by C/Capt Meghan Parsons, Assistant PIO
ARIZ.-Arizona Wing of the Civil Air Patrol stood up an Incident Command Post to assist Luke Air Force Base with their annual 'Luke Days' air show. From 14-16 March, almost 200 cadet and senior members volunteered from across the wing to assist the Air Force with this event.
Luke Days is Luke Air Force Base's Open House and Air Show. Arizona Wing has participated in the Luke Days for many years, however, in 2013, due to budget cuts, Luke Days was cancelled. Luckily, the funding was available this year to support this activity which is a highlight for both CAP members and the general public.
At the air show, there were dozens of aircraft on display including the MC-26-Osprey, A-10 Thunderbolt, F-22,raptor, C130 Hercules, MQ-1B predator, NASA F18 Hornet, and of course CAP's Cessna 182. Aerial shows included the Air Force Thunderbirds and the Air Force Academy's Wings of Blue Parachute team.
"It's great to be able to see all the planes on display." said C/CMSgt Sarah DeWeese, who served as the Bravo Flight Commander. "I really liked seeing the Osprey, F-35 and F-16". There was also a lot of work to be done. The cadets working at the air show served as road guards, parking attendants, picked up Foreign Object Debris (FOD) along the flight line and served as cadet leadership to assist in the smooth running of the official Air Force mission. It was also an excellent opportunity for the cadets to develop their leadership skills. "I'm learning how to take control of my flight as a flight commander, rather than as a flight sergeant." C/CMSgt DeWeese continued.
The Cadet and Senior Members were also given the chance to meet Air Force Thunderbird 6, Capt. Jason Curtis who flies as opposing solo. He spoke with the cadets about pursuing their dreams, and chasing after them. Captain Curtis, a former F-16 instructor pilot and flight commander for the 308th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base has logged more than 1,750 flight hours. It was an honor for the cadets to get the chance to meet with him.
The incident commander for the mission was Lt. Col. Bob Ditch, who was also the incident commander during the very successful CAP/Air Force evaluated mission, earlier in the year. The Cadets were led by C/Capt Jessica Parsons and C/1st Lt Bradley Reithman who served as Cadet Group Commanders, each serving for a day.
Luke Days allowed CAP's Arizona Wing to support their Air Force Counterparts. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this activity such a great success, and kept it running smoothly from beginning to end.