April 28, 2007

Pineda Testifies

...In front of the House Homeland Security Committee. His statement can be read here:http://homeland.house.gov/SiteDocuments/20070425102629-84700.pdf

most of it is stuff we already know.

April 26, 2007

Next of Kin

About a week ago I went home and toured the local Rescue Squad. I went for two reasons: First was to observe their apparatus and see how CAP could do something similar with our new FEMA donated Trailers. The other was more personal. My college offers an EMT-B Certification Course which I am enrolled in, so I was interested in volunteering for them this summer. When I made my CAP affiliation known, they looked thrilled to have someone with some ES Training and experience already. As I listened to the tour guide (a friend of my brother's) I was reminded of CAP in many ways. (I should say that I was not there in any official CAP capacity)

Since then, in between school work, I have often thought about who the Civil Air Patrol can relate the most to. Most tend to identify us with the greater Military establishment, which is natural given our association with the Air Force. Yet, as I examine our missions, and the restrictions and privileges we're endowed, the nearest branch of the service that relates to us is the Coast Guard. We both perform Search and Rescue, Disaster Relief and Homeland Security. However, the Coast Guard also has a Law Enforcement mission, and the authorization to use deadly force in certain situations. CAP members can't even have BB Guns while on duty.

Rather, I found a more common kinship with the Rescue Squad than with the military. There I found dedicated volunteers, men and women with families and jobs that went outside their lives as EMTs, Paramedics and Rescuemen. Like the members of a CAP Squadron, they had other things to do with their time, yet gave 12-hour shifts to saving lives.

The similarities didn't end there either. Although my tour was given by a high schooler who probably didn't have a problem finding a date to the prom, people were there from all walks of life. Some were overweight, others were a little awkward. Some were older, some younger. Men and Women alike were members (although predominately male). The group could easily have been transplanted from their EMT uniforms to Flightsuits and BDUs, with nothing additional, and look and behave like a CAP Squadron. Furthermore, the way we're deployed is similar. They go out at a moments notice responding to a car crash or some other emergency. We do the same, having a response time of less than 2 hours from notification to mission-ready, responding to plane crashes and ELT signals. Not even the National Guard works this way, needing to Stage prior to deployment.

Even on the funding side, the Squad felt like a CAP Squadron. Most of their money came from private donations, however some of it did come from the county. Similar to CAP, Squadrons rely mostly on fundraising and what little they get from the Wings and National.

There are differences, of course. The CAP is nationally organized, with a clear command structure, ranks, rates and appointed positions. The Rescue Squad resembled a militia from the late 1700's, with elected officers and leaders, with local organization. However, there seem to be more similarities between the two than differences.

Finally, let's not forget there is a similar mission: Saving Lives. They do it on the ground and on highways, we do so in the air and the wilderness. Overall, I felt more at home visiting the Rescue Squad as a member of CAP than the Military Bases that I have been to in a similar capacity. There I get funny looks, here I felt like part of the overall team that is Emergency Services. Being what CAP is, I felt this kinship, at least on the local level, should be fostered and maintained.

(I would like to say "Thank You" to the men and women of the Clinton Rescue Squad, Hunterdon County, NJ.)

April 12, 2007


Going through some of my favorites today, I came across an oldie, but a goodie. Since CAP lacks any sort of Wikipedia for itself, I remember following the RescueWiki since it's beginning. I wrote the initial page on Air Search, but really didn't do much after. Visiting the site again today after a long absense, it's apparently closed down. However, since we can still update, it might not be too late to save it

Please visit http://www.rescuewiki.com and do some kind of editing.

Thank you

UPDATE: Closed...nevermind

April 11, 2007

Any news?

A month or so ago, I blogged on the Civil Air Patrol Homeland Security Support Act of 2007. Since that time, has anyone heard anything about it? With the way the bills work in the House and Senate, I wouldn't be surprised if it's been delegated to a sub-committee and forgotten about.

Still, any news to report on it?

Stuff to Read

How Many of you knew about the National Response Plan (NRP)?

Furthermore, how many of you knew about "Civil Air Patrol Support for the President's Homeland Security Strategy" (CAPSftPHSS)?

That's what I thought...

NRP: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/NRP_FullText.pdf

CAPSftPHSS: https://ntc.cap.af.mil/ops/hls/HLS_National_Strategy.pdf

April 9, 2007

New Book: The Soldier and The State

I have been a Samuel Huntington fan since I first read his essay "The Clash of Civilizations" in High School. After reading his "The Third Wave" and starting his book "The Clash of Civilizations" (a book based on the essay), I looked into his other works and discovered another book of his called "The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations". I ordered a used copy off of Amazon, and it just arrived. Just from the cover I would say that it is something any member of the Defense industry should pick up. This includes CAP Officers. I will read it and let you know...