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Nevada Wing

Claims prestigious accomplishments, missions

Civil Air Patrol’s Nevada Wing impacts not just the state but the nation.

A major contributor to homeland security, the wing serves as one of two CAP bases of operation for Green Flag West, a training venue for the U.S. military before deployment in overseas combat zones. Members’ role is to carry out flights in CAP planes outfitted with sensor balls that mimic the unmanned aerial vehicles used by the U.S. Air Force. Not only does this provide military personnel with much needed hands-on experience, but it also keeps the actual assets in theater, saving millions.

As with other CAP wings, the Nevada Wing uses ground, aerial, cell phone and radar forensic approaches in search missions. The wing vaulted into international exposure with its relentless search for millionaire American adventurer Steve Fossett in 2007. Despite efforts by CAP and others, Fossett was not located until more than a year later when a hiker stumbled across his remains.

The Nevada Wing’s impact also extends to its cadet program. A member of the Nellis Cadet Squadron in Vegas, Nicole Malachowski, was awarded a wing scholarship to learn how to fly. She went on to make the Air Force her career, becoming a fighter pilot, flying as the first female pilot with the famed Thunderbirds aerial acrobatics team and serving as a White House Fellow.

Civil Air Patrol aircraft line the tarmac at the Minden-Tahoe Airport, one of two mission bases used in the search for Steve Fossett, who was reported missing after he didn’t return from a morning flight on Labor Day 2007. Photo by Capt. Rebecca Meyer, Nevada Wing
Civil Air Patrol aircraft line the tarmac at the Minden-Tahoe Airport, one of two mission bases used in the search for Steve Fossett, who was reported missing after he didn’t return from a morning flight on Labor Day 2007. Photo by Capt. Rebecca Meyer, Nevada Wing
Nicole Malachowski, the first female pilot chosen to fly as a U.S. Air Force Thunderbird, made her first public performance in March 2006. Malachowski, now an Air Force colonel, learned to fly as a cadet in the Nevada Wing, thanks to a CAP scholarship that paid for all her lessons through her first solo.
Nicole Malachowski, the first female pilot chosen to fly as a U.S. Air Force Thunderbird, made her first public performance in March 2006. Malachowski, now an Air Force colonel, learned to fly as a cadet in the Nevada Wing, thanks to a CAP scholarship that paid for all her lessons through her first solo.
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