July 24, 2015 --
Georgia Wing Civil Air Patrol cadets learn land navigation skills are just as important as being able to pilot through mountainous terrain during a weeklong summer encampment at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, July 21-25.
Using a compass and map, 179 cadets honed their skills as they trudged through knee-high grass and over downed trees to find their next point.
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Mitchel Flanagan, cadet encampment first sergeant, Georgia Wing Civil Air Patrol, along with MCLB Albany Marines, assisted in teaching the land navigation class.
“Completing the land navigation course is essential for cadets because it is (vital to) one of Civil Air Patrol's missions - emergency services,” Flanagan said.
The Civil Air Patrol has three primary missions including cadet programs, aerospace education and emergency services, according to www.gocivilairpatrol.com/about.
Flanagan said the cadets could find themselves using their new skills to look for downed planes and missing persons.
“Not only do they get the skill of being able to navigate without a cellular device, they build character and the ability to take command,” the cadet encampment first sergeant said. “Leaders really do come out in these kinds of exercises.”
He said with the knowledge gained during the encampment, the cadets can go back to their respective squadrons and teach other cadets how to become better leaders.
Flanagan also talked about his first encampment experience.
“My basic encampment experience helped me grow as a leader,” he said. “All of these cadets are growing into leaders, both in what they want to be and need to be in our society,” Flanagan said.
1st Lt. Ryan Tatum, training officer, Echo Flight, CAP, noted the encampment is basic training for the cadets.
“The cadets are taught how to (perform basic) drill movements and wear their uniforms correctly,” Tatum said. “They also learn how to build camaraderie and teamwork.”
During the encampment, the cadets learned how to rappel and toured Marine Depot Maintenance Command and Weapons Storage Facility.