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Washington Civil Air Patrol Cadets Volunteer at Olympic Air Show

posted Jun 29, 2015, 8:47 PM by Scott Dean   [ updated Jun 29, 2015, 8:50 PM ]
Cadets assemble at the V-22s

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Thousands of people flock to airshows every year, but only a select few ever get to work behind the scenes on “the other side of the rope.” From June 26th to the 28th Civil Air Patrol cadets (youth 12 and up) and senior members (21 and up) from all across Washington worked to make the Olympic Air Show at the Olympia Regional Airport a huge success. Cadets were separated into teams with cadet team leaders and supervisors, and the radio command post for CAP was run almost exclusively by cadets.

Lt Austin and Lt West presented Teri Thorning of OFM with air show poster from 1995
Cadet Commander of the activity was 18 year-old Cadet Second Lieutenant Megan West of CAP’s South Sound Composite Squadron. “[The air show] was exciting and a good leadership experience” said West with a smile, as she set down her radio for the first time all day. She said she was amazed by how smoothly the teams rotated stations, took their breaks, and got right back out to work.

After a full day of fundraising, recruiting, running a flight simulator for passersby, and directing cars and lowering gates for aircraft, cadets were rewarded with an exclusive tour of a V-22 Osprey that made the trip from the 3rd Marine Division in Miramar, California. Cadets had a chance to try on gear, sit in the cockpit, and then the Marines visited the CAP campsite at the edge of the airport to barbecue with the group and chat about their future plans.

Anna Sorbinenko talks with cadets
Sunday morning while waiting for a thunderstorm to pass, pilot and performer Anna Serbinenko dropped by to speak about her career in aerobatic aviation. Impressively, she’s been a pilot for just seven years, though you would never suspect it while she’s gracefully twisting and turning through the sky in her Super Decathlon (“SuperD”), aptly named Sky Dancer. Serbinenko, who was mentored by the famed Bud Granley, took photos and answered questions with cadets. Later that day, all eyes were on her in a stunning performance of loops, stalls and spins set to classical music. That was just one of the awe-inspiring acts at this year’s Olympic Air Show. As Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Matthew Wampler said, “The best part was just being around airplanes all day, it’s one of my favorite things in the world.”

Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force, with the primary missions of emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. Cadet members are ages 12-21 and adult senior members are 21 and up. To locate a Washington squadron near you, visit

Public Affairs Officer Cadet 2nd Lt. Hunter Storm and Washington Wing Public Affairs Officer 1st Lt. Jessica Jerwa contributed to this story.

Thank you to our supporting squadrons!

Green River Composite Squadron
Spokane Squadron CAP
Twin W Composite Squadron
Bellingham Composite Squadron - Civil Air Patrol
South Sound Composite Squadron
Paine Field Composite Squadron - Civil Air Patrol
Overlake Composite Squadron - Civil Air Patrol
Fort Vancouver Composite Squadron
Lewis County Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol
Washington Wing - Civil Air Patrol

V-22 at sunset