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North Dakota 119th Cadet Squadron Welcomes YOU!

Civil Air Patrol is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to three missions: THE CADET PROGRAMS, EMERGENCY SERVICES, & AEROSPACE EDUCATION. We are the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force and conduct many hundreds of hours per year supporting search and rescue operations.

The 119th is a squadron dedicated to supporting the cadet program. We have around ten active Senior Members and fifty-five Cadet Members on the roster. A cadet is a member of the Civil Air Patrol who is between the ages of twelve and twenty-one. The cadet progresses through four phases and fifteen ranks upon completion of the program. Cadets learn everything from military customs and courtesies to how to give speeches and write reports. Every cadet also receives nine hours of flight instruction in a CAP plane along with completing an extensive aerospace education course. Each cadet is authorized to wear the Air Force style Battle Dress Uniform and the Dress Blues. Many cadet members have felt this program really lets them use the things they have learned in real life situations.

Being a cadet is not all fun and games. Every cadet is expected to maintain a military haircut and conduct themselves in the highest standards of the military. Our uniforms are strikingly close to that of the Air Force and our members are constantly mistaken for Air Force members. CAP is designed to teach the youth of America core values and self-discipline. The Senior Members and Cadet Staff go out of their way to make these lessons fun, but rules must be enforced. Our goals are to raise every cadets self-esteem and show them just how much can be accomplished with team work.

The cadets are also given opportunities to work with other cadets from across the region and the nation. Every year a cadet can attend an encampment. This is usually held on a military instillation and lasts for around a week. Here the cadets learn core values and the basics of the program while in flight. Once a cadet graduates from his or her first encampment, they have the opportunity to return as a staff member. This gives the cadet the chance to return what they have learned to lower ranking cadets. There are also more advanced activities held across the nation. There is Space Command in Colorado, PJOC held in New Mexico and Virginia, Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania, National Solo Encampment, and many more.

Once a cadet has been trained and is ready both mentally and physically, he or she is appointed to the ground team. The ground team is the members of the squadron who are put on mission status. Mission status means they are ready to accomplish our second goal of Emergency Services. The cadets and senior members are called out to search for lost aircraft, missing persons, and disaster relief. The members of the 119th are ground team certified. This means the ground team coordinates with air support to achieve its mission. Very often, members of the Civil Air Patrol are the first on the scene. Very graphic events can unfold in front of a cadet. The members are expected to assess the situation and take action. When injured victims are involved, the members will perform first aid and get the victim ready for the paramedics to transport.

Sometimes, no matter how fast the response, the victims may not have survived. All cadet members, except those who are trained EMTs will post perimeter detail while the Senior Members assess the situation until the local authorities arrive. Search and rescue can be a very gory event and is one that not all cadets are ready for. These are real life situations with consequences. After encountering an event of this magnitude, a debriefing will take place. In private, members of the ground team will talk about what they have seen and how they feel. This is very important because even adults can be affected by finding a victim. The biggest thing to remember is to concentrate on the mission objectives and realize your training has helped to change the lives of others. Without the help of cadets and CAP ground teams, hundreds of people a year can die.

Some members of the Civil Air Patrol decide to take a different route in search and rescue. Members can train to be Mission Pilots, Observers, and Scanners. All of these jobs take extreme amounts of training. These people are the eyes in the sky for the ground teams. They can usually pin point an emergency locator transmitter and guide in the ground team. The pilots and crew must no how to spot crash sites from the air. They also need to know how to achieve grid searches and coordinate with the ground teams. Usually Senior Members are on air crews, but a cadet can become an observer or a scanner.

Disaster Relief Missions also fall into the category of emergency services. The Civil Air Patrol can coordinate with local relief agencies and offer it's services. This can include setting up missions for displaced people, damage assessment, and flood work (I'm sure most people in Fargo no what flood work consists of. BACK BREAKING LABOR!!). The air crews also fly survey missions and use the digital camera to assess damage and flood levels. Disaster relief is a very rewarding part of the emergency services mission. The members interact with the victims and see just how their support is helping. Sometimes emergency services can ask cadets to grow up faster than other people of their same age. This is where the leadership training and team work stressed in the Cadet Program pays off.

Aerospace Education is the last mission of the Civil Air Patrol. It is certainly just as rewarding as the other missions. All cadets receive nine orientation flights after they join. They also receive an aerospace education book that teaches everything from aerospace history to how an aircraft works. The cadets can also participate in the model rocketry program where they build and launch their own rockets. The Air Force also allows cadets to fly on cargo and refueling planes during some routine missions. The Army occasionally allows cadets to fly in the Huey helicopters. One of our Spaatz cadets received a F-16 incentive ride for an hour. The time and gas was donated by the Air National Guard. Aerospace education may not have the flare of the other missions, but exploring U.S. Air Force planes is something just about every member of the Civil Air Patrol enjoys.

Please use the drop down menu on the left to explore what the Civil Air Patrol and our Squadron is about!

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