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Virginia Civil Air Patrol members visit with Virginia Legislators

February 28, 2024

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RICHMOND, Va. (Feb 28, 2024) – Over 50 Civil Air Patrol (CAP) members from across the Commonwealth visited the General Assembly and met with legislators and other Virginia government officials during the 2024 legislative session earlier this month. Known internally as “State Legislative Day,” this was the fourth consecutive year the wing has brought members from across the state to visit the capital.

Civil Air Patrol cadets (youth aged between 12 and 21 years old) and senior members (21+ years old) spent the morning discussing the wing’s legislative priorities centered around aerospace education and requesting support for a one-time appropriation for a Joint Training and Operations Center and hangar to be located at the Winchester Regional Airport and in partnership with Shenandoah University. The training center is also proposed to be the future home of the Winchester Composite Squadron, the CAP unit based in Winchester, who’s current hangar is projected to be demolished in 2025 for a taxiway improvement project at the airport.  

The wing commander, Colonel Liz Sydow, and the Virginia Wing Legislative Squadron commander, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel “Bud” Oakey, presented a “Virginia CAP Update” to the Military and Veterans Affairs Caucus as CAP members were organizing to visit legislators. Every member of the General Assembly is also a member of Civil Air Patrol. Many newly elected legislators were presented with a certificate of their honorary Major rank, provided a briefing on CAP’s support of Virginia within its mission, and reminded of opportunities to participate within CAP to include an orientation flight. After visiting legislators, CAP members received a tour of the Virginia State Capitol, commonly referred to as Mr. Jefferson’s Capitol.

CAP members wrapped up the day at the annual aerospace legislative reception of the Virginia Aviation Business Association where they promoted what CAP has to offer to industry and academia, visited with Virginia’s Governor Glenn Youngkin, Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears, and numerous legislators and industry leaders.

The legislative squadron created a public policy internship two years ago. Cadet interns are credited with coordinating the entire day, which was full of discussions and introductions.

The Commonwealth of Virginia actively supports CAP’s emergency services, cadet programs, and aerospace education missions performed and executed by the wing’s 2,000+ members, whose volunteer efforts are valued at around 9 million dollars annually. The Virginia Wing has 22 squadrons across Virginia. The cadet program focuses on providing leadership growth and career exploration opportunities to youth members between 12 and 21 years of age. CAP’s aerospace education mission efforts are internal and external, supporting educators and outreach events such as Girls in Aviation Day, STEM activities in schools, and more. The twelve aircraft assigned to the wing also support orientation flights, introducing cadets to aviation and flight instruction, where some obtain their private pilot licenses. Members train to provide emergency response by air and ground to support the state when called upon.

About Virginia Wing

Civil Air Patrol's Virginia Wing is home to 22 squadrons spread throughout the Commonwealth and has approximately 2,250 members, 12 light aircraft, 6 small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS), and 28 multi-mission vehicles. These assets are available to federal, state, and local governments, as well as to emergency responders and law enforcement agencies to perform search and rescue, homeland security, disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, and counter-drug missions. For more information on Virginia Wing, visit the wing’s website at

About Civil Air Patrol
Founded in 1941 and established as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force seven years later, Civil Air Patrol is chartered by Congress as a nonprofit organization for the purposes of youth development, aerospace education, and to promote general aviation. In an auxiliary role as a Total Force partner of the Air Force, CAP operates the world’s largest fleet of single-engine aircraft for search and rescue, disaster relief, training, and education. Civil Air Patrol is dedicated to serving America’s communities, saving lives, and shaping futures.

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Maj Jacob Bixler 

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