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Oklahoma Civil Air Patrol Looks to Expand Services

November 25, 2019

by 2nd Lt. Eric Holtzclaw, CAP, Oklahoma Wing

Maj. Jason Irwin explains the types of drones used and concepts of flying to cadets. (Photo: 2nd Lt Eric Holtzclaw, CAP, Oklahoma Wing)


ENID, Okla. – On the evening of October 21, 2019, the Oklahoma Wing’s Enid Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) hosted an informational seminar on small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) capabilities, also known as drones. The seminar was attended by seniors, cadets and members of the community.  CAP National Headquarters hopes to bring these systems to field units in the near future. Maj. Jason Unwin, an Oklahoma Wing Aerospace Education Officer, briefed the squadron on the capabilities and use of drones, as well as the possibility of having some assigned to the unit.
“Bringing the sUAS capabilities to the Enid Squadron and northwestern Oklahoma would be awesome,” said Enid Composite Squadron Commander 1st Lt. Jeffrey Grant. “The need is here for this kind of capability, as well as the ability to support the emergency managers and agencies across northwestern Oklahoma, which would be a plus for everyone.”

Unwin explained that Oklahoma has several squadrons in the training and development phase of using sUAS. The need for trained sUAS pilots, and a commitment by volunteer senior members is critical. He also mentioned that there are prerequisites that must be met before CAP will allow the use of drones, but the applications are widespread and vital.

Top: (L-R) Maj. Jason Unwin explains the capabilities of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) to Senior Member Frank Hooper, 1st Lt. Jeffrey Grant, and Maj. Richard Fox. (Photo: 2nd Lt. Eric Holtzclaw, CAP)

Drones can be used for search and recovery, mapping and damage assessment after storms, photography, and reconstruction analysis. A sUAS has many advantages over larger manned fixed-wing aircraft, although there are some limitations because sUAS may not be viable in every situation.

In conjunction with initiatives such as the sUAS, CAP is always looking for qualified and motivated volunteers who want to help their community.

Follow the adventures of Enid Composite Squadron at Facebook.com/EnidCAP.


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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 more than 80 lives annually. CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.CAP.news for more information.

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