Oklahoma’s Civil Air Patrol Rolls Up Sleeves To Aid The American Red Cross
Master Sgt. Faun Daves took time out of his work day to make his donation.
by Capt. Brandon Lunsford, CAP, Oklahoma Wing
ENID/JENKS/OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (May 11, 2021) – Civil Air Patrol squadrons across Oklahoma are banding together with the public during the month of June with one goal in mind, to save lives with blood donations through Operation Pulse Lift, a mission tasked to CAP by the U.S. Air Force.
“The need is greater now more than ever,” Maj. Bill Herold, Oklahoma Wing’s deputy chief of operations, explained. “The health crisis facing our nation over the last year has really strained the blood supply. This is something every Oklahoman can help with.”
The origins of the Civil Air Patrol story began in 1936, when Gill Robb Wilson, World War I aviator and New Jersey director of aeronautics, returned from Germany convinced of impending war. Wilson envisioned mobilizing America’s civilian aviators for national defense. The proposal for a Civil Air Patrol was approved by Commerce, Navy, and War departments and CAP national headquarters opened its doors Dec. 1.
In January 1942, U-boats started attacking the shipping lanes along our east coast. By June, enemy attacks destroyed nearly 400 merchant vessels and oil tankers off the U.S. Atlantic coastline, often within sight of our shores.
Civil Air Patrol was called into action by a short-handed military. With privately owned airplanes armed with light bombs, civilian volunteers became the eyes of the home skies, flying 244,600 hours patrolling and safeguarding America's coastline, aiding the safe movement of war material to the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific.
Today’s Civil Air Patrol may look different, but its core remains the same. It continues to support America’s communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development and promotion of air, space and cyber power.
“Through our status as the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force,” Herold stated. “CAP’s disaster relief operations include support for blood collection and transport.”
Acting as a Total Force partner and the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, CAP helps First Air Force rapidly respond to nonmilitary threats domestically in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.
1st Lt. Tamara Shannon shows of her donation at the Glenpool collection site.
The American Red Cross needs 30+ people willing to donate in order to hold a successful blood drive. Members of the public are invited to band together with Civil Air Patrol and schedule personal donations with the American Red Cross. Information on locations across Oklahoma can be found at okwg.cap.org/pulse. Locations will continue to be added for the June event.
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About Civil Air Patrol
Now celebrating its 80th year, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine Cessna aircraft and more than 2,000 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90% of all search and rescue operations within the contiguous United States as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often using innovative cellphone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 130 lives during the past fiscal year. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. As a nonprofit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Members also serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.