Military News

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

ACC commander tours CAP National Headquarters

by Susan Schneider
CAP National Headquarters

6/24/2015 - June 23, 2015  -- U.S. Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, toured Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, on Thursday and got an up-close look at the many missions of the Air Force auxiliary.

"Impressive. Thanks for what you guys are doing," Carlisle said after an afternoon visit to the National Operations Center. The center is where CAP coordinates its missions at the request of 1st Air Force, which falls under the command of ACC.

Missions performed by CAP under the direction of the Air Force include search and rescue, as requested by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. In the 669 search and rescue missions CAP performed last year, 85 lives were saved.

CAP also aids the Air Force with air defense intercepting training, which helps prepare active duty and Air National Guard fighter units across the nation. CAP's Surrogate Unmanned Aircraft Systems program provides pre-deployment training to U.S. troops involved in air-to-ground operations.

Members also perform aerial reconnaissance for homeland security and defense support to civil authorities, among other defense-related missions, making CAP a true force-multiplier for the Air Force.

Carlisle, who took over ACC, based at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, last October, visited CAP National Headquarters on the invitation of CAP's national commander, Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez. His visit came in advance of CAP-USAF's pending realignment under the ACC, which is expected to occur before year's end.

"It's the best of both worlds for CAP," said Vazquez. "We already do a lot of operations with 1st Air Force, so the move will streamline the tasking and execution of those missions. And being at Maxwell Air Force Base, home to Air University, keeps us close to AETC (the Air Education and Training Command), which provides excellent support to our cadet and aerospace education programs."

During his visit, Carlisle was briefed by Vazquez, CAP-USAF Commander Col. Michael Tyynismaa, CAP's Chief Operating Officer Don Rowland and other National Headquarters officials and he took the time to visit with CAP's aerospace education and cadet programs staffs. He also got a chance to meet four Maxwell Composite Squadron cadets, including a brother and sister whose parents had worked with the general during his previous Air Force service at the Pentagon.

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