A Busy Summer for Civil Air Patrol

PLATTSBURGH The Plattsburgh Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the United States Air Force, has kept its cadets busy this summer. Besides the weekly Tuesday evening meetings, the cadets, who range in age from 12 to 18, have been active in a variety of community events. They were present at the opening of the International Airport in Plattsburgh, assisting with parking and greeting and directing visitors. They provided the color guard for the Morgan Horse Show, the Peru VFW Memorial Service, the Memorial Day Service at the Disabled American Veteran's Memorial Wall at the Base Oval, the ceremony celebrating the refurbishment of the Civil War Memorial in the Saranac Cemetery, and for the service in honor of local serviceman, Corporal Matthew LaForest, who lost his life in Iraq. They marched in the West Chazy Memorial Parade, the 4th of July Parade in Jay, and the 7th of July Parade in Plattsburgh. They parked cars, manned a recruiting booth, and held a bivouac at the Lake Clear Air Show. Busiest of all were the cadets who attended the week long CAP Wing Encampments in Sciota, NY, and in Michigan.

The Wing Encampments provide valuable opportunities for cadets to develop leadership skills and are a requirement for cadets desiring to become cadet officers. Nine cadets from the area attended encampments during the month of July. Those who attended the NY encampment were Ashley Bunn (Peru), Christopher Fisher (West Chazy), Nicole LaForest (Peru), Kevin Lambert (Potsdam), Nathan and Zachary Myers (Mooers), and Ian St.Yves (Jay). Those attending the Michigan encampment were Paul Allen (Plattsburgh), Kevin Lambert (Potsdam), and Joshua Pelkey (Lake Placid). A senior CAP member, Lt. Colonel Blair C. Biddel, attended both encampments.

Both encampments began early in the day, precisely at 5:30, with an hour of PT for all cadets before breakfast. Those cadets on their first encampments were "In Flight Cadets" and had classes and experiences in aerospace, drill, leadership, team building, military tactics, National activities, and review boards. In the NY encampment, In Flight Cadets also built and launched rockets, used a flight simulator, flew in a C-130, received extensive instruction in preparation for solo flights, participated in rock climbing on an apparatus provided by the Army National Guard, and built picnic tables for the base.

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