Civil Air Patrol Ohio Wing swears in new commander

Col. David J. Jennison, incoming Civil Air Patrol Ohio Wing commander, is sworn in by Great Lakes Region Interim Commander Col. Fred Rosenberg during a ceremony Oct. 14. Jennison is currently an intelligence analyst for the Air Force at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. (Contributed photo/Maj. James Himes, Ohio Wing, CAP)
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Col. David J. Jennison, incoming Civil Air Patrol Ohio Wing commander, is sworn in by Great Lakes Region Interim Commander Col. Fred Rosenberg during a ceremony Oct. 14. Jennison is currently an intelligence analyst for the Air Force at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. (Contributed photo/Maj. James Himes, Ohio Wing, CAP)

Col. David J. Jennison, CAP, assumed command of the Ohio Wing of Civil Air Patrol Oct. 14. Jennison, of Dayton, Ohio, has been a member of CAP since 1996. He has served in multiple command positions, including Wright-Patterson Cadet Squadron, Ohio Wing Group VII and Ohio Wing Cadet Encampment.

A qualified incident commander and mission transport pilot, Jennison has been director and instructor for several CAP training courses. He most recently served as director of Plans and Programs for the Ohio Wing.

Jennison has served with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force. He currently is an intelligence analyst for the Air Force at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Jennison replaces Col. Theodore Shaffer, CAP, as commander. Shaffer, of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, joined CAP in 1965 as a cadet, returning to CAP after serving with the U.S. Air Force. Shaffer has been Ohio Wing commander since 2013.

Civil Air Patrol was founded Dec. 1, 1941, by a group of aviation enthusiasts and private pilots who wanted to donate their time and aircraft to protect the nation’s coastlines during World War II and to perform other critical civil defense missions.

The Ohio Wing’s history begins in September 1941, when Earle L. Johnson, director of the Ohio Bureau of Aeronautics, organized Ohio’s civilian pilots into a state wing of the Civil Air Defense Service. When the federal Office of Civilian Defense established the CAP in December 1941, the state Civil Air Defense wing evolved into a CAP wing, with Johnson serving as the first wing commander. Today the Ohio Wing has more than 1,200 members, including 550 cadets.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and 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 78 lives annually.

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Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program.

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