TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - About 20 cadets with the Civil Air Patrol were able to take flight on Sunday.
Six Cessnas took off from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, in one of the largest orientation flights for the Civil Air Patrol. Two years ago, CAP was added as a branch of the Air Force as a non-profit.
“I love the opportunities I get to have (in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program),” said Alana Petersen, Cadet 2nd Lt. “In the civilian world you don’t get the opportunity to fly planes on the weekends.”
The cadets range in age from 12 to 18. Sunday they went on flights and got tours of the base. US Air Force Lt. Col. Mark Malan sees the future in many of the cadets, knowing how inspiring their position can be.
“I remember being one of those cadets,” said Malan. “(The cadets are) future officers and NCOs in our United States Armed Forces, as well as even civic leaders. You’re looking at future congressmen and representatives.”
Malan joined CAP as a young teenager and attributes his military career to the leaders in the program. According to their website, eight percent of USAF Academy cadets graduated from the CAP cadet program.
Petersen said she has become a better leader, Sr. Master Sgt. Cadet Colten Quakenbush said the same.
“We weren’t meant to be in the air. We were meant to be on the ground …but us flying in an airplane really opens up a new point of view for you,” said Quakenbush.
For more information on the Civil Air Patrol Cadet program, click HERE.