by 1st Lt. Ernest Lee
Totaling nearly 200 people, cadets and adults from the Civil Air Patrol and Naval Sea Cadets met with their counterparts from the British Air Cadets, and Norwegian high school students from Nannenstad School in Oslo, Norway. Gathered at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy on the grounds of Lakeland Linder airport, Florida, the cadets and students had to opportunity to mingle, dine on pizza and strawberry shortcake, and to trade unit insignia, that has been a tradition for cadets at previous Sun-n-Fun air shows.
The CAP and British Air Cadets have held a presence at Sun-n-Fun for a number of years, assisting with preshow setup, logging and parking aircraft arrivals, and providing crowd control. CAP also maintains a display during the air show showcasing their three missions in the areas of leadership, emergency services, and aerospace education, and maintains an Incident Command post for callout in the event of overdue aircraft or field search for aircraft that haven't closed out flight plans.
Cadets were also given a presentation by Captain Judith Rice from ThinkGlobalFlight.org . Promoting student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Capt. Rice allowed the cadets to examine the Cirrus SR-20 aircraft that will be used in her around the world flight scheduled to start in the fall of 2013. Students from across the country are encouraged to register and follow her flight and participate in discussions during the event.
Major Len Goellner, Group 3 commander of the FLWG cap, "This event is a great opportunity for our members to form friendships that they will carry for a lifetime......we were honored to host this opportunity for fellowship to give our members the opportunity to share and learn from their counterparts in other countries."
The British, with 45 cadets and 9 senior staff, are from the Southeast region of England, representing the counties of London, Kent, Essex, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. Their organization closely parallels the Civil Air Patrol program and they are under the sponsorship of the Royal Air Force.
From the Nannestad High School in Oslo, Norway, 17 technical students and 7 teachers are attending Sun-n-Fun to further their aviation studies. An initiative of the Norwegian government is to encourage and train 16,000 students in the various engineering fields at the college level, with technical specialty education starting at the high school level.
US Naval Sea Cadets numbered 15, and 75 Civil Air Patrol cadets represented the west side of the Atlantic. The Navy League sponsors the sea cadets, and the Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the US Air Force.
The pre-show meet and greet with the cadets will help break down any cultural barriers, and will cement relationships that will last beyond the end of Sun-n-Fun 2012. Lori Bradner, Central Florida Aerospace Academy
The Sun-n-Fun 2012 air show continues thru April 1.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 54 lives in fiscal year 2011. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 70 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
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