National News

Ill. Squadron's 7th Spaatz Recipient Welcomed by Previous 6
Tue, 08 Jan 2019 15:53:01 -0600

Maj. Greg Hoffeditz
Assistant Public Affairs Officer
Illinois Wing

When Cadet Col. Samuel A. Ward received Civil Air Patrol’s highest cadet honor, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, he was the seventh member of the Illinois Wing’s Scott Composite Squadron to do so in 50 years – and all six of his predecessors were there for the presentation.

Lt. Gen. Jon T. Thomas, Air Mobility Command’s deputy commander, presented Ward with Spaatz award No. 2,198 during a ceremony at Scott Air Force Base. Looking on were:

  • Ernest L. Lockwood, Spaatz No. 76, December 1968;
  • Col. Joe Abegg, No. 399, September 1976;
  • Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Byrd, No. 454, December 1977;
  • Air Force Reserve Senior Master Sgt. Rod Repp, No. 1,246 , April 1995;
  • Air Force Lt. Col. Nicholas Delcour, No. 1,305, August 1996; and
  • Derrek White, No.1,326, May 1997

Each received a personal introduction by the event emcee, Lt. Col. Jacob Hiles, commander of the Scott squadron.

After receiving the Spaatz, Lockwood went on to work with NASA as a flight control specialist at Johnson Space Center in Houston and as a satellite engineer at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Upon retirement, he became the director of aviation at Southwestern Illinois College. At 18, he was certified as a cadet flight instructor in CAP.


Abegg is commander of CAP’s New Jersey Wing and has been a member of the organization for 44 years. He has served as national director of emergency services and as the Northeast Region’s deputy chief of staff for operations. A retired Air Force Reserves C-141 pilot, he is a captain with United Airlines.

As a cadet, Byrd trained at Hawk Mountain, visited Sweden as part of the International Air Cadet Exchange and commanded 100 participants at a summer encampment. He retired after 30 years as a Security Forces officer and is a reserve deputy sheriff in Washington state. Byrd traveled the farthest to be part of the Spaatz gathering.

Repp is the specialist section chief for the 932nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Scott AFB. He also serves as the 932nd Maintenance Group’s Wing Inspection Team chief. In the civilian sector, he is the lead information technology systems specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Technology Center in St. Louis.

Delcour is the deputy director of command and control in the 618th Air Operations Center at Scott, where he assists the director in executing worldwide Mobility Air Forces tanker and airlift missions. He has 4,750 flight hours in the E-11A, C-17A, C-5A/B/C T-1, and T-37, of which 1,600 were combat hours.

Delcour was also instrumental in recruiting the next Spaatz recipient to the unit. White is a Department of Defense civilian contractor working at the Air Force Network Interoperabilty Center at Scott as an airborne network engineer.

Only one-half of 1 percent of CAP cadets achieve the Spaatz award. Doing so requires completing a rigorous four-part exam consisting of a challenging physical fitness test, an essay exam testing moral reasoning and comprehensive written exams on leadership and on aerospace education.

Ward is attending the Marion Military Institute in Alabama and has a provisional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He is a distinguished graduate of CAP’s Cadet Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

“It was pretty incredible to be part of someone else’s celebration of such a noteworthy accomplishment,” Delcour said afterward.

“To have all seven of us present at once could very well be the first of its kind — a rarity so special that may never be seen again—and so phenomenal; I couldn’t be more proud to be part of it and relive some of my own accomplishments with old and new friends in the great Civil Air Patrol!” he said.

One of the old friends he referred to was Chris Jeter, who drove some 800 miles from Abilene, Texas, for the event. As a senior cadet, Jeter was a powerful influence on Repp, Delcour and White during their early years in CAP.

“It was incredible and emotional for us prior Spaatz recipients to all get together and for us to see how getting our Spaatz awards jumpstarted us all to very successful careers,” Abegg said. “The self-discipline, the dedication, the service before self and drive for excellence obviously built a strong foundation in us that propelled us for future success.”

“It was also a great inspiration and booster shot for our current cadets to see the follow-on rewards of hard work now,” he added. “So many of our nation's youth don't seem to get that. The core values that CAP instills in our cadets pays great dividends for their future and the future of America.”

CAP’s command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Robert Dandridge, an avid cadet program supporter and leader, also attended the ceremony. “For me, seeing seven Spaatz award certificates side by side on seven easels was very impressive and motivating for the many cadets looking on,” Dandridge said. “Let us – together – help prepare and mentor the next Spaatz award cadets in their journey.”

Photos by Maj. Greg Hoffeditz

Photos by Maj. Greg Hoffeditz

CAP's Lester Wolff Celebrates 100th Birthday
Fri, 04 Jan 2019 12:10:46 -0600

Civil Air Patrol Col. Lester L. Wolff, U.S. representative from New York from 1965-1981, turns 100 years old today.

Four years ago, Wolff (second from left in the graphic photo below) was selected to receive the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of CAP members -- like him -- who served on the home front during World War II. In addition to his service during the war, Wolff made many contributions to CAP in his lifetime, including legislation that led to full congressional funding for the organization. 

CAP National Headquarters joins with members of the Congressional Squadron (which he co-founded), as well as Wolff’s former constituents in New York, in thanking him for his service and wishing him a happy 100th birthday.




 Wing News

Va. Wing Announces $10,500 in Scholarships for 17 Cadets
Wed, 09 Jan 2019 17:03:33 -0600

Capt. Jacob Bixler
Director of Cadet Programs
Virginia Wing 

The Virginia Wing has aannounced $10,500 in scholarships awarded to support the advancement of pilot training and career exploration for 17 Civil Air Patrol cadets from 10 squadrons throughout the state. Funding for the scholarships was provided by the state and a private donor.

Three cadets were selected to receive $2,000 flight scholarships each toward pursuit of a solo endorsement or private pilot’s certificate.

Cadet Lt. Col. Julie Demyanovich of the Prince William Composite Squadron will use the money to continue training with American Aviation in pursuit of her private pilot’s certificate. She also plans to obtain her instrument rating and work on totaling enough hours to be an orientation flight pilot for CAP.

Cadet 2nd Lt. Joan Gibson of the Burke Composite Squadron will continue her flight training at Aviation Adventures flight school in Manassas. She projects to complete minimum private pilot hours by June.

Cadet 2nd Lt. Maggie Morrison of the Southside Composite Squadron will use the pursue flight training with CAP out of Hanover County Municipal Airport. She looks forward to taking her check ride after she turns 17.

Four cadets were selected to receive $250 scholarships toward their first hour of flight instruction:

  • · Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Ethan Large, Tidewater Composite Squadron;
  • · Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Ralph Morrison, Southside Composite Squadron;
  • · Cadet Senior Airman Joshua Luvera, Fredericksburg Composite Squadron; and
  • · Cadet Airman Kyrieanne Pardue, Winchester Composite Squadron.

The four scholarships were awarded through a private donor who wanted to honor the memory of  James E. Feir, a professor emeritus of civil engineering at George Washington University, by introducing youth to the joy of flying.

These four cadets were selected to receive $500 scholarships to be applied toward their participation in a CAP National Special Cadet Activity, contingent on receiving a slot in the activity:

  • · Cadet Lt. Col. John Sharp, Lynchburg Composite Squadron – International Air Cadet Exchange;
  • · Cadet Capt. Deannah Bennett, Lynchburg Composite Squadron – National Flight Academy;
  • · Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Ranger Matthew, Hanover Composite Squadron – for National Blue Beret; and
  • · Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Regan Smith, Leesburg Composite Squadron – National Flight Academy.

These cadets were selected to receive $250 scholarships to be applied toward a CAP National Special Cadet Activity, contingent on receiving a slot in the activity:

  • · Cadet 1st Lt. Andrew Bennett, Fredericksburg Composite Squadron ­– Pararescue and Survival Orientation Course;
  • · Cadet 1st Lt. Seth Wassenberg, Hanover Composite Squadron – National Blue Beret;
  • · Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Elijah Fassero, Lynchburg Composite Squadron – National Blue Beret;
  • · Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Lucas Zarling, Prince William Composite Squadron – Engineering Technologies Academy;
  •   Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Noah Lankford, Roanoke Composite Squadron –  National Flight Academy; and
  • · Cadet Master Sgt. Michael Kricheldorf, Lynchburg Composite Squadron – Hawk Mountain Ranger School.


Cell Phone Team Info Leads to Rescue of 5 in Nevada
Fri, 21 Dec 2018 15:13:40 -0600

Capt. Margot Myers
Public Affairs Officer
Arizona Wing

Information from the Civil Air Patrol National Cell Phone Forensics Team helped the Lander County Sheriff’s Office rescue five missing individuals in sub-freezing temperatures in north central Nevada in early Dec. 10.

Three adults and two children, 5 and 6, had set off Dec. 9 for a day trip in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Mechanical issue with the vehicle left them stranded, and they called the sheriff’s office to say they were lost and were going in search of firewood.

The sheriff's office search and rescue team was alerted at 6:45 p.m. local time and headed into the field 45 minutes later. After several hours they had not found the missing people.

A volunteer on the ground team had heard about the CAP cell phone team during a training class a couple of years earlier, though the county had never before requested help from the CAP team.

The sheriff’s office requested assistance through the Nevada Division of Emergency Management about 1:30 a.m., and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center alerted the cell phone team's Maj. Justin Ogden at 2 a.m.

By 3:30 a.m. Ogden provided  information on the most likely area to search, and the ground team found the family just 30 minutes later.

The family had stayed with its disabled vehicle and managed to light a fire as temperatures dropped to the lower 20s. A fire normally is a good signal for ground teams, but one of the team's volunteers said that they would not have been able to see the fire from any of the areas they would have driven or hiked during their search.

The ground team had already searched in the general area where the family was eventually found, but the cell phone data analysis sent them back to that location. A combination of the ground team’s use of Virtual Search Planning techniques and Ogden's information led to the family’s rescue. The ground team reported that the five people were cold and scared but “unscathed.”



ACE Program Celebrates Start of New Year with ‘Lift-Off’ at Va. School
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 15:18:10 -0600

Civil Air Patrol’s Aerospace Connections in Education (ACE) program for grades K-6 has lifted off for 2019.

Conducted at the Hillsboro Charter Academy in Hillsboro, Virginia, the annual lift-off event turned into a mini-airshow for the students and guests in attendance. Hillsboro Charter Academy was selected as the site for this year’s liftoff after being named the 2018 National CAP ACE School of the Year.

“The passion for aeronautics and the CAP programs is pervasive among our staff, parents and students,” Principal Mark Wertheimer said. “We were thrilled to be recognized as the top 2018 CAP ACE school from all of the 210 schools nationwide.”

Located just steps from the historical marker commemorating the 1831 birthplace of the aviation pioneer Wright brothers’ mother, Susan Koerner Wright, the academy is grooming a new generation of aerospace groundbreakers. The ACE Lift-off event marked recognition for the public school’s innovative STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculum and project-based approach to learning.

The school’s STEAM coordinator, Megan Tucker, was praised for her work as the school’s ACE coordinator. “The work of Mrs. Tucker to lead this school to implement CAP’s ACE and STEM Kit programs has been amazing in past years, and was magnified during the ACE Lift-off event,” said Susan Mallett, CAP National Headquarters education outreach manager. “The involvement of the community has been a tremendous initiative that is paying large dividends for the students.”

Since the school’s inception in 2016, HCA has implemented the ACE program, has integrated aerospace education into the K-5 school’s overall STEAM project-based learning approach and has received frequent visits by both CAP and Air Force Association members. Both CAP and AFA leaders attended the lift-off event to further cement the two organizations’ national STEM education alliance.

Robert Corsi, a member of CAP’s Board of Governors, and Jim Hannam, AFA’s vice chairman of the board/aerospace education, both spoke to the students about their award and the character traits needed to continue to soar in STEM areas, today and in the future.

“This award validates all of the dedication and hard work that has taken place since our public charter opened its doors in 2016,” Tucker said. “The staff and scholars have been exploring, engaging and engineering, not just in aerospace, but in all facets of their day-to-day learning.

“I learned early in my teaching career that if scholars are motivated, they will strive to master any curriculum. The CAP ACE program is rooted in academics through the lens of aerospace — and aviation is the perfect spark to ignite a passion for STEAM,” he said.

Students and teachers flooded the school grounds wearing purple ACE shirts, sponsored by CAP and the AFA. All eyes were on the sky as the program began.

They saw many high-flying aerospace acts, which presented stimulating surprises for the students. The Leesburg Composite Squadron’s cadet color guard posted the colors, and a young student sang the national anthem to start the day’s event. Next, a helicopter landed, allowing the entrance of the CAP ACE mascots – CAPPY the eagle, and Air Bear, along with the Hillsboro mascot, Percy the owl.

The event featured multiple aerial flyovers, including a CAP airplane with the school’s principal in the air talking via radio to the students on the ground. Drone demonstrations flown by professionals and students also excited the children, as did the formation flyover of two Piper Cubs.

Students experienced the burner ignition in a hot air balloon’s basket, as well as the opportunity to go inside the inflated balloon. When the helicopter lifted off for departure, the students also lifted off their individual rotorcraft to officially lift off the 2019 ACE program.

Pilots for the program included CAP’s Lt. Col. Peter Hantelman, flying the principal in a CAP Teacher Orientation Program (TOP) flight (with Lt. Col. Josh Shields serving as ground team and radio communications coordinator); pilot Gary Sgarella, who flew both the helicopter and one of the Piper Cubs; the other Piper Cub pilot, Kirk Wicker; drone pilot Troy Hendrickson; and hot air balloon pilot Amy Goodyear.

The students presented aerospace-themed songs/dance and a rollout of class mission patches for their many guests, which included Corsi and Hannam, Mallett and Sue Mercer from the National Headquarters team, John Swain and Kimberly Frady from CAP’s national congressional team, State Sen. Dick Black, Hillsboro Mayor Roger Vance, Loudoun County Public Schools board member Eric Hornberger and HCA Board of Directors President Ben Lenhart.

There was also a special guest keynote speaker at the school’s morning event – retired U.S. Air Force Col. Mark Hyatt, who spoke about character and integrity. A former fighter pilot who served as adviser to the secretary of defense, Hyatt president of Crosscloud Consulting and founder of the Wings Aerospace Academy charter school program. 

After the morning’s event, HCA students rotated through six different stations based on CAP’s aerospace/STEM programs. Examples of STEM rotations included Spheros, Beebots, Weather (with a meteorologist and green screen), K’Nex Aero Design Challenge, Flight Simulators (full size and remote controlled) and iFLY Loudoun’s Virtual Reality.

Recognized as leaders in education innovation within the Loudoun County Public Schools, the HCA faculty facilitated a CAP ACE/STEM Kits session at last spring’s full-day professional development teacher workshop. “We are hopeful we can encourage more LCPS teachers to become inspired to participate the ACE program in the future,” Tucker said.

Alaska Wing Launches Photo Mission Flights After Quake
Fri, 30 Nov 2018 17:46:51 -0600

2nd Lt. Jacob Baugh
Assistant Public Affairs Officer
Alaska Wing

The Alaska Wing has launched three Civil Air Patrol Cessnas to photograph areas affected by the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that rocked Anchorage and surrounding areas earlier today.

The Alaska Joint Rescue Coordination Center activated the wing to assist in locating individuals in distress and to identify potential areas of focus for response by ground search and rescue teams.

The CAP planes’ aircrews are equipped with digital photographic equipment. The images they capture can be uploaded to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.