Under the Radar

While many people may not even know what the Civil Air Patrol, the Air Force Auxiliary, does, its ranks of dedicated volunteers continue to go about their preparations and training quietly for when the nation needs them. So reported the Star News of Wilmington, N.C., on Tuesday in a piece on CAP’s Cape Fear Composite Squadron in Wilmington. The unit has 22 cadets and 22 senior members who meet weekly for training and aerospace education. “We’re one of the best-kept secrets,” Lt. Col. Jerry West, the unit’s commander and a 28-year Air Force veteran, told the newspaper. Yet, the Cape Fear unit, like its compatriots nationwide, are ready to perform missions like flying reconnaissance over affected areas after natural disasters, searching for missing persons, acting as surrogate airspace intruders in air sovereignty training, or as simulated unmanned aircraft to help train soldiers preparing to deploy overseas.