Weather Forecast


CAP to receive award July 26

CAMP RIPLEY - On July 26, ,at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) will conduct a statewide ceremony in recognition of the recent awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the Civil Air Patrol for its service during World War II. There's only been one other time in history that an organization has received the highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, for its long-standing impact on American history and culture. That organization is the American Red Cross. The CAP officials said being the second organization to receive this medal is a great honor to those who have and continue to serve in the Civil Air Patrol.

While the national ceremony will take place later this year in Washington D.C. with President Barack Obama, the statewide ceremony is conveniently timed as a part of the Minnesota Wing's annual encampment which brings hundreds of CAP senior members and cadets (ages 12-18) together for the purpose of continuing their aerospace education, emergency preparedness and leadership development.

During this ceremony, CAP will recognizing the only living Civil Air Patrol World War II veteran in Minnesota, Lt. Col. Thomas J. O'Connor, 86, of Farmington, for his service while also conducting a graduation ceremony for the cadets who completed encampment.

The Civil Air Patrol consists of volunteers who are highly-trained pilots, emergency response personnel and cadets age 12 and older who meet weekly. As a nonprofit organization that is the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force, the Civil Air Patrol is often typically the first volunteer organization to be called on when there is a missing airplane, person or natural disaster.

For more information on the recent award, go to the Congressional Gold Medal website

The statewide recognition and encampment graduation ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 26.

CAP facts

• Is congressionally chartered and operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

• Performs services for the federal government as the civilian auxiliary

of the U.S. Air Force and for states/local communities as a nonprofit


• Includes eight geographic regions consisting of 52 wings (the 50 states,

Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia).

• Consists of 1,500 squadrons and 60,000 volunteer youth and adult

members nationwide.

• Has more than 8,000 aircrew members and 32,000 emergency responders

trained to Federal Emergency Management Agency standards.

• Offers opportunities for members to serve communities, participate in

leadership development training and acquire new skills that benefit

personal and professional growth.

• Contributed $155 million in staff hours in 2013 by serving the disaster

relief and emergency service needs of communities, states and the U.S.

• Operates one of the largest fleets of single-engine piston aircraft in the

world, with 550 currently in the fleet.

• Flies more than 95,000 hours annually.

• Maintains a fleet of more than 950 emergency service vehicles for training

and mission support.

• Provides 457 chaplains who minister to youth and adult members and

help comfort survivors and victims of disasters.