10,000 hours of service

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The ACE Basin Composite Squadron, now 60 members strong, has celebrated National Volunteer Month by tallying its completion of nearly 10,000 hours of volunteer service, aerospace education, and leadership training of its cadets and senior members over the last year.

This training helps prepare members to serve Walterboro and Colleton County, and includes service that their members provided before and after Hurricane Dorian in September and the volunteer service performed after the tornado just a couple of weeks ago.

The value of a volunteer service hour, which is determined by a nonprofit group called “Independent Sector,” is released each April in the United States as part of National Volunteer Month. The average value of an hour of volunteer service in 2019 is $25.43, based on a study released April 11, 2020.

Since last National Volunteer Month in April 2019, the local Civil Air Patrol squadron has partnered with numerous community organizations to assist them in their missions, and the cadets and senior members have received valuable training and preparation to serve this community.

For example, the group partnered with Women in Aviation’s Palmetto Pride Chapter to host five booths with STEM Activities and hands-on education for the annual Girls in Aviation Day in October. In April 2019 for Earth Day, the squadron volunteered with Keep Colleton Beautiful to pick up trash along the roadways at the airport. In August, the squadron joined the Airport Commission’s Open House for the opening of the new FBO. Squadron members assisted with greeting guests, handing out programs, and opening doors for this National Aviation Week event.

After Hurricane Dorian in August, many members volunteered to serve the local community and South Carolina. Seven members travelled to Mission Base in Columbia, and another member joined an air crew which performed aerial photography following landfall of the slow-moving hurricane. Most recently, members of the squadron completed a foreign object debris (FOD) walk after the tornados to ensure the runways at the Lowcountry Regional Airport were clear of objects which might damage aircraft in the process of landing or taking off.

These are just a few ways in which the Civil Air Patrol Squadron, which meets in Walterboro at Lowcountry Aviation, is making a difference in the community —over $200,000 worth of difference in just the last year.

The ACE Basin Composite Squadron, along with all of Civil Air Patrol, is currently in stand-down mode, with no in-person meetings and rare exceptions for training or performing its emergency services mission right now. However, those who are interested in joining the squadron should email Capt Rachael J. Mercer, CAP, at rachael.mercer@scwgcap.org for information about meeting virtually with other members. Prospective cadets must attend three meetings and are eligible to complete their membership paperwork on the third visit.

Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.CAP.news for more information.

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