100 Civil Air Patrol (CAP) members and nearly 20 planes are training at Meadows Field in Bakersfield during their largest aviation exercise of the year. Members have come to Kern County from across California.
Civil Air Patrol officials said the CAP is an all volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. And they formed during World War II.
Lt. Col. Joe Brickman said during this weekend's training the CAP will send pilots to different areas around the Central Valley to find practice tracking devices to simulate looking for distressed pilots or lost hikers.
Captain Luis Rivas said the main tasks of the CAP is to help in search and rescue missions, provide aide and pictures at natural disasters and wildfires, help train cadets and promote aerospace education. He also said that on average the CAP helps rescue about 80 people a year, and so far in their current fiscal year they have helped rescued over 130 people.
The Civil Air Patrol will continue their training through Sunday.