(a) The Legislature hereby makes the following findings:
(1) The Civil Air Patrol is the congressionally chartered official auxiliary of the United States Air Force. It performs three congressionally assigned key missions: emergency services, which includes search and rescue, by air and ground, and disaster relief operations; aerospace education for youth and the general public; and cadet programs for teenage youth. In addition, the Civil Air Patrol is tasked with homeland security and other missions.
(2) The Civil Air Patrol also performs nonauxiliary missions for various federal and state governmental and private agencies, such as the West Virginia Army and Air National Guard, State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Division of Forestry, local law enforcement, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross.
(3) The West Virginia wing of the Civil Air Patrol, is organized, equipped, governed, administered and trained in accordance with the rules and regulations of the United States Air Force and the Civil Air Patrol.
(4) The West Virginia wing of the Civil Air Patrol has air and ground assets located throughout the state, as well as highly trained aircrews, ground search crews and other mission support personnel who perform, as unpaid professionals, valuable emergency services missions for the citizens of West Virginia. Additionally, the West Virginia wing of the Civil Air Patrol, through its missions of aerospace education and cadet programs, is instrumental in developing West Virginia’s youth to be the leaders of the future.
(b) In light of the invaluable services provided by the West Virginia wing of the Civil Air Patrol to the state, it is the intent of the Legislature for the state and the Adjutant General to provide administrative, financial and other support to the West Virginia wing of the Civil Air Patrol so that it can continue to train and equip itself and its unpaid personnel to perform these valuable missions for the citizens of the state.
(c) It is also the intent of the Legislature to create protections for employees who are members of the Civil Air Patrol and who train for, and respond to, emergency services missions.