triple (or more) what they spend on CAP a year to even get the GAO to conduct a study to see the feasibility of a new "auxiliary". With the secretary of the AF worrying about how he is going to keep the USAF combat ready, he wont support killing an organization that provides warm bodies for lackland,  is used in place of JROTC, and provides DIRT CHEAP air resources to MANY agencies (state/local/federal).

I do not know of a single base that recently asked CAP to not come on base anymore. Every year we hear the same thing, and every year from WW2 we still motor on.
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 01:55:36 AM »

I do not know of a single base that recently asked CAP to not come on base anymore. Every year we hear the same thing, and every year from WW2 we still motor on.

^^^^ This.

Seriously: If I had a dollar for every time I heard "Well, the [insert one or more: wing, group, squadron] got moved to smaller/crappier digs on base, guess that means the AF will be cutting us loose any minute now..", I could buy most of the folks here on CAP Talk a cup of coffee (at Dunkins. One per 5 CAPTalkers, $2.17 each.  Gotta share, no backwashing). 

Bottom line is: CAP is not, nor ever has been, a "tenant" unit someplace in the eyes of the AF.  Buildings cost money, even unoccupied ones.  The bean counters at HQ/AF and the Department of the Air Force don't see "Building 1245 on Podunk AFB is being used for the Civil Air Patrol, so we gotta leave it alone."  No, they say "Hey, base commander: you have 120 buildings on your base.  We'd really like you to have 100, cuz its costing us $X to maintain 120 building, so it will probably cost $X - 20% to maintain 100 buildings.  Pick your 20 crappiest buildings, move everything AF out, and flatten 'em."  So CAP, the cub scouts, the Airman's Attic and the Airman Against Drunk Driving get kicked to the curb when its time to dump those 20 buildings, because the other things in those buildings were AF assets and they *must* get buildings..

On the other hand, I'm still and always consistently amazed sometimes that CAP is *still* in the Air Force fold.  Most of you were not in CAP when it went thru its "terrible teenager" years where it poked a finger in the eye of the Air Force and said "Nah-nah, you can't do nothing about it!"  Yeaaaah, that was a fun time, and these same conversations were had by the same (well, not _the_ same) anonymous 3 & 4 stars, and very consistently there were "well-placed, highly knowledgeable 'folks-in-the-know'" who swore up and down that CAP is on the verge of being [disbanded, subsumed, reorganized, federalized, decriminalized, demineralized or demoralized... pick one] tomorrow.

And I mean this was when there was out-and-out acrimony on the part of the Executive Director and the National Commander toward the Air Force.  And look: 10+ years later, we're still here.

The other side of the coin is, and I don't know how good of a job CAP does at this: a lot of people in the military hierarchy don't get the distinction between JROTC and CAP, as far as "school-based vs. community-based."   I almost guarantee its this way sometimes in the Air Force (Holm Center notwithstanding).  I've dealt with this in the USAC: When we talk to fairly senior Army officers, they know all about CAP and its cadet program, and we say "OK, so what does the Army have like CAP's cadet program?" and they usually answer "JROTC!" We have to remind them that, at least for AJROTC, that program is only accessible to something like 3.5 or 4% of the high school-aged population in the US.   So, for more than 95% of the high schoolers in the country, if their school does not have an AJROTC unit, they're out of luck.  A community-based program, however, draws from a larger geographical area and is not as dependent on the vagaries of the school systems, funding, etc.

Something to think about when the "CAP vs. JROTC" thing comes up.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 02:37:17 AM by MIKE » Report to moderator   Logged
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RiverAux
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 03:08:17 AM »

Seeing as how I've seen a speech where a National Guard officer was whining about the 10-20K spent on their SDF, I would be surprised if there wasn't someone in the AF that would like to get rid of CAP with the idea of spending the money on something else. 

I would also not be surprised if there were AF officers that wouldn't like the same control over CAP that the CG has over the CG Aux.  There are CAP members that wouldn't mind that either. 
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Hardshell Clam
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2011, 03:23:02 AM »

IMHO, I see the CAP going more towards the "polo shirt crowd".
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PHall
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2011, 03:50:45 AM »

IMHO, I see the CAP going more towards the "polo shirt crowd".

I thought you were of the "no uniform" crowd.
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Hardshell Clam
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2011, 04:00:23 AM »

IMHO, I see the CAP going more towards the "polo shirt crowd".

I thought you were of the "no uniform" crowd.

I don't recall ever saying that. Are you going to countinue berating me or allow me to express an opinion?
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2011, 04:12:52 AM »

IMHO, I see the CAP going more towards the "polo shirt crowd".

You must be in the sad corner of CAP then.
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Hardshell Clam
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2011, 04:38:19 AM »

IMHO, I see the CAP going more towards the "polo shirt crowd".

You must be in the sad corner of CAP then.

This may be true, but I did say "IMHO". I just see the CAP moving further away from the USAF in the future is all. They seem to hold us at arms length now...
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2011, 04:40:15 AM »

IMHO, I see the CAP going more towards the "polo shirt crowd".

You must be in the sad corner of CAP then.

This may be true, but I did say "IMHO". I just see the CAP moving further away from the USAF in the future is all. They seem to hold us at arms length now...

My version of "further away from the USAF" is the BBDU and White/Grey combo. But to each his own I guess.
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Hardshell Clam
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2011, 04:57:53 AM »

IMHO, I see the CAP going more towards the "polo shirt crowd".

You must be in the sad corner of CAP then.

This may be true, but I did say "IMHO". I just see the CAP moving further away from the USAF in the future is all. They seem to hold us at arms length now...

My version of "further away from the USAF" is the BBDU and White/Grey combo. But to each his own I guess.

Works for me.
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cap235629
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2011, 05:03:00 AM »

Our squadron recently hosted a NASAR class and one of the local Emergency Managers made a comment that the BBDU's looked really sharp and professional.  I personally think such a remark was very complimentary and should make people pause and ask why camouflage is so important especially considering the fact that ANSI class II vests are now required.
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Hardshell Clam
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2011, 05:06:31 AM »

Our squadron recently hosted a NASAR class and one of the local Emergency Managers made a comment that the BBDU's looked really sharp and professional.  I personally think such a remark was very complimentary and should make people pause and ask why camouflage is so important especially considering the fact that ANSI class II vests are now required.

I agree. At least in the blue, the tapes, etc match. The camos look funny with the "blue trim".
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johnnyb47
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« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2011, 05:26:01 AM »

Our squadron recently hosted a NASAR class and one of the local Emergency Managers made a comment that the BBDU's looked really sharp and professional.  I personally think such a remark was very complimentary and should make people pause and ask why camouflage is so important especially considering the fact that ANSI class II vests are now required.

I agree. At least in the blue, the tapes, etc match. The camos look funny with the "blue trim".
I'll give you that to a degree but I would argue that the yellow or orange reflective vests look FAR better on camo than they do on the bbdu.
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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2011, 05:26:17 AM »

Bottom line.....if it is a budget issue.....the USAF cannot....I SAY AGAIN....cannot afford to cut CAP loose.

We save the USAF many many many more dollars then the $30M they spend on us right now.

AFRCC only has to be the coordination center because CAP has its 500 +/- aircraft out there ready to fly the missions that the U.S. government would be tasked to do.  If the federal government did not give that job to the USAF or USCG...then the states would have to pick up the bill......and it is impossible for anyone to do what we do for as cheap as we do it.

So....any 4 star out there trying to kill CAP so he can get our $30M so he can save his personal pet project would quickly be told to shut up by ACC and AFRCC.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2011, 05:28:01 AM »

Our squadron recently hosted a NASAR class and one of the local Emergency Managers made a comment that the BBDU's looked really sharp and professional.  I personally think such a remark was very complimentary and should make people pause and ask why camouflage is so important especially considering the fact that ANSI class II vests are now required.

I agree. At least in the blue, the tapes, etc match. The camos look funny with the "blue trim".

Actually, they look worse on the BBDU. They clash because they are not complimentary shades. The BDU looks ok at best with them. I would much prefer it if my uniform was at least uniformly blue...
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