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Poll
Question: Could the model outlined in this fictitious story work?
It would be useless and the new CAP would soon fold   -20 (60.6%)
It would have a lot of growing pains, but it could evolve into something good   -2 (6.1%)
Without Air Force involvement, CAP is not CAP   -9 (27.3%)
The focus on ES/SAR only would be a major shot in the arm   -1 (3%)
Something like this has been needed for a long time!   -1 (3%)
Total Members Voted: 33

Author Topic: CAP Speculative Fiction  (Read 10688 times)
The CyBorg is destroyed
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« on: April 04, 2014, 12:30:12 AM »

I like speculative fiction; i.e., “what if Hitler had won World War II?”  Probably my favourite is by the late Australian General Sir John Hackett GCB CBE DSO & Bar, MC – August 1985: The Third World War.  Even though it seems quaint now, the story line is plausible and it is a good read.

So, my own bit of CAP speculative fiction – and that is all it is meant to be.

The question comes up occasionally – what if CAP were cut loose from the Air Force?

The scenario: January 2025.  After many decades of fiscal woes, un-funded wars and wasteful projects, the Pentagon decides it just has to cut back on everything.  All overseas bases are closed.  The U.S. greatly reduces its contribution to NATO.

The Air Force is no exception.  The F-35 has failed to come into service.  The service is forced to revive mothballed F-16’s from the “bone yard” at Davis-Monthan AFB.  On a more positive note, the production lines building advanced F-15E derivatives and F-16’s for overseas customers are contracted to produce new-build models for the USAF.

However, the Air Force decides that many non-combat programs have to end.  After a lengthy analysis, the USAF decides that the ROI of the Civil Air Patrol, its civilian Auxiliary, is not worth the money it takes to purchase and fund aircraft (and other) operations, and the Cadet Program is not producing recruits like it has in the past.  AETC decides to close down CAP-USAF.  Congress agrees.  The CAP is given six months to close down its operations on Maxwell AFB.  The Air Force ends all funding to the CAP, folds the Cadet Program into Air Force JROTC.  The CAP is no longer connected to the U.S. Air Force in any way.

For the first time since its inception in 1941, the Civil Air Patrol is on its own as a completely civilian, non-profit corporation.  No more funding from the Air Force, no more access to any DoD facilities, and, of course, the privilege of wearing the USAF uniform ends.  The USAF tells the CAP, “we don’t care if you set up shop at a civilian dirt airstrip in Jerkwater, USA or at JFK – it isn’t our concern anymore.  Thank you for all you’ve done.  We’ll keep your exhibit at the AF Museum open.  Goodbye.”

The CAP also no longer has “corporate” aircraft, which the Air Force has taken and is selling on the open market.  There are now only “member owned” aircraft.

After the initial shock of being “amputated” from the Air Force passes (as do about 30% of its adult membership), the CAP sets about reorganising.  Each Wing that had headquarters on DoD installations has to find a new home, as do Squadrons that were based on these installations.  Much “begging, borrowing and stealing” ensues.  Member dues are doubled.  Each Wing and Squadron adds its own dues.  Each unit must purchase its own equipment.  This almost ensures that the CAP will now become more of a “rich boys and girls” club.

Each unit, from the Corporate down to Flight level, must find new partnerships.  The Department of Homeland Security, CERT teams, Citizen Corps, amateur radio enthusiasts, LEO SAR groups, Army and Air National Guard units at the State level, State Defence Forces, volunteer fire departments and the like all receive calls from the CAP to expand existing relationships or form new ones.  Some respond.  Some do not.  Squadrons and Flights close down and/or merge.  The CAP decides that members must possess or learn a skill that can be used for its new mission of “SAR/ES only.”  Even though CPPT is no longer required, fingerprint checks are still required, through local police departments, with each member defraying the cost.

The corporate leadership of the CAP has decided to retain uniforms, though they must be completely redesigned, with no Air Force components or military-style rank insignia.  After much debate, the BBDU is kept as a work uniform, though all insignia is deleted except for an aircrew-type leather nameplate with the wearer’s aeronautical or ground team qualification and name inscribed.   The polo shirt is kept as a “casual duty” uniform, though the former CAP seal must be removed and is replaced by what is colloquially known as the “triangle thingy.”  Both green and blue flight suits are worn, with the sole insignia being the leather nameplate.  The service uniform is redesigned, with a blue Van Heusen pilot shirt and generic dark-blue trousers.  The CSU-era blue nameplate is readopted.  There is no blazer, service coat or headgear.  For “nicer” occasions members simply wear a dark-blue tie and their (much reduced) ribbons and qualification badges.

The airline community also provides insignia, with new titles.  Flight, Squadron, Wing (there are no more Groups) and Corporate leadership are elected, with staff members appointed, somewhat like the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.  New titles and insignia are:



Wing Leader – four gold bars
Deputy Wing Leader – four silver bars
Squadron Leader – three silver bars
Squadron First Officer – two silver bars
Flight Leader – two gold bars
Member, Aircrew – one gold bar
Member, Trained – one silver bar
Member, Untrained – no insignia

National corporate officers wear special insignia.

All leaders, after their term of service is up, revert to the “member” insignia.  There is no longer any saluting or military customs and courtesies.

Now, after reading this completely subjective flight of fancy, please answer the completely subjective and non-scientific poll questions as to whether or not you think such a model could or could not work.  If so, would it be more or less efficient?

Remember that this is purely speculative fiction.
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Brad
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 12:37:32 AM »

Shhh! Don't give anyone ideas! :-P

Seriously though, USAF is too instrumental to our operations and maintainability. Without the DoD funding and assets, we wouldn't last long given the scale of operations as compared to available corporate-only and member assets.
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Brad Lee
Maj, CAP
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Fubar
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 12:51:44 AM »

I'm confused. I thought we got our appropriations from congress who then tells the Air Force to keep tabs on the money.

It's not the Air Force's money. It's ours.

Now we're already seeing the Air Force cut way back on their oversight of us to the point that pretty soon, there really won't be any oversight at all. Not sure what that means for us.
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Panache
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 12:58:42 AM »

I don't think CAP would succeed in the ES/SAR field without some sort of government endorsement/connection.  No legit ES/SAR organization would allow us anywhere near an active incident.

We would, essentially, become the US Ranger Corps, V2.0. 
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lordmonar
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2014, 01:28:28 AM »

Now I said CAP without the USAF is not CAP.

a.  We could continue to provide AIR and Ground SAR/DR resources to our local state and county governments as a purely member funded (or with local funding) organization.   It would probably be some sort of police axillary thought.   I could see the states rolling up the wings into a state trooper axillary.....it would open up a lot of missions for us....no Posse Comutatas.

b.  We could probably keep the cadet program as most of that funding is actually at the local level....CAP CP is way way way cheaper then AFJROTC as the USAF does not pay any of our salaries!  If they were going to ax any program it would be AFJROTC....say good bye to NCSA's though.

c.  Loosing the USAF uniform for the cadets though would probably kill the program though.....but we would not need USAF permission to use their uniforms under title 10......so we could keep them.

Just a not on your speculative fiction about F-35........by your time line the F-35 is going to be a mature platform.   Pulling airframes from the bone yard would just be stupid........it would be cheaper to buy something from over seas instead of refurbing antiques.    Not to mention we would never be able to defend ourselves or project any sort of presences overseas (Yes I know you just said we pulled out of overseas but if that happened then the USAF would not be worried about extra non-combat capabilities).

d.  Also......the ROI on CAP is tremendous!  Assuming that the USAF kept its responsibility to coordinate and conduct in-land SAR.......there is no way they can do it for how much we do it.   The only way for the USAF to "save money" would to just get out of the SAR business all together.    Either pushing it over to the CG or pushing it down to the states to do.......see my point A.

e.  Also another point......notice you said CAP would not have Corporate Owned Aircraft because the USAF took them and sold them......notice that they are COV's and GOV's..........the USAF can't "take them back"!  They certainly would not bother doing so....they would cost more for the USAF to DRMO them they would ever get back any sort of ROI.   IF....IF they could take them back it would not make them any money to sell them......500 aircraft.....say the get a really, really good price at auction (say $100K each) that only $50M......which they will never get, and then they would spend a big chunk of that money collecting, transporting, storing them before the sale.   No.....the USAF would just cut their losses and "give" the aircraft to CAP....which they already have.


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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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SarDragon
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2014, 03:10:23 AM »

If you look at the FAA database, you will see that all of CAP's aircraft are owned by the corporation. When they are "retired", they don't go to the Air Force, they are sold off, by the corporation.
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Dave Bowles
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coudano
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2014, 05:13:39 AM »

Is it worth pointing out that CAP existed before there was any such thing as the USAF?

In honor of the question though, maybe better stated,
what if CAP had never been associated to USAF in the first place.
would it still be here today?
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FW
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Posts: 2,182

« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2014, 07:46:17 AM »

Maybe, with the funding cuts ordered by congress, the Air Force has other ideas for us.  Maybe, the commander of 1st Air Force (a member of the BoG) would like to integrate us into a larger part of the kingdom? 
Hmm, maybe AFJROTC and the CAP Cadet programs being merged?
CAP pilots and aircraft having greater mission utilization?
Nahh, never happen (?) >:D

If you look at the FAA database, you will see that all of CAP's aircraft are owned by the corporation. When they are "retired", they don't go to the Air Force, they are sold off, by the corporation.

They may be "owned" by the corporation, however they were paid for with taxpayer dollars.  When CAP sells an aircraft, the funds can only be used to upgrade the existing fleet, or purchase new aircraft. The Air Force can also dictate the size of the fleet.
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Storm Chaser
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2014, 11:22:21 AM »

It was an interesting story/fiction until you got to the redesigned uniforms, insignias and titles. As usual, every discussion in CT ends up being about these.

There's always a need for volunteers. CAP would survive if it adapted to the new circumstances and focused on concrete community needs. Organizations such as CAP are founded when there's a need to fill, but there longevity is determined by their ability to change with the times and their environment and to face new challenges as they're presented. Otherwise, they die and are replaced by something else. Focusing on some of the trivialities that we tend to focus here certainly don't help.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2014, 12:19:37 PM »

For the first time since its inception in 1941, the Civil Air Patrol is on its own as a completely civilian, non-profit corporation.  No more funding from the Air Force, no more access to any DoD facilities, and, of course, the privilege of wearing the USAF uniform ends.  The USAF tells the CAP, “we don’t care if you set up shop at a civilian dirt airstrip in Jerkwater, USA or at JFK – it isn’t our concern anymore.  Thank you for all you’ve done.  We’ll keep your exhibit at the AF Museum open.  Goodbye.”

The CAP also no longer has “corporate” aircraft, which the Air Force has taken and is selling on the open market.  There are now only “member owned” aircraft.

This is the end of CAP.

It can't exist on its own without military support, nor should it try.
The amount of intangible, but very expensive support we are afforded via those channels is irreplaceable.
From landing fees to encampment cost and everything in between.
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jeders
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2014, 12:48:22 PM »

There needs to be one more choice on your poll for, "The premise is fundamentally flawed."

First, as has been mentioned already, the aircraft are owned by CAP the corporation, not the Air Force. Therefore, the Air Force can no more take and sell them on the open market than they can equipment privately owned by Air Force personnel or civilian contractors. So that right there has to be thrown out.

Second, while the Air Force administers our federal funding, the money come to us from Congress. If we were to be cut loose from the Air Force (which I'm sure Mr. McCain would like) then we would either have our funding administered by some other part of the federal government, or we would self-administer it with some form of government oversight. However, what would not happen is for that money to go straight to the Air Force or other DoD budgets by default. Now, if Congress decided to stop funding CAP, that's an entirely different animal.

As for uniforms, what would most likely happen, since according to you we've lost the CP, is that we would all go to polo and khaki tac-pants. We might keep some form of coverall for flying the corporate owned aircraft (all 550 of them) though I kind of doubt it.

Given that revised background, we may likely continue doing SAR for the Air Force (because they don't have the manpower to handle it themselves all the time), except that we'd be doing it as contractors, not an auxiliary. We would be more like a volunteer fire department where we are trained for the job and answer the call when needed, but the rest of the time we have our own lives.

Of course since we lost 60-70% of our membership (all cadets plus 30% of adults), we'd have fewer than 20,000 people spread across the country. This would lead to being much less able to serve many of the areas we serve now. Because large numbers beget large numbers, and because it is typically difficult at best to attract new senior members, we may likely end up bleeding off members until we finally shrivel up and blow away.

Of course this is all subjective speculation and we could end up being the largest and most effective volunteer SAR organization in the nation by cutting ties with the Air Force. I doubt it, but it is as equally valid as any other path coming from the basis that we have formed here.
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THRAWN
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2014, 01:18:44 PM »


Of course this is all subjective speculation and we could end up being the largest and most effective volunteer SAR organization in the nation by cutting ties with the Air Force. I doubt it, but it is as equally valid as any other path coming from the basis that we have formed here.

Doubtful. What would most likely happen is that big AF retains control of the coordination, and the actual execution goes to the states where it belongs. What could happen, is that before the AF severs ties, we as an organization recognize that we don't actually do SAR. We really do SA. More juristictions are using their own assets. Fewer juristictions have MOUs with CAP. Pretty much comes from the lack of standardized training, and what training does exist is not very thorough as far as the SAR community goes. What we need to do, is train for and take a larger role in DR. There is more work available, we have some fairly specialized assets, and organizationally can be full performance in a fairly compressed time period.
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Strup
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Eclipse
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2014, 01:40:36 PM »

I would also hazard that the 20-30% loss posited by Jeders would include a large number of ES operators
as well as a significant amount of the knowledge leaders and mentors.

The current state and opstempo of CAP's haphazard "occasionally and if they have our number" way of getting missions
would not sustain a lot of members if that was the only thing they were involved in.

What retains a lot of members is the variety of activities they are afforded being involved in both CP and ES (AE is nothing
more then lip service at this point).  CAP tends to run in cycles through the calendar year, ES ebbs and CP flows, etc.
Lose one or the other of those arcs on the sine wave and you lose a lot of people, myself included.
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THRAWN
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2014, 01:56:42 PM »

a.  We could continue to provide AIR and Ground SAR/DR resources to our local state and county governments as a purely member funded (or with local funding) organization.   It would probably be some sort of police axillary thought.   I could see the states rolling up the wings into a state trooper axillary.....it would open up a lot of missions for us....no Posse Comutatas.


Or...the states could pick us up and operate us under Title 32. OR...FEMA could pick up up to do "air stuff" (I seriously heard that at a meeting when I was with DHS) and move more into a traditional emergency management role.

As a public service organization, parts would survive. As an educational entity, bye.
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Strup
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Eclipse
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2014, 02:09:08 PM »

Maybe, the commander of 1st Air Force (a member of the BoG) would like to integrate us into a larger part of the kingdom? 

I'll put a Venti on this being the front-runner.
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Storm Chaser
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2014, 02:20:09 PM »


What retains a lot of members is the variety of activities they are afforded being involved in both CP and ES (AE is nothing more then lip service at this point). (emphasis mine)

External AE maybe, but internal AE is pretty strong; it's just very intertwined with the Cadet Programs.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2014, 02:23:03 PM »


What retains a lot of members is the variety of activities they are afforded being involved in both CP and ES (AE is nothing more then lip service at this point). (emphasis mine)

External AE maybe, but internal AE is pretty strong; it's just very intertwined with the Cadet Programs.

Agreed - that's always been my point.  By far the vast majority of AE is done either through the CP or ES.
As a separate mission it doesn't exist.
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jeders
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« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2014, 02:32:20 PM »

I would also hazard that the 20-30% loss posited by Jeders would include a large number of ES operators
as well as a significant amount of the knowledge leaders and mentors.

Actually that 20-30% comes from the original speculative fiction, though I absolutely agree with you that it would include much more than just the CP only crowd.
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If you are confident in you abilities and experience, whether someone else is impressed is irrelevant. - Eclipse
The CyBorg is destroyed
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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2014, 02:59:11 PM »

b.  We could probably keep the cadet program as most of that funding is actually at the local level....CAP CP is way way way cheaper then AFJROTC as the USAF does not pay any of our salaries!  If they were going to ax any program it would be AFJROTC....say good bye to NCSA's though.

c.  Loosing the USAF uniform for the cadets though would probably kill the program though.....but we would not need USAF permission to use their uniforms under title 10......so we could keep them.

In my scenario, though, CP no longer exists, so the issue of keeping uniforms for cadets is moot.  However, I had not considered Title 10, which (I suppose) is how state SDF's get to use them with even fewer modifications than we have to; i.e., only changing a nameplate or collar brass.

I am unsure that I agree with you about AFJROTC being axed before us, because it has always seemed to me that the AF "likes" AFJROTC a lot better than they do us.

Just a not on your speculative fiction about F-35........by your time line the F-35 is going to be a mature platform.   Pulling airframes from the bone yard would just be stupid........it would be cheaper to buy something from over seas instead of refurbing antiques.

IF the 35 ever comes into full service!  The RAAF has more or less pulled out and bought off-the-shelf F/A-18E/Fs.  The RCAF are considering a similar move with the Dassault Rafale or Eurofighter Typhoon.

OK, "boneyard" scenario aside, there are brand new, ultramodern F-16's being built for customers like Poland and the United Arab Emirates, that, "stealth" aside, are probably as capable as the F-35 would be.




...not to mention the F-15E "Slam Eagle" derivatives being built for South Korea, Israel and Saudi Arabia.


e.  Also another point......notice you said CAP would not have Corporate Owned Aircraft because the USAF took them and sold them......notice that they are COV's and GOV's..........the USAF can't "take them back"!

Frankly, I puzzled over that one.  Thank you for clarifying.

There needs to be one more choice on your poll for, "The premise is fundamentally flawed."

I claim "artistic licence." 8)


What retains a lot of members is the variety of activities they are afforded being involved in both CP and ES (AE is nothing more then lip service at this point). (emphasis mine)

External AE maybe, but internal AE is pretty strong; it's just very intertwined with the Cadet Programs.

I joined mostly for AE.

It was an interesting story/fiction until you got to the redesigned uniforms, insignias and titles. As usual, every discussion in CT ends up being about these.

Which is why I saved it until the last.

Focusing on some of the trivialities that we tend to focus here certainly don't help.

Again...pure speculation.

Is it worth pointing out that CAP existed before there was any such thing as the USAF?

In honor of the question though, maybe better stated,
what if CAP had never been associated to USAF in the first place.
would it still be here today?

That point was very much in my mind when I conceived this fictitious scenario, that we predated the USAF.

I doubt we would still here if we had never been associated with USAF.  WWII ended and the need that we filled during the war was no longer there.

These have been some very good real-world replies to a flight of fancy that will likely never, ever happen. :clap:
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Garibaldi
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Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2014, 03:44:27 PM »

Am I wrong, or is the fact that we are Congressionally...mandated? Is that the word? Wouldn't that take the premise out of the hands of the Air Force? I mean, they could request we be removed as the aux, and since Congress comes up with funding for the Air Force and allocates the money to us...isn't it their problem, and not Ma Blue?

Or am I completely ignorant of the process and how Congress and the Air Force regard us?

$20 million a year won't buy many newfangled jets in my eyes. Basing that number on my last viewing of what the Air Force/Congress gives us a bunch of years back.
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You can't take the sky from me. Also, I can kill you with my brain. No power in the 'verse can stop me.
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