LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Virginia – Fifty-nine Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadets from over 15 squadrons across the Commonwealth participated in Virginia Wing’s Non-Commissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) and Advanced Drill and Ceremonies School (ADCS) held at Langley Air Force Base on October 14-16, 2016.
The Drill and Ceremonies School has been offered by the wing twice a year for the last several years. The program helps strengthen cadets in their knowledge of drill and ceremonies as well as standardize how drill is taught throughout the wing. The school is now evolving from a simple understanding of drill and ceremonies to focus specifically on enabling cadets to be comfortable with drill instruction and training so that they may utilize and apply their skills and knowledge at their individual squadrons. At the conclusion of this fall’s school, cadet Master Sergeant Gheorghe Ciobanu shared, “I’ve never thought that I would have the capabilities to drill cadets on my own before, but now I feel more confident and prepared than ever before. The cadre did an outstanding job teaching us everything we need to know according to the new manual and giving us the confidence we all needed.” Additionally, Captain Jacob Bixler, activity ’s director, commented, “With the addition of new national curriculum for drill, we are enabled now more than ever to follow the same sheet of music. I thoroughly enjoy being able to offer this activity at the wing level so that cadets from across the state can share and collaborate their successes and strengthen their leadership and mentorship qualities that are reinforced through drill and ceremonies.”
The NCOA was offered at the wing level for the first time in many years. The goal for the program was to offer new cadet noncommissioned officers the basic skills to lead new CAP cadets under their guidance. The cadre of staff teaching the school were selected for their experience and ability to teach their skills to others. Basic skills on how to prepare and teach were supplemented with discussions on leadership ethics and responsibilities. The most well received part of the course by far was the ‘NCO Round Table’ session. Active Duty NCOs from Langley AFB volunteered their time to come and talk about their real-world experience being in charge of others. The discussion could have gone on twice as long as time allowed – both the NCO’s and cadets were enjoying every moment.
In addition to the cadre, students, and staff, the weekend activity was made successful through the support of the United States Air Force. The weekend activity made use of the base’s Raptor Town buildings, providing an area for members to sleep and eat comfortably. Members of the 633rd Force Support Squadron gave their personal time to prepare breakfast and dinner for the schools. The directors of both schools personally thanked the airmen and their commanders – who visited on Saturday evening – for their efforts. The use of the Raptor Town facilities proved to be successful and the Virginia Wing is thankful to have this resource available through the approval of the base commander.
Photos – 2016 Fall NCOA
Photos – 2016 Fall ADCS
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent 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 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
CONTACT: Captain Jacob Bixler, CAP, email@example.com