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August 10 Commander's COVID-19 Update

August 10, 2020

Twenty-one weeks ago, I, along with over 1400 other commanders across Civil Air Patrol, had to deliver the unprecedented news that in-person Civil Air Patrol meetings would stop, indefinitely.  We went from a two-week suspension, to a two-month suspension, and now going into the sixth month as we track statewide progress towards reaching an acceptable threshold to resume in-person meetings.  During that time, all of you, from cadet airmen to the senior staff, have stepped up tremendously to improvise and adapt during this dramatic shift in doing business, in order to ensure that first and foremost, our cadet program is sustained, and support our aerospace education mission and emergency services capabilities as well.  More importantly, everyone has maintained a positive attitude, keeping with our volunteer spirit and the shared vision that this too shall pass, and we will be ready to return to our steady state of operations in the classroom, the field, and in the air.

To give you an understanding of where Texas Wing stands—as you may recall, in June we were preparing to implement Phase 1 of the CAP remobilization plan.  Instructions that were given to the CAP field organization by National Headquarters included following the Covid Act Now website’s metrics to determine when each wing met milestones for various phases of reopening (this information is publicly available at http://covidactnow.org/us/tx).  Shortly after we received approval to implement Phase 1, Texas took a turn for the worse and we immediately reverted back to Phase 0, where we have remained since.  Until the infection rate returns to the low threshold, we will not be able to make another attempt at Phase 1 reopening for Texas Wing.

In the meantime, I am pleased to report that we continue to meet all of our unit’s requirements, in terms of cadet program curriculum, logistics readiness, and administrative requirements.  A recent CAP-USAF logistics audit was successful.  We continue to implement IT related actions in support of the NHQ IT strategic plan.  The new CAP senior member professional development program continues to be implemented.  And our squadron will be well-represented at the upcoming virtual National Conference.

The most important takeaway of this message: Thank you.  Thank you for continuing to serve your community, especially during this time when all routines and norms have been disrupted.  Thank you to the cadets who have placed an importance on developing your leadership and professional characteristics.  Thank you to the seniors for continuing to support the Civil Air Patrol mission, each in your own way.  Although this has been a lot longer than we bargained for, we have been fortunate to be able to continue executing our mission with fairly minimal impact, and we will come out the other side ready to go.

Lt Col Nicholas McLarty, CAP

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