EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska –
“Civil Air Patrol laid the groundwork for my 22-year Air Force career,” said Senior Master Sgt. Timothy Tuttle, 168th Wing Safety. “I continue to enjoy volunteering with CAP – sharing my experiences and helping cadets while serving in the Air National Guard.”
During the 168th Wing April unit training assembly, local Civil Air Patrol Cadets from Fairbanks, Eielson, Delta, and Tok, had the chance to see the mission and hear from Airmen firsthand.
“Seeing the KC-135 aircraft and boom in person was nice and a fun day overall,” said Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Weisensel. “Good idea to have the tour so cadets could see the careers available- it helped me.”
While visiting the 168th Wing, the cadets received a tour of aircraft maintenance, vehicle maintenance, logistics, air refueling, security forces, communications, and civil engineering. The communications squadron shared cyber and network facts along with some fun programming.
“Members of the Air Guard were all willing to answer questions,” said Weisensel.
When the cadets toured 168th Logistics, they heard how the squadron delivers parts into the hands of the maintainers working together to get the aircraft on mission. The wing members shared the connection between the squadron’s missions and the overall Air Force mission with the CAP Cadets.
“The exposure allows the cadets to see something they may have never considered,” said Tuttle.
168th Wing members regularly volunteer during local Civil Air Patrol Squadron meetings and missions.
Tuttle works closely with the local CAP Squadrons and set up a tour for the cadets. “The close relationships with everyone here in the 168th Wing and squadrons made it easy to set up a visit for the cadets,” said Tuttle. “When I mentioned having CAP out to the unit, everyone I spoke to was on board for sharing their jobs with the cadets.”
CAP performs services for the federal government as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and states and local communities. CAP performs three primary missions – Cadet program, Aerospace Education and Emergency Services.
“The CAP program provides the cadets lessons in leadership that can be used throughout their lives whether they join the military or not,” said Tuttle. “I am a stronger person for having served. You come away with life skills you don’t even know you would use or need until you are involved.”
Tuttle was involved in CAP as a young teen, and now his son participates.
“I had the opportunity to plug back into the CAP Squadrons as a volunteer, and then when CAP was incorporated into the Total Force, I was able to connect the CAP Squadrons to the Air Force missions with a broader reach,” said Tuttle.
Tuttle began his career in the active-duty Air Force as an Aircraft Armament Systems specialist. He has served in active duty, reserves, and Air National Guard. He volunteers as a liaison between Air Force reserves and Civil Air Patrol, where he provides assistance in their Federal missions and serves in an assistance and assurance role.
“Joining the CAP and Air Force provided me wonderful experiences coming away with life experiences and not just skills,” said Tuttle. “Serving within the community, teamwork, and love of the aircraft made my career. I am glad I have the opportunity to give back to the cadets.”