Aerospace Education Day for the CAP

  • Published
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

Members of the Civil Air Patrol had an Aerospace Education Day hosted by units assigned to Offutt AFB and the Gen. Curtis E Lemay, Offutt Composite Squadron on March 24. 

In total more than 70 members from local Civil Air Patrol units, to include the Omaha Composite Squadron, 99th Pursuit Composite Squadron, Burke High School Cadet Squadron and Offutt Composite Squadron visited and toured with several active duty squadrons gaining insight into their day to day operations. 

CAP members met with personnel from the 595th Maintenance Group and received a rare tour of the E-4B. The RC-135 RIVET JOINT crews opened up one of their aircraft for tours as well.  Briefings and demonstrations were given by the Aircrew Flight Equipment on the support and survival equipment used by aircrew members when they are separated from their aircraft and are awaiting rescue from friendly forces, and by Offutt AFB Readiness, where members got a demonstration of protective measures and equipment and learned about Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Enhanced Conventional Weapons, mitigation procedures.

“I am a firm believer that not everything about military life can be learned from a manual or on the flight deck,” said Lt. Col. Robert W. Whelan, Offutt Composite Squadron commander. “When it comes to learning what it means to be an Airman, it is important to also know about the personal side of the uniform.”

“That is why it was important that attendees were given the opportunity to dine in the [Ronald L. King] Dinning Facility.  The Cadets were thrilled to “eat where the Airmen eat” and both the adults and cadets were amazed at the quality and quantity of the meal selection,” Whelan added. 

The cadets and seniors participated in six Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics presentations hosted by the Offutt Composite Squadron.  These presentations were a mix of STEM Kits and projects provided by the Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters.  The presentations included principles and use of telescopes, introduction to robotics, building and use of Raspberry Pi computers, basics of air powered rockets and principles of aerodynamic flight.  Members were also given flight simulator instruction from Civil Air Patrol pilots on the host unit’s two flight simulators.

“Many thanks to the men and women of the 55th Wing for supporting this exceptional Aerospace Education day,” Whelan said.

The CAP is a Total Force partner and Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force that was founded on Dec. 1, 1941, to mobilize the nation's civilian aviation resources for national defense service. They are tasked to search for and find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster and work to keep the homeland safe. They are 56,000 members whom devote their time, energy and expertise toward the well-being of their communities, while also promoting aviation and related fields through aerospace / STEM education and helping shape future leaders through a cadet program.

For more information on the CAP, visit