Col. Joe Smith, CAP Southwest Region commander presenting the New Mexico Wing flag to Col. Annette Peters, NM Wing Commander. Courtesy/CAP NM Wing
Annette R. Peters of Los Alamos assumed command of the New Mexico Wing of the Civil Air Patrol during a ceremony Sunday at Kirtland AFB.
In doing so, Col. Peters becomes the first female CAP Wing Commander in New Mexico.
Col. Peters, who lives in White Rock, has served as vice commander for the past four years. Since joining CAP in 2001, she has held 10 positions including Los Alamos Squadron commander. She also was instrumental in running the Los Alamos CAP cadet program.
Based on her experience as vice commander for the past four years, Col. Peters is planning to restructure the 16 New Mexico squadrons into three geographic groups, North, Central and South as well as a group for middle school students.
Col. Peters is leading the New Mexico Wing of an organization that was founded at the beginning of World War II. Civil Air Patrol provided a way for civilian pilots to support the war effort. CAP flew thousands of missions and is credited with finding 170 German U boats and sinking two of them (by dropping bombs by hand out of the windows of small aircraft).
At the close of the war, CAP became the civilian auxiliary to the United States Air Force. While CAP no longer searches for enemy submarines, they do perform searches for missing aircraft as well as lost hunters and hikers.
As a humanitarian service organization CAP assists federal, state and local agencies in preparing for and responding to homeland security needs. CAP had the first general aviation aircraft flying over NYC after the 9/11 terrorist attack.
CAP aircrews and ground personnel provide transportation for cargo and officials. They provide aerial imagery to aid emergency managers in assessing damage, and support local, state and federal disaster relief organizations during times of need.
In addition to the Emergency Services mission, Civil Air Patrol also is dedicated to Aerospace Education, providing opportunities for cadets ages 12 to 21 to learn about and explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math – now widely known as STEM.
More information about Civil Air Patrol is available online at gocivilairpatrol.com.