Civil Air Patrol Starts Arizona-Mexico Border Mission

Civil Air Patrol National Commander Maj Gen Antonio J. Pineda speaks before the House Armed Services Committee in Yuma, Arizona.

By AuxBeacon News Contributor

This is a military and border patrol mission. If they, the CAP has anything to do with this patrol and that is, to turn over half of their aircraft fleet to their agents and mix them with the UAV’s that are doing some of the work now. Having being in these meetings with the military, they have stated, they do not want CAP pilots flying those type of missions. The lawyers and the military do not want poorly trained pilots and the rotation of these people along the 2000 miles border would be to costly for housing, food, flight training and etc.

You would have to have 10 members per airplane for a 24/7 operation. 10 x 200 airplanes = 4000 crew members and we have not even got to the maintenance end of things. Hell, our wing is lucky to find three crews for one day mission, much less 2000 crews. I doubt if the CAP has a 1000 pilots in the whole country that are IFR rated or current at night right now and those members work for a living. We are not bombing submarines anymore. All of these planes would have to re-equip with night sensors and the like during the day. Not a easy task. Yes, it can be done, but not by the CAP. The CAP Commander in the coming months will be so busy trying to save his own skin, that this subject will not be on his radar scope.

Congressman Charles Norwood, called for Civil Air Patrol’s deployment to the border. Norwood was a staunch supporter of tight immigration control, and “called for putting nearly 40,000 troops on the U.S.-Mexico border. He co-wrote a provision to the recent Deficit Reduction Act that bars illegal aliens from getting Medicaid.”

Volunteer pilots and crews from Nevada will soon be flying along the Arizona-Mexico border as part of the federal government’s increased security effort, the head of the state’s Civil Air Patrol unit said Thursday.

Three single-engine Cessna 182 Skylanes will operate out of Yuma, Ariz, starting next month, said Col Dion DeCamp of Reno, commander of the patrol’s Nevada Wing.

Initially, the three-person planes will be flown by Las Vegas-based crews, but those pilots and observers will be replaced by patrol members from Northern Nevada after the first couple weeks, DeCamp said.

The Civil Air Patrol has no authority to locate or stop people crossing the border illegally, DeCamp said. “We’ll be flying reconnaissance, not surveillance,” said DeCamp, a retired Air Force and commercial airline pilot. There’s a difference, at least technically, patrol officials said.

“Surveillance is following one individual or specific group,” said 1st Lt Scott Lilley of Reno, spokesman for the Nevada Wing. “Reconnaissance is nonspecific. We don’t look for a car. We look for the car wreck.”

Nevada Civil Air Patrol crews that will be sent to Yuma are part of a larger effort in which patrol volunteers from other states will fly along the border in New Mexico and Texas, the patrol’s national commander said.

Maj Gen Tony Pineda of Florida said the flights will be “humanitarian,” with crews trying to make sure “people don’t die in the desert.” He said patrol volunteers would notify authorities of “people wandering in the desert or abandoned vehicles.”

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