MISSISSIPPI WING CIVIL AIR PATROL
INTERNATIONAL AIR CADET EXCHANGE PROGRAM 2016
By: Col Becky Tilton, Deputy Chief of Staff and IACE Project Officer
Each summer, hundreds of cadets from eighteen nations come together to broaden their understanding of aviation and foreign cultures through the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE). And each year the Civil Air Patrol sends Cadets to foreign nations. Civil Air Patrol has been the United States representative to the Exchange for more than 60 years. CAP cadets selected for the Exchange have a reputation as being the best of the best; possessing great integrity and leadership ability; a keen interest in aviation and foreign culture; and the desire to share their experiences with theirfellow cadets, family, and community.
The International Air Cadet Exchange is a life-shaping experience for our youth. Young people from around the world share the Exchange’s goal of promoting goodwill and fellowship through the common interest of aviation. These young people are from age 17 to 21 years of age.
This year the Mississippi Wing will hosted IACE Cadets and Escort from the United Kingdom and Australia. In past years Mississippi has hosted Cadets from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, and Japan. Our guests include Laurence Ng, Australia Escort, Ellen Chinner and Caitlin Gilloway from Australia and Taylor Leonard and Charles Oliver Sweeting from the United Kingdom
Upon arriving in Mississippi, Cadets began a journey of discovery about aviation, history, culture, and government in Mississippi. They participated in glider flights, powered flights in CAP aircraft, a tour of Vicksburg, a visit to the Grammy Museum, tour of the Capitol and Governor’s Mansion and other government sites. Fun was an important part of the visit and where better than at a MS Braves baseball game. Cadets then headed south, stopping in Hattiesburg for lunch with the squadron, then on to the coast for tours of Stennis, Keesler, and some good food and fun on the coast.
This was a great opportunity for our state to showcase all we have to offer, especially our hospitality. It also provided a great opportunity for our MSWG Cadets to interact with Cadets from other countries and organizations.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 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.