Col. Francis S. Gabreski Squadron 

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        As we begin the 21st century, we see that America’s aerospace industry is facing some tough challenges. Experienced aerospace industry workers are getting older, averaging over 50 years of age. Meanwhile, the number of college graduates with science and engineering degrees who are entering into aerospace careers is declining significantly. The talent base is dwindling but what can America do?

  What is our Mission?  The Civil Air Patrol was incorporated on July 1, 1946 by an Act of Congress. The law stated that one of CAP’s main purposes was “To encourage and aid American citizens by contributing their efforts, services, and resources in developing aviation and in maintaining air supremacy” and “To provide aviation education and training especially to its senior and cadet members.” Today, promoting aerospace education to our members and in America’s schools remains one of the primary missions of CAP.

  How does CAP carry out this mission?   Through Aerospace Education programs. CAP has both an internal and an external AE program. The internal program provides aerospace education to the CAP membership. The external program provides the general public with the aerospace education necessary to ensure the continuing of aerospace supremacy.

  How is our mission achieved?   In the Internal program, cadets must complete formal aerospace education requirements to progress through the various achievements of the cadet program or “ranks”. This is done through study, testing and hands on activities such as field trips and model rocketry.  Officers participate in the, “Aerospace Education Program for Officers” which is an integral part of their progression and advancement also achieved through study and testing . These Officers study the text, Aerospace: The Journey of Flight and test for the Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager Aerospace Education Achievement Award.

The External Aerospace Education Program presents aerospace education to the public through academic programs within the education system such as local schools and other community organizations. This is accomplished with the help of Aerospace Education Members (AEM). AEM membership is a special category open to members of the educational community and any reputable individual or organization that has a desire to promote the aerospace objectives and purpose of CAP, but who does not desire to participate in the squadrons. CAP provides Aerospace Education Workshops (AEW) and materials to provide a basic knowledge of aerospace education to AEM”S and to enhance and supplement academic curricula.

  What is the CAP Fly-A-Teacher Program? It is a program designed to excite teachers about aerospace education and motivate them to share their aerospace experiences and information with their students. The program is designed as a full one-day workshop followed by flying the next day or flying at a later date in CAP aircraft.

This workshop covers aviation-related curriculum, such as Benouilli’s Principal, the four forces of flight, airplane instrument panels, and airport systems and environments. The workshop is filled with hands-on aviation activities for the teachers to learn and to take back to the classroom. If you are an educator and would like more info on the Fly-A-Teacher Program or are interested on learning more about possible grants for aerospace education (AEX Program), please contact the squadron Aerospace Education Officer at or call (631) 398-8511, we look forward to hearing from you. 

S/M Dennis Woytowitz
Aerospace Education Officer

C/LtCol James Ridley, II
Cadet Aerospace Education Officer