Budget Axe Falls on the Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air PatrolCivil Air Patrol

By Skip Munger | News of the Force

Civil Air Patrol (CAP) wing commanders recently received word that, pending the continuing resolution in Congress, wings would receive only 45% of their expected funding. They were told that this could be the case until April. Then, for the first quarter of the CAP’s fiscal year, they received only 20%. According to sources, this is going to keep a lot of planes on the ground. And Wing Commanders report that the Region Commanders are uncommunicative when asked what is going on.

Meanwhile, one of two annual meetings of what used to be called the NEC (the National Executive Committee) occurs in early November. The NEC is now called the “SAG,” or Senior Advisory Group. Under the new governance model, the difference is that members of the SAG (region commanders on up) no longer have any vote, but can serve in an advisory capacity only to the CAP leadership. This meeting will be followed in early December by one of two annual face-to-face meetings of the CAP’s Board of Governors (BoG). Because the new governance model is supposed to go into effect in January, it is expected that there will be a great deal coming out of those meetings. The NEC/SAG meetings are no longer video-streamed.

Earlier, the CAP “leadership” was holding out the expectation that the process of shaping and adopting the new governance model would be a much more transparent process. One by one, all such promises appear to have been rescinded, including one that the report of Board Source, the consultants on the model, would be shared.

According to one officer, “I wish I could say that the distrust this is creating is unprecedented, but let me say the general climate around here hasn’t been this bad since Pineda.” (Tony Pineda, the CAP National Commander from June of 2005 to October, 2007, was removed from office, and stripped of his rank and CAP membership, for corruption after NOTF first broke the story of his having cheated on his U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College tests. That NOTF story was picked up by media outlets around the world.)

“Morale is very low,” confirmed another officer. And, yet a third officer has said, “This is unfortunate. The new governance model is much more coherent. It should be hailed, but the lack of communication is creating huge distrust.”

An email sent yesterday morning by NOTF to the public affairs office at the CAP’s National Headquarters at Maxwell AFB, AL, requesting comment on the budget story, has not yet prompted any reply.

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