Civil Air Patrol Opens Squadron At KAPPA VI School
The Civil Air Patrol has been in existence since December 1, 1941. Over the years it has taken part in numerous search and rescues including the first flyover of the World Trade Center site by a nonmilitary airplane after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. They were also first responders to the crash of TWA 800 off the coast of Long Island in 1996.
On November 14, CAP christened the Lt. Col. Michael R. Noyes Middle School Cadet Squadron during a ceremony at the KAPPA VI Middle School at Far Rockaway High School.
Maj. Stephen Samuels said the program works to enhance leadership skills as well as building drive and determination in its cadets.
"We want to enhance [their leadership skills] not just to take charge of other people, but their opportunities," said Samuels.
The program is divided into four phases. As cadets move up, they are given more responsibility and leadership skills.
"From orientation flights, where many have gotten their solo wings; to learning technology and opportunity for airline careers; understanding air force careers; training at air force bases; [and] scholarships [that are] available [are all part of CAP]."
The squadron is named in memory of Lt. Col. Michael R. Noyes, who had a 25-year career in the Air Force and air National Guard. While at Andrews Air force Base he transported dignitaries, including presidents. He also served for 16 years at the 106th Rescue Wing in Westhampton, New York.
"He and his crew were the first on scene during the air disaster [of TWA Flight 800] and were instrumental in establishing and coordinating the initial recovery effort," said assistant principal Jeanne Cirone. "He was also tasked to fly recovery missions over Manhattan on September 11, 2001."
Noyes served with the manned space flight team in California and "became the first and only helicopter pilot in the Department of Defense to become an air boss and coordinated shuttle launches," continued Cirone.
Giving the keynote speech, Councilman James Sanders Jr. compared what the lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans experienced during Hurricane Katrina to what could happen to Rockaway should a storm of such magnitude hit here.
"You may be the difference between a successful evacuation and every one sitting on a rooftop waiting for miracles," said Sanders.
He went on to tell the cadets, "You may save your families' lives and so many other families here. Take your training seriously."
Maj. Sharon Williams, the New York City group commander, instructed anyone interested in joining the Civil Air Patrol to go to
"Once they go on the website it will also direct them to a unit in their area and they can get in contact with that particular squadron and they can get their applications and apply for the program there," said Williams.
She added that squadrons usually start with 13 cadets, including three seniors. The new squadron at KAPPA VI started with 45 cadets. Because they leave the squadron when they graduate, a CAP squadron is currently being formed for high school students. The Far Rockaway Squadron will also be housed at FRHS.
According to its website, "CAP aircraft and personnel are mobilized for natural disasters, civil defense, and to aid local government emergency services when requested.
CAP also flies in support of federal agencies, including their efforts in the war on drugs."
There are currently 25,000 young people in the program and many, at least 10 percent, are represented in each new Air Force Academy class.
Among those also attending the ceremony were KAPPA VI principal Peter J. Dalton, District 27 Superintendent Michele Lloyd-Bey and friends and relatives of Noyes.