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Civil Air Patrol cadets participate in Winter Encampment

February 8, 2019
By RUTH?BYRON - Special to the Breeze , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Two local Civil Air Patrol cadets, CC/MSgt Ryleigh Pezdek and C/A1C Erin Leftwich, recently participated in Squad-ron SER-FL 816 Winter Encampment, the equivalent of Air Force basic training or boot camp, at Camp Blanding near Jacksonville, Fla.

CC/MSgt Pezdek had experienced encampment in previous years but for C/A1C Leftwich, it was a new and enlightening experience.

They trained in areas such as aerospace education, emergency services, fitness, leadership and customs and courtesies among other areas, both in the classroom and in the field. They both indicated they had a great time learned a lot going forward and shared stories and experiences with the cadets who could not attend encampment.

Article Photos


C/A1C Erin Leftwich, left, and CC/MSgt Ryleigh Pezdek discussing their experiences at the Winter Encampment.

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 the 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. It's 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 World War II veterans.

CAP also participates in the Wreaths Across Ameri-ca, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S .military veterans.

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