314th AW inspires future leaders during CAP Encampment

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Julian Atkins
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to the 314th Airlift Wing flew to Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, to participate in the Civil Air Patrol 2023 Joint Dakota Encampment, June 29, 2023.

The Joint Dakota Encampment is a highly anticipated activity each year, operated jointly by the South Dakota CAP Wing and North Dakota CAP Wing and was held at Camp Rapid in Rapid City, South Dakota from June 24 to July 2, 2023. During the encampment cadets were able to visit Ellsworth AFB where they toured the flightline and saw a B-1 Lancer and C-130J up close.

Airmen were able to speak with cadets and share their experiences serving in the U.S. Air Force. Cadets were also able to learn about different aircraft and multiple Air Force related career fields.

The cadets were enthusiastic about getting the opportunity to explore the aircraft, share their knowledge and interests with the aircrew, and take a few pictures along the way.

“We acted as a point of contact for all questions regarding our aircraft and the Air Force in general,” said Senior Airman Marcus Vera, 314th Maintenance Group wing analyst.

The annual encampment is part of Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Training School, a nationally recognized, multi-tiered program to cultivate future leaders. The program promotes aerospace education and related fields through its cadet programs where cadets are given opportunities to learn during hands-on activities.

Cadets took turns touring the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to the 62nd Airlift Squadron, while aircrew and maintenance professionals showcased the capabilities and features of the aircraft.

The Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, has an aerospace education program as part of its three-fold mission. The program’s mission is to transform youth into dynamic leaders through a curriculum that focuses on leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character development. The program works to promote aerospace, aviation, and STEM-related careers with engaging, standards-based, hands-on curriculum and activities.

“I believe that our purpose for being on this trip was to help kindle the spark that these cadets have in joining the Air Force,” said Vera. “Many of them have a good understanding of the military, but I believe that it was important for them to see us in our element and be able to envision themselves in our shoes.”