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Hometown Heroes - Civil Air Patrol

Lake Charles man is now state CAP commander
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 7:00 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A Lake Charles man is now heading up Louisiana’s Civil Air Patrol. Commander James Viney was recently appointed to the post. An official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, the Civil Air Patrol provides homeland security, disaster relief and other services all with a volunteer force. They’ve been doing it since World War 2.

“They’ve actually been able to find people and get rescue teams to those people who are lost, campers that are lost,” states Viney. “That has taken off. Our drone program is starting to take off on its own.”

2nd Lt. Tracy Jordan is involved in the Cadet program, recruiting volunteers at a young age.

“We take cadets ages 12 and up,” said Jordan. “They advance through ranks by participating in leadership activities, aerospace education and hands-on STEM activities.”

“I like the teamwork that is taught in the Civil Air Patrol,” said Cadet Malachi Pellerin. “I like how being young men and women, you build your character. You can become good citizens of the United States.”

“I’ve learned how to land planes,” said Samantha Jordan, cadet. “I’ve learned some other things that make up a plane. I’ve learned a lot about leadership and forced to step out of my comfort zone. I’ve learned how to walk in a color guard. That was pretty cool.”

Viney said there are programs throughout the year to encourage the cadets to advance their careers.

“If they want to learn to fly, they can apply for scholarships and Civil Air Patrol will teach them how to fly airplanes.”

“Many of our cadets go on to join the armed forces or get their private pilot’s licenses and go into STEM and aviation careers,” said Tracy Jordan.

Earlier this month, several members of the Lake Charles squadron were honored with awards in Alexandria. The Civil Air Patrol meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at St. Luke-Simpson United Methodist Church in Lake Charles. For more information, call 337-214-4305 or click here.

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