Pros/Cons of Joining the Civil Air Patrol?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by HighFlyingA380, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I would like to make it clear that I, for one, do not support that insinuation.
     
  2. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    The state of Montana HATES the CAP and their ineffective methods....

    So much so they detest them even flying in their state... In fact there is not any CAP activities there... And Montana has their own search and rescue operations... And do a DAMN good job of it....
     
  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I know plenty that don't care if you take a photo or comment. I didn't. Came from seeing the total mess of a training system still produce lifesaving awards from time to time.

    Someone whining that someone was out keeping current in the G1000 and stopped for lunch? Totally ignored. G1000 regularly kicks people in the head. It's not a particularly great or intuitive system.

    But some senator made a deal and got a bunch of them and it was the gear we had. Same thing with the silly-UI FM radios that I spent more time with than the G1000. Someone needed a radio that met the type cert and FAA requirements and that was the box they found.

    Not a lot of competition in that market specialty. So we had to teach non-radio folks how to deal with a radio that had "banks" still and other stupid UI stuff that only served to confuse crews. Motorola RF sections stuffed in a box with a horrible two line display driven by a telephone keypad and a couple of switches. Not intended to resemble anything near state-of-the-art in Public Safety radio gear, but the only thing approved by FAA to stuff in the airplane under the STC and standard 337 for the airplanes.

    Wouldn't be my first choice for radio system for the missions. But also now a standard that had to hold across aircraft in the fleet for training purposes.

    If I had my way, CAP would flip the bird to APCO and P-25 and install DMR gear. 1/6th the price, better performance, and leave interop stuff on analog. Then trunk the thing either locally, regionally, or nationality with a C-Bridge.

    Not gonna happen. But it's nice to dream of links and trunking without paying Motorola millions... for servers and software.

    It was outdated the day they bought it all. But the budget was what it was and Moto made a killer deal on stuff that hadn't sold yet that was sitting it warehouses. Or so I hear. DMR was also in its infancy, but TETRA wasn't. Europe was way ahead of the US on that style of gear. But TETRA has that "not invented here" problem in the US.
     
  4. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oh, really?

    Here is a list of CAP activities in Montana:

    http://mtwg.cap.gov/Calendar.html

    Do not post misinformation.
     
  5. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Hey, good for them. I don't care.

    Paid, Volunteer? Everyone covered by insurance if volunteer? Liability limiting laws from the legislature I hope? All sorts of details.

    If they have it working for them, great. What's the cost in the State budget? Only ask out of curiosity.

    Colorado runs CAP as a "split hat" organization and pays some of CAP activity through the Goveror's office and manages it under the top brass of the Guard here. Works well for missions not "traditionally" CAP, like monitoring for and after forest fires start. State guy says he can't possibly get that any cheaper considering all-volunteer crews and ground labor. He's tried.

    It's all very location specific. In most States but not all, Sheriffs have the final say on whether to engage Air resources for pretty much anything. Here, they have the final say but they have to go request State funding if they want to say "go" but don't want to pay for it. Every State is a little different... Have to read their laws and procedures...
     
  6. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Don't even get me started on the (state of the art FLIR systems Wyoming has mounted on their planes) while bragging how much it improves their mission....

    Hundreds of hours of training.... and the CRAP has not produced even ONE find.......

    But... DHS wants them installed for potential terrorist monitoring.....

    It is a VERY expensive and wasteful spending mission........
     
  7. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Smoke and mirrors to save face......

    Please post the last find CAP had in Montana...
     
  8. Coloradokevin

    Coloradokevin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ugh. That sounds unappealing. Personally, I love the idea of being involved in SAR operations, but playing with the image-chasing weekend warrior type doesn't really appeal to me. I'm a career LE guy, and I see enough of the wanna-be bad asses in my line of work. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the idea of being a part time volunteer... I just don't like the folks who do it solely for an ego boost.
     
  9. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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  10. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When your statement was proven false, you moved the goal posts.

    And why would you expect them to have finds when you said yourself that the State of Montana is not tasking them to do SAR in the state???
     
  11. RileyMitchum

    RileyMitchum Pre-Flight

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    I'm feeling a little defensive, only because I have been an active member, and 80% of the people I know in the organization are great people, and are using the program to give back to the community. As far as the USAF budget is concerned, CAP is a very minor portion of that. On the order of tens of thousands of dollars, not hundreds, or even millions I believe (I could very well be wrong but this is what my little research has shown). Members all pay annual dues, and furnish a lot of their own supplies. The main goal, as far as I'm concerned, is similar to the Boy Scouts but with aviation. We want to encourage, and mentor young people in the community, and expose them to aviation. We do conduct missions for the state, and the Air Force, but not all flights are 100% paid for. Most of the time a member will pay out of their own pocket to rent the plane, and pay for fuel. I'm not trying to insult anyone on this board. I just have always had a positive CAP experience, and want to help everyone understand that there is a lot of good in the organization.
     
  12. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Ha Ha...

    Look at their activities...

    http://mtwg.cap.gov/Calendar.html

    Comm exercises... Vehicle reports..... etc etc......

    Well, except for the Montana Aviation conference.... ( just and excuse to get drunk on the guvmints dime)...
     
  13. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    None of that justifies posting misinformation.
     
  14. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    I did scroll down... Still didn't see ANY CAP finds..????????????
     
  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Imagine if your local volunteer FD had to be operated underneath a national organization... that's pretty much how to see where it gets to be quite a big mess, overall. Not standards, but actual OPERATIONS dictated from a national source.

    Now imagine all their gear also has to be standardized and bought at a national level.

    And has to be programmed and configured identically.

    You start to get a feel for how difficult the problem is thinking about it that way.

    Imagine a wildland fire heavy area, handed a "standard" pumper truck and told "that's what we use so training can all be the same nationwide"... all the radio channels are pre-chosen, gear is whatever you got when it arrived and no substitutions, stuff like that.

    I don't bash the organization much -- there ARE good people working inside of it. It's just very very difficult to do it well, let alone right, in conditions like the above.

    Frankly, in some areas, CAP *needs* a freakin' Blackhawk helo to do the job right. In others, a steam gauge 172 will suffice. Etc.
     
  16. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Please, how many hours does a cadet log? What percentage get their PPL through the CAP and at what expense?

    You want to get kids into aviation have them do ground crew at a glider club, have them pack parachutes at a drop zone, have them join a EAA chapter, all those things are WAAY more likely to result in, well some results for the young ones.
     
  17. OkieAviator

    OkieAviator Pattern Altitude

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    Nothing to insinuate, these are CAP planes with CAP pilots flying in and eating at a restaurant, I find comedy in that labeling it as 'Operation Burrito' (Which clearly I made up). Whether or not this is legitimate CAP business I have no idea and clearly stated such. As for the flight suit, I don't think they should wear them in the first place... but they defiantly need to eat lunch, not eating might pose a safety risk.... and if they crash who is going to look for them!
     
  18. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude

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    Heck, about 10 posts ago you couldn't even find any CAP activities in Montana without help.

    Nauga,
    with both hands and a map
     
  19. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You said activities. You didn't change it to finds until after you were proven wrong.
     
  20. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I was aircrew to move an airplane to Camp Guernsey once for the Wyoming kids to use it for an exercise. I think I still have permanent intestinal damage from eating Army fish sticks for lunch, while waiting to take the Colorado airplane back to Colorado that night. :eek::eek::eek:o_Oo_Oo_O
     
  21. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Oh.... The state CANNOT deny them to exist in the state.... They just refuse them to be in the air while Montana does the actual aerial search...

    That explains my "smoke and mirrors" comment''''
     
  22. RileyMitchum

    RileyMitchum Pre-Flight

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    Each cadet gets a little over 10 hours over the course of their membership. Five in a 182/172, and five in a glider. They also have access to nations activities that provide more flight time, and exposure to aviation. I don't know the percentage that get their private through it, but am I wrong for believing that anything that gets kids in the air, and around planes is good?
     
  23. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Still waiting for you Cappies to post a legimate CAP find in Montana......
     
  24. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Why are you using that as a criterion? What percentage of the EAA's Young Eagles get their PPL through EAA? Is there some reason why getting kids interested in aviation should only count if the organization provides their pilot training?

    I doubt that either you or I have statistics to determine whether that is true.
     
  25. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude

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    Oh, I thought that was in reference to your deflection of the lists of activities you said didn't exist.

    Nauga,
    who is not in the CAP but does have a sense of smell
     
  26. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Still waiting for you to explain how that could possibly happen when they are not tasked with SAR in Montana. :rolleyes:
     
  27. Coloradokevin

    Coloradokevin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, unfortunately I have to admit that I understand the bureaucracy better than you might imagine. Though I've never been through it with CAP, I have attended NIMS classes for my job, and I have watched BIG government complicate some seemingly simple tasks in the past. In many ways, public safety functions much like a cruise ship: it goes straight pretty easily, but doesn't turn very well.

    I can't say anything positive or negative about the CAP, as I've never been involved with them. I love the idea of being involved in airborne search and rescue missions (regardless of accruing flying hours), but some of the other stuff people have said about the organization really makes me wonder...
     
  28. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Oh.....
    They can do ground searches..... Maybe......
    I didn't say " aviation activities".... My bad...
     
  29. denverpilot

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    Kinda a stupid request, per your own admission, Ben. If the State isn't using them, they could have a million members standing by to do things, and they'd never have a "find", if they don't get called.

    There's States like that. It really doesn't say much, other than proof that "someone" in that State's chain of command, often far back in the ancient dead past, got a hair up their butt or had a personal issue with someone, and decided to do something "their way". And it stuck, due to bureaucracy and habit.

    Nearly 20 years ago, Wyoming used to be a total biotch to get a Sheriff on the phone after about 10PM at night, too... couldn't even roll folks in personal vehicles to go look for ELTs at airports back then, when nobody could get the (sleepy, drunk,, still at the bar kissing babies or strippers, whatever...) Sheriff to answer their home phone, because Wyoming gives all authority to start a mission to the Sheriff. (Some Sheriffs had formal delegation of the approval process to Undersheriffs or specially approved Deputies, some didn't.)

    Cell phones and loud ringtones, fixed that. Mostly. Quite a long time ago.

    Heck, back in those days you could even sic the duty watch folks at AFRCC on every land line anyone knew to call for a Wyoming Sheriff, and still not find them. Maybe get a few "answering machines"... remember those? ;)

    It's one of the reasons Colorado had Sheriffs agree to allow the State to start missions back then, as long as it was on the national or State dime... Sheriff would take over (in the days before "Incident Command" concepts were even a twinkle in a Forestry Service guy's eyes... and WAY before FEMA picked it up from them and made it commonplace in Public Safety) when he woke up and talked to his dispatch office in the morning, or someone drove over and found him.

    I've been watching the local (meaning CO and surrounding States, but not Montana) governmental and bureaucratic "silliness" surrounding how SAR gets launched, funded, and managed at the State level for a loooooong time. Your story about Montana is kinda... meh. So somebody long ago decided to essentially disenfranchise a group of volunteers... oh well. Big... sleepy... yawny... MEH. :cool:
     
  30. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    You do have to look at who said those things, and whether or not they a) tried it, b) got past a very basic level, c) joined a particularly moronic squadron, d) etc.

    There's a post WAAAAAAY ^^^ UP ^^^ THERE somewhere that I made that basically says, "You have to go try it out for yourself." Most folks who've had both good AND bad experiences AS MEMBERS, have generally agreed with it. Especially if they stuck it out long enough to switch away from (or accidentally stumbled INTO) a squadron with squadron level problems.

    It'd be like joining a bad volunteer firehouse inside a particular district... you just know somebody's gonna get killed, and you back away slowly...

    Only costs national, wing, and squadron dues (sometimes none of the latter two, depending on where you are) to go find out. If you find total doofuses or douchebags... see the "back away slowly" part...

    CAP "here" is not CAP "there" is not CAP "over there", as much as they want folks to think that in their marketing materials. It just can't be.
     
  31. Palmpilot

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    I'm having trouble understanding why you apparently expect nationwide perfection from a volunteer organization.

    I recently learned that there used to be some counties in California that wanted nothing to do with CAP, due to attitudes of SOME volunteers in those counties. Thanks to the efforts of a former squadron commander who has since advanced to a position of responsibility in California Wing, that has been cleared up, so that we reportedly have good working relationships with all California counties.

    There have certainly been and no doubt still are problems in the organization, but to use that to say that the organization as a whole is worthless is a huge exaggeration.
     
  32. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Good feedback Nate....

    For the years I was in the Wyoming CAP... it was ALWAYS beat into our heads at every meeting... "DON'T GO INTO MONTANA AS THEY HATE US".


    I also agree on the cooperation of S&R agencies and the internal politics.....

    But....

    Just look at the Montana CAP top heavy administration...

    MTWG ROSTER Update 10/2015
    WING COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF

    Ball Rob Capt Dir. of Information Technology (IT) & Webmaster rball@montana.com;
    Brainerd Greg 1st Lt O-Flight Coordinator (DOF) cap@brainerds.com;
    Burbach Thor Capt Aircraft Maintenance Officer (LGM) thorburbach1@gmail.com;
    Burns Bob Lt Col Asst. Emergency Services Officer (DOSA) rburns41@bresnan.net;
    Carlson Kim 2nd Lt Director of Personnel (DP) kimrcarlson@gmail.com;
    Carlson Matthew TSgt Transportation Officer (LGT) matthew.l.carlson@outlook.com;
    Conner John Capt Director of Logistics (LG) john.conner.6@us.af.mil;
    Conner Teresa Wing Administrator (WA) MTWG.WA@gmail.com;
    Fantino Frank Lt Col Inspector General (IG) ig@mtwg-cap.us;
    Furniss Dave Capt Director of Safety (SE) dave.furniss@mtwg-cap.us;
    Furniss Laura Capt Critical Incident Stress Officer (CIS) laura.furniss@mtwg-cap.us;
    Gibson Seth 2nd Lt Search and Rescue Officer (SAR) s5gibso@gmail.com
    Gilchrist Spencer Maj Director of Communications (DC) spencer.gilchrist@mtwg-cap.us;
    Good Ken Capt Asst. Aircraft Maintenance Officer (LGMA) abbygd@gmail.com;
    Graf Pete Lt Col Deputy Chief of Staff - Operations (DO) grafpeter@q.com;
    Graf Pete Lt Col Stan/Eval Officer (DOV)
    Heizer Steven Capt Director of Administration (DA) steven.heizer@gmail.com;
    Kurdy Ed Capt Supply Officer (LGS) edwardkurdy@gmail.com;
    Lariviere Dana Capt Director of Plans and Programs (XP) smilee761@gmail.com;
    Larson David 1st Lt Drug Demand Reduction Administrator (DDR) dlarson@larsoninvestigations.com;
    LeVasseur Paul 2d Lt Homeland Security Officer (DOH) gomopar440@yahoo.com;
    McKelvey Debra Capt Director of Finance (FM) dmckelvey7@gmail.com;
    Metzger Shelly Lt Col Asst. Inspector General (IGA) smetzger@hotmail.com;
    Munson Paul Capt External Aerospace Education munsonpj@gmail.com
    Nash Al Lt Col Director of Public Affairs (PA)
    Nash Al Lt Col Vice Commander (CV) al.nash@mtwg-cap.us;
    Quatman Jack Lt Col Legal Officer (JA) quatmanlaw@gmail.com;
    Radcliffe Bob Col Counterdrug Officer (DOC) radblr@hotmail.com;
    Reutemann III John Ch Lt Col Chaplain (HC) & Director of Cadet Programs (CP) john.reutemann@mtwg-cap.us;
    Reynolds Tom Lt Col Director of Aerospace Education (AE) & Internal AE tomreynoldscap@outlook.com
    Rickard Maureen Capt Recruiting & Retention Officer (RRO) maureenrickard38@gmail.com;
    Schneller Bob Capt Emergency Services Officer (DOS) cappilot@charter.net;
    Semple Karen Lt Col Asst Inspector General (IGA) ksemple@mtwg-cap.us;
    Statum Chuck Lt Col Dir. of Professional Development (PD) & Testing Officer chuck49@bresnan.net;
    Teel Nolan Col Wing Commander (CC) nolanteel@hotmail.com
    Walsh Patrick Lt Col Asst. IG - Complaints/Investigations (IGQ) pwalsh.cap@gmail.com;
    Wiseman Michelle Capt Chief of Staff (CS) michelle.wiseman@mtwg-cap.us;
    Vacant Government Relations Advisor (GR)
    Vacant Health Services Officer (HS)
    Vacant Wing Historian (HO)






    Bokovoy Christopher C/1st Lt Commandant, CSTAR CSTAR@mtwg-cap.us;
    McGuire Jared C/1st Lt Chair, Wing Cadet Advisory Council slinger978@hotmail.com;

    WING SQUADRON & FLIGHT COMMANDERS
    Last
    First Squadron Email
    Ball Rob Capt Missoula Composite Squadron (MT018/CC) rball@montana.com;
    Bowden Bill Lt Col Butte Flight (MT031/CC) mtdragon@bresnan.net;
    Brainerd Greg 1st Lt The Crosswind Flight (MT038/CC) cap@brainerds.com;
    Lariviere Dana Capt Beartooth Composite Squadron (MT008/CC) smilee761@gmail.com;
    Marcano Ivan Maj Malmstrom AFB Comp. Squadron (MT012/CC) ixmarcano_16@hotmail.com;
    Potratz Steven Maj Gallatin Composite Squadron (MT037/CC) steven.potratz@mtwg-cap.us;
    Schneller Bob Capt Flathead Composite Squadron (MT053/CC) cappilot@charter.net;
    Wiseman Michelle Capt Lewis and Clark Composite Squadron (MT060/CC) michelle.wiseman@mtwg-cap.us;
    Vacant State Legislative Squadron (MT999/CC)

    ACTIVE INCIDENT COMMANDERS
    Burns Bob Lt Col Asst. Emergency Services Officer (DOSA) rburns41@bresnan.net;
    Graf Pete Lt Col Deputy Chief of Staff - Operations (DO) grafpeter@q.com;
    Radcliffe Bob Col Counterdrug Officer (DOC) radblr@hotmail.com;
    Teel Nolan Col Wing Commander (CC) nolanteel@hotmail.com;
     
  33. Coloradokevin

    Coloradokevin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have a lot of time behind a FLIR console at work. We used ours in a hunting bad guys capacity, but it was always very useful to our mission. I'm surprised the system WY uses isn't working well (again, different mission profile, perhaps).
     
  34. denverpilot

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    All of the jobs listed at the Wing level in Ben's cut and pasted list are, well, the word "mandated" by National isn't right, but they're all "standard" jobs the brass at levels above the Wing would be asking "Why haven't you filled that position with someone?"

    AND... what's not obvious looking at a list like that, is more often than not, when human resources are tight, those folks probably also hold at least one or two squadron level jobs AT THE SAME TIME as being on Wing Staff.

    The low number of operational people is the same problem already discussed... if you're not getting called, not too much need for a massive operations structure now, is there?

    More interesting is the lack of someone in the Legislative Squadron. Shows what you've said: State powers that be, aren't interested in even using these volunteers. Someone has decided to disenfranchise them and create some "good gub'mint jobs" instead... no big deal. It happens...

    I'd also point out that... this list is probably just an export from the real database. Whether or not it's up-to-date, is usually iffy in most States. Our State IT guy has some scripts for that crap... well, assuming he's still doing it... remember I've been out for a few years. Most States, someone is cutting and pasting it all...

    Four IC's is pretty typical in a small population State. It's VERY expensive in time and money to get rated as an IC. CAP doesn't pay for even 1/10 of the stuff you need to qualify.

    You'll be traveling a lot on your own dime to sit in classes where real Public Safety folk from other agencies are just there on a junquet like any other, getting FEMA and other training required for their jobs, and they're getting paid, maybe getting per diem, and certainly had travel costs paid for it. You get to foot the bill yourself, if you didn't already come in with those pieces of paper from another agency sending you.

    I am good friends and very old friends with a Colorado IC, unless he's "retired" from it by now. His advice about going for IC if you found yourself with time and money on your hands, and felt like it'd be "fun" or "interesting", was... Don't. Another I knew less well, fell out of favor with other IC's, and a candid conversation with him in a parking lot one night got me the scoop on how much he had paid out of his own pocket to even get to the base requirements. It wasn't a three figure number, but it wasn't a five figure number either. He was taken off "the list" for a while for politics, which I'm sure made him feel like that four-figure number was "really worth it" for a while. (Eventually I believe he went back to doing it.)

    To do CERTAIN jobs in CAP, you'd better be personally wealthy, have copious amounts of free time or control of your days you have to work (self-employed), or retired and not working a day job, to even screw with getting through the requirements. Not that many, but CERTAIN jobs. IC is one of them.
     
  35. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've avoided command like the plague, but my guess is that a large percentage of those wing level positions are mandated by national headquarters, while the small number of squadrons is at least partially a result of Montana not being a very populous state. But why does it matter? It's a safe bet that very few of those are paid positions.
     
  36. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    All you can really tell from that list is these two guys got screwed... especially this first guy...

    Graf Pete Lt Col Deputy Chief of Staff - Operations (DO) grafpeter@q.com;
    Graf Pete Lt Col Stan/Eval Officer (DOV)

    Both Stan/Eval and DO? UGGGGGGH. Paperwork nightmare.

    Nash Al Lt Col Director of Public Affairs (PA)
    Nash Al Lt Col Vice Commander (CV) al.nash@mtwg-cap.us;

    Dude probably has or had a day job dealing with the Press. Or a charismatic extroverted Doctor or Laywer.

    That second one is just a guess. I'm not going to Google.

    That first guy though, is totally screwed. Totally.

    :cool:
     
  37. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Again.....

    More great info from Nate.. Thanks

    In my observations of the Wyoming innerworkings of the CAP.. The VAST majority are/were federal employees( mostly DOD) and most of the rest are/were local government employees... They all get paid for perks.. Our local guys/gals have county funding for SAREX's,,,, So much so that the Jackson squadren does not pay a DIME to fly the plane here...They have the sheriffs dept fund all costs for fuel, hangar, SAREX's etc etc.... And when they go out flying for "practice".. They are on the county payroll / timeclock...

    Also,, the state CAP admins who are federal employees, or past employees get higher benefits in the form of increased pensions for participating in CAP... It is a good gig if you can get it,,,Problem is the taxpayers have to fund their "private flying club"...

    I don't think the vast majority of people realize how they are playing the game and riding the federal gravy train.....
     
  38. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    CAP as a "gravy train"?

    ROFL!!!
     
  39. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Please point to the federal government regs that allow someone to draw pension benefits for a wing staff position with CAP.
     
  40. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Pattern Altitude

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    Jim - In Texas!
    [​IMG]
     
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