to save lives for two decades now.
Since 1996, more than 4,021 members have participated, filling more
than 8,700 slots over the years. Many
attend multiple courses or come back
to serve on staff. Of those 4,021, nearly
40 percent 1,543 are current or
active members still involved in CAP.
put this in perspective, as of
right now we have 31,645 members
across the country involved in said John Desmarais,
director of operations and
founder. 4.9 percent of them
have been to NESA at some point.
Considering that this is basically one
annual event and is meant to augment
training done within our wings, that
Those who attend are a mix of
cadets and senior members. One of
those cadets is Cadet Senior Airman
Madison Davis, 15, of the Kentucky
Wing, who participated for the first
time this year.
thought NESA was going to be a
type of encampment that I could just
stand back, watch and learn from, but
boy was I said Davis, who
participated with kitchen staff one
week and GSAR the second week.
was challenging in its own
way for me physically and mentally,
but my NESA family kept me encouraged and helped me pull through
With her training completed, the
cadet plans on participating in as many
Civil Air Patrol missions as she can.
member of the ground team
is said Davis, who is already
looking forward to NESA next summer. honored to now have these
skills and knowledge, so I may go help
and make a
NESA courses are focused on learn-
ing, in an encouraging but somewhat
stressful environment, how to perform
a mission job, earn a mission qualification or hone skills a cadet already has.
are in field conditions, but NESA
is a task-based academic
Long said. strive to promote a
learning atmosphere in which we place
our education and well-being
first. Our goal is to provide training
that meets the national standard and
to provide our students a safe environment to practice their skills. Emergencies can be stressful, so we endeavor to
provide the environment with some
Emergency Services School. can
learn so much as a student, but one of the
best ways to understand what we teach
at NESA is if you teach it
The training cadets receive has
evolved since NESA started two
The mission aircrew school, incident command system school and a
wilderness advanced first aid course
were all added over the years to the
original GSAR to become NESA.
Every course reflects the most
current regulations and real-world
knowledge. Technology has also
Cadets stand in formation during the very first year of NESA, initially called the National
Ground Search and Rescue School, at the Miller School in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Photo courtesy of John Desmarais, CAP National Headquarters
artificial stress so that they are accustomed to operating in that
One way cadets can hone skills is
by returning as a staff member. Cadet
Capt. Austin Jones, 18, of the Alabama Wing has attended NESA four
times. He attended the first year as
a student, then returned as a staff
member for the past three years.
biggest difference of moving
from student to staff is the way you
said Jones, who has used his skills
on several ground missions and as a
team leader for the Alabama Wing
been updated to track a
progress and update records, which
helps commanders know cadets are
receiving quality training and credit
for the training.
Johnson Flight Academy
Named for its co-founder, Lt. Col.
Raymond J. Johnson, a longtime
member of the Illinois Wing, JFA
began in 1967. Held at Coles County
Memorial Airport in Mattoon, Illinois,
the academy marked its 50th anniversary this year. In addition to its status
Citizens Serving Communities