BOWLING GREEN, KY– Civil Air Patrol Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Joshua Martin, Cadet Senior Airman Zane Allison, and 2 senior members, Major Andrew Miller and Chief Master Sergeant Cory Felts, were among the 161 cadets and adults from 35 Wings who completed Civil Air Patrol’s Hawk Mountain Ranger School (HMRS) in Kempton, Pennsylvania on July 17.
C/CMSgt Martin, a rising BGHS 11th grader, graduated from the Basic Ranger Course and completed all tasks and tests necessary to earn Ranger 2, Ground Team 2, and Mission Radio Operator status. Martin said, “This week was amazing. I can’t wait to come back next year.”
Chief Felts said, “Cadet Martin brings a contagious, positive attitude to each day's challenges, meets them head on and inspires his fellow team members."
In his 2nd year at Hawk Mountain, C/SrA Allison, a rising homeschooled 11th grader, graduated from the Team Commander Course and earned Ranger 1 and Search and Rescue Technician 2 ratings. He said his favorite part was being an assistant on the rappel tower for a day and helping newer cadets learn how to safely rappel.
Chief Felts said, “Having previously attended the Field Communications Course, Cadet Allison returned this year and distinguished himself by actively pursuing upgrades in all of his ground team qualifications.”
Having gone to Hawk Mountain since 2008, Major Miller served this year as the Sierra Squadron Commander, and instructed 13 of his peers and cadets in National Search and Rescue (NASAR) Wilderness First Aid, was the Lead NASAR Evaluator and Instructor for the school and earned his Senior Medic Rating by training with the medical squadron.
Major Miller said, “Our local cadets from KY-300 represented us with excellence. Cadet Martin set the standard for all others with his motivation and ‘never give up’ attitude. Cadet Allison showed strong leadership skills as he helped train others. Both showed they can work and lead under pressure and in stressful situations.”
CMSgt Felts, the current Great Lakes Region Command Chief and National Staff Mentoring Continuing Education and Training Superintendent, began serving as HMRS support staff in 2013 and has been on the HMRS command team since 2018. He is a Ranger Instructor and qualified Incident Commander 1 with a heavy emphasis on ground operations and mission base staffing.
Chief Felts said, "The cadets and adult leadership of the Southern Kentucky Cadet Squadron once again represented the Kentucky Wing in an exemplary manner. I have the utmost confidence in these future leaders and have every intention of including them in the next Ranger Team Competition in October 2022. The Kentucky Wing sent 25 members to this year's summer school, with cadets from Lexington and Louisville being awarded Honor Cadet for their respective squadrons."
Chief Felts says, "HMRS is the premier leadership course for cadets and senior members that tests individual fortitude and develops team cohesion. While home units and other special activities may train members to serve as ground team members, HMRS prepares its graduates for success in CAP's missions and beyond."
To qualify for the 9 days of training at Hawk Mountain, cadets and senior members must complete a rigorous list of CAP and FEMA training and tests, demonstrate a high level of fitness, and have First Aid certification. Once training begins, participants gain hands-on experience in land navigation, team mobility, search operations, crash site procedures and survival skills. Students also rappel on a 60+ foot tower. During a 3-day field mission, the school's culminating event, students are evaluated on the skills they have learned while they take part in real world scenarios and perform realistic rescues.
For over 65 years, Hawk Mountain Ranger School, a specialized training center and a National Cadet Special Activity for the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol, has provided some of the best wilderness search and rescue training to CAP cadets and adults throughout the country. Similar to the mission of the US Army Ranger School, Hawk Mountain trains field experts to build, teach, and lead CAP ground operations. CAP Rangers are expected to return to their home units with the skills necessary to build their unit’s Emergency Services programs, teach fellow team members, and lead those teams in the field in the most challenging, protracted, and austere search environments.
The training and certifications earned prepares Civil Air Patrol members to be better qualified to serve alongside local, state and federal agencies whenever called upon to assist in times of disaster or crisis as a Total Force Member of the U.S. Air Force.
CAP’s Southern Kentucky Cadet Squadron welcomes new cadet and adult members ages 12 and up to assist with their mission of supporting America’s communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development and promotion of air, space and cyber power through aerospace education.
For more information about the CAP Southern Kentucky Cadet Squadron, contact Major Andrew Miller, email@example.com 850-200-5065.
Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol is the longtime auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a valued member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine aircraft and 1,550 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). It performs about 90% 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 82 lives annually. CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Operating as a nonprofit organization, CAP also plays a leading role in STEM/aerospace education, and its members serve as mentors to 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.CAP.News or www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.