Armed with a team of volunteers, one of eight Civil Air Patrol (CAP) U.S. Air Force Auxiliary cadet academies in the nation was held recently at Shawnee Regional Airport. The training event, which typically lasts about 10 days, wrapped up with a recognition celebration for its honored students.

Armed with a team of volunteers, one of eight Civil Air Patrol (CAP) U.S. Air Force Auxiliary cadet academies in the nation was held recently at Shawnee Regional Airport. The training event, which typically lasts about 10 days, wrapped up with a recognition celebration for its honored students.

Shawnee Airport Manager Bonnie Wilson said trainees came from several states to take part in the flight camp.

“We had people here from Hawaii, Louisiana, New Mexico, Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma,” she said.

There were 20 student candidates and 10 instructor pilots, she said — adding the cadets were between 16 and 20 years old.

“Of the 20 students, six were young ladies,” she said, “and one of the instructor pilots was a woman.”   

Two Shawnee students who participated in the academy are the children of local Fire Marshall David Anderson. 

Also, Wilson said all the cadet staff were from Shawnee.

“We had ten aircraft supporting the program,” she said — which also were from around the region including: Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana.

Shawnee's CAP academy is based on powered-training — flying a motorized plane.

Cadets undergo hours of flight training, as well as classroom instruction.

The CAP program has been coming to Oklahoma for about 14 years, the past 12 of them in Shawnee.

Flights focus on basic maneuvers, aircraft instruments, weather, etc. During CAP orientation flights, a detailed syllabus guides the pilot, the website, gocivilairpatrol.com, states.

During routine cadet orientation flights and with few exceptions, most cadets will fly in a CAP-owned single-engine Cessna.

“Having them here is terrific,” Wilson said. “These kids are focused, polite and on-the-ball.”

A graduation banquet was held for the cadets at the Noble Complex at Oklahoma Baptist University, she said.

CAP

CAP is America’s premier public service organization for carrying out emergency services and disaster relief missions nationwide, the website reads.

As the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, CAP’s citizen volunteers search for and find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster and work to keep the homeland safe. Its 60,000 members devote their time, energy and expertise toward the well-being of their communities, while also promoting aviation and related fields through aerospace education and helping shape future leaders through CAP’s cadet program.