Civil Air Patrol
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AOPA Pilot Article Focuses on CAP Technology Teams

An article appeared recently on the AOPA Pilot website regarding the Civil Air Patrol National Radar Analysis and Cellphone Forensics Teams. The high-tech solutions aided in quickly pinpointing missing aircraft and speeding the rescue of the downed pilots and passengers.

The Cellphone Forensics Team originated in Arizona Wing with members Maj. Jerad Hoff, Maj. Justin Ogden, and Col. Brian Ready. It is just one of several technology tools developed in Arizona Wing to support CAP search and rescue programs.

Read the AOPA article here.


Mass Fly Day at Deer Valley Airport

The Deer Valley Composite Squadron gathered at Phoenix Deer Valley Airport on Saturday, February 25, for a “Mass Fly Day.” In addition to Deer Valley’s airplane, CAP aircraft from Glendale, Prescott, Scottsdale, and Yuma squadrons were on hand to take approximately 20 cadets on orientation flights. While some cadets were airborne, others were honing their skills in a variety of ways: getting signed off to operate CAP radios; learning to marshall airplanes; and searching for an Emergency Locator Transmitter that was hidden somewhere on the airport grounds.

The CAP members started with a safety briefing at 7 a.m. First flights out were at 8:20 a.m. and expected to last about two hours.


Maj Mark Schadt, Deer Valley Composite Squadron 302 Commander, conducts a safety briefing for cadets participating in Mass Fly Day.


Lt Col Paul Gerner teaches the cadets about how to preflight an airplane.

Capt Klara Olcott talks with cadets who are training for aircraft marshalling.

Capt Klara Olcott talks with cadets who are training for aircraft marshalling.


Five Civil Air Patrol planes lined up on the ramp and ready for cadet orientation flights.

2017 Cadet Cadre Selection Exercise Announced

Planning for the 2017 summer encampment is underway. In order to have another successful encampment, outstanding cadets are encouraged to serve on the Cadet Cadre.

Cadets who have successfully completed an encampment and would like to apply for a Cadre position will register for the Cadet Cadre Selection Exercise (CCSE) at this link. Registered applicants should plan on attending the selection exercise on Sunday, March 19, at 1200, at the Arizona Wing facility at 7011 N El Mirage Rd, Glendale, AZ. Read the full article…

Operation Pulse Lift Supports the Red Cross

Give-BloodOperation Pulse Lift 2017, Arizona Wing’s Blood Donation Program, has begun and the Falcon Composite Squadron 305 has set up a donation site for Wednesday, 12 April 2017.  Please email Lt. Col. Bob Ditch to set up an appointment to donate blood. Times for appointments are in 15-minute intervals from 1300 through 1900 (last appointment is at 1900). To get a time that meets your schedule, don’t delay making an appointment. Walk-ins are not accepted as supplies and teams are right-sized for scheduled appointments.

Ditch encouraged other Arizona squadrons to work with the American Red Cross (ARC) to set up blood drives at their squadrons or nearby facilities. Besides being a great community and national service, it is a good way to get non-CAP members to CAP buildings and market the CAP while they are there.  Go to this link to request setting up a donation drive.

If you are interested, or are just interested in getting your squadron members to participate, without setting up a drive on your own, go to this link and look up where a drive in your area is being conducted. Donate, let Lt Col Ditch know of the donation, and your squadron will be credited with the donation as part of Operation Pulse Lift 2017.

For members who already donate through United Blood Services or ARC blood drives at work or school, those donations count toward the total goal for AZ Wing. Please provide info on these donations to Lt. Col. Ditch so they can help the Wing achieve its goal.

The AZ Wing goal this spring is 50 units of blood, with 100 units targeted for the year. “Let’s blow that goal out of the water and help save some lives,” says Ditch.

AFRCC Awards Find for Gila County SAR Mission

Air Force Rescue Coordination Center awarded Civil Air Patrol’s AZ Wing a Find for yesterday’s mission. CAP air and ground teams assisted Gila County Sheriff’s Office by providing communications relay to four members of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team who were cut off by high water in the rugged Verde River canyon and unable to return to their base. A CAP aircraft orbited overhead, while two ground teams were stationed on the peak of Humboldt Mountain, providing active communications support. A Yavapai County Sheriff’s helicopter extracted the SAR team members, who were searching for a missing hiker.

Find ribbons go to:

Aircrew: Maj Russ Miller, mission pilot; Capt Gordon Helm, mission observer

Ground Team 1: Lt. Col. Rob Pinckard, Lt. Col. Jim Oliver, 1st Lt. Colter Lane, C/Capt. Hunter O’Brien

Ground Team 2: Capt. Klara Olcott, 2nd Lt. Ben Hirsch, and C/MSgt Matt Hirsch

Arizona Wing Commander Col. Martha Morris congratulated the team members for a successful mission. “Our air and ground teams were able to establish communications that were critical to the success of this mission,” Morris said.

Sgt. Dennis Newman of the Gila County Sheriff’s Office said, “It was a great relief when we heard the first radio contact between the CAP airplane and our people on the ground. CAP solved a big problem for us, but we still have to go back out tomorrow to continue looking for the missing hiker.”

UPDATE: Feb. 21 — The missing hiker, a 47-year-old engineer with Intel, was found alive on Fossil Creek Road by Gila County Sheriff’s Tonto Rim Search and Rescue Unit.

AZ Wing Supports Gila County Sheriff’s Office SAR


CAP Incident Commander Paul Combellick briefs mission pilot Russ Miller prior to departure.

Arizona Wing is supporting the Gila County Sheriff’s Office in an ongoing mission searching for an overdue hiker in the remote Twin Buttes area near Strawberry. Deer Valley Composite Squadron 302 launched an aircraft to serve as a communications “highbird,” relaying messages between the Sheriff’s Department onsite SAR team (in a deep canyon) and the Sheriff’s Incident Commander. Two AZ Wing ground teams also headed to the peak of Humboldt Mountain to provide additional communications support.

Cadet Officer Training School Announced

Cadet-officer-training-school-logoDue to the number of Officers wishing to staff the Non-Commissioned Officers Academy, an Officer Training School (OTS) will be held concurrently with the NCOA, March 25-26, at the Cochise Composite Squadron at the Sierra Vista Airport. This event is for C/2nd Lt – C/Col or a C/CMSgt (Armstrong Achievement) who has completed the AZWG NCOA.

Highlights of this academy will include how to: fill out and complete SDAs; develop training curriculum for the Squadron; command a Squadron; teach and mentor NCOs; and, plan a Group, Wing or Inter-squadron event. The Academy will build on the Learn to Lead curriculum of Volumes 2, 3 and 4.

To apply please email your full name, CAP grade, T-shirt size and Squadron name to C/Col Jessica Parsons ( The cost of the activity will be $10 and includes meals, lodging and an Academy T-Shirt.

Those Cadets who have inquired about staffing the NCOA and are eligible to attend will be given first priority for this Academy.

The deadline to apply is Sunday, February 25.

AZ Wing Announces Above and Beyond Cadet College Scholarship Winners


Congratulations to Cadet/1st Lt Brookelin J.V. Collins (Prescott Squadron) and Cadet 2nd Lt Reyna Armbrust (Deer Valley Squadron), the first cadets selected for the American Public University (APU)/Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Above & Beyond Cadet (ABC) College Orientation Program. Both cadets will be entering college this semester and attending APU, taking a tuition-free, three-semester-hour course of their choice.

The first-ever, Arizona Wing-hosted, Above & Beyond Cadet (ABC) College Scholarship Program was designed to provide deserving Arizona Wing cadets with the opportunity to take one APU course. APU is a fully accredited university that offers numerous graduate and undergraduate programs/degrees.

The objective of the ABC program is to orient deserving CAP cadets to college academic rigor, study requirements, and assignments, promoting higher education and follow-on attendance in college. A novel program, it is intended to raise the bar of professionalism and academic excellence within CAP and the selected members.


Air Force Magazine Article Highlights Civil Air Patrol Contributions to Total Force

The January 2017AF-mag-cover issue of Air Force Magazine includes an article that outlines the many ways — both traditional and new — that Civil Air Patrol is fulfilling its role as part of the USAF Total Force. The article discusses a number of ways in which CAP contributes including: escorting remotely piloted aircraft; serving as intercept training targets; providing secure, mission-critical tactical command and control communications; photographing disaster areas during recovery operations; and offering STEM-focused aerospace education programs.

Read the article here


January 2017 Issue of the SWR Fly-By Now Available

The latest issue of The Fly-By, Southwest Region’s quarterly electronic newsletter, is now available for download.

In this issue, SWR Commander Col. Mark Smith notes that 2017 has been declared “The Year of the Cadet,” as October 1, 2017, commemorates the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Civil Air Patrol’s cadet program. He also reviews the vision, mission, and priorities set for Southwest Region for the new year.

Arizona Wing news can be found on:

  • Page 17: Wreaths Across America
  • Page 21: Award to Maj. Chris Dusard
  • Page 31: CAP participation in AOPA Fly-In in Prescott
  • Page 48: Change of command at Deer Valley Composite Squadron 302
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