By October, the Pahrump Southern Nye County’s Search and Rescue (SNCSAR) organization will be noted for the first-ever Civil Air Patrol Squadron in this part of Nevada.
Recruiting and training is underway with seven new recruits already on board currently going through the required training.
Gene Pasinski, Lt. Colonel of the Henderson Civil Air Patrol (CAP), is helping to recruit teens and adults to join the new squadron.
Pat Clow, Commander, SNCSAR, said, “We couldn’t be more excited. Now we will have boots on the ground and eyes in the air.”
The Civil Air Patrol recruits cadets from the younger generation, ages 12 to 21, as well as adults.
Pasinski said, “We are working with the 4-H, high school and other teen organizations here to recruit cadets and are seeing a lot of interest.”
Pam Gatling, 4-H coordinator, said, “We are working on getting them some new recruits by the fall.” So far, in addition to the seven new cadet recruits, Pasinski believes they could have as many as 10 to 20 or more. He said 20 would be optimum. “This is also so good for the kids, especially if they are interested in working for community or the country.”
The new CAP squadron, calling themselves the Ravens, will be official sometime in October. “Having this youth and vitality added to the SNCSAR organization is a plus in so many ways,” said Clow.
“All these young people have the opportunity to grow up with the organization, it gives them purpose and something worthwhile and interesting to be a part of.” The Ravens hope to number 80-plus members in the future.
Kevin Harper, Vice-Commander of the SNCSAR in Pahrump, said, “This brings air support to a critical area of Nevada that has not had that kind of observation during rescue processes and it also gives us more boots on the ground.”
Meetings and training are already underway with three senior certified flight instructors from the Nevada CAP Wing. “The Pahrump Squadron plans to own its own plane for aerial observation and training,” Harper said.
According to the Nevada Wing Civil Air Patrol website there are 15 squadrons performing missions for Nevada every day. It states, “Our cadet program is growing so fast. We have increased membership almost 70 percent in four years.”
Pasinski said, “Cadets often go on from the CAP organization to M.I.T., Oxford, Yale, to become airline pilots in the military or civilian, and can also continue to be part of the program in Nevada when they attend Great Basin College or other Nevada higher learning schools.”
The SNCSAR recently added an equine element to their rescue team that Clow and Harper describe as adding to their proficiency and long-range abilities. Kathy Cheney, a member of the equine team, said, “We can use all the help we can get and this (CAP) is a great help to equine efforts as all the rest of the team.”
There are presently 15 Civil Air Patrol squadrons in Nevada. The new one in Pahrump will be the 16th in the state. “That will be a real celebration day,” said Harper.