TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — The National Headquarters of Civil Air Patrol released the list of winners of the 2012 Quality Cadet Unit Award. For the first time, Tahoe-Truckee Composite Squadron’s Cadet Program was recognized as an outstanding example of a vibrant mix of aerospace education, flight opportunities, service to our community and leadership training of cadets, ages 12-21.
The squadron, based at the Truckee Tahoe Airport, was one of only two cadet squadrons in all of the Nevada Wing of CAP to receive the award. Nationwide, only 209 squadrons out of almost 1,500 met the objective judging criteria for this award. Truckee’s squadron is assigned to Nevada due to its close proximity to the State’s Office at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
Evaluation criteria included growth rate of the program, member retention and the percentage of cadets who completed their Wright Brothers Achievement Level. All three are considered markers of a program young adults and their parents wish to join and participate. The cadet side of the squadron more than doubled its membership from 2010 to 2011.
Also, of great importance was the number of free flying opportunities each cadet had during the previous year. Each flight follows a standard flight instruction syllabus similar to what any flight instructor would use with a flying student. Under the supervision of trained (and specially screened) CAP adult pilots, each cadet learns the basics of aeronautics by actually flying an aircraft, usually a Cessna 182. Each cadet can take up to 10 such flights while in the program.
Other considerations were the numbers of cadets who chose to attend a week-long summer encampment, which presents them with aerospace education seminars, leadership training skills as well as physical and mental training and conditioning. In 2011, more than half the cadet members attended such an encampment, ranging from Camp San Luis Obispo, on Camp Pendleton Marine Training Center to Oshkosh, Wisconsin’s Worlds’ biggest aviation fly-in event.
About Civil Air Patrol
The Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U. S. Air Force. It was founded on Dec. 1, 1941, less than a week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the U.S. into World War II. CAP is a Congressionally chartered nonprofit organization with more than 56,000 members nationwide. The organization’s members perform 90 percent of continental U.S. inland aircraft search and rescue missions, as tasked by the Air Force’s Rescue Coordination Center, and was credited by the AFRCC with saving almost a hundred lives in 2011. Volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and local search assistance for missing persons, to law enforcement, at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 22,000 young people currently participating in the CAP Cadet Program.
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