The Civil Air Patrol is now included in the Total Force when conducting missions for the Air Force as the official auxiliary, the Air Force announced this month. The service expanded the descriptions of the Total Force in the updated Doctrine Volume 2, “Leadership,” in August. The change means that members of the auxiliary should be referred to as airmen during the performance of their official duties, and that leaders should consider the Civil Air Patrol along with the other parts of the Total Force when planning the best way to complete the mission, according to an Air Force news release. “As a strategic partner, these unpaid professionals have boldly served our nation saving the Air Force almost 40 times the cost of using military assets for each hour served. Inclusion in the Total Force reflects the continuing key contributions of this highly trained and equipped organization,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said. The CAP has about 57,000 volunteers and 550 aircraft, and members fly nearly 100,000 hours each year for a wide range of missions, states the release.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine grinds on, the U.S. Air Force deployed four F-16 fighters to neighboring Poland on Oct. 3, keeping up the service’s continuous presence on NATO’s eastern flank.