Tenney and Thompson Lead Bipartisan Letter Requesting Funding Increase to Support Civil Air Patrol’s Growing Mission

Up to the Minute

From the office of Congresswoman Claudia Tenney:

Washington, DC – Representatives Claudia Tenney (NY-22) and Mike Thompson (CA-05) sent a letter with 87 of their House colleagues to the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee seeking discretionary funding to support the mission and operations carried out by Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in Fiscal Year 2022. Specifically, the bipartisan group of lawmakers are requesting $47.3 million for CAP’s operations and maintenance, $11.4 million for aircraft procurement, and $1.8 million for vehicle procurement.

“Our men and women who serve in the Civil Air Patrol have played a crucial part in our national security for nearly eight decades, and Congress should continue supporting their ever-growing mission. As our national security demands increase, Civil Air Patrol continues stepping up to fill gaps and meet our military needs. Congress should continue funding their important work so they have the right tools to get the job done,” said Congresswoman Tenney.

“The men and women who volunteer for our nation’s Civil Air Patrol represent some of our very best, people willing to put their lives on the line and respond to emergencies at a moment’s notice. That’s why I’m proud to lead this effort to increase funding to support its operations so that those in the Civil Air Patrol have the tools they need to keep us safe and respond to disaster when they need to,” said Congressman Thompson. Full text of the letter is below and a signed copy can be found here.

Dear Chairwoman McCollum and Ranking Member Calvert, 
We write in support of the Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) Fiscal Year 2022 defense appropriations funding request and ask for $47.3 million for operations and maintenance, $11.4 million for aircraft procurement, and $1.8 million for vehicle procurement.  This is only $4.3 million more than appropriated last year.  

Every day, CAP plays an increasingly integral role in supporting critical defense training and homeland security as both the Air Force Auxiliary and a public service non-profit supporting every state and thousands of communities.  During 2020:

  • CAP saved 130 lives last year using aircraft, ground teams and technology analysis teams (cell phone and radar).  It also responded to a wide range of disasters and other emergencies including flooding, hurricanes, tornados, and wildfires as well as COVID-19.  
  • During the year, CAP provided more than 36,000 volunteer days of COVID-19 support to 41 states including distribution of test kits, PPE, and food among a myriad of other missions. Its COVID-19 response was its largest mass mobilization since World War Il.
  • Support to the Air Force included critical air interceptor training (1,828 flight hours), low-level route safety surveys, pilot orientation training for Air Force flight candidates (41 officers and 359 flight hours), and escort of military remotely piloted aircraft (drones) transiting FAA controlled airspace, among other missions.
  • Working with the Air Force, CAP stepped up to address the national shortage of pilots and STEM professionals through the Cadet Wings program that graduated over 66 private pilots and other cadet programs that help youth prepare for military, STEM, and public service careers.
  • CAP’s 560 low-cost aircraft meet evolving Air Force and FEMA requirements, provide platforms for advanced capabilities, and ensure that CAP can conduct complex missions. Its more than 1,000 vehicles are cost-effective support to operational missions, emergency missions and cadet programs every week in more than 1,400 communities.
  • Disaster operations now include advanced imaging cameras and unmanned camera drones taking CAP’s capabilities to new levels. 
  • CAP is replacing critical obsolete, non-reparable communications equipment over the next few years to maintain critical communications with the National Command Authorities, CAP assets and operations, and to conduct essential missions in support of the military, states, and communities nationwide.
  • CAP is very cost-effective.  The value of the service of its 56,000 volunteer professionals is conservatively estimated to be $193 million last year—a better than 3 to 1 return on investment.  
  • CAP aircraft cost about $165 per hour to operate versus thousands per hour for a military aircraft.  This means CAP flown missions save the Air Force and states millions of dollars for emergency response, training, major exercises, and specialized operations.  

CAP’s small, cost-effective budget request deserves full consideration by Congress due to its expanding role as the Auxiliary and Total Force partner of the Air Force, and its increasing support to states and communities. Every day it is doing more and more for the nation and its citizens. 
Civil Air Patrol is not an earmark; it is a program of national interest as both a congressionally chartered, non-profit corporation and the Air Force Auxiliary. Not funding it fully would seriously impact its ability to conduct essential missions of national interest and provide cost-effective programs to thousands of communities.

For almost 80 years, CAP has selflessly served America in times of war and peace. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News

More Local News