Civil Air Patrol Assists With One of World's Largest Air Shows as Part of National Blue Beret
150 Cadets, Senior Officers Gather in Wisconsin for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – Civil Air Patrol will provide assistance at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual fly-in at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, as part of National Blue Beret from July 17-31.
For about 150 Civil Air Patrol cadets 16 and older and selected senior officers, National Blue Beret offers not only the chance to earn CAP’s coveted blue beret, but also to work at one of the largest and most prestigious air shows in the world. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh annually draws more than 500,000 people and over 20,000 aircraft to Wittman Field, making it America’s busiest civilian airport for at least one week each summer.
“NBB is one of the most real-world experiences a cadet can have in CAP. The jobs we preform lend their own sense of intensity to the learning environment,” said Col. Rick Franz, National Blue Beret’s director for 2017.
The CAP-sanctioned activity is two weeks long and is scheduled so that the second week overlaps with EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. This year’s AirVenture is set for July 24-30.
As part of National Blue Beret, CAP members work several areas of the air show, including the flight line and exhibits, learning techniques of aircraft marshaling and electronic direction finding. Attendees arrive one week before the air show itself begins in order to become qualified to perform the emergency services tasks associated with their duties. Cadets are encouraged to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime events that often occur at Oshkosh, such as the opportunity to meet legendary aviators, celebrities and aviation professionals and to witness both vintage and sophisticated aircraft in flight.
Ultimately, cadets learn how to become leaders while taking on the responsibility of serving others, in this case, the general aviation community and AirVenture attendees. “We strive to transform NBB into a servant leadership-focused event.” said Franz. “Pinned on each beret is a pin of St. Alban’s Cross, which represents the dedication felt by all ‘Blue Berets’ who serve.”
National Blue Beret is one of about 50 National Cadet Special Activities sponsored by CAP across the United States this summer. These activities enable cadets to hone their skills in a variety of areas, including search and rescue, flight and emergency services, science, leadership fundamentals, citizenship and military courtesies and to explore aerospace technology and aviation careers.
Through its cadet program, CAP builds strong citizens for the future by providing leadership training, technical education, scholarships and career education to young men and women, ages 12 to 20.
In 2016, more than 7,500 youth participated in CAP-sponsored summer activities, which include wing encampments nationwide.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.