Natl. Commander Presents former Secretary of Air Force with Total Force Painting
Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, Civil Air Patrol national commander and CEO, paid tribute Thursday to former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and her CAP ties by presenting her with a print of a noted aviation artist’s painting symbolizing the organization’s role as a Total Force partner of the U.S. Air Force.
The presentation occurred at the University of Texas at El Paso, where Wilson has been president since Aug. 15. She served as secretary of the Air Force for two years before stepping down in May after being named to the UTEP position.
“Meeting again with Secretary Wilson was a pleasure, and I was honored to be able to present her with a copy of ‘Total Force Partners’ in recognition of her Civil Air Patrol connections and her relationship with our organization,” Smith said.
“I also look forward to exploring the possibility of partnering with UTEP for the mutual benefit of both CAP and the school.”
Wilson’s CAP ties date back to the organization’s early days, when her grandfather, George “Scotty” Wilson, helped establish the New Hampshire Wing. He served as the wing’s commander from 1948-1954. His service as a CAP pilot during World War II was recognized Dec. 10 when Smith presented Wilson with a replica of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to CAP in December 2014 for its volunteer wartime service.
In recognition of her grandfather’s legacy, Wilson served as the banquet keynote speaker for CAP’s 2018 Annual Conference in Anaheim, California.
Smith presented Wilson with a print of “Total Force Partners,” which CAP commissioned artist Rick Broome – a former CAP cadet from Colorado – to create in 2016 as part of CAP’s 75th anniversary celebration. The painting depicts an Air Force F-16 intercepting a CAP Cessna during an air defense training exercise.
The original hangs in the Pentagon.
The Air Force formally added CAP to its Total Force in August 2015. The organization was established as the volunteer auxiliary of the Air Force in May 1948 when President Harry S. Truman signed Public Law 80-557 into law.