Aiken squadron of Civil Air Patrol re-established, members receive awards
Aiken-area students and adults gathered on East Pine Log Road recently for the presentation of the Aiken Composite Squadron Charter.
The Charter is issued by Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, Maxwell AFB, Alabama and was presented by Col. Walter L. Safley, Commander of the South Carolina Wing.
The Aiken Composite Squadron, which was deactivated in 2015 after declining membership, has been growing over the last two years through a partnership with the Emerald City Composite Squadron, based in Greenwood.
Former Aiken Squadron Cadets and local adults have stepped into squadron leadership roles to reactivate the squadron bringing the three-fold mission of the aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services back to the Aiken area.
The reestablishment of the Aiken Squadron begins another chapter in the squadron’s long history that stretches back at least five decades.
During the weekly meeting Dec. 20, Commander’s Commendation Awards for outstanding duty performance were presented to 1st Lt. Lisa Madden, 1st Lt. Theresa Engel, 2nd Lt. Kayla Engel and Cadet Chief Master Sergeant (C/CMSgt) Caleb C. Walsh of the Emerald City Squadron, Greenwood, for their efforts and dedication to reestablishing the Aiken unit between May 6, 2016 to Nov. 20, 2018.
The Squadron Commander, John Medlin, was promoted to the grade of 1st Lieutenant, Cadet Senior Airman (C/SrA) Peter O’Conner was appointed as the squadron’s cadet representative to the S.C. Wing Cadet Advisory Council.
Membership in the Civil Air Patrol is open to students ages 12-21, and to adults 18 and older.
The Aiken Composite Squadron meets weekly from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday evenings at 174 E. Pine Log Road (annex next to the original chapel of Millbrook Baptist Church).
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually.
The Civil Air Patrol’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, Civil Air Patrol plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.