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Carroll Composite Squadron representatives pictured are Cadet Capt. Olivia Persing and Cadet Commander Capt. Aaron Scanlan.
Carroll Composite Squadron representatives pictured are Cadet Capt. Olivia Persing and Cadet Commander Capt. Aaron Scanlan. (Submitted photo)

The Civil Air Patrol Carroll Composite Squadron is hosting an open house from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, at the Hilltop Assembly of God church hall, 30 N. Cranberry Road, Westminster.

The public is invited to "come see firsthand our programs and experience the camaraderie of the dedicated men and women who are the Carroll Composite Squadron," Capt. Alice Raatjes, squadron public affairs officer, wrote in a press release.

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Civil Air Patrol has three primary missions: aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services.

The Carroll Composite Squadron provides a structured environment to introduce youths to aerospace science and leadership skills in a disciplined military setting focused on achievements, according to Raatjes. Additionally, the squadron is a viable part of the state's emergency services, trains for and performs search and rescue, and supports the state's homeland security mission.

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The squadron has been recognized for its commitment to program excellence and successful youth leadership development.

The cadets, ages 12 to 18, "join to honor and serve America, prepare for their future while making new friends and growing through new experiences," Raatjes wrote. "Cadets fly, learn to lead, hike and camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits. Teens who seek careers in aviation, space or the military find diverse opportunities in the Civil Air Patrol's Cadet Program that help them reach their goal."

Adults are also an important part of the team.

The Carroll Composite Squadron has members from the Westminster, Sykesville, Finksburg and Reisterstown areas as well as from southern Pennsylvania. The squadron meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the Hilltop Assembly of God church hall. Prospective cadets and their parents are always welcome. Adults seeking mentoring opportunities are invited as well. For more information, email carrollcomposite@yahoo.com or visit http://www.carrollcap.org. Follow the squadron on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/capcarrollcomposite.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 58,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. In its Air Force auxiliary role, CAP performs about 85 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the center with saving an average of 70 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals 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 more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs.

Performing missions for America for the past 73 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit http://www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.

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