Overlake Civil Air Patrol cadets learned earlier this month that their squadron ranks among the top 2 percent of the nation’s more than 1,000 Air Force auxiliary units.
Each year the Civil Air Patrol recognizes local squadrons for outstanding achievement across eight scored criteria. Overlake tied for fourth-highest overall ranking nationally and was one of only 18 squadrons to rate superior scores in seven or more categories.
Overlake Squadron comprises 60 cadets between the ages of 12 and 18. Over the past year, cadet membership in the squadron has grown more than 40 percent.
Last year two-thirds of the cadets flew in powered or glider planes from airports around Washington. Five of the cadets flew solo, and one earned his FAA glider pilot license before he had a driver license.
Orientation flights allow cadets to gain firsthand experience in the cockpit of either glider or powered aircraft under the supervision of FAA-certified pilots and instructors.
More than half of Overlake’s cadets attended an encampment this past summer, an activity that allows them to challenge themselves in a weeklong course of physical training, aerospace education, and military-style drill and inspections.
Civil Air Patrol is the nation’s volunteer service auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, responsible for domestic search and rescue missions, aerospace education, and cadet programs.
CAP counts more than 60,000 members, nearly half of whom are cadets.
Last year CAP was credited with saving more than 100 lives and supporting the Department of Homeland Security in more than $1.4 billion worth of drug interdiction.
Overlake Squadron is the largest CAP cadet unit in Washington State with members hailing from Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Renton, Woodinville, North Bend, Sammamish and Snoqualmie.
Meetings are Tuesday evenings from 6:45 to 9 p.m. at the Lake Washington School District Resource Center in Redmond Town Center. Youth and adults with an interest in public service are welcome to stop in and explore the opportunities.
Follow Overlake CAP at facebook.com/overlakesquadron.