DANBURY, Conn. -- Civil Air Patrol was recently honored for 75 years of nationally providing emergency service aid, cadet programs and aerospace education.
To mark the U.S. Air Force’s official auxiliary's anniversary locally, Danbury Mayor Mark D. Boughton proclaimed Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 as Civil Air Patrol Week across the city, according to a statement from the Civil Air Patrol.
Connecticut State Sen. Michael McLachlan, a major in Civil Air Patrol’s Legislative Squadron, presented the proclamation to 399th Composite Squadron Commander Maj. Joseph Bisnov during a Nov. 29 ceremony at Danbury Municipal Airport, according to the statement.
The proclamation recognizes the Civil Air Patrol's efforts to locate enemy submarines during World War II, assist rescuers and state agencies in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks and provide aid during natural disasters and homeland security missions, according to the statement.
According to the statement, the proclamation also recognizes the Civil Air Patrol's cadet program - which serves nearly 24,000 youths, emphasizing leadership, teaching multidisciplinary aviation concepts and providing educational growth opportunities.
According to the statement, McLachlan said he was honored to be with the squadron for the presentation.
“You have a long list of members that have gone on to do great things and so we look forward to your service as cadets and wish you the very best in your studies, because your studies are important to take you to the next step.” he said to the cadet members, specifically thanking Civil Air Patrol's senior members for working with cadets.
Founded in 1941 to supplement the U.S. military, Civil Air Patrol became the U.S. Air Force's official auxiliary in 1948. According to the statement, it is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees.
In its Total Force role, Civil Air Patrol operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, which credits the patrol with saving an average of 78 lives annually.
Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies, according to the statement, which said that the group was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 for heroic efforts during World War II.
Civil Air Patrol also engages in other community efforts like Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.