Civil Air Patrol w/ Dave Kalahar

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Today we have got a great guest on the podcast. I am happy to introduce you guys all to Dave Kalahar.

Dave is not only a full-time RV, but he is also a retired commander in the Civil Air Patrol or CAP in the United States.

Dave spent about 45 years in broadcasting and you are all in for a great podcast episode.



What you need to know:

  • Like many people, Dave’s interest in radio started with a small handheld crystal control. It was a RadioShack or realistic scanner. But today, he could not even count the number of scanners he has had over the years or two-way radios that do scanning
  • CAP or Civil Air Patrol is a civilian auxiliary of the United States Airforce. It came to action 80 years ago during World War II.
  • Following WWII, congress decided to enact a separate service branch called the Air Force
  • The Air Force Auxillary is CAP.
  • The money that is provided to Civil Air Patrol comes from the United States Air Force budget.
  • The CAP as a volunteer is a terrific option to utilize the talents you have come across with CB radio, amateur radio, scanning, and GMRS.
  • If you are a hobbyist interested in those areas, Civil Air Patrol will allow you to take that interest in that knowledge.
  • The emergency response part of CAP is where the communications part comes in. There are 728 VHF FM repeaters that are P25 type dual-mode analog repeaters are available all across the country. In addition, we have more than 2000 HF stations operating at CAP.
  • There is an awful lot of assets available for use in the missions that we do, and CAP also has the largest fleet of Cessna aircraft in the world, and the last count is 560 single-engine aircraft.
  • Every CAP member is an airman, just like a member that serves in the actual Air Force. We are the public face to the Air Force, and we do localized activities, says Dave.
  • We have an extensive system that has been in place to do work remotely, and a digital system will be in place for all those repeaters so that you can listen to any of our repeaters from a centralized location at any time you want, says Dave.
  • CAP has an airborne camera and many different systems attached to our aircraft that do specialized photography to FEMA. That photography can help FEMA figure out how big the disaster is.
  • CAP also flies his cadets and calls them orientation flights. So every one of our cadets is entitled to five one-hour flights in our aircraft. They don’t take off or land, but they fly the aircraft for five hours at their airport, and there are different profiles.
  • Learning to become a better leader is something we all could use, and CAP has developed a fantastic program based on Air Force training. It is all run from Air University, and they modified the program here a couple of years ago. So it has become a world-class training program for all CAP members.
  • The entire flying fleet and planes used by volunteers for the missions are provided by CAP. Way back, the Air Force started buying the Cessnas, providing those to squadrons, and now it’s all provided by CAP.
  • All the aircraft now worked with an ATSP. Those aircraft have the G1000 glass panels and have all the advanced equipment, but the FAA calls the sign for camp aircraft is CAP.
  • The VHF system is just for CAP, but our base stations and aircraft have AM. So we can hear our aircraft when they’re talking to air traffic control, and there are times that we will talk to them on AM radio if we need to.
  • CAP has simplex frequencies, so air to the ground will often be simplex. CAP also has a set of tactical frequencies called secret squirrel frequencies because our airplane will always have one radio set to that frequency at all times.
  • CAP will begin to use some digital communications to send messages in the future.
  • The HF system used to be a primary military system. Our communications and the Air Force had an extensive HF network at one point, especially with all of the missions and tactical operations. But they let that network kind of fall apart over the end of the world War, and over some time, they concentrated on satellite communications.
  • There are more than 2000 HF stations across North America, and 5 to 600 of those are probably doing ALE all the time, and that is a pretty good beacon that helps us to know when and how a message is going to get through.


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Civil Air Patrol


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