Civil Air Patrol moving to airport
by Courtney Stevens
Jun 06, 2013 | 1348 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the US Air Force, has volunteered for the U.S. since the late 1930s, when it formed one week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Cleveland Municipal Airport will be leasing the old airport terminal building to the Civil Air Patrol for them to have refurbished and remodeled.

Civil Air Patrol members of Cleveland are currently part of the MS 107 Northwest squadron, with Richard Albee as the squadron commander, and hope to grow large enough to become their own squadron.

"The city was gracious enough to allow us to lease the old terminal building and we will soon be cleaning it up and preparing to use that space," said Sam Washington, deputy commander.

The squadron would like to work with the airport and eventually host an open house to introduce itself to the community.

The Civil Air Patrol was originally founded on search and rescue and hunting for submarines during World War II.

While that main mission remains, the Civil Air Patrol has evolved into more search and rescue primarily for downed pilots as well as missing persons.

"We are going more into photo and electronic surveillance," said Washington.

The Civil Air Patrol is responsible for marking areas, spotting survivors, and finding areas where help is most needed during natural disasters or other events, such as the BP oil spill.

The MS 107 squadron flies Cessna 172 aircrafts holding a pilot, an observer, and a scanner as well as a GA8 Airvan, which carries surveillance equipment.

"I'm glad to see them on the field. They are a good organization and do a lot for the community," said Airport Manager Clint Johnson.

Cleveland's airport will continue to work with the Civil Air Patrol as they create what they plan to call the Charles Metcalfe Composite Squadron.

"Charles Metcalfe was the driving force here in Cleveland for the Civil Air Patrol," said Washington.

Metcalfe, a late aviation instructor at Delta State, originally made contact with the Civil Air Patrol to develop a squadron.

"I've always really respected Charlie and was glad to hear they planned to name the squadron after him," said Johnson.

"Anyone can be a volunteer, pilots must have at least a private pilot's license, but there are plenty of opportunities where people can help," Washington said.

The Civil Air Patrol is currently planning an open house to introduce themselves to the Cleveland community within the next few months.