A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Civil Air Patrol squadron to mark 40 years

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The Civil Air Patrol’s Tar River Composite Squadron will observe the 40th anniversary of its founding in a virtual meeting planned for Aug. 27. 

Past members are invited to participate, 1st Lt. Liz Dunster said, along with interested members of the public. 

A group of aviation enthusiasts and private pilots founded the Civil Air Patrol in December 1941 in a volunteer effort to protect the nation’s coastlines during World War II and to perform other critical civil defense missions.. The local squadron was chartered on Aug. 27, 1980, and first met at the Wilson Industrial Air Center. It moved to its current meeting location at the Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport in rural Nash County about 13 years ago.

Civil Air Patrol is the longtime auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and operates a fleet of 560 single-engine aircraft and 1,550 small unmanned aircraft systems. It performs about 90% 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 82 lives annually.

The CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Operating as a nonprofit organization, CAP also plays a leading role in STEM and aerospace education, and its members serve as mentors to 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s cadet programs. For more information, visit www.cap.news or www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com. 

The local CAP squadron usually meets from 6:30-9 p.m. on Thursdays at the Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, squadron meetings are being held virtually. 

For more information about the Tar River Composite Squadron, follow @TarRiverCAP on Facebook. Contact Dunster, the squadron commander, at 410-730-4283 and ldunster@ncwg.org or Lt. Col. Wayne Asbell, deputy commander for seniors, at 252-414-3147 and rasbell@ncwgcap.org.