12:27 PM

Middle East Region Becomes Mid-Atlantic Region

Civil Air Patrol’s Middle East Region is now the Mid-Atlantic Region, thanks to a redesignation plan approved by national leadership.

“We are excited to be transitioning to the Mid-Atlantic Region, as this change will better reflect who we are as a region,” said Col. Bruce Heinlein, region commander. “The Mid-Atlantic is the home of America’s first colony, the world’s first heavier-than-air flight and our nation’s capital.”

One of eight CAP regions nationwide, the Mid-Atlantic Region consists of seven wings – Delaware, Maryland, National Capital, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia.

Region leaders say the name change will reduce confusion in interactions with the military, media, government and academia. Since its formation, “Middle East Region” did not adhere to the region’s geographic area, unlike CAP’s Great Lakes, Rocky Mountain and Pacific regions. In addition, the name was often confused with the Middle East -- West Asia and the Levant (lands bordering the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea now occupied by Lebanon, Syria and Israel).

“Our region is the last to change our name, but we will now comport with the other regions as they reflect their key geographic feature,” Heinlein said. “Finally, in our global world, changing our name will help us avoid confusion with Southwest Asia.”

CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Mark Smith recently approved the redesignation plan, making the name change official.

Changing the name requires new branding on both region and national documents and regulations as well as in computer systems. Heraldry that includes a new unit patch is also in the works.

Operationally, little impact is anticipated. “For us, it will be business as usual,” Heinlein said. “We’ll continue to provide the same great service to the Mid-Atlantic states and their communities as well as Washington, D.C.”