U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik was inducted into the Civil Air Patrol Congressional Squadron at the rank of “honorary lieutenant colonel” on Friday.
“She is a full-fledged member (of the Civil Air Patrol). She has all rights and privilages of a regular member. She can particpate in any Civil Air Patrol event,” said 1st Lt. Franklin Birt, a spokesman for New York Wing Civil Air Patrol, based at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, in a telephone interview on Monday.
Civil Air Patrol is an all volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.
The membership entitles Stefanik to be a passenger on Civil Air Patrol flights over the 21st Congressional District, Birt said.
“In case there ever was a disaster, she could go up to get the bird’s-eye view of her district,” he said.
Birt said the induction recognizes Stefanik’s support and interest in Civil Air Patrol, and her advocacy for legislation that made Civil Air Patrol members who served during World War II eligible to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.
Membership in the Congressional Squadron is open to all members of the House and Senate, Birt said.
Some members of Congress are pilots who fly Civil Air Patrol planes on training missions, he said.
The Congressional Squadron has seven members from New York, including Stefanik and Rep. John Katko, R-Cammilus, who also was inducted on Friday.
Other members are:
- Rep. Daniel Donovan, R-Long Island; Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning; Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-Clinton; Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-Long Island; former Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Utica.