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In the front row, from left, are Cadet Airman Ezra James, Cadet Christian Gallo and Squadron Cadet Leader 2nd Lt. Janelle Townsend. Behind them are Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Justin Townsend and Cadet Airman Jesse Fox Garon.

The Ascension Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol promoted and awarded various cadets on April 22. Cadets promoted and their current grade are Justin Townsend, cadet chief master sergeant; and Jesse Fox Garon, cadet airman.

Two cadets also received an award for their first orientation flight in Civil Air Patrol. Those cadets were Cadet Airman Ezra James and Cadet Christian Gallo. The flights were flown by Squadron Commander Major Phil Smith on April 20.

Townsend is in the ninth grade at Gonzales Baptist Academy, and Garon is in the 10th grade at Episcopal High in Baton Rouge. James, an eighth grader, is home-schooled, and Gallo is in the ninth grade at Dutchtown High School.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, 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 80 lives annually.

CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.

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