Protecting, Defending – Learning about the NNYB

CAP members meet with project officials/NNYB Outreach

CAP members meet with project officials/NNYB Outreach

Last month Civil Air Patrol members got a first-hand look at the New NY Bridge project when Maj. Joseph E. Wooley’s squad and group commanders from Catskill Mountain (from Rockland County to Sullivan County) and New York City converged in Westchester.

An auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, CAP falls under the Department of Defense; its primary mission areas are are emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. During Hurricane Sandy, CAP took pictures for FEMA, which the agency used for its purpose.

Last September Wooley assumed command of the New York Wing’s South Eastern Group at the Westchester County Airport. Headquartered at Westchester County Airport, the group is comprised of eight squadrons encompassing Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties.

“We were formed in 1941, one week before Pearl Harbor, because they realized many of the people flying airplanes would be flying them overseas and realized they’d have an issue with guarding the (United States) coast,” he explained, adding, “members flew their own planes then.”

CAP’s aerospace education mission is to make presentations to schools and civic organizations. Its cadet program is for ages 12 to 18 years old; some remain until age 21, and many become senior members while in college.

One of its milestones is when cadets become officers and receive the Mitchell Award. “It’s akin to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Scouts Awards. We’ve also had several Spaatz cadets here,” Wooley explained, referring to the General Carl ‘Tooey’ Spaatz Award that must be presented by either a member of congress or a flag officer.

In December, Speaker of the House John Boehner presented the Congressional Gold Medal to CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez and former U.S. Rep. Lester Wolff, who served in CAP’s New York Wing during the war.

“We had a lot of questions about the project,” Wooley said. “It always amazes me when a public works project is brought in on time, and they’re a little bit ahead of where they anticipated.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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