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Chennault Squadron - Jan 2012

Chennault Squadron - Jan 2012

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Civil Air Patrol - Louisiana Wing
Civil Air Patrol - Louisiana Wing

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Categories:Types, Research, Genealogy
Published by: Civil Air Patrol - Unit Newsletters on Apr 25, 2012
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05/07/2012

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Monroe News Star Sunday January 22, 2012
Monroe's Civil Air Patrol
An all-volunteer auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force flies missions ofsearch and rescue
Written by
William Caverlee
Special to The News-Star
Civil Air Patrol’s Judge Elvis Stout poses with the organization’s plane at Monroe Regional Airport. Margaret
 
Croft/The News-Star
The single engine Cessna 172 is parked in a World War II-era hangar on thegrounds of the Monroe Regional Airport, and on its red, white and blue fuselageare the words "Civil Air Patrol." The plane belongs to Monroe's CAP squadron,which is named the Gen. Claire L. Chennault Senior Squadron, commanded byCapt. Elvis C. Stout.If you walk only a few yards from the CAP hangar, you will be standing onconcrete poured during World War II, when the airport was known as the SelmanField Navigation School. Capt. Stout finds a particular honor and pride instanding on this tarmac, next to a 1940s structure, where the airmen of World
 
War II trained. Because, he says, the Civil Air Patrol was founded in December1941, only a week before Pearl Harbor — as an all-volunteer civilianorganization, defending America's coastline. And today, the Civil Air Patrol existsas a congressionally-mandated auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force.Stout, a Monroe native, is probably better known to area residents as JudgeStout, having served on the Monroe City Court for 20 years, retiring in 1990.These days he devotes a tremendous amount of time to commanding theChennault Squadron. He's been in aviation all his life, learning to fly as a collegestudent, even owning his own plane for a number of years. As CAP commander,Stout leads a unit of 23 volunteer members, who are citizens of the region —doctors, lawyers, engineers, dentists, radio communication specialists, etc.
Civil Air Patrol’s Charles Smith, Richard Jilot, James Breaux, Paula Bauer Webb, Michael Tyron and JudgeElvis Stout with the CAP’s plane at Monroe Regional Airport. Margaret Croft/The News-Star
 The authorized mission of the Civil Air Patrol consists of three aims: aerospaceeducation, cadet programs and emergency services. This last mission —conducting search and rescue operations, reconnaissance and disaster relief —is perhaps the most dramatic and recognizable of CAP's undertakings.Stout has a photograph of the brown, swollen waters of the Mississippi River,taken at Vicksburg during the recent flood of 2011. The Chennault Squadron flewnumerous missions over three states, assisting emergency agencies.How was the photo taken?"With one of our member's cameras," Stout explains, "shot from the window."
 
One day, he hopes that the Cessna can be outfitted with a high tech camera foraerial photography — with a viewing port through the floor and a fixed mount.This is an item on Stout's wish list for the squadron. Since the squadron iscomposed of volunteers, it relies on community assistance to stay viable. Hangarand offices, for example, are donated by JPS Aviation. Stout says he's gratefulfor the many other institutions, businesses and individuals who have donatedmoney, equipment and services to outfitting the squadron's headquarters.Touring the offices, one can't help recognizing the seriousness andprofessionalism Stout and his fellow volunteers maintain as members of CAP.Here is a large assembly room where regular business meetings are conducted:a safety report is key to every briefing. Here is the operations room where searchand rescue missions are monitored. Then a communications room, with radiosand computers. Everywhere are charts, sign-in sheets, schedules and manuals.Although they are civilians, members receive titles of rank: major, lieutenant,captain. They wear authorized flight suits and Air Force-approved uniforms. Thesquadron receives its orders from the Louisiana Wing Command in Baton Rouge.Ultimately it is answerable to Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.As a volunteer, Stout is on duty 24/7. I ask him what happens when a call comesin to his home at 2 a.m. with news of a possibly downed plane.He says that he immediately heads to the squadron headquarters, phoning othermembers while on the way. There, a crew would be assembled and a dialog withsuperiors in Baton Rouge would get underway. Each and every step of apotential flight is assigned, monitored and approved, according to Civil Air Patroland Air Force regulations.A few of his fellow volunteers who have offered exemplary service over the yearsare Maj. Jon Haddad, deputy-commander; Maj. Ralph Abraham, pilot andmedical officer; Maj. John Benton, professional development officer; and Lt.James Breaux, safety officer. But as soon as he names these four, Stout wisheshe could include the names of all 23 members, saying he doesn't want to leaveanyone out. "I'm proud of each and every one."

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