Imagine Soaring Like a Bird Through the Summer Skies!
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

By Lt Col Jeff Carlson, PAO, FLWG and Lt. Col. Judy Steele, SER/A6APA, Southeast Region


Imagine soaring like a bird through the summer skies over Tennessee. That’s how twenty Civil Air Patrol cadets spent part of their summer vacation.    

CAP’s Southeast Region hosted the National Flight Academy-Gliders during the week of July 8 through July 14, 2018. The academy is a special activity held each summer in Tullahoma, Tennessee.   

Twenty cadets from across the nation attended the aerospace education event. The aviation camp is a week of intensive glider-pilot training that prepare the youth for solo flight. The activity includes both a knowledge-based ground school and practice sessions in the glider with an instructor. Traditional CAP cadet activities are included in the camp.   

“They kept those tow-planes and gliders moving, launching almost 330 sorties during the week,” said Col. Barry Melton, Commander, CAP Southeast Region.    

Of the twenty, five cadets completed the training to qualify for solo flight, another ten completed the pre-solo flight. “This is a 75% success rate with no safety incidents or damage to resources. I very much appreciate the effort of the volunteer professionals -- many from SER-- who made this event so successful,” said Melton.    

 Southeast Region cadet, 1st Lt Aaron Loya, from the Bartow-Etowah Composite Squadron in Georgia Wing was voted “2018 Top Cadet” by the flight academy staff. (Contributing author: Lt Col Judy Steele, Southeast Region Public Affairs)

C/1st Lt Aaron Loya, Bartow-Etowah Composite Squadron, GA Wing chosen "Top Cadet" at SER's National Flight Academy-Gliders in Tullahoma, Tenn.
Photo Caption:  C/1st Lt Aaron Loya, Bartow-Etowah Composite Squadron, GA Wing chosen "Top Cadet" at SER's National Flight Academy-Gliders in Tullahoma, Tenn.
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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, 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 80 lives annually. CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit for more information.
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