Are you interested in Search and Rescue but think you’re too young? Well, think again! Civil Air Patrol gives its cadets as young as 12 years old the proper training to participate in real missions.

The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Route 66 Composite Squadron held an overnight activity at the First Baptist Church in Moriarty Feb. 14 and 15. It focused on Ground Team Member 3 Training for the cadets.

Ground Team Members in CAP are the people on the ground during Search and Rescue operations. Cadets may participate in some actual missions if they are certified Ground Team Members.

Cadets got signed off on several training evaluations for their qualification as Ground Team 3 Members in trainings that included Conducting Attraction Techniques, Participating in a Litter Carry, Identifying Missing Persons and Aircraft Clues.

Cadet Caroline Bell (orange rocket) and Cadet Savannah Shelton waiting to launch their rockets.

Lt. Col. Eckert said that, “This is the first step in your training to serve your community, state, and nation. This training will help to boost your knowledge in CAP and in your outside lives.”

One of the cadets’ favorite training exercises was learning how to carry a litter (stretcher) properly. Cadet Airman Avery Cogburn said, “It was a fun experience learning about the litters.” The cadets learned how to properly carry a cloth, scoop, and stokes litter and then they actually practiced it. Three teams of four cadets each carried a litter with a senior member in it. The litters were then rotated between the teams. The cadets thoroughly enjoyed carrying the senior members.

Cadets of Route 66 Squadron had been waiting to launch their rockets. Major Craig, one of the senior members of the squadron, had taught a rocketry course and had given the cadets rockets to take home and build. Due to short daylight hours, cadets had not been able to launch their rockets together.

This overnight activity provided the perfect time for take-off on the Saturday morning. All in all, it was an enjoyable, informative experience for the cadets. They specifically enjoyed the hands-on part of the activities. The cadets also liked the fact that they got closer to their Ground Team Member 3 qualifications.

Lt. Col. Branan said, “The Ground Team Member 3 training that we conducted this past weekend was a major step in helping the cadets to prepare themselves to be of service to their community, state, and nation. I was proud of all they accomplished.”