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CAP Celebrates Partnerships at 2019 National Conference

More than 700 Civil Air Patrol members will help celebrate CAP’s partnerships when they convene this week at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront for the organization’s 2019 National Conference.

“Throughout the conference, you will notice an emphasis on our partners and the role they play in making Civil Air Patrol one of the very best public service organizations in the United States,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP national commander and CEO. “At the conference, we are encouraging our members to take the time to get to know our partners, to network with them and thank them for their support to our missions.”

The Year of Partnerships in CAP began in February and is the theme of the conference. Kristina Jones, CAP’s chief of philanthropy, said the organization is recognizing its long-term partners as well as those new to the fold.

“When we apply innovative partnerships with corporations such as American Airlines, Textron and Citgo to address our mission areas, the impact is multiplied,” she said. “We will continue to identify additional partners to promote our mission and our youth because we value the power of transformative partnerships.”

Jones added, “Civil Air Patrol thanks its generous title sponsor, Textron Aviation, as well as all of our sponsors who return to support our members at the national conference every year.”

This week, members also will hear from a full array of speakers, including two from CAP’s Total Force partner, the U.S. Air Force. CAP serves as the official auxiliary of the Air Force.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Cedric George will be the keynote speaker at the annual banquet, which will be held from 7-10 p.m. Aug. 10. George serves as director of logistics, deputy chief of staff for logistics, engineering and force protection, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. George started his Air Force career as a CAP cadet.

Also addressing CAP members will be retired Air Force Col. Paula Penson, who will be a part of the General Assembly lineup Aug. 9. She completed four decades of military service in 2015, last serving as commander of an Air National Guard Medical Group at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

Before the assembly and annual banquet, CAP’s governing body, the Board of Governors, will convene Tuesday and Wednesday, and the organization’s Command Council – consisting of Smith, the national vice commander, executive officer, 52 wing commanders and eight region commanders – will meet Thursday.

Other highlights of CAP’s National Conference include:

Preconference Workshops
Thirteen preconference workshops will be offered Aug. 6-8. Those sessions, customized to fulfill members’ professional development needs, include a Cessna G-1000 Ground School and “Meet the Press,” a course for incident commanders and public information officers.

There are also sessions on government relations and fundraising, a recruiting and retention bootcamp and daylong classes for both current and future wing commanders and leaders of cadets.

AE Open House
From noon-5 p.m. Aug. 8, CAP’s aerospace education staff will host an open house, where cadets and senior members alike will get an up-close look at the program’s products and curriculum, including CAP’s 15 STEM Kits.

Change of Command
At the end of the Command Council a change of command ceremony will be held for Col. Andrea Van Buren, CAP’s new Southeast Region commander. The ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. Aug. 8.

Learning Labs
In addition, 59 learning labs are planned for Aug. 9-10. The seminars, led by CAP national staff and other experts, will focus on such topics as operations, communications, safety, logistics, aircraft operations, professional development and leadership, the chaplaincy, cadet programs, aerospace education, CAP history, information technology and social media.

Cadet Day
Aug. 10 will be Col. Mary S. Feik Memorial Cadet Day. Feik, an aviation legend, was a longstanding member of the Maryland Wing’s Annapolis Composite Squadron, which was renamed the Mary S. Feik Composite Squadron before her death in 2016. 

Cadet Day will offer youth an opportunity to learn more about the cadet program’s ongoing pilot training opportunities as well as a chance to “fly” on Air Force simulators, which will be on site. The cadets will also get an up-close look at lunar rocks and other artifacts from the moon on exhibit at the hotel.

National Awards
Also Aug. 10, CAP will pay tribute to some of the organization’s highest-achieving individuals, units and wings over the past year during the annual awards program, set to begin at 8:30 a.m.

Those being recognized include Cadet Col. Ryan M. Hebert, a member of the Kentucky Wing's Stuart Powell Cadet Squadron, as Cadet of the Year and Col. Timothy A. Hansen, who belongs to the Kansas Wing's Flint Hills Composite Squadron, as Senior Member of the Year.

Several CAP units will also be honored, including the Puerto Rico Wing’s Muniz ANG Base Cadet Squadron, selected as the 2019 Squadron of Distinction.