Civil Air Patrol
  • Aircrew returing to base

Maryland Wing members join international cadets on C-17 flight

July 24, 2018 — MARTINSBURG, W. Va. – Nine members from Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol joined cadets from six different countries who are currently visiting the Middle East Region with the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) flew on a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft courtesy of the 167th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

Maryland members from Cumberland Composite Squadron along with IACE staff from Maryland Wing headquarters, Col. Mary S. Feik Composite Squadron and St. Mary’s Composite Squadron as well as members from two Virginia Wing units were able to join the flight with the international cadets through the IACE program. IACE facilitates the travel of aviation-minded young individuals to other nations in an “exchange” of which provides them the opportunity to expand their horizons, experience different cultures, and make lifelong friendships. Each summer, hundreds of cadets from 18 nations come together. CAP has been a partner for more than 70 years and this year’s group of cadets, which came from the United Kingdom, South Korea, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands, was hosted by the Middle East Region of CAP. There are additional groups throughout the country hosted by CAP this summer. During this same time frame, CAP cadets are in some of the same countries as well as Israel, Belgium, and New Zealand.

The orientation flight departed from the base and flew to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst where, as part of their training, the pilots flew two tactical assault landings before looping back around to Martinsburg. Cadets were permitted to walk around the aircraft and also sat briefly in the cockpit and chatted with the pilots during the flight. A select few cadets also experienced the take off and landings from the cockpit.

After landing, the group enjoyed lunch in the dining facility while listening to Capt. David Groom, USAF, the base’s executive officer and one of the pilots from the flight, share his experience in the Air National Guard. The IACE and CAP cadets then shared with the group about their country’s air or flight cadet program and they found that there were many similarities among the organizations.

The activity was a great experience for the cadets that attended. Many flew on a C-17 for the first time and/or experienced flight on a military aircraft and will be treasuring this as a life-long memory.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent 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 80 lives annually. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit or for more information.


Photos (left to right):

1-The IACE & CAP cadet group in front of the C-17 they flew in. (Photo by Capt. Jacob Bixler, CAP)

2-The IACE & CAP cadet group in the rear of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft during flight. (Photo by Capt. Jacob Bixler, CAP)

3-The loadmasters demonstrated that red and green lighting can be utilized based on the mission’s needs. The cadets flew on the C-17 via the jump seats on each side. (Photo by Lt. Col. Brenda Reed, CAP)


by Capt. Jacob Bixler, CAP
Director of Cadet Programs, Virginia Wing

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