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 National News

Incoming Senior Staff Appointments Announced
Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:12:18 -0500

Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, Civil Air Patrol CEO and national commander, and Maj. Gen.-Select Mark Smith, incoming CEO/national commander, announce the following six appointments to the incoming senior staff:

  • Col. Arlinda C. Bailey, national executive officer
    Bailey, a 19½-year member of CAP, is in her third year as the first female commander of the Tennessee Wing. A resident of Johnson City, Tennessee, she previously commanded the wing’s Group 1 in east Tennessee after serving as deputy group commander and commander of the Kingsport Composite Squadron. She was honored as the wing’s squadron commander of the year in 2006. Bailey graduated from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City and worked as an electronic sales representative for Texas Instruments and as a merchandise representative for the Procter and Gamble Corp. She became a full-time mom after the birth of two sons, Ed and Sam. Sam eventually enrolled as a cadet in the Kingsport squadron, which prompted Bailey’s lengthy volunteer service in CAP.
     
  • Col. Frank Blazich, national historian
    Blazich has served as national historian since April 2013, playing a prominent role in Civil Air Patrol’s observance of its 75th anniversary in 2016. He has completed all five levels of the senior member professional development program and has a Master rating as a CAP historian. He previously served as historian of the Ohio Wing. In his civilian work, Blazich is a military curator with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He has a doctorate in history from Ohio State University.
     
  • Col. Cheryl Fielitz-Scarbrough, national inspector general
    Fielitz-Scarbrough, of Bluefield, West Virginia, is continuing as national IG, a post she has held since January. Previously, she served as the IG for CAP’s Middle East Region and for the West Virginia Wing. She was a Distinguished Graduate of the National Inspector General College in 2014 and an instructor of the National IG College in 2016. Fielitz-Scarbrough holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health from Malone College in Canton, Ohio, as well as a master’s in athletic administration from Seattle Pacific University. A former basketball coach, she serves as an evaluator of officials for women’s Division II college basketball.
     
  • Lt. Col. John A. Maxfield, chief of the Legal Officer Corps
    Maxfield has been serving as the interim chief since the death of Maj. Gen. Dwight Wheless in June. A resident of Raleigh, North javascript:void(0)Carolina, Maxfield was the assistant deputy chief of the legal officer corps under Wheless. He also serves as Middle East Region assistant legal officer and North Carolina Wing assistant legal officer and as the North Carolina Wing assistant director of safety. He previously served as chief legal officer for the region and the wing. Maxfield has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount and a Juris Doctor from Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has been the Wake County, North Carolina, sheriff’s attorney for 28 years.
     
  • Chief Master Sgt. Dennis H. Orcutt Jr., command chief
    Serving as Middle East Region command noncommissioned officer since September 2016, Orcutt is a resident of Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He previously served as command NCO of the National Capital Wing. Orcutt joined the Okinawa Cadet Squadron at Kadena Air Base in Japan as a senior member in 1992, having been an Air Force Junior ROTC cadet before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. During his 25 years in CAP, he has held a variety of positions within the Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia and National Capital wings along with the overseas unit in Japan. A native of Oklahoma, Orcutt has earned associate degrees in logistics, information management and human resource management from the Community College of the Air Force and a bachelor’s degree in network management from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. Still active in the Air Force, Orcutt deployed to support Operation Desert Storm/Provide Comfort and Operation Enduring Freedom.
     
  • Chaplain Lt. Col. Charlie Sattgast, chief of the Chaplain Corps
    Sattgast, who resides in Portland, Oregon, and Yuma, Arizona, has been deputy chief of the CAP Chaplain Corps since September 2015. Previously, he served as chaplain of the Pacific Region and the Oregon Wing. Sattgast has been in CAP since 2001. In addition to his chaplain Master rating, he holds a Senior rating in cadet programs. He earned the Gill Robb Wilson Award in 2007. Sattgast is endorsed by the Foursquare Church and has served over the years as a senior pastor, associate pastor, worship pastor and children's pastor. He serves as a volunteer assisting minister in his local church, The Oregon Community, in Portland. He holds a master’s degree from Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland and a doctorate in leadership development from Bethel University. He and his wife, Linda, have two adult children and own a training company that teaches Photoshop online.

“I am very fortunate to have professionals of this caliber to serve alongside me on the senior national staff,” Smith said. “I look forward to working with them to lead CAP forward.”

The new senior staff members will begin their duties Sept. 2 during Civil Air Patrol’s National Conference in San Antonio, following a change of command ceremony in which Smith officially becomes CAP’s CEO and national commander and Brig. Gen.-Select Edward Phelka becomes national vice commander.

Search & Rescue Saves Surpass Century Mark for Fiscal 2017
Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:52:32 -0500

Sheila Pursglove
Contributing Writer

Col. Martha Morris, Arizona Wing commander, calls Civil Air Patrol’s National Cell Phone Forensics Team “The League of Secret Super Heroes:" “They work in the dark of night, many hours, sifting data and saving lives with no one knowing who they are or what they do,” she said. 

The team, consisting of Col. Brian Ready and Maj. Jerad Hoff in Arizona and Maj. Justin Ogden in Virginia, is one of the main reasons CAP has been credited with 101 saves so far in fiscal year 2017, far above the organization’s annual average of 80.CAP crossed the search and rescue century mark for the year this past weekend, when the cell phone team was credited with two more saves by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center.

“Technology is the key,” said John Desmarais, CAP’s director of operations. “The cellular forensics guys are continuing to provide more and more assistance every day, and making huge impacts.”

The weekend missions involved an injured hiker on Crestone Peak in Segauche County, Colorado, and a missing brother and sister who had been hiking Three Fingered Jack, a mountian in Linn County, Oregon.“In the latter case," Hoff said, the pair “had called 911 but the coordinates from the 911 system didn’t match with the location the objectives said they were at."

The cell phone team works with ground search and rescue teams to narrow search areas by using data obtained from cell phones to focus on specific locations.

Ogden added that “being 0.3 miles wrong in some of these mountains is a big deal. Our data, tools and efforts help provide searchers with better insight into location information available from all data sources.”

Since its inception the team, which collaborates via videoconferencing, has worked with CAP’s National Radar Analysis Team on missing or overdue aircraft, the Coast Guard on overdue or distressed vessels, the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, the National Park Service and public safety and volunteer SAR teams across the nation.

“The sheer volume of searches they accomplish is staggering — many a week,” Morris said. “Almost every Sunday night, when someone has not returned after a weekend of fun, the team starts a search at bedtime that goes until the wee hours of the morning.

“Rarely do they get credit and oftentimes are reported in the media as ‘searchers,’ when they were the ones to point the search teams to the correct location. It’s my privilege to help support their efforts,” Morris said.

“Typically, 911 data is the most accurate information we can find during a search, but surprisingly after analyzing data from the cell carrier, we were able to confirm to the SAR team that the location the (hikers) said they were at was correct, which was 0.3 miles away from the position being given by the 911 system,” Hoff said.

Ogden stresses that, when called, the team is part of an entire search organization.

“It takes a full range of talents, skills, capabilities and resources to get the job done — we’re one piece to the puzzle,” he said. “We collect clues and data and present findings to the incident commander or search planners. It’s rewarding when our clues direct teams to the right area in short order.

“I’m thankful for the tremendous collaboration and teamwork of everyone involved in our searches — from radar, to the AFRCC controllers, support from our data sources, the local SAR planners and actual searchers in the field.”

“I’m thrilled to see our number of saves increasing and look forward to a continuing the trend,” Ogden added, noting that the team is expanding its membership, improving processes, exploring new technologies and using software tools that enhance capabilities.

“I’m proud of the contributions CAP provides to the search and rescue community. It’s rewarding to be a member of our great organization.”

According to Hoff, Ogden took a concept not a lot of people believed in and single-handedly made it one of CAP’s biggest SAR assets.

“We’ve worked with a few agencies that had prior poor experiences using cell phone information during a search. Having their opinion about the viability of utilizing cell phone data to create a search area after working with our team is certainly satisfying. They’ve gone from skeptics to putting us on speed-dial.”

Ready noted that Ogden’s unique and innovative use of tools — mostly software he created — can process data in minutes. “It’s not uncommon for us to be running multiple missions simultaneously which would have been virtually impossible a couple of years ago,” he said.

Both the cell phone team and NRAT are national assets, with members from across the country. “One benefit of having such a diverse team is there is usually someone up for the late night or early morning missions,” Ready said.

 Wing News

Incoming Senior Staff Appointments Announced
Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:12:18 -0500

Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, Civil Air Patrol CEO and national commander, and Maj. Gen.-Select Mark Smith, incoming CEO/national commander, announce the following six appointments to the incoming senior staff:

  • Col. Arlinda C. Bailey, national executive officer
    Bailey, a 19½-year member of CAP, is in her third year as the first female commander of the Tennessee Wing. A resident of Johnson City, Tennessee, she previously commanded the wing’s Group 1 in east Tennessee after serving as deputy group commander and commander of the Kingsport Composite Squadron. She was honored as the wing’s squadron commander of the year in 2006. Bailey graduated from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City and worked as an electronic sales representative for Texas Instruments and as a merchandise representative for the Procter and Gamble Corp. She became a full-time mom after the birth of two sons, Ed and Sam. Sam eventually enrolled as a cadet in the Kingsport squadron, which prompted Bailey’s lengthy volunteer service in CAP.
     
  • Col. Frank Blazich, national historian
    Blazich has served as national historian since April 2013, playing a prominent role in Civil Air Patrol’s observance of its 75th anniversary in 2016. He has completed all five levels of the senior member professional development program and has a Master rating as a CAP historian. He previously served as historian of the Ohio Wing. In his civilian work, Blazich is a military curator with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He has a doctorate in history from Ohio State University.
     
  • Col. Cheryl Fielitz-Scarbrough, national inspector general
    Fielitz-Scarbrough, of Bluefield, West Virginia, is continuing as national IG, a post she has held since January. Previously, she served as the IG for CAP’s Middle East Region and for the West Virginia Wing. She was a Distinguished Graduate of the National Inspector General College in 2014 and an instructor of the National IG College in 2016. Fielitz-Scarbrough holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health from Malone College in Canton, Ohio, as well as a master’s in athletic administration from Seattle Pacific University. A former basketball coach, she serves as an evaluator of officials for women’s Division II college basketball.
     
  • Lt. Col. John A. Maxfield, chief of the Legal Officer Corps
    Maxfield has been serving as the interim chief since the death of Maj. Gen. Dwight Wheless in June. A resident of Raleigh, North javascript:void(0)Carolina, Maxfield was the assistant deputy chief of the legal officer corps under Wheless. He also serves as Middle East Region assistant legal officer and North Carolina Wing assistant legal officer and as the North Carolina Wing assistant director of safety. He previously served as chief legal officer for the region and the wing. Maxfield has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount and a Juris Doctor from Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has been the Wake County, North Carolina, sheriff’s attorney for 28 years.
     
  • Chief Master Sgt. Dennis H. Orcutt Jr., command chief
    Serving as Middle East Region command noncommissioned officer since September 2016, Orcutt is a resident of Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He previously served as command NCO of the National Capital Wing. Orcutt joined the Okinawa Cadet Squadron at Kadena Air Base in Japan as a senior member in 1992, having been an Air Force Junior ROTC cadet before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. During his 25 years in CAP, he has held a variety of positions within the Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia and National Capital wings along with the overseas unit in Japan. A native of Oklahoma, Orcutt has earned associate degrees in logistics, information management and human resource management from the Community College of the Air Force and a bachelor’s degree in network management from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. Still active in the Air Force, Orcutt deployed to support Operation Desert Storm/Provide Comfort and Operation Enduring Freedom.
     
  • Chaplain Lt. Col. Charlie Sattgast, chief of the Chaplain Corps
    Sattgast, who resides in Portland, Oregon, and Yuma, Arizona, has been deputy chief of the CAP Chaplain Corps since September 2015. Previously, he served as chaplain of the Pacific Region and the Oregon Wing. Sattgast has been in CAP since 2001. In addition to his chaplain Master rating, he holds a Senior rating in cadet programs. He earned the Gill Robb Wilson Award in 2007. Sattgast is endorsed by the Foursquare Church and has served over the years as a senior pastor, associate pastor, worship pastor and children's pastor. He serves as a volunteer assisting minister in his local church, The Oregon Community, in Portland. He holds a master’s degree from Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland and a doctorate in leadership development from Bethel University. He and his wife, Linda, have two adult children and own a training company that teaches Photoshop online.

“I am very fortunate to have professionals of this caliber to serve alongside me on the senior national staff,” Smith said. “I look forward to working with them to lead CAP forward.”

The new senior staff members will begin their duties Sept. 2 during Civil Air Patrol’s National Conference in San Antonio, following a change of command ceremony in which Smith officially becomes CAP’s CEO and national commander and Brig. Gen.-Select Edward Phelka becomes national vice commander.

Search & Rescue Saves Surpass Century Mark for Fiscal 2017
Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:52:32 -0500

Sheila Pursglove
Contributing Writer

Col. Martha Morris, Arizona Wing commander, calls Civil Air Patrol’s National Cell Phone Forensics Team “The League of Secret Super Heroes:" “They work in the dark of night, many hours, sifting data and saving lives with no one knowing who they are or what they do,” she said. 

The team, consisting of Col. Brian Ready and Maj. Jerad Hoff in Arizona and Maj. Justin Ogden in Virginia, is one of the main reasons CAP has been credited with 101 saves so far in fiscal year 2017, far above the organization’s annual average of 80.CAP crossed the search and rescue century mark for the year this past weekend, when the cell phone team was credited with two more saves by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center.

“Technology is the key,” said John Desmarais, CAP’s director of operations. “The cellular forensics guys are continuing to provide more and more assistance every day, and making huge impacts.”

The weekend missions involved an injured hiker on Crestone Peak in Segauche County, Colorado, and a missing brother and sister who had been hiking Three Fingered Jack, a mountian in Linn County, Oregon.“In the latter case," Hoff said, the pair “had called 911 but the coordinates from the 911 system didn’t match with the location the objectives said they were at."

The cell phone team works with ground search and rescue teams to narrow search areas by using data obtained from cell phones to focus on specific locations.

Ogden added that “being 0.3 miles wrong in some of these mountains is a big deal. Our data, tools and efforts help provide searchers with better insight into location information available from all data sources.”

Since its inception the team, which collaborates via videoconferencing, has worked with CAP’s National Radar Analysis Team on missing or overdue aircraft, the Coast Guard on overdue or distressed vessels, the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, the National Park Service and public safety and volunteer SAR teams across the nation.

“The sheer volume of searches they accomplish is staggering — many a week,” Morris said. “Almost every Sunday night, when someone has not returned after a weekend of fun, the team starts a search at bedtime that goes until the wee hours of the morning.

“Rarely do they get credit and oftentimes are reported in the media as ‘searchers,’ when they were the ones to point the search teams to the correct location. It’s my privilege to help support their efforts,” Morris said.

“Typically, 911 data is the most accurate information we can find during a search, but surprisingly after analyzing data from the cell carrier, we were able to confirm to the SAR team that the location the (hikers) said they were at was correct, which was 0.3 miles away from the position being given by the 911 system,” Hoff said.

Ogden stresses that, when called, the team is part of an entire search organization.

“It takes a full range of talents, skills, capabilities and resources to get the job done — we’re one piece to the puzzle,” he said. “We collect clues and data and present findings to the incident commander or search planners. It’s rewarding when our clues direct teams to the right area in short order.

“I’m thankful for the tremendous collaboration and teamwork of everyone involved in our searches — from radar, to the AFRCC controllers, support from our data sources, the local SAR planners and actual searchers in the field.”

“I’m thrilled to see our number of saves increasing and look forward to a continuing the trend,” Ogden added, noting that the team is expanding its membership, improving processes, exploring new technologies and using software tools that enhance capabilities.

“I’m proud of the contributions CAP provides to the search and rescue community. It’s rewarding to be a member of our great organization.”

According to Hoff, Ogden took a concept not a lot of people believed in and single-handedly made it one of CAP’s biggest SAR assets.

“We’ve worked with a few agencies that had prior poor experiences using cell phone information during a search. Having their opinion about the viability of utilizing cell phone data to create a search area after working with our team is certainly satisfying. They’ve gone from skeptics to putting us on speed-dial.”

Ready noted that Ogden’s unique and innovative use of tools — mostly software he created — can process data in minutes. “It’s not uncommon for us to be running multiple missions simultaneously which would have been virtually impossible a couple of years ago,” he said.

Both the cell phone team and NRAT are national assets, with members from across the country. “One benefit of having such a diverse team is there is usually someone up for the late night or early morning missions,” Ready said.

Aerospace Education Program Promotes STEM at Natl. Scout Jamboree
Thu, 10 Aug 2017 16:58:13 -0500

Capt. Margaret Dilley
Assistant Director of Aerospace Education
West Virginia Wing

Civil Air Patrol’s Aerospace Education program stepped up this summer when organizers of the massive quadrennial National Scout Jamboree decided to include one of the AE program’s core goals – inspiring interest in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) – in the spotlight.

When 28,000 Scouts and leaders descended on the mountainous countryside of Fayette County, West Virginia, for the 20th Jamboree, they encountered a STEM Quest Area consisting of 41 large interactive displays. One was offered by CAP, which shared a 60-by-40-foot tent with the U.S. Air Force.

 

AE program national staff, wing- and unit-level aerospace education officers and cadets helped ensure that Scouts and other visitors encountered engaging activities. The AE space featured four flight simulators, three radio control simulators for flying remote controlled planes and other STEM-focused activities, along with two computers used for on-site registration of educators interested in enrolling as CAP aerospace education members.

Scouts lined up outside the AE space for a chance to pilot five-minute “flights” on the simulators or via radio controls. CAP members guided many to safe runway landings at the end of their simulated flights. Those flying radio-controlled planes had a harder time landing right-side up.

 

Their excitement was audible:

"Wow, this is great!”

“I want to be a pilot!” 

“Could I really use this simulator to learn to fly?”

Scouts participated in other activities designed to attract them to the CSAP space and maintain their interest while they waited their turns – such as firing finger rockets at a target hoop, trying to “catch the bullet” – a Drug Demand Reduction activity using a black foam projectile to test reaction times – or playing corn hole with bean bags.

 

On their way out of the tent, the visitors were reminded to pick up some giveaways – an Aero-Prop helicopter, a balsa model plane to build and a paper airplane to fold, complete with information they could use in earning their Aviation Merit Badge. Soon the freebies were being flown outside, which in turn attracted other Scouts and leaders to check out the CAP area.

Leaders were informed they could acquire the AE Program’s STEM Kits for their Scout troop for a one-time aerospace education membership fee of $35. In addition, school principals who accompanied Scout troops obtained memberships for all their science teachers. Online sign-ups followed.

On routine days, excluding President Donald Trump’s address to the Jamboree or severe lightning storms, the CAP space hosted an average of about 450 Scouts and more than 100 adult leaders, based on total attendance of 2,885 Scouts and 1,577 leaders, in addition to 69 other adult visitors.

Great Lakes Region's Phelka Named Next Natl. Vice Commander
Tue, 08 Aug 2017 22:30:55 -0500

Civil Air Patrol’s next national commander, Maj. Gen.-Select Mark Smith, has chosen Great Lakes Region Commander Col. Edward Phelka as his national vice commander. The announcement was made today after Phelka was approved by the organization’s Board of Governors.

“Col. Phelka’s commitment and devotion to Civil Air Patrol over the past 30 years is exemplary,” said Smith, who selected Phelka over 10 other candidates for the national post. “He is field-tested and fully prepared to help lead this organization forward.”

Phelka will join Smith on Sept. 2 for a change of command ceremony with Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, the current national commander, at Civil Air Patrol’s 2017 National Conference in San Antonio.

As national vice commander, Phelka is charged with helping lead CAP’s 57,000 volunteers in fulfilling the organization’s congressionally chartered missions — emergency services, cadet programs and aerospace education. The national vice commander is a member of the CAP Command Council, which consists of the organization’s national commander, eight region commanders and 52 wing commanders, along with the national executive officer, CAP’s chief operating officer and the commander of CAP-USAF.

Phelka, a native of Michigan living in the Greater Detroit area, joined Civil Air Patrol as a cadet in 1987. During his cadet career, he completed all 15 achievements of the CAP cadet program, earning the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award — the highest achievement available to cadets — in 1993. He also visited Germany as a participant in the International Air Cadet Exchange in the summer of 1993.

Following transition to senior membership, Phelka’s assignments included three years as commander of the Michigan Wing’s Livonia Thunderbolt Cadet Squadron and two years as commander of the Southeast Michigan Group, director of cadet programs in both the Michigan and Colorado wings, and chief of staff for the Colorado Wing.

Phelka was assigned to lead the six wings of the Great Lakes Region in March 2015 after serving as national controller — as the principal adviser to the national commander and CAP Senior Advisory Group on logistics and financial accountability — from August 2011-January 2015. He commanded the Colorado Wing from December 2007-April 2011.

Phelka earned his private pilot certificate in 1998, and is a commercial, multi-engine and instrument-rated certified flight instructor, CAP cadet orientation pilot and CAP check pilot examiner with over 1,600 flying hours. He holds Master ratings in the Command, Logistics and Cadet Programs specialty tracks; Senior ratings in Flight Operations, Stan/Eval, and Plans and Programs; and Mission Pilot, Observer, Scanner and Transport Mission Pilot, and glider tow pilot qualifications. In 2007, he completed Level V of the Senior Member Professional Development program, earning the Gill Robb Wilson Award.

Phelka has also commanded region-level encampments and Cadet Leadership Schools, soloed CAP cadet students at the Johnson Flight Academy in Mattoon, Illinois, served as a seminar adviser for both Cadet Officer School and National Staff College at CAP National Headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, and worked as a staff member for the International Air Cadet Exchange in Washington, D.C. In 2006 he created a new National Cadet Special Activity (Airline Careers Exploration), successfully directing that event for two years at Denver International Airport.

Outside of Civil Air Patrol, Phelka works as a certified flight instructor and corporate pilot. In the past, he was employed as an interpreter, supervisor, manager and senior manager in both customer service and operations departments at Northwest Airlines (Detroit) and Frontier Airlines (Denver) from 1995-2007. He was also employed at an aviation software company in Boulder, Colorado, as director of international sales from 2008-2010.

Phelka holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, with major fields of study in economics and the German language.

He and his wife, Dr. Amanda Phelka, have two children.

 
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