Maj. Gen. Edward D. Phelka paid the first-ever visit by a Civil Air Patrol national commander to the National Emergency Services Academy-Southeast training activity with his Feb. 10 tour of the U.S. Air Force Vigilant Warrior training site at Titus, Alabama. 

The activity — operated as the Wing Emergency Services School before being added to CAP’s National Emergency Services Academy (NESA) — provides a wide variety of emergency services training under one roof one weekend a month for five months. Members from across CAP learn new techniques and capabilities for emergency services missions. 

During his visit Phelka saw a small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) class in action, along with training in ground search and rescue and wilderness advanced first aid.  

He also talked with staff and students on his quest to, he said, observe and learn as much as he could. He took questions from groups as well while speaking to the  administrative, communications, logistics, and safety sections. 

Phelka expressed his appreciation to all the volunteers for their professionalism and dedication to the training, which he proclaimed “critically important for the CAP mission toolbox.”   

In addition, he addressed the training school’s focus on philosophy of servant leadership. All participants sign a “Class Constitution” agreeing to abide by the tenets of integrity, respect, excellence, resilience, teamwork, servant leadership, a growth mindset, and safety first, as well as having fun.  

Phelka took the time to add his signature on the document to theirs.  

NESA-Southeast incorporates the same high-intensity training materials and techniques used at the National Emergency Services Academy conducted annually at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, in providing “a diverse array of training opportunities for both CAP adults and cadets,” said Lt. Col. Harvey Yarborough, director for the Alabama-based activity. 

Training focuses on ground search and rescue, communications , incident command, Federal Emergency Management Agent Incident Command 300 and 400 courses, mission aircrew duties, sUAS, and wilderness advanced first aid.   

Participants also prepare for austere disaster conditions by staying on the Vigilant Warrior Training site, where they provide their own bedding and food for all training weekends.   
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Col. Jayson A. Altieri 
Director of Operations
Col. James A. Harris 
Public Affairs Officer
Alabama Wing