CAP squad completes training session

Civil Air Patrol Lieutenant Colonel Greg Clasen, center, mentors a search and rescue exercise as cadets evacuate a “mocked” injured airplane crash victim. Photo/Submitted.

The Peachtree City Falcon Field Composite Squadron held the spring Basic Cadet Training (BCT) at Cochran Mill Park over the weekend.

Cadet Second Lieutenant Davis Laughlin was in command of 17 cadets that pitched their tents, set up sanitation and cooking stations with the guidance of six senior members trained in ground team and emergency services. The BCT main focus is team work, leadership, strategic planning, organization, responsibility, accountability, land navigation, and radio communications as the cadets learn about emergency services in search and rescue exercises locating missing persons or crashed airplanes.

“I would like to thank the cadets and senior members for coming out to learn new experiences. I believe this was the best BCT yet. Planning is the key to success, and without it we would not have accomplished our mission,” said Laughlin.

The cadet team leaders divided the cadets into two teams. Team A was tasked to search for a mocked small airplane crash and victims. The team planned ground navigation and communications to locate the missing aircraft using compasses and land maps while utilizing search and rescue techniques taught in Civil Air Patrol emergency services training manuals. The search and rescue included multiple injured survivors over a large area relying on maps, compasses, radios and whistles Given descriptions of the crash victims and the last known direction of the airplane, the team was able to locate the aircraft with the assistance of an Emergency Locator Transmitter. ELTs are devices installed on aircraft so that if the plane crashes, the ELT automatically activates and sends a specific signal. Special radios are used to locate the ELT, thusly locating the airplane and victims. The cadets successfully located and evacuated the mocked injured airplane crash victims. 

Team B searched the extensive trail system and rugged hilly terrain for a missing hiker. The cadets were required to employ search and rescue techniques learned earlier in the basic cadet training sessions. After planning, organizing, and executing a detailed search , the team located the missing hiker who had sustained a serious leg injury (also great mock injury) that required evacuation. As the teams are searching the area, it’s important to mark the trails and use the whistle system to help guide the first responders to the site. Cadets successfully evacuated the injured hiker over rough terrain.

If you are ages 12 to 18 and would like to join the Civil Air Patrol cadet program, our next recruiting opportunity is Aug. 17 

Currently, GA-116 meets every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the ATP Flight School, 1120 Echo Court, Peachtree City Atlanta Regional Airport. Ages 12 and up are welcome to join. Find out more about GA-116 at or find us on Facebook- Peachtree City Falcon Field Composite Squadron GA-116, Civil Air Patrol.

Civil Air Patrol, Lieutenant Colonel Greg Clasen, (center on-looking) mentoring a search and rescue exercise as cadets evacuate a “mocked” injured airplane crash victim.