CAP cadets converge on Laughlin
By Joel Langton, 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 29, 2019
LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas—Twenty-eight high school Civil Air Patrol students from across America converged on Laughlin June 8 through 15 to get a first-hand course in pilot training.
CAP is the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership including people from all backgrounds, lifestyles and occupations.
The CAP cadets began Sunday morning with a test, then they learned about many elements of pilot training. Monday morning, the action really started, with all-day aerospace physiology training. The week then fed into flight engineering training, maintenance training and security forces military working dog demos. Their visit to Laughlin was highlighted with simulator rides and several students received T-6A Texan II and T-1A Jayhawk orientation flights.
“We really tried to roll out the red carpet to these students and show them what the Air Force is really like,” said Capt. Rafael Alicea, 47th Flying Training Wing project officer for the visit.
It was a hit with the cadets as well. “I am extremely grateful to have attended this course,” said Victoria Lang, a cadet from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina “I have better direction for my future and new goals to pursue.”
Another cadet pointed out she got a different perspective from what she had. “I was able to see behind the scenes of the Air Force and see how many people are involved to just put a pilot in the sky,” said Kassandra Ball, a cadet from University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.
After the rigorous and challenging week, one cadet made a promise as he left the Air Force’s premier pilot training wing: “I can’t wait to become a pilot at Laughlin and you will see me in 8 years when I get to pilot training,” said Gabe Katz, a cadet from Naples, Florida.