Pros/Cons of Joining the Civil Air Patrol?

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

  1. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Still waiting for someone to post a CAP find in Montana in the last few decades...
     
  2. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Still waiting for you to explain why you expect them to have finds when the state is not using them for SAR. :rolleyes:
     
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  3. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    And that begs the question.....

    Why does Montana NOT want them involved in S&R.... ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????..

    Ps....
    How many planes does the Montana CAP have?????
     
  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    As far as a local agency leaving their staff "on the clock" while they're doing CAP work, that's a local problem. Elect a politician who'll stop it or have the local press ask their boss why they allow it. They're not getting paid by CAP.

    I believe he's referring to the system USAF has for USAF staff that are near retirement who can build "points" toward retirement if they choose to stay attached as Reservists (or in some areas Active Duty) and take a CAP Liason job. A job squarely inside of USAF not CAP, and required by the way USAF does "oversight" of CAP for Congress.

    These folks are USAF employees who visit squadrons and do the equivalent of a "Super Inspector General" oversight role over CAP units.

    Their "deal" with USAF is between them and USAF and isn't part of the CAP structure at all. It's USAF budget and command decision of how to affect the mandate of USAF to oversee CAP by Congress. That the job gets labeled USAF-CAP Liason often makes people think it's a CAP job. It's not. It's totally on USAF how to find and pay officers to oversee CAP activities.

    The relationship to "pension" at least in past history has been that someone who is already a Reservist signs up to add this additional (usually unwanted and not particularly liked) audit duty of volunteers and USAF gives them more "time" toward their time of service, so they can squeak their way up to a "20 year" retirement or whatever their personal next "retirement pay bump" is under their USAF retirement. Completely a USAF deal to recruit folks from the officer ranks to do the Liason Officer job.

    Last time I worked with a couple of folks doing this on an audit, they were active duty from Colorado Springs, their USAF boss had kinda twisted their arm to fill the jobs, and one was currently in the job and was training her replacement. Both held the USAF grade of Major (for reference in how far along they were in their USAF careers) and who knows what other political reasons inside their unit was also at play. "Go do the CAP job and keep the Old Man happy..." I imagine. Both had day jobs in their units and we're spending theee or more hours per squadron visit and a few full weekends a year auditing at CAP Wing HQ.

    As a taxpayer I couldn't really fault USAF for paying them for it somehow. They didn't get paid by the hour that I could tell, just accelerated their time in service number a little at a time so they could "retire early". Which of course USAF sometimes does in other ways. Ways I don't know and don't care to worry about.

    Nobody gets any government pension changes other than that, that I'm aware of. Unless Ben's area has some weird thing like the "paying them to leave the clock running at their State job" deal with locals. Again, a local political problem.

    Here in CO we have one paid Governor's Office Liason (who does more than the CAP job, he works on multiple interagency things for the Governor under the command of the General who runs the Guard) and a handful of USAF personnel, and they're giving up their nights, weekends, and lots of daytime hours to synch with the schedules of volunteers who have day jobs. A typical squadron inspection was every two years and ran a week with emails and paperwork for days but sporadic, and then an in person audit visit that ran typically from about 6P-10P or later. The Majors would do that for one squadron one week while prepping to do one for another squadron the next week. They'd block out two weekends for auditing Wing every other year. It basically never stopped except in the "off" year.

    Whatever those USAF folks got paid for it, they deserved it. It was a lot of personal time lost to traveling all over the State to do these things.
     
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  5. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Another GREAT post from Nate.. And on point too....

    I guess the pressing question is......

    Is the CAP a part of the Air Force in any way ????
     
  6. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Having seen some groups kicked out of our local SAR Board over literally who was screwing who's ex-wife... Ha...

    The "reasons" Montana doesn't like CAP could be darn near anything. Could be a grudge held by a prick from 20 or more years ago, even.

    I was personally involved in a SAR group here in the 90s who CAP folk would say was "anti-CAP", and others would say "got tired of BS and formed to do a job". Their role was ONE job, ground search for ELTs.

    I wore a "dual hat" back then and was a member of both. As were a few other members. This was simply convenience. We had a radio system that monitored the entire front range for ELTs and could tell us both locations it was being heard and signal strength by some awesome basement software and hardware engineering done by a friend of mine.

    We'd roll out and find ELTs at airports (and a couple off airport, including two fatals over many years) and have the thing taken care of before CAP could get authorization from AFRCC and a mission number.

    It was fun. It was also extremely dangerous to our wallets. We didn't know it at the time but we had zero insurance for this fun activity. One of us hit a jet with a personal vehicle, we'd have learned the hard way. Or caused a car crash. Whatever.

    We were young and stupid and having fun. Those of us who didn't found the group but only joined it, and weren't seen as being anti-CAP actually helped feed information back and forth between the groups during searches. One call on the non CAP SAR groups radio system and the next on a CAP radio. Everyone in the loop. It was always "friendly competition" to see who could get to the ELT first. Usually friendly anyway. A few folks had personal grudges to settle. Most of us didn't.

    We'd hold fox hunts on weekends with practice beacons and invite anyone who wanted to come. No bureaucracy no mission numbers no authorizations. Just show up at X park at 15:00 on a Saturday and the "fox" will start transmitting. We'll all go get Mexican food afterward. Everyone will learn more about finding ELTs.

    I missed being first to the hardest ELT anyone ever hid by minutes because the road I was on didn't have an exit to turn around on. Someone did a GREAT job (by accident) of getting it to couple to some high tension power lines and radiate in extremely strange ways. I was driving on the road under the power lines and saw the signal drop as I passed it running off frequency and with some really cranky radios. The guys experimenting with some early cranky Dopper gear were totally lost. I was using my EARS listening for the warble of multi-path. If I hadn't said where the signal drop happened on the radio, the buddy behind me on the same road wouldn't have beat me to the thing. Ha. Taught me to shut up when it was a competition. LOL. But teamwork.. Was still fun.

    Nastiest ELT search ever was in the Denver dump. Someone threw it away with batteries still attached. I decided to tell folks to tell AFRCC that we wouldn't be turning it off when while someone else was negotiating with a front end loader operator to dig in a particular place, I noticed I was standing on a dead horse. Yeah. A horse. In the dump.

    That was enough for me at 11PM at night. Headed home to get the smell off me and to burn that pair of shoes.
     
  7. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Which doesn't apply to the litany of people he cut and pasted from the MT wing website. With the exception of the wing administrator (who is typically an employee of CAP), the remainder are unpaid volunteers.

    The other day I had a discussion with someone who was convinced what a gravy-train the local VFD represents. 'but they can sleep in the firestation.....' o_O
     
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  8. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    LOL! Our VFD uses steel buildings with no bunkrooms and maybe a couple of cots stashed somewhere I've never seen.

    My ham radio buddy who decided to help out and join and get qualified, well, it "only" took him two years and a partially related injury (neck problems) that required surgery to get his full badge. Definitely a mooch. LOL.

    I don't even think our stations have kitchens and if they do, I doubt they're stocked with much more than granola bars and water. Darn those freeloaders! Risking permanent injury for a taxpayer provided granola bar!

    My whole family almost on mom's mom's side are rural-ish firefighters. Well times were different so I should say all the males were anyway. It's definitely not glamourous nor high paid for what they have to see and do. One was only in the burn unit for six months and years of recovery, fighting a fire at his day job he should have left alone, when a transformer blew up and covered him in hot oil on one side of his body.

    He's now a Board Member. Less "my body is on fire" and more paperwork he says. And funerals in dress uniform. Every single one of them.
     
  9. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, this was in suburban Maryland. Our fire stations are pretty swanky with banquet hall, catering kitchen and living quarters. The banquet facility is a source of income for the company and the bunkrooms/lounge allow them to keep 3-4 young guys in house overnight to provide near professional response times. It's a bit different from rural fire.
     
  10. Ozone

    Ozone Pre-Flight

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    I am a "patron" member of CAP....it's easier to keep paying $55/year than to go through the screening process again if one of my kids decides to join CAP. The guys I hung out with were "hangar flyers" and it wasn't terribly interesting.

    If you are in an area that has a coast guard auxiliary, I strongly suggest you look into that option. I have a friend in Danvers, MA that regularly flies for "free" with the coast guard. He does 4-6 hour coastal patrol missions as a well as the occasional transport-a-VIP coastie from point A to point B. He gets to use his flying club plane, then the guard reimburses him later. The guard also paid for him to goto their training facility in FLA to do survival training and he got a flying-compatible gumby suit for his troubles. He likes it and the guard also pays for him to maintain proficiency. From talking with him, you need a minimum of 200hours PIC to qualify to join the guard's airborne assets. IFR certification is preferred, but not a requirement.
     
  11. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That.

    Just takes a while for the security stuff to clear.
     
  12. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just what I have withessed, the kids I see at glider ports are around more pilots and CFIs, they are actually touching aircraft and most clubs I've seen will trade volunteering for flights, most CFIGs will work with the kids who put the time in.
     
  13. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There is a SAREX in March, and that calendar contains only statewide activities. Yes, much of that is exercising the comms network. Search practice, field days, cadet activities, ALL emergencies, etc., are usually local activities.

    Now, please stop making things up. It's really obvious you have an axe to grind, and equally obvious it's not rooted in reality.
     
  14. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    And NO find in years........

    Why would Montana make them a preferred S&R outfit ??

    Yeah... I grind axes when they need sharpening....

    Get over it...
     
  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Ben is definitely coming off a little weird.

    I missed his "look at all the reports!" comment.

    All of those reports are required, not optional, they're all computerized, you just check the data or correct it, and the "hard" or slow part is just getting folks to log in and click "approved" at appropriate levels.

    Remember it's based off of an Air Force style bureaucracy and assumes there's a lot of desk-jockey butter bars to push paperwork around like in the paid version.

    The calendars are usually kept up to date because doing all the reports is busywork that many can't seem to keep track of on their own in their own calendar. A good commander will just point at the website for his or her unorganized few and give a friendly reminder they need to log in and update stuff and click "send" so the system will move the data along throughout the chain of command.

    As a training qualified person in Comm, a Wing staff Assistant listed as the State Comm Engineering Officer and also holding those jobs at a Squadron level, it wasn't uncommon for me to have 50 updates to do in the membership database during a weekly slog session of clicking.

    But I appreciated the system because 20 years ago we had to pass all that paper around. All I had to do for these things today would be to check that the front line trainer attached the proof of attendance and the persons scanned test sheet with score, and hit "approve".

    So... Whatever Ben's issue is with them publishing a calendar to remind the weakly-organized to do their paperwork, I have no idea. It is a bit silly but common to put it on the public website instead of a private one, but it's no big deal. We had a squadron one that was on a private server, but the Wing level/State one was public.

    I'm sure if your bored, Ben, you can go volunteer to click on the "Transportation Report" and confirm this month that all the lights work on the van, the tires are at the correct pressure, the radio works (and if it doesn't that'd be an email to me and it would show up on MY report/readiness assessment), blah blah blah. It's super exciting stuff.

    All of those reports one can do from your house with a half an hour of time a week or so. It's not a list of in person meetings, which seems to be your insinuation. Although some commanders may ask for an occasional "all hands staff meeting" on a weekend or weeknight to get slackers in a room and make everyone sit and catch up on their (mostly useless but required for funding release from USAF who holds the Congressional money until paperwork is done right in worst case scenarios) paperwork.

    Everybody bring your laptop! Let's see what bugs we can find in the system this evening! LOL! (Which like all big national data entry systems is the real "fun" of the whole thing -- many of us dreaded software releases by National...)

    I spent a significant amount of time corresponding with the software devs on some of it for Comm. Mostly showing them where the data had already been input into the database on "screen number 15" but the software wanted it re-entered on "screen number 21" that was only used annually, let's say. If someone took the time to point out to the software guys and gals that they already had the data and they could pre-fill the form with it with an SQL statement in that page, a little fix like that would make life easier for a few thousand people. So I "bothered" to explain it.

    Trying to change the actual PROCESSES was hard. One reason, ironically? Tight integration with the software. Once you do that, now that software change drives your process change instead of the other way around. Happens in big companies too. SAP or Siebel, anyone? LOL
     
  16. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I think you're out to lunch Ben.

    If you don't get called, and you don't get authorized to search, you can't find jack squat.

    And I've already explained, and you know it's true, that all it takes at a State level to kick out ANY group, is one prick with a never ending hard on and a personal grudge.

    Mostly because his State co-workers don't want to listen to him bitch and whine if they made the phone call and invited his "arch-enemy" who's screwing his ex, or who told him he was an ass twenty years ago, out to play. And he can't be fired, it's a State job.

    I'm not saying that's the case in Montana, but without going into details I watched exactly that crap above go down in CO about 15 years ago. It took the State hiring someone smart enough to go around another State worker (basically point out that none of it was in his swim lane) to get politicians "un-nervous" about a particular group enough to work with them a couple of times and realize the jerk's never ending whining was unnecessary and baseless.

    It's as likely to be politics up there, as it is to be decisions made based on actual capability or skill or anything. You know this. Probably more likely.

    Someone's cousin screwed somebody's sister twenty years ago and he "hates all them pilots" now. It's Missoula for god's sake. LOL.
     
  17. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    My current theory is that he missed his high school prom because a CAP cadet turned him down for a date. Those formative experiences can have long-term impact.
     
  18. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    I will try to explain this one more time.....

    Try to use common sense...

    1- Montana does NOT want the CAP anywhere near them during searches as they are wanna be, dangerous and ineffective... That is why they DON'T get called, and that is why they have NO finds... There is a reason I politely asked to post all the CAP finds, to drive my point home... Get it???

    2- All my experiences with the CAP here show that the vast majority of the military members, either active or retired are from the United States Air Force... I politely asked you if the CAP has ANY connection with the USAF... Which you did NOT answer...

    3- The financial connection and possible increased pay and retirement benefits were explained nicely by you... Thank you sir... And there is a motive for military people to use the CAP as a another trick in the bag to up their bennies and standing..... I don't care if you believe me... It happens,,, Government workers know exactly how to game the system.... There is reason the United States is 20 TRILLION in debt and gaming the system just adds to that debt....

    4- For instance.... The teachers here start at 55 grand a year, and go up to six figures and eligible to retire in their 50's.. I have several neighbors who are in the school district and at holiday gathering they sit around and brag about how they will maximize their retirement payouts.... Since their retirement is based on their last year of employment salary, they will bump it up by driving school buses, or be the basketball coach, or any activity director.. That takes their total salary into the 140,000+ a year range for the last year... Then they retire at over 6 figures and COLA adjusts throughout their life...

    Is it legal.. Yeah.... it is gaming the system.. HELL yeah.... It happens with federal workers too and I see it ALOT since we have Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Bridger Teton National Forest, National Elk Refuge, and other federal offices.... If any of you think they don't game the system... You are in denial and I have a bridge to sell you.....

    Nate makes some GREAT points too.. Just read his posts... CAP equips it's planes with complex radios that are NOT needed for a S&R mission, provides glass cockpits where steam gauges are just fine.. It is all a waste of taxpayers money.... And the cappies who have drank the koolaid thrive on wasteful spending... IDIOTS....

    I am an old person and will die sooner then most here so I don't really give a siht about crippling debt that will sink this once great country... You young people are TOAST..

    Do I highly dislike the CAP, wasteful spending, people gaming the system ???? HELL Yeah.....

    Rant off....

    Cheers.....
     
  19. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    OK, let me see if I follow your argument:

    1. They have no finds (allegedly).

    2. Therefore, Montana doesn't use them for SAR.

    However, you keep ignoring:

    3. Therefore they have no finds.

    You do understand the problem with circular reasoning, right?

    No finds is not evidence of incompetence; it's evidence of not being assigned to search.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  20. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Thank you for doing that! :)
     
  21. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you want to see wasteful spending, try dissolving CAP and giving domestic SAR tasking back to the Air Force or other PAID government personnel.
     
  22. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Cute but evasive answer...

    You are in the CAP.....

    Just answer two questions that you can quickly find..

    1- How many finds does the Montana CAP have ???????

    2- How many planes does the Montana Wing have?????????

    It appears that the most rabid CAP members , are the ones that DON"T own a plane and depend on the CAP planes for their flying...

    So.... Does Palmpilot own his a plane???
    Does MAKG1 own a own plane????..
     
  23. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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  24. supercub185

    supercub185 Pre-Flight

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    I enjoyed the cap when I was young. I was a teenager flying the plane wet for 12.50 an hour. It seems much different now. I got courtmartialed. One of the few in history. I quit drinking shortly thereafter.
     
  25. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How is it evasive?

    You're being evasive by not explaining how they could have finds if they're not being tasked.

    Please explain to me how I can quickly find that out, because I don't happen to know.

    I'm taking your word for it that they don't have any.

    That's something I do know how to find out, but if you don't mind, I'd rather not subject myself to the risk of prosecution per the following notice:

    "Warning: THE INFORMATION YOU ARE RECEIVING IS PROTECTED FROM INTERCEPTION OR DISCLOSURE. ANY PERSON WHO INTENTIONALLY DISTRIBUTES, REPRODUCES, OR DISCLOSES ITS CONTENTS IS SUBJECT TO THE PENALTIES SET FORTH IN 18 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 2511 AND/OR RELEATED STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES."​

    I think you're mistaken about who's rabid and who isn't.

    I don't see how that proves anything, but I rent. I manage the plane that's assigned to my squadron, but I'm not allowed to fly it, because I'm exercising sport pilot privileges. I'll let MAKG1 speak for himself, if he's so inclined.

    In any case, the purposes for which a CAP plane can be used are limited, so it would be too restrictive to rely on for all my flying even if I was qualified to do so.

    When I first joined CAP, we were allowed to use personally owned planes or rental planes on CAP flights, because the corporation had fewer planes then. Nowadays, we're not allowed to do that without permission from the wing commander, and I don't think they grant permission for that very often, if ever.
     
  26. OkieAviator

    OkieAviator Cleared for Takeoff

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    Wait you were courtmartialed in CAP? I'm guessing I read that wrong and you're referring to when you were in actual military service.


    Just to put your mind at ease you can't be prosecuted by anyone for disclosing information that you have access to from a legal standpoint. They could kick you out of the club, but unless you gained access through already illegal methods then Section 2511 isn't going to apply. I'm assuming they also label stuff as FOUO which is just another not enforceable method of saying they don't want the information shared.

    This is actually something I deal with quite a bit in my day job and anyone who has had an active DoD clearance knows you don't need any background check to receive or view 'FOUO' type information. Typically this type of information is considered 'controlled, not classified'. All that said I would tend to agree you shouldn't put anything out on the internets that they asked you not to... just out of respect really. But a quick Google search showed me that they use the term 'OPSEC' which completely doesn't apply to them, seems they're just plagiarizing Air Force Instructions... which could explain the reference to 2251 because we have a similar notification on every DoD system I've ever logged into.

     
  27. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Re...

    1. So? Congress mandates CAP exists, that a Montana Wing exists, and multiple missions for CAP. If local government doesn't want to utilize an available asset, that's their call. SAR is not CAPs only mission mandate and SAR is usually a massive team effort. There are over 100 certified SAR organizations of different types in CO who've been vetted by the State. CAP is one of many with particular strengths and weaknesses. The State EOC doesn't call CAP for high angle mountain rescue and they don't call MRA for looking for things from airplanes. Montana can do as they please. They answer only to their constituency. Congress still has other missions for CAP in Montana.

    2. So? Retired military guys join a national non-profit corporation created and mandated by Congress. CAP must accept all comers. I'm an IT guy. Another friend is retired Law Enforcement. Another was active duty Marines. CAP is NOT USAF. And I DID answer your question. You didn't read it. NON-PROFIT CORPORATION. Congress also mandates that USAF *audit* this non-profit. Those Liason jobs are squarely in USAFs budget and in a separate AUDIT budget Congress mandates of USAF. They could hire Deloitte and Touche if they felt like it. They told USAF to do it. Complaints about the roughly 100 people nationwide that are getting a tiny bump in their retirement date for taking on additional duties behind their normal duties as USAF personnel to give up nights and weekends to audit a private non-profit, is USAF's business. Complaints can probably be logged with the Pentagon if you like.

    3. Again USAF assigns roughy two officers from their ranks per Wing to that duty. It is not a CAP job. CAP employs ONE administrative staff member per Wing. Nobody else is paid nor has any deals with USAF or any other branch.

    4. Local government problem. Call your local TV station. Unrelated.

    Radio stuff: The radios work fine. They are a Federally mandated technology across all Federal agencies. They're installed in Certified aircraft and you of all people know what he price difference is between a Certified and Uncertified avionics device is. There are one or two manufacturers who have packaged up radios and gained FAA STC authorization for them. You're welcome to be the third and bid on the next round of purchases. They're expensive for FAA reasons not CAP reasons.

    My reference to newer tech available now compared to when they were purchased is like saying I'd put an iPhone 6 in the planes instead of an iPhone 4 if it were my call. It's not my call.

    You could have probably just said you "dislike CAP" and saved looking foolish about what you believe the problems are.

    The Montana thing? Interesting they don't utilize an available asset. Up to the voters of Montana.

    The USAF connection? Not there. Congress built a non-profit, partially funds it, and asks for volunteers. They simultaneously told USAF to oversee the expenditures were being utilized as requested as auditors and USAF chooses how they want to do that.

    The "retirement points" thing? Just how USAF gets a few more than 100 officers nationwide to do the audit job.

    Rants about government spending? I'm right there with ya buddy. No argument here. Congress gets a pretty good bang for the buck out of CAP for multiple jobs they want done. SAR is just one of them.

    Congress could set up a non-profit to build highways and bridges too, and fund it such that volunteers could work for it and buy it some road graders and dump trucks. That'd be the equivalent. It's nowhere near the levels of graft of a typical DoD or Federal project. In fact there's so little resources it couldn't even come close. It's honestly probably the cheapest way Congress could possibly do the multiple missions they've told CAP to do. If you had to pay even half of the people CAP has working for free, you'd be creating a massive government agency. Nobody is paid for their work at CAP.

    Oh, you're locals you think are being paid by a local agency and kept on the clock while doing CAP work? Go find a TV investigative reports and sic em on whoever is paying them. I suggest they ask whoever it is why they allow their staff to remain on the clock when they're out working for a volunteer organization. There's nothing about CAP that is causing that, even if it really is occurring, which I doubt. CAP doesn't have a labor budget.

    All CAP can offer aircrew is a reduced rate on a 182 rental to maintain both FAA currency and practice specific things required to CAP currency. Or a funded flight carrying a cadet aloft to introduce them to aviation because Congress said they want that job done.
     
  28. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    All I know is that it takes a password to access the information, and I don't have the authority to decide what can be released to the public and what can't. If the penalties thing is an empty threat, I'm glad to hear it, but similar to what you said, it's enough for me that they don't want stuff from that Web site released without authorization.
     
  29. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    It also isn't necessarily a prosecution you'd be worried about but internal action inside the organization for breaking rules -- I always joke I don't want to "go to jail" for it, but really the most likely action would be a suspension of membership privileges and possibly termination of membership.

    In other words, that password would stop working. Heh.

    There are also (as you and I know) at least a few missions that do require background checks and entail things that are above FOUO in nature. And of those, I can say no more.

    At least they aren't as high as things that require the standard, "I can neither confirm nor deny", and for the record even if they are, I didn't participate in any of them nor sign on the dotted line.

    Any knowledge I have of them is purely via casual knowledge of their basic goals.

    The drawer above mine in the locked filing cabinet in a locked room in a locked building, had a different combination lock on it for their paperwork.

    They didn't have my combo and I didn't have theirs. ;-)

    Sometimes those USAF auditors wanted to talk to them alone, sometimes me. Heh. This would be the stuff I did for Wing, not the squadron. And not
    National.

    Oh. And all the stuff I was "protecting"?

    It's on at least two nationally known public non-CAP websites. One of them run by FCC. ;-)
     
  30. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, the secret squirrel stuff does get a little silly, doesn't it.
     
  31. OkieAviator

    OkieAviator Cleared for Takeoff

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    Found the CAP site that talks about it, again pulls info straight from the 5200-1 which is the controlling document for how the DoD handles the process. The background check that CAP does is probably through a commercial vendor since they have no way to facilitate a clearance and lack the access to JPAS to even verify. So if you have one you add it to your profile and they have to email someone who can verify it. Found that interesting.

    I would speculate that if something comes up where someone is requesting CAP assistance and for the pilots or whoever to have an 'official' clearance that it's just a precaution and that CAP wouldn't have direct access to any sensitive information or any requirement to get read into a program. For example we'll have touch labor staff on site in a secured facility that have a clearance, not because they have any method of gaining access to the systems but because they have physical access, or might over hear a conversation or have situation awareness of the posture of the facility.
     
  32. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    May I offer what might be a more balanced view, as a neutral party with some experience?

    Denverpilot's response is essentially correct - Uncle Sam isn't blowing big bucks on CAP, far out of proprtion to the benefit accrued. And most Mission Pilots are competent, and the cadre varies from lower time PPs to retired military and other pro pilots. Not sure what the Montana poster's issue is, but there is no reason to believe Montana CAP pilots differ in any meaningful way from the general pilot population in the state. In general, they are about as competent to conduct a search as volunteer fire fighters are to fight a fire.

    On the other hand, about 20% of CAP members are wannabes and weenies (estimate only, of course), and as a 14 year MP who finally couldn't gag down the bureacratic nonsense anymore, I will opine that CAP's management is a hot mess. They will gleefully waste member time on unfocused nonsense, redundant make-work, and the organization lacks essential agility. They frequently can't get out of their own way; most wings have a good ol' boy network, and the pilot turnover outside the GOBN is constant.
     
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  33. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Pretty good assessment.

    Just for info since it's obviously confusing, Ben isn't in Montana, he's in Wyoming and just using the Montana situation (whatever it is) to bash all 50+ other Wings, when even the Montana situation isn't proven to be based on what he says it is, anyway.

    I think the "military style" management structure is one thing CAP could probably throw in the trash, but much of it is so their behavior will mesh up with USAF's style of monitoring them.

    I was kidding when I said Congress could hire D&T or some other big name audit house to do it, but I think if they did it would be fascinating to read how much effort is wasted on endless USAF style audits.

    An example might be, the endless radio inventories. I inventoried a number of radios every year that the computer system clearly showed were so old they had been depreciated to $0 for years. The problem is, in FedGov work, they still have to be accounted for even if they're literally worthless. And that's not even a USAF thing, that's just Federal time-wasting that happens to friends in FedGov jobs elsewhere, too.

    I spent a LOT of time and effort trying to get those radios the hell OUT of CAP inventory (in an approved FedGov disposal kind of way, which is another complete cluster**** since they have to go to auction or be destroyed by a certified electronics recycler after National approved even getting rid of them) so they wouldn't be a headache for the next guy. I was successful on some, unsuccessful on others.

    Here's why a USAF inventory is hard. These things aren't on a military base. They're AT PEOPLE'S HOUSES. It's volunteers. Not people living a block away in the BOQ or Family Housing or the Barracks, and there's not a locker somewhere with all of this crap in it that someone can be told to walk over and inventory.

    That said, the flip side is that we had a non-active person hold on to some gear once after they let their membership lapse and it took the threat of sending the Sheriff over to get it, to get it brought back. Sigh.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't on that stuff. PITA.
     
  34. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    USAF has civilian contractors that provide anything from target towing to building satelites. USAF has no difficulty auditing their expense reports despite the fact that those companies are structured like a normal company, not like a military unit. USAF isn't even organized in a state by state fashion, so I dont see how the management structures of USAF are an excuse for what we see at CAP.
     
  35. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Hell if I know. Like I said, tossing the para-military management style, while probably retaining the para-military grade structure and customs and courtesies for the cadet program, would be fine with me. But that's contentious amongst the folks that like the "USAF Auxiliary" title.

    Around here I found them to generally be a minority. Talking with friends in CAP in the Midwest, they seem to take that stuff much more seriously, sounds like. Probably worse the further east you go, would be my guess. I heard of one senior squadron that actually held uniform inspections. I would have laughed and turned around and walked out. See ya.

    Not here for that thanks, but if you want to inspect my polo shirt, please by all means, inspect it while I'm walking over here to get some actual work done. Haha. And if I happen to be in the white epaulet shirt combo, hey, let me know if I put my name tag on upside down would ya? Thanks.

    Oh, I'm missing a few ribbons I earned? Yeah, they're sitting at home in my desk drawer waiting for me to order up larger ribbon racks on my own dime. If you happen to have one that holds X number of ribbons you're not using, I'd take it. Otherwise I'll get around to it when I get a particularly interesting ribbon, thanks.

    Don't get me wrong, everyone likes recognition for things and ribbons are traditionally how it's done in para-military organizations. I just wasn't in any hurry to make up three or four ribbon racks every time I got one.

    And I do have a few certificates on the office wall that were nice to get. The "Achievement Award for Outstanding Duty Performance" came from a particularly grueling weekend making Comm stuff work. That one is on the "I love me" wall in the office. Pretty sure I napped in my car at work at lunch the next day. That was a butt buster of an exercise.

    Amongst the smarter folks, I always joked that USAF Auxiliary sounded like the "Ladies Auxiliary" of other organizations like VFW and the Loyal Order of the Moose, to me.

    But I'm a smart-ass by nature, and they usually didn't find it too funny, or they couldn't show it in front of certain folks.

    I believe in the real military that would be called, "Passed over for promotion in grade" on a fitness report. Hahaha. Good thing it's not the real military. ;)

    I always joked at any promotion ceremony that my salary was also doubled, too. That joke is a little more PC.

    Only time I want my uniform inspected is if I have to put on dress blues to go to a damned funeral or official ceremony at a gravesite. Now that's a time to have it done right. Would be excellent if you'd mention my fly is open.
     
  36. Katamarino

    Katamarino Line Up and Wait

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    A couple of weeks back I used our CAP aircraft to transport a lady with breast cancer home from her treatment, in conjunction with Angel Flight (and at my own expense). This weekend just passed I flew four kids on their first and second ever flights in a light aircraft; they got to do most of the flying and had a new experience that they'll rave about to their friends. A couple of the other kids in our squadron are training for their PPL through CAP.

    Clearly a few grumpy old bastards on here would prefer that the sick lady find her own way home, and the kids get told to stay home playing video games, but thankfully these people have not yet managed to shut us down.

    And since it seems so important to said people, I must report that I wore slacks and a polo shirt for all of this and don't own a single item of military style uniform...
     
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  37. OkieAviator

    OkieAviator Cleared for Takeoff

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    It's extremely common for all federal agencies to have a mix of civilian (GS types) and contractors (private/public companies) on site, doing the same job side by side. Some of the fancier agencies and all the military branches will have active service members on site as well. However it's not uncommon for say DISA to oversee an Army contract, or the Army to oversee an NSA contract. Depends on which contract vehicle they use.

    I don't know the source of the uniform and pseudo military style other than guessing they want to mimic the Air Force. Probably started with the kids, then a few adults... then some other adults thought it was cool and next thing you know you're running around playing dress up and saluting each other. Seems some members are able to not participate in that which is great, however do they still have to call these guys Colonel to keep the roleplaying going or can they completely opt out of all that nonsense?
     
  38. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    CAP was started in WWII and one of the activities (maybe the only one, I'm no historian) was using privately-owned airplanes to patrol offshore for German subs. They actually killed at least one. So I'm sure that a military organization was the most natural thing to do.

    These days, IMO it is an important part of the reward system. I sometimes tell people that CAP is Boy Scouts for adults, but many of the volunteer organizations I'm familiar with have similar systems. I raced with Sports Car Club of America for years and the reward system is more or less the same there. Lots of increasingly important-sounding job titles to be aspired to, lots of pins, patches and awards to wear on your shirts and hats. My observation is that people who do not have a lot of power and prestige in their day jobs respond well to this type of system and this cadre ends up doing a disproportionate amount of work in the volunteer organizations. So it works.

    It probably depends a bit on the local customs but I have never owned any bit of uniform other than the blue golf shirt that I have to wear to go flying and to work Mission Base. I also discovered that there are requirements for promotion, including one all-day class, that I can avoid. So they can't promote me. I mostly address them all as "General" which amuses most and irritates the he# out of some.
     
  39. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually, it's pretty obvious.

    The CAP has to maintain a structure and rules/regulations acceptable to the Air Force. Someone decided it was less work to just copy the Air Force than to do it right. Frankly, I think FEMA is a better model for the mission, but DHS does not have oversight.
     
  40. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    If you're talking about the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System, that is the system that CAP and most other emergency management organizations use. But that's not a system for running an organization on a day-to-day basis.