Members of the Grove Civil Air Patrol squadron walked away with 11 state awards, the most of any unit in Oklahoma, including the coveted Squadron of the Year award. There are 17 squadrons in the state, mostly in larger, metro areas.
Winner of the Airman of the Year Award was Deangelo Reyes, a junior at Grove High School, selected from a pool of 300 cadets.
The Brewer Award, named after Frank G. Brewer, Sr., was won by Capt. Earl Barnes, flight instructor.
The first-ever Col. Dion DeCamp Ground Team of the Year Award was also won by the Grove squadron for work at the Picher tornado. Led by Maj. David Roberts, team members included Capt. George Kellison, Cadets Grant Roberts, Nathan Webb and Deangelo Reyes. The team delivered water and other supplies to the site and conducted search and rescue and inventory work. The team worked in conjunction with the Ottawa County Sheriff's office and found the last victim on Sunday around 4 p.m.
Six achievement awards were also presented to Rebecca Roberts, Grant Roberts, Nathan Webb, Levi Proctor, Deangelo Reyes and Trevor Nelson. Grant Roberts received the Earhart Award as well. All attend Grove High School.
Students in the Civil Air Patrol can earn a pilot's license at a cost of about $30 an hour compared to the standard of about $130.
Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and occupations. It performs three congressionally assigned key missions: emergency services, which includes search and rescue by air and ground and disaster relief operations; aerospace education for youth and the general public; and cadet programs for teenage youth.
In addition, CAP has recently been tasked with homeland security and courier service missions.
Membership in the organization consists of cadets ranging from 12 to 21 years of age, and senior members 18 years of age and up. These two groups each have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of pursuits; the Cadet program contributes to the development of the former group with a structured syllabus and an organization based upon United States Air Force ranks and pay grades, while the older members serve as instructors, supervisors, and operators. All members wear uniforms while performing their duties.
Nationwide, CAP is a major operator of single-engine general aviation aircraft, used in the execution of its various missions, including orientation flights for cadets and the provision of significant emergency services capabilities. Because of these extensive flying opportunities, many CAP members become licensed pilots.