JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas —
Cadets and officers from three Civil Air Patrol squadrons ranging in ages from 12 to 17 years old received an introduction into the Alamo Wing mission at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Nov. 6.
The 45 Texas Wing CAP members from Texas-187 Alamo Composite Squadron, Texas-351 Pegasus Composite Squadron, and Texas-345 David Lee “Tex” Hill Composite Squadron, toured a C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, the engine shop and the 733rd Training Squadron’s C-5M school house.
“I think today was awesome,” said 16-year-old Cadet Lt. Col. Joshua Reed, Texas-187 ACS deputy commander for mission support. “We got to see everything in the C-5, check out the engine mechanics’ area where they help to fix the engines, and the schoolhouse. I think it was great.”
“Today was amazing,” said 16-year-old Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Gabriela Pfang, Texas-187 ACS first sergeant. “First of all, to be on the base and see people walking around in uniform and know they’re just doing their jobs. It was also great to talk to pilots and see the mechanics at work because I'm training to be an A&P (aircraft and powerplant) mechanic. We could even touch the aircraft.”
Pfang ultimately wants to a F-22 Raptor fighter pilot.
The CAP, the Air Force’s civilian auxiliary and official member of the U.S. Air Force’s Total Force, recruits youth who are interested in aviation and the military. One of the main focus areas for the CAP is science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, training and education with the kids.
“I want the kids to love flying as much as I love it,” said Maj. Dennis Eibe, Texas-351 PCS deputy commander for seniors, health services and recruiting officer. “There’s a big emphasis and everything on STEM training and we’re trying to get them to educate, to get ROTC scholarships or acceptance in the military service academies, because 10 percent of the Air Force Academy classes are composed of CAP cadets.”
According to the CAP website, their mission statement is “Supporting America's communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development, and promotion of air, space and cyber power.”