Oklahoma's Civil Air Patrol Looks To Renew Certification - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Oklahoma's Civil Air Patrol Looks To Renew Certification

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Oklahoma Air Force unit responds to natural disasters Oklahoma Air Force unit responds to natural disasters
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Oklahoma -

When natural disasters strike or when people go missing, even rescue units could call for backup, who they call, Air Force certified volunteers.

"We train very hard for the things that we do and when we're actually called upon to use them it's because our neighbors need us there," said Major David McCollum, with the Civil Air Patrol.

Flying high on the Oklahoma standard, Major David McCollum is just one of more than 700 members of the Civil Air Patrol's Oklahoma wing.

"We're right out there with everyone else," said Major McCollum.

It's a cost-effective volunteer unit that exists to assist FEMA, Air Force and any agency in search and rescue missions or natural disasters.

The C.A.P. surveys anything from tornado damage to earthquake damage and even to wildfires.

While the weekend weather may be calm, the C.A.P. and Major McCollum are feeling as much pressure as if it were a real mission. They are proving their worth to the US Air Force.

"Everybody's under a lot of pressure, there's a lot of different things going on," said Major McCollum.

"It's one thing after another, multiple tornado, earthquakes, things of that nature and really stretch the wing to their breaking point," said Major Aron Holly with the US Air Force.

The Air Force Majors even interrupt the hypothetical exercise with a mock fire drill, which made for a long day that was well worth it for a neighbor.

"You do it because you want to help. It's an immensely staffing thing to give back to your community," said Major McCollum.

This certification for the C.A.P. occurs every two years and covers the entire state wing.

There are civil air patrols based in all 50 states with more than 60,000 members.

This wing members found out Sunday morning, the U.S. Air Force evaluation team certified them as fully mission capable for the next two years.

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