Library showcases Civil Air Patrol in new exhibit

Cailey Wright

Staff Writer

The campus library is a fantastic resource for students to get information and learn something new. 

However, students don’t have to read a book to learn about the Civil Air Patrol when they visit the library.

Kelly Reeves, the interlibrary loan coordinator, organized a banner display that showcases the history of the Civil Air Patrol.

Reeves explained that the Civil Air Patrol has origins in World War II when an aviator returned to the United States from a trip to Germany. 

Gill Robb, the aviator, brought back a concern of potentially going to war and not having adequate aviation.

“Pearl Harbor, which happened in 1941, sort of pushed it [the U.S.] over the edge, and that’s when they established the Civil Air Patrol,” Reeves said.

He added that there is at least one Civil Air Patrol Unit in each state. 

There are currently 17 squadrons scattered across Alabama, including one in Montgomery.

“There is actually a Montgomery area squadron of the Civil Air Patrol stationed on Maxwell Air Force Base,” Reeves said.

The location of Alabama squadrons includes Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile and Bessemer, a suburb of Birmingham.

The Civil Air Patrol had initially been a part of the Army Air Core before the establishment of the Air Force in 1947. 

Now, it is a part of the United States Air Force Auxiliary.

The difference between the Civil Air Patrol and other wings of aviation is that the organization is noncombatant and volunteer based.

“Generally, you are going to find that they are retired pilots who are volunteering their service,” Reeves said. 

“The thing that they frequently do today is that they provide transportation for people who are in need of medical care. 

“They also assist in search and rescue, and they work with the Coast Guard on hurricane and disaster relief.”

According to Reeves, there are cadets in the Troy University Air Force ROTC that have participated in the Civil Air Patrol.

“They have done so at Camp Blanding down in Florida where they train every winter in November,” Reeves said.

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