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 National News

EAA Opens Doors to CAP in Fla. for Hurricane Irma Relief
Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:25:02 -0500

After Hurricane Irma moved through Florida, Civil Air Patrol needed to launch several missions to respond and provide relief. In order to get easier access to the runways at Punta Gorda Airport, CAP asked members of the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter if it could use their facilities.

The members of EAA Chapter 565 flung open their doors to help out. Stan Smith, chapter president, said some cleaning up needed to be done, but luckily the hangar didn’t take much damage from the storm and everybody was able to get to work pretty quickly.

“We helped CAP set up some of their items such as a communications trailer,” Smith said. “We went out to assist if they needed anything.”

CAP Lt. Col. Jeffrey Carlson, public affairs officer for Florida Wing Group 5, said the airport was close to the hardest-hit areas and had fuel after the storm, making it an obvious choice for CAP operations. In addition, Smith and Chapter 565 postponed a chapter lobster dinner and made other accommodations to ensure CAP could do what it needed to do for as long as it needed to do it, Carlson said.

“The EAA facility is well-equipped to handle mission needs,” he said. “The location of the building allows CAP aircrews to have easy access to the ramp area designated by the airport for the mission’s flight line.”

“The Florida Warbirds Squadron 24 (another EAA group) offered an adjacent building for CAP’s flight operations,” Carlson added. “Outside, there is room for the CAP communication trailer and ample parking space.”

“Warbirds Squadron 24 stepped right up and the president over there said ‘yes, if you need to use the facility, which is right next to ours, use it,’” Smith said. “They sustained a little bit more damage. We basically had none, but they had some to their roof, but they used their facility as well.”

Carlson said CAP and EAA have a long history of working together all across the U.S.

“Many CAP squadrons and EAA chapters across the country work together on a daily basis,” he said. “The two organizations share a common purpose to promote general aviation and to create opportunities for youth to gain an appreciation for the personal enjoyment of flying as well as discover career opportunities.

“The EAA’s Young Eagles program and CAP’s cadet orientation flights expose thousands of youth each year to the joy of flying,” Carlson said.

Local CAP leaders knew they had friends in their local EAA counterparts thanks to the two groups’ history of working together in day-to-day activities. Lt. Col. Jim Kaletta, commander of the Florida Wing’s Charlotte County Composite Squadron, is also a director of Chapter 565, and the chapter’s website manager, Cadet Lt. Col. Mikehla Hicks, is a Charlotte County squadron member preparing to get her pilot certificate and attend the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Kaletta was the one who initially reached out to Smith about CAP using Chapter 565’s facility as part of its support missions.

CAP aircrews have been flying reconnaissance missions since Sept. 12 and will continue to carry out those missions for several more weeks, according to Carlson.

“CAP is responding to requests from federal and state agencies for aerial photography surveys of area affected by Hurricane Irma,” he said. “Once collected, the digital images are uploaded and used by emergency management officials to make decisions for deploying resources.”

The partnership between EAA and CAP is helping save lives in Florida, and Carlson believes it shows how effective the two groups can be when they work in tandem.

“Organizations like EAA and CAP depend on partnerships to serve the local community,” he said. “In this case, the collaboration helps to strengthen both programs. There is much potential for local squadrons and chapters across the country to explore by working together.”

Air Force Assn. Honors Wis. Cadet for Aerospace Education Achievements
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:56:30 -0500

Cadet Capt. Casey Owen of the Wisconsin Wing’s Eau Claire Composite Squadron is the Air Force Association’s Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Cadet of the Year.

Owen, the cadet commander of his squadron, was honored at the AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland.

He helped develop the Eau Claire unit’s balsa wood glider program, which is used to teach the basic principles of flight to cadets, who can adjust the gliders’ weight and balance, center of lift and angle of attack to maximize flight characteristics and glide slope.

He also assists during the squadron’s flight simulator class, not only helping set up beforehand and pack up afterward but also answering his fellow cadets’ questions. In addition, he frequently provides informative presentations on different aspects of aviation and aeronautics, and he assists with the model rocketry program.

Over the last year Owen devoted more than 60 hours to the Science Olympiad program, dedicated to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for K-12 students nationwide. He officiated at the Wisconsin Science Olympiad Regional Middle School Tournament and at the National Science Olympiad Tournament in Menomenee, Wisconsin.

At the Wisconsin Wing Conference in April 2016, Owen and his four-member team from the national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest displayed the device they built for the competition, which launched a foam Goddard Rocket using 15 separate steps. The team finished first, winning a radio-controlled plane kit for the Eau Claire squadron.

The squadron’s assistant aerospace education officer, 2nd Lt. John Kuehn, praised Owen’s role in instructing fellow cadets during an aerospace education session. He cited the cadet’s “excellent knowledge of the subject … reflected in his relaxed and professional manner.”

“He did a great job of establishing a peer-to-peer rapport while maintaining his professional bearing as an instructor,” Kuehn said.

“He asked appropriate questions and gave example problems to the students to validate that his instruction was understood,” he said. “Cadet Owen did an excellent job of instruction in every way!”

Earlier this month Owen was awarded the Frank G. Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award, Cadet Category, at the CAP National Conference in San Antonio. He also recently achieved his private pilot's certificate.

 Wing News

EAA Opens Doors to CAP in Fla. for Hurricane Irma Relief
Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:25:02 -0500

After Hurricane Irma moved through Florida, Civil Air Patrol needed to launch several missions to respond and provide relief. In order to get easier access to the runways at Punta Gorda Airport, CAP asked members of the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter if it could use their facilities.

The members of EAA Chapter 565 flung open their doors to help out. Stan Smith, chapter president, said some cleaning up needed to be done, but luckily the hangar didn’t take much damage from the storm and everybody was able to get to work pretty quickly.

“We helped CAP set up some of their items such as a communications trailer,” Smith said. “We went out to assist if they needed anything.”

CAP Lt. Col. Jeffrey Carlson, public affairs officer for Florida Wing Group 5, said the airport was close to the hardest-hit areas and had fuel after the storm, making it an obvious choice for CAP operations. In addition, Smith and Chapter 565 postponed a chapter lobster dinner and made other accommodations to ensure CAP could do what it needed to do for as long as it needed to do it, Carlson said.

“The EAA facility is well-equipped to handle mission needs,” he said. “The location of the building allows CAP aircrews to have easy access to the ramp area designated by the airport for the mission’s flight line.”

“The Florida Warbirds Squadron 24 (another EAA group) offered an adjacent building for CAP’s flight operations,” Carlson added. “Outside, there is room for the CAP communication trailer and ample parking space.”

“Warbirds Squadron 24 stepped right up and the president over there said ‘yes, if you need to use the facility, which is right next to ours, use it,’” Smith said. “They sustained a little bit more damage. We basically had none, but they had some to their roof, but they used their facility as well.”

Carlson said CAP and EAA have a long history of working together all across the U.S.

“Many CAP squadrons and EAA chapters across the country work together on a daily basis,” he said. “The two organizations share a common purpose to promote general aviation and to create opportunities for youth to gain an appreciation for the personal enjoyment of flying as well as discover career opportunities.

“The EAA’s Young Eagles program and CAP’s cadet orientation flights expose thousands of youth each year to the joy of flying,” Carlson said.

Local CAP leaders knew they had friends in their local EAA counterparts thanks to the two groups’ history of working together in day-to-day activities. Lt. Col. Jim Kaletta, commander of the Florida Wing’s Charlotte County Composite Squadron, is also a director of Chapter 565, and the chapter’s website manager, Cadet Lt. Col. Mikehla Hicks, is a Charlotte County squadron member preparing to get her pilot certificate and attend the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Kaletta was the one who initially reached out to Smith about CAP using Chapter 565’s facility as part of its support missions.

CAP aircrews have been flying reconnaissance missions since Sept. 12 and will continue to carry out those missions for several more weeks, according to Carlson.

“CAP is responding to requests from federal and state agencies for aerial photography surveys of area affected by Hurricane Irma,” he said. “Once collected, the digital images are uploaded and used by emergency management officials to make decisions for deploying resources.”

The partnership between EAA and CAP is helping save lives in Florida, and Carlson believes it shows how effective the two groups can be when they work in tandem.

“Organizations like EAA and CAP depend on partnerships to serve the local community,” he said. “In this case, the collaboration helps to strengthen both programs. There is much potential for local squadrons and chapters across the country to explore by working together.”

Air Force Assn. Honors Wis. Cadet for Aerospace Education Achievements
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:56:30 -0500

Cadet Capt. Casey Owen of the Wisconsin Wing’s Eau Claire Composite Squadron is the Air Force Association’s Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Cadet of the Year.

Owen, the cadet commander of his squadron, was honored at the AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland.

He helped develop the Eau Claire unit’s balsa wood glider program, which is used to teach the basic principles of flight to cadets, who can adjust the gliders’ weight and balance, center of lift and angle of attack to maximize flight characteristics and glide slope.

He also assists during the squadron’s flight simulator class, not only helping set up beforehand and pack up afterward but also answering his fellow cadets’ questions. In addition, he frequently provides informative presentations on different aspects of aviation and aeronautics, and he assists with the model rocketry program.

Over the last year Owen devoted more than 60 hours to the Science Olympiad program, dedicated to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for K-12 students nationwide. He officiated at the Wisconsin Science Olympiad Regional Middle School Tournament and at the National Science Olympiad Tournament in Menomenee, Wisconsin.

At the Wisconsin Wing Conference in April 2016, Owen and his four-member team from the national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest displayed the device they built for the competition, which launched a foam Goddard Rocket using 15 separate steps. The team finished first, winning a radio-controlled plane kit for the Eau Claire squadron.

The squadron’s assistant aerospace education officer, 2nd Lt. John Kuehn, praised Owen’s role in instructing fellow cadets during an aerospace education session. He cited the cadet’s “excellent knowledge of the subject … reflected in his relaxed and professional manner.”

“He did a great job of establishing a peer-to-peer rapport while maintaining his professional bearing as an instructor,” Kuehn said.

“He asked appropriate questions and gave example problems to the students to validate that his instruction was understood,” he said. “Cadet Owen did an excellent job of instruction in every way!”

Earlier this month Owen was awarded the Frank G. Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award, Cadet Category, at the CAP National Conference in San Antonio. He also recently achieved his private pilot's certificate.

Air Force Celebrates 70th Anniversary With Total Force Partners
Fri, 15 Sep 2017 17:04:23 -0500

As the U.S. Air Force celebrates its 70th anniversary, officials with Civil Air Patrol — the official Air Force auxiliary — are mindful and appreciative of the organization's status as a strategic partner with its parent organization.

A CAP delegation led by new National Commander Maj. Gen. Mark Smith was in Washington, D.C., as part of the Air Force celebration on Thursday at the Pentagon, which included the cutting of a giant cake featuring the Air Force’s 70th anniversary logo.

An Air Force invitation to the celebration was extended to all members of the Total Force — members of the regular Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Air Force retired military and civilian employees, as well as Civil Air Patrol. CAP is the newest member of the Total Force, receiving that designation in 2015 when the Air Force officially named its auxiliary as a strategic partner.

“Inclusion in the Total Force means the Air Force can now consider how to use any mix of these assets to best complete its noncombat missions,” said Smith. ”Being a part of the Total Force affords CAP great respect and entails added responsibilities.

“CAP’s assets and capabilities represent a cost-effective force multiplier for the Air Force,” he added. "As a result, the Air Force often relies on CAP to help train its members.”

CAP’s all volunteer membership consists of 58,000 volunteers — more than 32,000 of whom are involved in operations and over 9,000 who are qualified aircrew members. CAP’s fleet of single-engine planes, one of the largest in the world, provides low-and-slow capabilities for a wide variety of missions, including disaster relief aerial reconnaissance and search and rescue, and some CAP aircraft mimic the Air Force’s MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper -- unmanned planes that are capable of providing real-time training to U.S. service members. In addition, CAP aircraft serve as mock enemy airspace intruders for training that allows military pilots to practice air defense intercepts.

“We are trusted partners and members of the Total Force team,” said Smith. “CAP’s Airmen are professionally trained and stand ready to fill these and other emerging needs of the Air Force.”

Southeast Region Assists With Hurricane Irma Relief Missions Over U.S. Virgin Islands
Thu, 14 Sep 2017 21:00:53 -0500

By 1st Lt. Cynthia Collette and Maj. Larry Stewart

The last of six members of Civil Air Patrol's Southeast Region will return Thursday after assisting the organization's Puerto Rico Wing with Hurricane Irma relief missions over the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"There's massive destruction on St. Thomas and St. John," Maj. Bill Reed of the Gadsden (Alabama) Composite Squadron said of the storm's Category 5 impact on the Caribbean territory last week. "We did a lot of aerial photography over those islands.

"It's just so sad to see what's going on there. The airport and downtown (on St. Thomas) are beat to shreds."

Three of the six came from the Alabama Wing, including Reed, Lt. Col. Harvey Yarborough from the Birmingham Composite Squadron and 1st Lt. Nick Madison of the Tuscaloosa Composite Squadron. They were joined by Lt. Col. Don Hamblin and Maj. Jim Davis of Florida Wing and Maj. Gary Fiser of Tennessee Wing, as well as U.S. Air Force liaison Maj. Pedro Feliciano.

The Southeast Region team augmented work by volunteers in CAP's Puerto Rico Wing, allowing CAP members there to tend to their own homes or other personal responsibilities.

Madison said the Southeast Region team helped continue the aerial photography missions and other duties tasks to the wing by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the 1st Air Force.

"Our main objectives were St. Thomas and St. John, then all of the islands for general damage assessment in a full-grid pattern," he said.

Reed described the Puerto Rico Wing members as "brave, exceptional, capable, dedicated, well-trained folks," who were already at work on initial aerial photography missions when the relief from Southeast Region arrived on the scene.

Fiser said those he encountered in Puerto Rico were very gracious and made the team feel welcome.

“Many of the members had already been tasked with disaster relief and tending the needs of other storm victims" he said. "They really appreciated our efforts there.”

That sentiment was echoed by Col. Barry Melton, the region commander. "It demonstrates the spirit of unity and teamwork that the entire Civil Air Patrol organization embodies," Melton said.

Most of the Southeast Region departed Tuesday via a C-17 provided by the Tennessee Air National Guard, with Hamblin and Davis returning separately Thursday, to get ready for volunteer deployment in Irma impact areas in Florida and Georgia.