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News Release
Pilot Maj Mike Wissing (blue flight suit) shows cadets features of the Cessna 206 aircraft as they board for Orientation Rides.
Pilot Maj Mike Wissing (blue flight suit) shows cadets features of the Cessna 206 aircraft as they board for Orientation Rides.
Civil Air Patrol training focuses on how to find missing aircraft (Photo) - 04/24/22

   More than 53 Civil Air Patrol members from the Oregon Wing gathered in Grants Pass this weekend to train and practice for missions to help Oregon pilots and communities.

   Gathering at the facility near Grants Pass Airport, cadets and adult members of squadrons from many parts of Oregon trained to operate radios, work in the Command Post, serve as aircrew and to move and fuel aircraft.  Five CAP aircraft from around Oregon responded to assist.

   Saturday activities included four aircraft conducting Cadet Orientation Ride.  Many cadets also took part in Orientation Rides, which teach them the functions of the aircraft and its equipment and the duties and tasks of pilots.  The flights took off and landed at Grants Pass Airport, (designated as 3S8). Each cadet gets five flights in CAP powered aircraft during their time as a youth member.  Lt Col Vivi Wells, project officer, said facilities were shared by Pacific Aviation and Josephine County. 

   Sunday activities included more Orientation Rides for cadets and two aircraft searching for a simulated missing airplane, which is a familiar mission for Civil Air Patrol, which serves as the Volunteer Auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force on searches for missing or significantly delayed aircraft.  In this instance, CAP used a test beacon to send out a signal similar to those transmitted by aircraft in trouble.  The aircrew, utilizing special equipment on the aircraft, were able to triangulate on the beacon, determining its location.  The second aircraft was given instructions to search for a simulated crashed aircraft by visual search techniques.   

   Personnel traveled by vehicle and aircraft from the Medford Composite Squadron, Grants Pass Composite Squadron, High Desert Composite Squadron (Bend/Redmond), Washington County Composite Squadron (Hillsboro), McMinnville Composite Squadron, Mahlon Sweet Composite Squadron (Eugene) and Columbia Composite Squadron (Portland). Leaders and trainers from about the Oregon Wing lead the classes.   

   Many volunteers from the Grants Pass squadron made the event possible by being chaperones, preparing food, setting up radios and antennaes.  Several days of planning and preparation were needed. 

Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine Cessna aircraft and more than 2,000 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often using innovative cellphone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 130 lives in fiscal 2020. CAP’s 54,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. As a nonprofit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Members also serve as mentors to over 20,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. One of the premier public service organizations in America, CAP benefits the nation with an estimated economic impact of $209 million annually. Visit www.CAP.News or www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.