Civil Air Patrol trains for first time since pandemic

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- On Saturday, Civil Air Patrol conducted Aircrew Sustainment Training at the Bowling Green Warren County Regional Airport. 

Members ages 14 to 18 were able to get up in the air, as Command NCO Cory Felts explains. 

“Our goal today is to get as many of our members in the air, which happens to be 23 today, recertified in their emergency air crew positions. This enables us to go out and assist with damage assessment, search and rescue operations, that type of thing. And it’s a big deal for the Kentucky wing and Kentucky group too to be able to host and facilitate this training today,” said Felts. 

The purpose of the training is to help the members gain skills that they would need for rapid deployment. This helps the Civil Air Patrol be ready to perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions

Because of the pandemic, the members had been unable to get together and train which is a crucial part of the job that they do. 

“The importance of this type of training is to be good at any job that we have. We have to have sustainment training or refresher training. And it’s been at least 12 to 13 months for any of us to have the opportunity to get in the air,” said Felts. 

Brian Schmuck, Kentucky Wing Commander, said the teen members were itching to get back in the air.

“They’re excited to be back out with their boots on the ground, training themselves to be a better service to the community, their state and their nation,” said Schmuck. 

Blake Suiters was one of the cadets out there training. 

“For me I love to help people. And with this organization, we get to help lots of people- lost hikers, hurricane relief, FEMA, and many other great organizations to do great things,” said Suiters.