An Overview Of The Wyoming Civil Air Patrol With Wing Commander Colonel Johnston
KGAB Mornings had the opportunity to interview Col. H. Kenneth Johnston, CAP, Wyoming Wing Commander of the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol. For more than 50 years, the Civil Air Patrol's has been to perform the missions Congress mandated in 1946: Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services. And they do just that!
According to Col. Johnston, "Wyoming Civil Air Patrol came about, because in 1941, folks were concerned about the coastal defenses of the United States. We were actually formed one week prior to Pearl Harbor, and, in 1946, we became a charter non-profit through Harry S. Truman. In 1948, we became an auxiliary of the United States Air Force."
The patrol currently consists of 24 pilots and 6 aircraft, including a Turbo 206 (located in Jackson, Wyoming), and Cessna 182s (with mostly glass cock pits). Other features of the air craft include first class avionics, which allows pilots to contact Air Patrol personnel, as well as personnel from the Wyoming National Guard, with hand held radios.
The Wyoming Civil Air Patrol offers emergency rescue and emergency services for folks that get themselves in trouble. In 2013, they were instrumental in saving the lives of 4 Wyoming residents. The call for their services includes, but is not limited to, snowmobile accidents and aircraft crashes. If called, search and rescue teams are dispatched to locate personnel and equipment that may be missing or destroyed.
You do not have to be a pilot, nor do you have to be current or prior military to join the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol as there are many support positions available to help with their efforts.
Funding, in part, for the Wyoming Civil Air Patrol comes from federal and state funds to maintain training and operations for personnel. Other programs within the patrol include the Aerospace Education (AE) program, Teacher orientation Program (TOP) Flights, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Kits, and Eye On The Future, a program that grooms participants for future cyber security careers.