The Civil Air Patrol is conducting its annual “Wing Ding” event today through Sunday in Sac City. Captain Doug Jansen says fifty to 70 cadets are on hand to give introduction flights in small planes, demonstrate model rockets and water survival, and have even more fun than their routine training. They do search and rescue missions for missing airplanes and people, do Homeland Security, take part in Aerospace Education programs, and teach other cadets about leadership and discipline. Adult volunteers help with everything from food to the flying of the planes, and Jansen says character-building is a major goal of the program. Iowa has about 150 cadets statewide, in eleven units. Jansen says the CAP will soon be testing a new piece of equipment for the U.S. Air Force.The Air Force is buying 8 new “spectral imaging units” that can look down to see crashed airplanes or other vehicles and “see through” bad weather to help searchers find their targets. Jansen says the close association with the Air Force can help determine a career path for young people who enjoy their work with the Civil Air Patrol. A lot of cadets go off to all branches of the armed services, he says, adding that about ten-percent of every graduating class at the Air Force Academy is made up of CAP cadets. Parents and youth interested in the program can check the website www.iawg.cap.gov/ for a unit nearby.
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