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Civil Air Patrol trains with Ohio Air Guard

  • Published
  • By TSgt Joe Harwood
  • 179th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The Civil Air Patrol (C.A.P.) 275th Akron Canton Flying Squadron and the 164th Airlift Squadron (AS) of Mansfield, Ohio, are making a splash with an innovation in joint service training in Ohio. Water Survival Training is an annual refresher course that the 164th AS performs each year to stay current while flying the C-130H Hercules from the 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio. This year, they had company from the Civil Air Patrol.

The C.A.P. routinely flies along the coast of Lake Erie but is restricted to gliding distance from land in the event of an engine failure in their single engine aircraft. In the event that the U.S. Coast Guard seek their assistance in a search and rescue emergency, the C.A.P. could be asked to fly further out into the lake. This requires that the C.A.P. be prepared to survive in open water if the need arises. 

The Adjutant General of Ohio National Guard, Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, arranged for the CAP to receive the training they needed from the 164th Airlift Squadron, who would be performing the training to meet their own requirements. The training benefits multiple services simultaneously and further protects the citizens of Ohio with further coverage off shore.
Lt. Col. Mike Ullman, C.A.P. 275th Squadron Commander, participated in the training, "This is a great opportunity for us to get this training. This is the first time that we've been able to get this training and it is truly a force multiplier for search and rescue programs along the shores of Lake Erie."

Ullman explained the history behind the C.A.P. and how it has come full circle to the training here today. The C.A.P. was established on Dec. 1, 1941, just days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. During World War II, the C.A.P. insignia; a red three blade prop inside the Civil Defense white triangle in blue circle, began appearing on private aircraft everywhere. C.A.P. initially planned on liaison and reconnaissance flying; however the civilian group mission expanded when German submarines began to prey on American ships off the eastern coast of the United States and CAP began carrying bombs and depth charges.

The C.A.P. mission has evolved from those early days. During the war, they were simply a group of civilian pilots working under the Civil Defense Department, but when the United States Air Force was made its own branch of the military in 1947, C.A.P. was designated the Civilian Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force the following year.
Today's missions include; Emergency Services, Aerospace Education and Cadet Programs. Out of these three missions, the Akron Canton Senior Flying Squadron is heavily involved with Emergency Services. Members train regularly to accomplish this mission. Emergency Services missions include; search and rescue, disaster relief, Homeland Security and Counter Drug missions.

The Air National Guard welcomes the joint training environment. Both services never intend to need the training they receive on water survival nonetheless it's better to prepared in the event of such an emergency. The citizens of Ohio can rest assured that with the National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard and Civil Air Patrol watching over them, we're all a little safer.