SD Members Visit Legislature, meet elected officials
Twenty-one members of South Dakota Wing were in Pierre Thursday (Feb 8) for the wing’s annual Legislative Day. The annual event elevated the visibility of Civil Air Patrol among legislators and provided CAP cadets with insight into how government works.
“We met with Governor Noem and Lt. Governor Rhoden for a photo opportunity,” said Lt. Col. Tom Anez, government relations advisor for South Dakota Wing. “We then had a 45-minute tour by a Capitol employee. After lunch, the members attended a portion of the House and Senate chambers, where we were introduced and welcomed by Representative Reisch (former Adjutant General for SD and new legislative squadron member) and Senator Stalzer and watched several debates over bills in both the House and Senate chambers.”
Most members of the South Dakota Legislature are members of the wing’s legislative squadron, with the honorary rank of CAP major.
“The Civil Air Patrol youth program focuses on leadership and aerospace/STEM learning,” said Col. Michael Marek, CAP’s wing commander for South Dakota. “Providing our cadets the opportunity to see our state seat of government and witness legislators in action is in action is an important experience for them.”
South Dakota Wing also receives state funding via the Department of Military to support the services to state and local agencies in South Dakota.
CAP has over 400 members in South Dakota with units in Brookings, Custer, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Spearfish and Tea, plus the legislative squadron. In addition to its youth and STEM programs, CAP can deploy its six aircraft, ground teams and small search drones to assist in emergency response and other support to local, state, tribal and federal agencies in South Dakota.