Civil Air Patrol

The Tar River Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol will observe its 40th anniversary in August.

Members of the Civil Air Patrol’s Tar River Composite Squadron will observe the squadron’s 40th anniversary of its founding in August.

“We are inviting past members of our squadron to join our virtual meeting commemorating the occasion on the evening of (Aug. 27),” said unit commander 1st Lt. Liz Dunster. “Interested members of the public are also invited to share the experience with us.”

The Civil Air Patrol was founded on Dec. 1, 1941, by a group of aviation enthusiasts and private pilots who wanted to donate their time and aircraft to protect the nation’s coastlines during World War II and to perform other critical civil defense missions.

The local squadron was chartered on Aug. 27, 1980, and first met in Wilson at the Wilson Airport. It moved to its current meeting location at the Rocky Mount-Wilson Airport approximately 13 years ago.

The Civil Air Patrol is the longtime auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a valued member of its total force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine aircraft and 1,550 small, unmanned aircraft systems. It performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 82 lives annually.

The Civil Air Patrol’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Operating as a nonprofit organization, CAP also plays a leading role in STEM and aerospace education, and its members serve as mentors to 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.

For more information, visit www.CAP.News or

The local CAP squadron usually meets from 6:30-9 p.m. on Thursday evenings at the Rocky Mount–Wilson Airport but continues to meet virtually on Thursday evenings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check them out on Facebook @TarRiverCAP or contact Dunster at 410-730-4283 or e-mail at or Deputy Commander Seniors Lt. Col. Wayne Asbell at 252-414-3147 or e-mail at