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More than 200 CAP Members Supporting AirVenture

July 19, 2018 - More than 200 Civil Air Patrol members, including 150 cadets and 55 senior members from across the U.S., are gathering to serve the aviation community over the next two weeks by providing support for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018.

They’re participating in National Blue Beret, a CAP National Cadet Special Activity. To qualify, those selected are required to complete nine courses, including several offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The first week is devoted to preparation and obtaining the qualifications required to serve on an intensive, high-tempo mission base. National Blue Beret is one of five search-and-rescue mission bases activated across Wisconsin by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and staffed by CAP’s Wisconsin Wing during AirVenture.

“NBB is one of the most real-world experiences a cadet can have in CAP,” said Col. Rick Franz, National Blue Beret director for 2018. “The jobs we perform lend their own sense of intensity to the learning environment.”

The CAP members support AirVenture by marshalling aircraft on the flightline, tracking and finding overdue aircraft, and interacting with the public. National Blue Beret participants also often support the CAP National Recruiting booth, staffed by Wisconsin Wing members. In addition, cadets are given time to explore the grounds, attend workshops and presentations, investigate educational and career opportunities, and everything else the convention has to offer. Ultimately, cadets learn how to become leaders while taking on the responsibility of serving others – in this case, the general aviation community and AirVenture visitors.

“We strive to transform NBB into a servant leadership-focused event,” Franz said. “Our goal is to build servant leaders who understand they have a responsibility to go back and share their knowledge and skills with their local squadrons and communities.”

National Blue Beret is one of about 50 National Cadet Special Activities sponsored by CAP across the nation this summer. These activities enable cadets to hone their skills in a variety of areas, including search and rescue, flight and emergency services, science, leadership fundamentals, citizenship and military courtesies, and to explore aerospace technology and aviation careers.

Through its cadet program, CAP builds strong citizens for the future by providing leadership training, technical education, scholarships and career education to young men and women 12-20.

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