UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter (August 3, 2011)

On July 27, two Civil Air Patrol cadets from Japan and four from Canada took part in a Black Hawk ride over Harford County, thanks to the International Air Cadet Exchange program and the Army National Guard.

Cadets and staff were treated to a flight in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter over the Susquehanna River in northeastern Maryland. The flight lasted an hour and allowed the cadets to experience pre-flight and the different maneuvers that the Black Hawk is capable of.

The International Air Cadet Exchange is an annual exchange of visits by air-minded youth of the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, East Asia, and the Pacific Rim with the objective of promoting international understanding, good will, and fellowship among the youth of the world.

"Love of aviation is a universal passion for cadets that participate with the International Air Cadet Exchange and it was my pleasure to share my love of flying as well as the beauty of my hometown with cadets from Canada and Japan on Wednesday," Cadet Lt Col Elizabeth Roberts with the Harford County Composite Squadron told us.

For 60 years, the Civil Air Patrol has performed its missions as mandated by Congress: Aerospace Education, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services. More than 60,000 volunteers who share a love of aviation and community involvement have served in this auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Some of the more recent activities of the CAP in response to the disaster of Sept. 11, 2001 include transporting blood and supplies to New York City for the American Red Cross, air digital photography of disaster sites, communications support for state Emergency Operations Centers, monitoring airports, and air transportation for government officials.

For more information on Civil Air Patrol or the Harford County Squadron contact public affairs officer Tracy Urena at civilairpatrolharford@gmail.com.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide. In its Air Force auxiliary role, it performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the rescue coordination center with saving 113 lives in fiscal year 2010. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.

The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 26,000 young people participating in Civil Air Patrol cadet programs. The organization has been performing missions for the U.S. for 69 years. It is a major partner with Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. For more information on the Civil Air Patrol, visit http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com or http://www.capvolunteernow.com.