Vermont's New Civil Air Patrol Commander Aims To "Build Interest In All Things Aviation"
The new commander of Vermont’s Civil Air Patrol, Col. Ann Brechbühl, says she wants to get more young people interested in aviation.
Vermont's wing of the Civil Air Patrol is an all-volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force which performs search and rescue and disaster relief missions with local and regional emergency responders.
But Brechbühl says she wants to emphasize the patrol’s other missions beyond search and rescue — namely, advancing aerospace education and promoting the patrol’s cadet program.
“They can enter when they’re twelve and they go through a progression of gradually more and more responsibilities, and more and more leadership opportunities," she tells Vermont Edition.
"Which gradually helps them grow into an adult that you’d be really happy to hire.”
The cadet program includes camps, competitions and training for kids to pilot planes and gliders. Brechbühl plans to further engage with the public by partnering with science teachers across the state.
Brechbühl was formally sworn in as commander on Saturday, June 22. She comes to Vermont after leading the Lebanon, New Hampshire Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron and years of experience in the U.S. Army and as a liaison the U.S. Military Academy.
A graduate of West Point, she spent six years with Army intelligence, including Chief of Electronic Warfare in Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and at postings across Germany.
But despite her military background, what brought her to the Civil Air Patrol in 2010 were her children. Brechbühl volunteered first as a chaperone when her daughter joined a cadet program which was lacking adult leaders. She's been active in CAP ever since.
In her time with the New Hampshire Civil Air Patrol, she’s been an EMS technician and taught EMS as a training officer.
Since 2016 she’s been senior director of recruitment and leadership at Norwich University.
Live broadcast on Monday, June 24, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.