The LBJ Middle School campus is utilized by many groups for many reasons. It is a voting site, a venue for performances, a place for sports leagues, a center for worship and discussion. Since 2010, it has also been the home of the Civil Air Patrol, an organization that works in conjunction with the United States Air Force to serve our nation.
There are 60,000 members of the Civil Air Patrol nationwide, proud to be "vigilant civilian volunteers." CAP members conduct 85% of all inland search and rescue missions within the United States. The group also provides education and training to young people interested in aviation or a career with the military.
The Cadet Squadron based at LBJ is the 811th and includes 22 cadets ranging in age from 11-20, 12 of whom are current or former LBJ students. Four of the 22 cadets hold private pilot certificates and two more have soloed in gliders.
When current squadron commander Major William Fitzpatrick took over the group in November, 2013, the mission of the 811th changed from a drill and ceremonies focus to flight training, operational management, and aviation advocating. The program has 14 single engine aircraft, two gliders, and one hot air balloon.
The balloon has been in the group since October, 2013, when the former "New Mexico Sunrise" was renamed "Phoenix" after recovering from an unfortunate crash. The Phoenix retired in June, 2016, and the envelope was replaced in October of that year, resulting in a new balloon named "Integrity" (currently part of the fleet).
Another connection to LBJ is the "Leadership" elective class, which uses CAP curriculum and is currently taught by a CAP officer, Lt. Garland Harris.
The Civil Air Patrol group at LBJ meets Thursdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in portables 9 and 10. Activities include aerospace education, physical fitness training, drill and ceremonies, as well as other topics. The meetings are open to the general public and anyone interested in joining the group is invited to attend.