South Dakota Wing Civil Air Patrol

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South Dakota Wing Civil Air Patrol
South Dakota Wing.jpg
The South Dakota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, the United States Air Force Auxiliary
Associated branches
United States Air Force
Command staff
CommanderUS-O6 insignia.svg Col David Small Jr.
Vice CommanderUS-O5 insignia.svg Lt Col Buck DeWeese
Chief of StaffUS-O4 insignia.svg Maj Nicholas Gengler
Current statistics
Total Membership336
Statistics as of April 2018[1]

South Dakota Wing Civil Air Patrol (abbreviated as SDWG) is the highest echelon of CAP in the state of South Dakota. The wing headquarters is at the Rapid City Regional Airport in Rapid City, South Dakota. SDWG reports to CAP's North Central Region, which in turn reports to CAP National Headquarters at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.[2] The wing consists of squadrons, the basic unit of CAP. At present SDWG consists of three administrative squadrons and six "composite" squadrons that are composed of cadets (youth ages 12–21) and senior members (age 18 and up). SDWG is currently commanded by Colonel David Small Jr.


SDWG Cessna 182T flies past Mount Rushmore, South Dakota.

Below wing level are squadrons. SDWG has three administrative squadrons and six operational squadrons. The operational squadrons are at the local level of the CAP organization. They meet weekly to conduct CAP's three core missions and are on-call 24/7 to respond to requests for emergency assistance. In South Dakota Wing all six of the operational squadrons are "composite" squadrons in that they offer programs for both cadets and senior members.[3][4]

Unit Nr. Name Location Meets On
SD000 Wing Holding Squadron N/A N/A
SD001 Headquarters Squadron N/A N/A
SD999 Wing Legislative Squadron Pierre N/A
SD031 Rushmore Composite Squadron Rapid City Thursdays
SD038 Pierre Composite Squadron Pierre Tuesdays
SD050 Sioux Falls Composite Squadron Sioux Falls Thursdays
SD058 Big Sioux Composite Squadron Brookings Thursdays
SD063 Lookout Mountain Composite Squadron Spearfish Thursdays
SD068 Crazy Horse Composite Squadron Custer Thursdays


South Dakota Wing performs Civil Air Patrol's three congressionally mandated missions: Emergency Services, Aerospace Education and Cadet Programs.[5][6][7][8]

Members of the Civil Air Patrol Rushmore Composite Squadron stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a monthly meeting at Ellsworth Air Force Base.
  • Emergency Services – SDWG supports Civil Air Patrol's Emergency Services missions by operating six CAP aircraft and 17 multi-purpose vehicles. SDWG takes part in aerial and ground-based search and rescue, disaster relief operations, humanitarian assistance, support to the South Dakota Air National Guard through low-level route surveys and counter-aerial intruder training, and aerial survey assistance to the state Department of Game Fish and Parks and South Dakota State University in their wildlife management programs.[9][10][11][12][13]
  • Aerospace Education – The Aerospace Education program ensures all SDWG members have an appreciation for and knowledge of aerospace issues. It provides general aerospace knowledge and focuses on advances in aviation, aerospace technology and space exploration. SDWG's support for the AE mission also includes participation in local, state and national aviation events.[14][15]
  • Cadet Programs – While there are many youth oriented programs in America today, CAP's cadet program is unique in that it uses aviation as a cornerstone. SDWG offers the Cadet Program in all six of its squadrons across the state. The Cadet Program allows young people to progress at their own pace through a program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and character development. There is also an orientation flight program for the cadets.[16][17]

Cadet encampment[edit]

Each year South Dakota Wing and North Dakota Wing jointly hold an encampment, usually a week to ten days in length. These encampments allow cadets to experience a semi-military lifestyle with instruction in discipline, teamwork and leadership. Other activities involve instruction in drill and ceremonies, customs and courtesies, basic CAP knowledge and military traditions. The Joint Dakotas encampment alternates between Camp Grafton near Devils Lake or Grand Forks AFB, both in North Dakota and Camp Rapid or Ellsworth AFB, both in South Dakota.[18][19]

National Cadet Special Activities[edit]

National Cadet Special Activities are Cadet Programs conducted by Civil Air Patrol. NCSAs are designed to give cadets direct hands on experience with various aspects of the Civil Air Patrol program and provide meaningful insight into several aviation-related careers. There are about 30 different special activities that a cadet may attend. Each activity is approximately a week long, and all but two are offered during the summer. The variety of NCSAs offered by CAP gives cadets a diverse experience. Activities focus on career exploration, leadership development, search and rescue skills, aeronautical training, Air Force familiarization, government, and a variety of other topics.[20][21]


Civil Air Patrol members are also eligible for a wide variety of scholarships; academic scholarships, flight scholarships and school-specific scholarships.[22][23]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Burnham, Frank A (1974). Hero Next Door: Story of the Civilian Volunteers of the Civil Air Patrol. Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishers. ISBN 0-8168-6450-0.
  • Gonzales, Lissette (2008). "The Civil Air Patrol". Search and Rescue Specialists. New York: PowerKids Press. ISBN 1-4042-3779-8.
  • Hanes, Richard Clay; Hanes, Sharon M; McNeill, Allison (2005). "Civil Defense". American Home Front in World War II. Detroit: UXL. ISBN 0-7876-7651-9.
  • Jacobellis, Nick (2003). Flying Minutemen of the Civil Air Patrol. Weider History Group.
  • Introduction to Civil Air Patrol, CAPP 50-5, April 2013, Page 24, Retrieved 26 February 2014


  1. ^ "eServices, National Headquarters". Civil Air Patrol., login required
  2. ^ "CAP Regional Links – Civil Air Patrol". Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  3. ^ "SD Governor proclaims 'Civil Air Patrol Day' — General Aviation News". 2014-02-18. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  4. ^ "Feb. 20 Is 'Civil Air Patrol Day' In SD – Yankton Press & Dakotan: Community". 2014-02-18. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  5. ^ "Aerospace Education – Civil Air Patrol – United States Air Force Auxiliary". Archived from the original on 2015-11-14. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  6. ^ "Welcome to South Dakota's Department of Military & Veteran Affairs". 2005-05-06. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  7. ^ "2012 : A year of distinctive missions" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  8. ^ "South Dakota Pilots Association – AOPA, CAP, EAA". Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  9. ^ Stephanie Gregory. "Search And Rescue: Civil Air Patrol Saving Lives". Keloland.Com. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  10. ^ "South Dakota Civil Air Patrol receives national citation". 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  11. ^ "SD Wing of Civil Air Patrol conducts exercise – KSFY News – Sioux Falls, South Dakota News, Weather, Sports". Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  12. ^ "South Dakota News – SD Civil Air Patrol Checks Dead Cattle On Highways". Associated Press. 2013-10-09. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  13. ^ "South Dakota News – Civil Air Patrol Practices Emergency Drills". 2013-10-26. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  14. ^ "Nonprofit Report for Civil Air Patrol 4000 South Dakota Wing". Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  15. ^ "CAP aerospace weekend in Philip a blast". Pioneer Review. 2006-06-08. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  16. ^ Epp, Todd (2013-11-05). "Northern Plains News: RELEASE: South Dakota Civil Air Patrol to Place Holiday Wreaths on Veterans' Graves in December". Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  17. ^ "Piedmont teen earns Civil Air Patrol's highest cadet honor : Communitysturgis". 2012-08-30. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  18. ^ "Civil Air Patrol to train at camp | The Jamestown Sun | Jamestown, North Dakota". 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  19. ^ "CAP cadets invade Camp Rapid | Rapid CityRapid City". Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  20. ^ "Special Activities Home – Civil Air Patrol". Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  21. ^ "Cadets assist with one of world's largest air shows as part of Civil Air Patrol's National Blue Beret Encampment". Business Air. 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  22. ^ "Scholarships – Civil Air Patrol". 2014-01-15. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  23. ^ "Two South Dakota CAP cadets awarded flight scholarships — General Aviation News". 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2014-03-10.

External links[edit]