Six cadets from The Omaha Composite Squadron of the Nebraska Civil Air Patrol were treated to an up close and personal look at an integral part of America’s aerospace defense recently. On July 26ththe cadets were treated to an orientation flight aboard a KC 135 from the Nebraska Air National Guard.
During the two hour refueling mission, the Stratotanker nicknamed “the husker” refueled six F-16s at twenty two thousand feet over Lake Andes South Dakota. Each Cadet had an opportunity to lay next to the boom operator as he passed three thousand pounds of fuel to a “Fighting Falcon”. Four of the six cadets also had the chance to ride in the cockpit jump seats during the aircraft’s take off and landing.
Civil Air Patrol, the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft, including 6 in Nebraska. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 54 lives in fiscal year 2011. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 70 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.