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Civil Air Patrol

Courtesy Graphic

Courtesy Graphic

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz -- There is a unique organization available for those who are interested in serving the U.S. without contractual obligation.

The Civil Air Patrol was created in 1941, giving thousands of volunteer members the chance to answer America's call to national service by accepting and performing critical wartime missions.

Today the CAP supports America's communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development, and promotion of air, space and cyber power.

The CAP is also a great program for character development.

"It gives the members discipline, a feeling of belonging and sense of structure," said Civil Air Patrol Lt. Col. Barbara Mathews, Tucson Composite Squadron 105 public affairs officer.  "They begin to stand straighter and grades improve."

TCS 105 is one of four CAP squadrons in Tucson. They host meetings every Sunday at D-M.

"Cadets and parents come to the visitors center and get into a van that will escort them onto base," Mathews said. "There they do marching drills, receive safety briefs, as well as sessions of physical fitness."

Cadets are also given an opportunity to fly small aircraft such as the Cessna 182.

"We have orientation flights where cadets and pilots from all over Tucson come together," Mathews said. "The pilots will go over a syllabus with the cadets, show them where everything is, then the cadets are able to actually fly the aircraft."

As long as funding provides, Mathews said they will try to do these flights at least once per quarter.

TCS 105 specifically has worked with D-M during several events on base.

"During the air shows, we sold programs, and provided guards for some of the aircraft on static display," Mathews said.

The CAP is a great opportunity for civilians who want to try out the military lifestyle without having to sign on the dotted line.

"There are a lot of members that wanted to wear the uniform, but couldn't," said Mathews. "This gives them the ability to try the program and see if CAP is a fit for them."

Anyone can become a part of the CAP program, including active duty service members. For more information you can go to http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com or email kb7rvh@gmail.com.