A total of 300 cadets from around the state attended this year’s encampment, including basic cadets and senior officers from the Marco Island Composite Squadron. Marco C/CMSgt. Aidan Brennan served as a member of the Encampment Staff. Other local CAP members participating in this year’s encampment were Cadets Andrew Fordon, Robert Gibbons, and Matthew Diebler.
The weeklong event is held each year in order to give the CAP cadets a greater understanding of CAP and its Air Force missions and capabilities, develop the cadets’ leadership skills, enhance their interpersonal and time management skills and instill a sense of pride and discipline in them.
During the course of the week, the cadets received land and water survival training, rappelled off a 100-foot tower, practiced their drill and ceremonies, learned how to cross rope bridges, completed both the leadership reaction and confidence course, built and launched model rockets.
The encampment ended with a pass in review parade, followed by a formal graduation ceremony.
“To be honest, I think that the encampment week was probably the most fun I’ve had this year, and I highly encourage everyone to go. It’s a great experience and I plan on attending next year,” said CAP member C/CMSgt Aidan P. Brennan, the Cadet Commander of Marco Island Composite.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 58,000 members nationwide. 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 72 lives in fiscal year 2009. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 23,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 68 years. For more information about CAP or its cadet program, go to www.gocivilair patrol.com/