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New Operators

That Others May Live

Welcome to the Polaris Composite Squadron and thanks for joining the best and most active CAP squadron in all of Alaska!  

As a new Civil Air Patrol operator, we need you to get signed up on the training roster so we can begin working on your training plan and get you out and involved in missions--that's where the real satisfaction is because we know we are needed. CAP performed over 40 missions in 2015, most involved the Polaris squadron, the largest and most capable unit in the Alaska Wing.

GETTING STARTED:  Job #1 is to complete Level 1 Orientation "Starting Your Journey" in the Learning Management System--get on that as soon as you have your membership number and knock it out.  Contact the squadron commander or one of the deputy commanders when you finish to complete the face-to-face portion of the training.

INITIAL TRAINING:  Because the Civil Air Patrol is a professional search and rescue organization, and an auxiliary of the US Air Force, we train like professionals.  Unfortunately, that means lots of computer-based training to get everyone started.  In addition to the Foundations Course, you will need to complete the General Emergency Services Test (CAPT 116 - General ES).  You will also need to complete the Ground Team (CAPT 117 ES Part 1) and Mission Aircrew (CAPT 117 ES Part 2tests, depending on which type of training you plan to do. Because CAP participates in a national framework for emergency response, all of our SAR folks need to understand the National Incident Management Systems framework (NIMS).  You'll need to complete ICS 100 and IS 700 (SAR pilots also need ICS 200).  Aircrew in training need to complete aircraft ground handling training as well.  Knocking these out early gets you well on your way to "Mission Ready" status.  Don't be shy about getting with me or a member of the ops staff if you need help! 

FOLLOW-ON TRAINING:  While in training status, you can participate in both training missions and actual search missions.  To get on the training roster and set up your alerting preferences, you'll need to set up your password on your Alaska Wing .Gov Google account (everyone gets on when they join, you're just resetting the password so you can use it). Once you can sign in, go to the "sign in" link on the left of this screen and sign in!  As soon as you're able, make sure you add your name to the squadron Training Roster.  Then you'll need to set up your Alerting Preferences.  Click the Alerting Preferences link and request access to the page, it looks complicated, but it isn't.  Once you've given it permission to use your account, refresh the page and click on the link to set your alerting preferences.  We recommend text and email.  Make sure your phone in eServices is a cell phone (not a "Home" phone with your cell number in it).  And with that you'll be set up to be notified of missions.  When you get a text, just text back the alert number indicated and you'll be added to the resource list that the incident commander can request for completing the mission.

PILOTS:  Certificated pilots should get with our standardization and evaluation officer to discuss the path toward becoming a CAP Mission Pilot. Pilots will need to check the "What Do I Need" page in eServices under Ops Quals.  That will explain the testing and documentation process in a checklist form for all of our pilot qualifications.  That starts you on the road to mission pilot. Additionally, pilots also need mission scanner training, so get signed up for that as well.  We'll try to train new pilots one-on-one so we get you some logable flying time as well.

Important: Student pilots who are CAP members should coordinate with a CAP squadron check pilot about two weeks prior to their expected Designated Pilot Examiner check ride to ensure that your DPE can qualify you as a CAP pilot--that saves you a lot of time and effort getting through your initial pilot qualification in CAP.

AIRCREW:  Non-pilots interested in flying should sign up for mission scanner (MS) training.  This starts you on a path to airborne photographer and mission observer (MO).  Observers are the "mission managers" in the aircraft and plan our SAR sorties. Check the the Aircrew Task Guide for how to meet the specific training objective requirements in mission scanner specialty qualification training requirements (SQTR).

GROUND SAR: Members who prefer to "keep their feet on the ground" will normally start with urban direction finding (UDF) training to progress into ground teams and up to ground team leader. Check the Specialty Qualification Training Record (SQTR) Worksheet in Ops Quals for the requirements and prerequisites for each specialty. Once you know which way you want to go, start your research by looking at the SQTR and the Ground Task Guide.  You may find that through previous training you know how to do a lot of the tasks--that will expedite your training. Any documentation of your prior training and experience will help your trainer. Polaris is currently building a Wilderness Ground Search and Rescue (W-GSAR) capability to support searches in the Chugach mountains and the wilderness areas around Anchorage.  If you're in excellent physical condition and willing to commit to the challenge, this will be an opportunity to work with the Alaska State Troopers and other mountain/ground SAR groups doing important missing persons search and rescue work.  

Lastly, we're always on the lookout for highly capable, energized, and self-motivated squadron members to help us energize Polaris Operations in both ops and ES disciplines.  If you have the time, energy, experience, and motivation to help us develop the best operators in the Civil Air Patrol come see 1Lt John Drozdowski, Maj Stephen Sammons, or Maj Derk MacPherson about joining the Operations Team!

Thanks for your help and your volunteer service to the Civil Air Patrol, Alaska, the U.S. Air Force!