Congresswoman Tenney Unaware of Rampant Abuse in Civil Air Patrol

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney
Congresswoman Claudia Tenney

By Madison County Courier

Today, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) authored a letter with the support of more than 40 members of Congress calling for continued funding of the Civil Air Patrol in the 2018 Fiscal Year Budget. The Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary force of the U.S. Air Force, plays a key role in supporting both defense and homeland security operations throughout the nation. Among its many functions, the Civil Air Patrol trains interceptor pilots and unmanned aerial vehicle operators, and responds to a range of federal emergency situations.

In a bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Tenney requested a continuation in funding to allow the Civil Air Patrol to remain fully operational, as well as additional funding to cover necessary upgrades that the Civil Air Patrol must make to meet emerging missions…

The full text of the letter is as follows:

The Honorable Kay Granger

Subcommittee on Defense
House Committee on Appropriations
H-405, the U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Peter Visclosky
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Defense
House Committee on Appropriations
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairwoman Granger and Ranking Member Visclosky,

We write today in support of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and to respectfully request consideration of our funding request for Fiscal Year 2018. We request $30.8 million for CAP’s operations and maintenance account, $10.6 million for aircraft procurement, and $1.7 million for vehicle procurement. CAP plays an integral role in supporting critical defense and homeland security missions. As the Air Force’s official auxiliary force, investments in CAP contribute to enhancing our overall defense posture and augmenting our nation’s air superiority.

The requested funding for CAP’s operations and maintenance account would amount to a $2.8 million increase over the previous fiscal year while the requested amount for aircraft procurement represents a $300,000 increase. The increase for CAP’s operations and maintenance account is critical due to a federal stipulation requiring all aircraft within the United States to upgrade to ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast) by 2020. Currently, CAP maintains 550 aircraft, and upgrade costs are estimated to range from $6,172 to $6,626 per aircraft. In addition, this funding would support necessary cyber security upgrades as well as the replacement of non-repairable radios that are critical to sustaining CAP’s lifesaving operations. Without this increase in funding, CAP’s ability to respond to emergency situations could be severely diminished.

To maintain a functional and responsive fleet, sustained funding for CAP’s aircraft and vehicle procurement programs is also important. A $300,000 increase in CAP’s aircraft procurement will enable CAP to purchase up to 15 additional Cessna 182/206. These low-cost aircraft will provide advanced capabilities in emergency response situations and ensure that CAP remains capable of undertaking increasingly complex missions in the future. Similarly, the $1.7 million in CAP’s vehicle procurement account will enhance overall mission readiness. The funds will be used to replace aging vans, pickup trucks and SUVs that support a range of operational and emergency missions as well as cadet programs each week in more than 1,500 communities across the country.

CAP’s all-volunteer force of 56,000 provides a solid return on investment. CAP aircraft cost on average $165 per hour to operate, compared to military aircraft that cost thousands. In Fiscal Year 2016, for example, CAP saved the Air Force about $10 million in search and rescue costs, $3 million in air defense training costs, and $500,000 in military aircraft escort costs. In total, the time and resources CAP’s all-volunteer force of professionals contributed last year was more than $167 million nationwide, which amounts to a more than 4 to 1 return on investment.

The range of missions undertaken by CAP are vital to supporting our local communities. In 2016, for example, CAP saved 29 lives using state-of-the-art search and rescue aircraft along with ground search teams. Today, CAP is also helping to train interceptor pilots and unmanned aerial vehicle operators under realistic conditions, supports aerial observation missions and counterdrug operations, provides aerial photo reconnaissance to FEMA, and assists regularly in forest fire patrols. CAP’s weekly youth and aerospace education programs have also introduced thousands of young students to aviation and the importance of national service. Its outstanding youth, citizenship and educational programs reach 24,000 young adults, known as CAP cadets, providing schools with STEM education materials and workshops to train America’s youth for the future.

For 75 years, CAP’s all volunteer force has selflessly served America in times of war and peace. To enable CAP to continue undertaking its mission, we ask that the organization continue to receive robust support from Congress. We thank you for in advance for consideration of this request and stand ready to answer any questions you may have.

Rep. Claudia Tenney
Rep. Elizabeth H. Esty
Rep. Michael McCaul
Rep. Collin C. Peterson
Rep. John Katko
Rep. Daniel W. Lipinski
Rep. Don Young
Rep. Julia Brownley
Rep. Walter B. Jones
Rep. Sanford Bishop, Jr.
Rep. Don Bacon
Rep. Robin L. Kelly
Rep. Gregg Harper
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II
Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton
Rep. Mike Coffman
Rep. Albio Sires
Rep. Ralph Abraham, M.D.
Rep. Tim Walz
Rep. Tom Marino
Rep. Ron Kind
Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo
Rep. Ed Perlmutter
Rep. Ryan A. Costello
Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott
Rep. Ann Wagner
Rep. Bill Foster
Rep. Henry “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
Rep. Jacky Rosen
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema
Rep. Jan Schakowsky
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa
Rep. Stephen F. Lynch
Rep. Peter Welch
Rep. Keith Ellison
Rep. Adam Kinzinger
Rep. Pramila Jayapal
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter
Rep. Scott Peters
Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy, III
Rep. Barry Loudermilk
Rep. William R. Keating
Rep. Peter T. King
Rep. James P. McGovern
Rep. David Rouzer

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