Civil Air Patrol cadets visit the 188th Wing

  • Published
  • By A1C Miles Chrisman
  • 188th Wing

EBBING AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, FORT SMITH, Ark. - The 188th Wing hosted more than 133 Civil Air Patrol cadets from Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Kansas, and Massachusetts for their 2023 encampment on July 12.

The immersive nature of these tours allows cadets to interact with Air National Guard personnel who share experiences, career paths, and various opportunities available within the Guard and the Air Force. It also gives the Air National Guard the chance to highlight cutting-edge technology and equipment.

The cadets rotated to different career field stations throughout the day. One station included civil engineering, where they learned about civil engineer capabilities and the role of emergency managers. At the security forces station, they were shown the equipment and tools used to ensure the safety of the base and the Airmen on it. The cadets continued to the fire department where they were able to learn about equipment that is fundamental to the success of the firefighters.

The cadets also had a chance to learn with the 188th Medical Group. Here, medical personnel provided knowledge on how to insert a breathing tube, apply a tourniquet, and the different careers within the medical field in the ANG.

“Lieutenant Colonel Mudge and I taught the cadets how to perform basic tactical combat casualty care, or TCCC,” said Staff Sgt. Logan Roe, a medical technician for the 188th Medical Group. “Training like this could help anyone even if they don’t join the military.”

The 188th CAP encampment tour ended with a visit to Razorback Range. At the range, the cadets were able to observe training with six Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the 26th Special Tactics Squadron from Canon Air Force Base, New Mexico, and Blue Air Training flying in A-90 aircraft who were contracted for close air support on the Razorback Range.

“This visit has really given me insight on how the Air National Guard functions,” said Cadet Captain Charles Peters, a cadet from the Texas Civil Air Patrol. “Seeing their daily functions and the skill and discipline required to be in the Air Force helps me prepare if I choose to join.”

There are more than 28,000 Civil Air Patrol cadets across the United States, Germany, and Puerto Rico. In 2023 alone, there are more than 40 encampments available for cadets to tour Air Force and Air National Guard bases and learn more about the military and its career fields.

Civil Air Patrol is a Total Force Partner and auxiliary of the Air Force. It was formed in December 1941 to mobilize the nation’s civilian aviation resources for national defense service. It evolved into a public-service organization promoting aviation, fostering youth development, and providing critical support during times of crisis with more than 56,000 members.

While aerospace education is the core of CAP’s mission, it plays a significant role in emergency services. CAP members are often called to assist during natural disasters, search and rescue missions, and counter-drug operations. They can do aerial surveys after major flooding or tornadoes, as well as transport critical supplies.