14:24 PM

Historic CAP Painting Bound for Pentagon Via 11-Wing Relay

Total Force Partners,” a historic Civil Air Patrol painting by renowned aviation artist Rick Broome, is leaving Colorado Springs on Saturday morning on a 1,638-mile, 11-wing trek through the nation’s heartland to its final destination at the Pentagon.

The CAP van relay begins at 7 a.m. MT on May 19 and will end at 11 a.m. ET on May 25. Most of the trip will be made along Interstate 70, one of the nation’s longest cross-country routes. The route can be followed online.

“This wing-by-wing painting relay provides a fun and interesting opportunity to promote CAP’s brand,” said John Salvador, the organization’s chief operating officer.

To add a new twist, the painting relay, which includes the Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and National Capital wings, plus Civil Air Patrol’s Congressional Squadron, will take place the week before CAP’s 70th anniversary as the volunteer auxiliary of the Air Force.

Broome, a former CAP cadet from Colorado, was commissioned to create the commemorative painting in 2016 as part of CAP’s 75th anniversary celebration. It was scheduled to be presented to then-Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein during the 2016 Air Force Association Air, Space & Cyber Conference. However, the painting was damaged in transit to National Harbor, Maryland, forcing CAP to present a print of the painting for temporary display in the Pentagon.

Last month, Broome completed a second painting of “Total Force Partners,” which again features a CAP Cessna 182 being intercepted by an Air Force F-16 during a U.S. air defense training exercise.

“This is really an incredible work of art,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP’s national commander and CEO. “We’re proud of our partnership with the U.S. Air Force, and this painting wonderfully depicts the importance of homeland security missions we perform as the Air Force auxiliary.”

Congress passed Public Law 80-557 in 1948, and President Harry S. Truman signed it into law on May 26, formally establishing CAP as the volunteer auxiliary of the Air Force. Before that, CAP had served in support of the Army Air Corps; the new law ensured the partnership would continue with the newly formed Air Force.

“That relationship with the Air Force continues today, and it is stronger than ever,” said Smith, an Operation Desert Storm veteran with 26 years of Air Force service.

He added that the new original painting, after it arrives in the nation’s capital on May 25, will replace the print currently on display in the Pentagon.