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California Wing

California CAP performs diverse missions for America

California Wing members have responded to earthquakes in Tehachapi, the Bay Area and Northridge. They often respond within the hour, providing emergency airlift, damage assessment, radio communications and supply delivery. In 1994 following the Northridge earthquake, with 61 people killed, California and 11 other CAP wings furnished hundreds of volunteers to aid the state. The wing received a Unit Citation Award as a result of the 55-day operation. It received a third citation reward for it 2007 for aiding the Nevada Wing in its search for adventurer Steve Fossett.

In early 1996 and 1997, flood conditions caused by rain, winter storms and warm temperatures repeatedly brought the wing into action in northern and central California. Members worked with Air Force counterparts, delivering sleeping bags, manning command posts and filling thousands of sandbags to protect vital buildings.

The California Wing provided communications assistance during the Los Angeles riots in 1992 and also transported equipment in the wake of the 1993 wildfires in the southern part of the state, where flames consumed more than 1,000 homes in a six-county area. In 2008, another series of blazes burned 500,000 acres in a similar number of counties in the southern part of the state, resulting in the loss of 10 lives and 2,000 homes. The wing conducted reconnaissance flights and helped staff emergency operation centers.

Flames leap into the sky near a road on Palomar Mountain in southern California, not far from Maj. Robert Keilholtz’s vacation property in 2008. The aerial shot below shows how close the fire came to the house. Photo by Capt. Thomas J. Charpentier, California Wing
Flames leap into the sky near a road on Palomar Mountain in southern California, not far from Maj. Robert Keilholtz’s vacation property in 2008. The aerial shot below shows how close the fire came to the house. Photo by Capt. Thomas J. Charpentier, California Wing
Retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager (center) is provided guidance by recording technicians during the production of a series of Civil Air Patrol radio and television recruiting spot announcements in the mid-1980s. Yeager, the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound, donated his time to CAP for the production of the spots at Edwards Air Force Base. Photo by Henry Saffold
Retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager (center) is provided guidance by recording technicians during the production of a series of Civil Air Patrol radio and television recruiting spot announcements in the mid-1980s. Yeager, the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound, donated his time to CAP for the production of the spots at Edwards Air Force Base. Photo by Henry Saffold
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