Going somewhere high ...

Cadets in the Port Angeles Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol are flying high for different reasons.

The eight active cadets, ages 12-18, from Joyce to Sequim, meet at Fairchild International Airport to study aerospace education, emergency response for disasters or search and rescue and more.

Sequim football player Darren FitzGerald, 15, joined the group for the opportunity to learn to fly a plane.

On Saturday, June 19, each cadet was supposed to fly with an instructor for one hour, but poor weather cancelled the flight training.

Port Angeles Cadets Tim Anderson and Joe Simmons have flown four times each. Students can work their way up to fly solo with enough training and rank.

Along with flight training, cadets can be utilized during a crisis.

"If we're ever called, it's probably for emergency services," FitzGerald said.

They also promote the Civil Air Patrol. Recently they marched in a parade in Brinnon.

Port Angeles Composite Squad cadets practice drills on June 19. Their flights had been cancelled because of bad weather. Senior member Mary McNary, far right, said it was OK because the cadets had plenty to do with other training. Cadets training at Fairchild International Airport are, from left, Joe Simmons, Tim Anderson, Kyle Trepanier, Darren FitzGerald and Natalie McNary. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Military ambition

Kyle Trepanier, 15, of Sequim, joined because he has aspirations to join the military and the cadet program was a good starting point. Cadets who work their way up, through testing and earning rank, and enlist in the Air Force can join as an E3 rather than E1. Scholarships also are available and those who earn the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award can earn a higher pay scale for enlistment in the U.S. Air Force, Army or Coast Guard. The 24,000 members of cadet programs nationwide provide about 10 percent of each year's new class entering the U.S. Air Force Academy.

What's needed

The composite squad has opportunities for junior and senior members.

As an auxiliary of the Air Force, the local Civil Air Patrol is completely volunteer-run, with help needed from adults of all ages to lead activities, training, exercises and testing. Youths and adults can sign up at any time.

The Port Angeles Squadron has been together since 1984 and briefly had a presence in World War II.

Bremerton and Olympia also host cadet programs and Sequim had one in the past.

The local group meets 6-8 p.m. Thursdays at 1520 S. Critchfield Road in Port Angeles. It also meets once a month on a Saturday for flight and drill exercises.

Cadet membership is $35 annually, with uniforms provided.

Call 452-3006, e-mail Port or visit for more information.

Reach Matthew Nash at

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