CAP cadets learn about aerospace, leadership, teamwork in largest European Summer Encampment

Story and photos by
Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Civil Air Patrol cadets prepare for further instruction Aug. 1, at Kapaun Air Station. Cadet Airmen participated in the 2019 European Summer Encampment where they learned about leadership, aerospace and teamwork.


The Ramstein Civil Air Patrol hosted their largest annual overseas encampment from July 26 to August 2.
During the weeklong 2019 European Summer En­camp­ment cadet Airmen performed physical training, practiced drill marching, and learned about aerospace and leadership skills.
U.S. Air Force Capt. Bradley Whitacre, CAP en­camp­ment commander, said this encampment hosted cadet Airmen from as far away as Alaska and other countries such as the United Kingdom and Belgium.
Whitacre said that their opportunities are unique because of their location. They can offer opportunities such as flying in a C-130 over Germany which makes it easier for them to appeal to kids and families.
Encampments are required to become officers in Civil Air Patrol. They are also requirements for the Billy Mitchell Award, an award that grants eligibility for advanced rank when a cadet wants to enlist into the Air Force.
Whitacre said the encampment is about more than learning about the Air Force and aerospace, however. It’s about building cadets into better citizens.
“I believe the line CAP uses is: ‘Building outstanding new American citizens and dynamic aerospace leaders,’” Whitacre said. “Encampment focuses more on the team mentality and indoctrinating them into the cadet life of similar rituals.”

U.S. Civil Air Patrol cadets work together to balance a plank of wood during a team-building activity Aug. 1, at Kapaun Air Station. The 2019 European Summer Encampment is the largest overseas encampment held so far, hosting cadet Airmen from states such as Alaska to countries such as the United Kingdom.

The age range for cadet Airmen was 12 to 17 years old. There were approximately 60 cadet Airmen present at the event and 21 senior members.
Tai Oser, a CAP cadet Airman, said his favorite part of the encampment was the team-building activities.
“It’s really fun to bond as a team and work together to accomplish a goal,” said Oser.
Whitacre encouraged anyone interested in the program to come to their meetings at 6:30-9:30 p.m. every week. He said that while those meetings are a requirement to get into Civil Air Patrol, they are also a great outlet for getting in touch with other military resources.
“There’s something for everyone and your level of commitment is determined by you,” said Whitacre.

A U.S. Civil Air Patrol cadet tests his balance during a team-building activity Aug. 1, at Kapaun Air Station. Cadet Airmen spent July 26 to Aug. 2 learning about the operations of the U.S. Air Force during the 2019 European Summer Encampment.