16:07 PM

CAP, Middle Tenn. State U. Renew Partnership

Middle Tennessee State University renewed its partnership July 26 with Civil Air Patrol for the third time, with school President Sidney A. McPhee and Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP’s national commander and CEO, signing the three-year extension shortly after the start of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual AirVenture Oshkosh air show in Wisconsin.

It’s wonderful that MTSU and CAP are here to celebrate the return of EAA AirVenture and the renewal of our partnership,” McPhee said. “Doing this at this international event underscores the importance of our work in aerospace, both as individual organizations and as partners.”

The MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences and its Aerospace Department launched the partnership in 2014 with the goal of providing Tennessee Wing cadets opportunities to interact with faculty and explore the Murfreesboro campus.

It was renewed again in 2017 and was set to be extended again in 2020. But pandemic precautions by both MTSU and CAP pushed thlings back a year.

Smith said he’s honored to extend the MTSU partnership before his four-year term as national commander expires in August.

“MTSU has been a valued friend, sponsor and partner in so many of Civil Air Patrol’s activities and priorities, not only in Tennessee Wing but also on a national level,” said Smith, who in 2019 became the first CAP national commander to visit the MTSU campus.

MTSU hosted the Tennessee Wing Cadet Encampment in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and welcomed the 2019 encampment’s leadership cadre to campus. The university lured the CAP Cadet Engineering Technology Academy, a national enrichment effort, from Auburn University in 2017, 2018 and 2019. And MTSU has been a sponsorof CAP’s National Conference since 2016.

Smith presented McPhee with a plaque recognizing the university as the Tennessee Wing’s top aerospace education partner in 2020. COVID-19 precautions prevented personal presentation of the honor last year.

In additional, recently:

  • Daniel Nofziger, an MTSU aerospace flight instructor and captain in CAP, was honored earlier this year by the Murfreesboro Composite Squadron as Aerospace Education Officer of the Year."
  • MTSU alumnus and CAP Col. Barry Melton, former commander of the Tennessee Wing and the Southeast Region, was named this month among the university’s class of distinguished alumni for 2021-22.

“This array of mutual honors demonstrates our strong ties and connections,” Smith said.

MTSU’s ties with CAP stretch back to July 1948, the year CAP’s Middle Tennessee State College Squadron was organized. Based at the old College Airport, the squadron consisted of pilots trained on campus and was recognized for its search and rescue work. It operated on campus until 1953.

Photos by Lt. Col. Robert Bowden, CAP National Photographer