[Editor’s Note: This story has been submitted to multiple outlets, including AuxBeacon, since before New Years. We took some time to investigate and evaluate and we find it to be a verified and significant slap in the face to current Civil Air Patrol leadership.]
Update 4 January 2017: In response to [the NOTF] inquiry to the Secretary of the Air Force’s Public Affairs Office regarding the Civil Air Patrol’s participation in the “Falcon Virgo” air defense exercises, we’ve received a response from [Capt] Brooke L. Brzozowske, an Air Force civilian, as follows: “Civil Air Patrol provides a valuable service as the Air Force Auxiliary. Furthermore, the amount of time “volunteer airmen” donate significantly reduces the cost associated with supporting exercise missions. As a result of past successes, the Air Force has expanded CAP’s support in other mission areas due to the cost effectiveness in employing the auxiliary force. In fact, the approximate monthly cost for the Falcon Virgo exercise is somewhere in the neighborhood of $12,000. This is incredibly efficient while providing a valuable resource. The Air Force Auxiliary continues to provide a significant contribution of volunteer time in support of Air Force missions.”
Brzozowske is often criticized for sidestepping the issues for which she has not only done with the USAF, but now with the CAP. Phillip Swarts at the Air Force Times called this “sidestepping the issue,”… The Air Force does routinely issue canned statements to such accusations.
In addition to the end of Emerald Warrior exercise, the U.S. Air Force has terminated its contract with the Civil Air Patrol for Green Flag and Falcon Virgo exercises. AuxBeacon had previously received information about CAP members being sent home from Green Flag for attitude problems and this has only escalated in recent negative outbursts.
News of the Force has reported that several informants allege that the Civil Air Patrol has “botched” many of its missions supporting the U.S. Air Force’s “Falcon Virgo” air defense exercises, and that the Air Force is looking to replace the CAP in those missions.Those air defense exercises normally include U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard jet fighters, at least one CAP plane and a Coast Guard helicopter. The Air Force pays the Civil Air Patrol for each Falcon Virgo exercise that CAP participates in.
According to the CAP contract letter, this program supported two major customers.
First was the U.S. military. Because of limitations imposed on operating Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) within the United States, Civil Air Patrol developed a Surrogate RPA program. Our Cessna aircraft were modified to transmit the same information to ground stations that Predators and Reapers send. Instead of being remotely piloted, our surrogate RPAs had a live crew on board which were trained to the same standards as the crews controlling real RPA[s] in combat. From the perspective of the military ground personnel which we were utilized to train, we functioned exactly like the real RPAs they used in Iraq and Afghanistan. We gathered intelligence, simulated weapons delivery, and interacted with other air and ground assets.
Our second customer was virtually all disaster response agencies in the U.S. Our aircraft transmitted full motion video in both color and infrared to ground locations. This video was used by emergency response planners to allocate assets as needed for rescue or recovery.