August 31, 2011 - Civil Air Patrol

These volunteers with the Lake Charles Squadron of Civil Air Patrol are gearing up for another hurricane season here in SWLA.  Since more and more airplanes are carrying emergency transponders, the organization's focus has moved more to disaster relief.

"After Katrina, our air crew out of Lake Charles was the first airplane over New Orleans taking pictures and even emailing to the state," said Squadron Commander James Viney.  "That's a pretty impressive honor.  Our squadron's one of the ones that has always been on the cutting edge of technology."

A big part of the Civil Air Patrol is the Youth Cadet program for ages 12 through 21.

"We teach kids responsibility, physical fitness, and aerospace education.  Civil Air Patrol has now gone into a lot of computerization.  So now that's another fold that we have to offer cadets and give them opportunities to do something other than hang out on the street."

And for two years running, the Lake Charles Civil Air Patrol has been named "Squadron of the Year."

"We're out there for our community.  We make sure we provide services to the community and services to America.  We handle 98 percent of all disaster relief along with search and rescue missions within the U.S.  For an all volunteer organization, that's pretty good."

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.