Yukon veteran retires from Civil Air Patrol

Cacini was homeland security director, Tinker facility manager, search and rescue pilot

Yukon’s Rick Cacini (right) is recognized by Col. Dave Roberts, outgoing Oklahoma Wing commander for the Civil Air Patrol, during an annual conference July 17 in Broken Arrow. (Photo provided)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A Yukon military veteran was honored upon his retirement from the Civil Air Patrol.

Lt. Col. (ret.) Richard W.J. Cacini, the founder and curator of the Yukon Veterans Museum, has concluded 24 years of service in the Civil Air Patrol.

The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is an all-volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.

Lt. Col. (ret.) Rick Cacini and his wife Kathy enjoy the festivities during the Oklahoma Wing of the Civil Air Patrol’s annual conference where Cacini was honored for his 24 years of service. (Photo provided)

Cacini received accolades during the CAP Oklahoma Wing’s annual conference at Stoney Creek Resort & Conference Center in Broken Arrow.

Col. Dave Roberts, the Oklahoma Wing’s outgoing commander, presented Cacini with a certificate of retirement at a July 17th banquet.

The Yukon resident served the CAP as homeland security director, a search and rescue pilot and facility manager at Tinker Air Force Base.

“Besides search and rescue, the Civil Air Patrol supports emergency organizations in Oklahoma, transports blood, COVID supplies and other needed items to citizens across Oklahoma, and works with the Governor’s Office,” Cacini said.

Cacini first retired in 2013 after 40 years in the U.S. Army. His last tour of duty was in Afghanistan.

As an aside, Cacini was a member of the first-place team in the CAP Oklahoma Wing’s annual golf tournament July 16 at Battle Creek Golf Course in Broken Arrow.


The Civil Air Patrol’s mission statement is “Supporting America’s communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development, and promotion of air, space and cyber power.”

The Oklahoma Wing performs three primary missions – providing emergency services, offering cadet programs for youth and providing aerospace education for both CAP members and the general public.

The CAP’s 61,000 volunteer civilian members nationally perform inland search and rescue missions, homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.

CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Members also serve as mentors to about 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s cadet programs.

With headquarters at Tinker AFB in Midwest City, the Oklahoma Wing has 16 local squadrons.