CAP bestows highest honor on Senator Harkin|
Posted 2/28/2014 Updated 2/28/2014
by Courtesy of the Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol
2/28/2014 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Before Civil Air Patrol's Command Council convened in Washington, D.C., this week for its annual winter meeting, it gathered on Capitol Hill for Legislative Day on Thursday to induct Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, into CAP's Hall of Honor and to brief Congress on the U.S. Air Force auxiliary's primary missions of emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs.
Harkin, a former Navy fighter pilot who commands CAP's Congressional Squadron, is the 34th person inducted into the Hall of Honor in CAP's 72-year history, and only the second member of Congress, joining former New York congressman and fellow CAP Col. Lester Wolff, who was inducted in 1985.
"This Legislative Day was extra special," said CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr. "In addition to the opportunity to tell CAP's stories of service, sacrifice and love of country to our representatives and senators, we also paid tribute to Senator Harkin, who has been a staunch supporter of CAP's missions for America."
Soon after joining CAP in 1984, Harkin worked on the first full appropriations bill for CAP and has touted CAP's volunteer missions and programs to his Senate and House colleagues ever since. To do this he often reached across the aisle to work with his Republican colleagues on CAP issues and missions vital to the nation and thousands of communities. He has also repeatedly promoted the cost effectiveness of CAP with government agencies such as the Air Force and Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Harkin has been a rated CAP mission pilot and flown a number of training and actual missions, including counterdrug flights off the southern tip of Florida. He also has served as an adviser to CAP's national commanders, providing valuable insight on how CAP can best address some of its budget and operational challenges. Most recently, he introduced Congressional Gold Medal legislation honoring the unusual service of CAP's founding members during World War II, which quickly passed the Senate under unanimous consent and with 83 co-sponsors.
CAP officers and cadets visiting Capitol Hill for Legislative Day urged support for H.R. 755, the companion House bill to honor founding members of CAP with a Congressional Gold Medal for their volunteer service in conducting combat operations and other emergency missions during World War II.
The Command Council consists of CAP's national commander, national vice commander, chief of staff, CAP's eight region commanders and its 52 wing commanders representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its members serve as advisers to the national commander.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 60,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft.