This photo by an aircrew member
captures the view from a CAP Cessna
acting as an intercept target for U.S. Air
Force fighter jets off the slower
Lt. Col. Warren Ratis of the New York
Wing took this photo from a CAP Cessna
172 above the World Trade Center on
Sept. 12, 2001, a day after the terrorist
attacks. This is what he and his two fellow
aircrew members saw debris on
rooftops and an epicenter of destruction
still smoldering more than 24 hours later.
In the end, it took 99 days to extinguish
the fire. This piece of ground in lower
Manhattan became the final resting
place for nearly 3,000 people.
A Modern CAP
As with so many other aspects of
life in the U.S., relationship
with the Air Force changed fundamentally with the 2001 terrorist attacks.
to that time, National Headquarters staff had minimal involvement in mission coordination.
focus was on search and rescue and
disaster said John Desmarais, director of operations.
all changed after 9/11, when
CAP, CAP-USAF (the liaison between
CAP and the Air Force) and 1st Air
Force decided a dedicated CAP operations center was necessary for better
management of mission requests.
now fly thousands of hours
of homeland security and air defense
intercept training missions
In 2002, CAP established its own
National Operations Center at CAP
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