Civil Air Patrol
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CAP wrapping up Maria mission

CAP National Headquarters issued the following news release on October 13, 2017:

Twenty-two days into the massive federal response to Hurricane Maria, Civil Air Patrol is beginning to ramp down its air operations in Puerto Rico and the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands. CAP has been supporting flying operations for the full-scale disaster relief mission in Puerto Rico since Sept. 22, two days after Maria made landfall on the Caribbean island.

“We’re starting to wrap up our current mission in Puerto Rico,” said John Desmarais, CAP’s director of operations. Nearly 250 members from the Puerto Rico Wing and 20 other CAP wings and regions across the U.S. have been involved in the mission, providing local first responders, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other U.S. government agencies with aerial photography to document damage on the islands.


CAP aircraft from the mainland are expected to return home this weekend, but flights are expected to continue through the early part of next week — likely supported by Puerto Rico Wing planes and aircrews with minimal augmentation by mainland crews.

Read the full article…

AZ Wing Crew/Plane Head to Texas

Will support aerial photography mission in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey

Aircrew members (l.-r.) 1st Lt Aaron Feller, 2nd Lt Brad Curcio and Lt Col Chris Erdos left Falcon Field in Mesa early on Sept. 6.

A Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182 with a crew of three Arizona-based members aboard left for San Marcos Regional Airport in Texas early Wednesday morning to support the CAP’s aerial photography mission in areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

The crew consists of Lt. Col. Christopher A. Erdos, CAP, the mission pilot, who flies with the William Rogers Memorial Senior Squadron 104 in Tucson; 2nd Lt. Bradley A. Curcio, CAP, the mission observer, a member of Willie Composite Squadron 304 in Mesa/Chandler; and mission scanner/aerial photographer 1st Lt. Aaron R. Feller, CAP, a member of Scottsdale Senior Squadron 314.

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Search & Rescue Saves Surpass Century Mark for Fiscal 2017

Cell Phone Forensics Team Credited; Desmarais, Operations Director: ‘Technology is the Key’

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 cellphone team works with ground search and rescue teams to narrow search areas by using data obtained from cellphones to focus on specific locations.

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Two AZ Wing Cadets Chosen to Represent American Youth Leaders in New Zealand and South Korea

Cadet Maj. Jacob Little (l.) and Cadet Lt. Col. Cameron Roach were selected to participate in the 2017 IACE program.

Two Arizona Wing cadets were selected to participate in the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE), which represents the United States to citizens of countries all over the world. Cadet Maj. Jacob Little is visiting New Zealand and Cadet Lt. Col. Cameron Roach is visiting South Korea this month to work with other teenagers from more than 19 countries, learning about them and sharing their mutual love for aviation and youth leadership.

Cadets Little and Roach are two of only 36 people in the country to be selected for this year’s exchange. Lt Col. Peggy Myrick is the director of the Exchange in America. “It’s very competitive,” said Myrick, “and being selected means showing a maturity far beyond one’s age and being a true leader in their community.” Applicants must have earned the Amelia Earhart Award in the CAP cadet program, which fewer than 5 percent of all cadets achieve.

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Dedication and Professionalism of AZ Wing Members Recognized

I am pleased to announce the 2017 Arizona Wing Award Winners. These individuals have served AZWG and CAP with dedication and professionalism, performing well above the standard requirements and expectations of our organization. These awards were presented at the Arizona Wing Conference in Flagstaff, 2-3 June 2017.


Aerospace Education Officer of the Year – 2d Lt Kevin Hopwood
Cadet of the Year- C/Lt Col Katherine Hamiel
Cadet NCO Of the Year – C/SMSgt Deon Kathleen Bryant
Cadet Programs Officer of the Year – 2d Lt Amber O’Donnell
Communications Officer of the Year – Lt Col Daniel Riley
Drug Demand Reduction Officer of the Year – Capt Jean-Marie Nixon
Emergency Services Officer of the Year – Maj Paul Combellick
Finance Officer of the Year – Capt Brian Tucek
Maintenance Officer of the Year – Lt Col James Fendley
Operations Officer of the Year – Maj David Roden
Property Management Officer of the Year – Capt Michael Miller
Senior Member of the Year – 1st Lt Mari Lynn Hamiel
Squadron of the Year- Verde Valley Composite Squadron 205
Squadron Commander of the Year – Maj Albert Barker
Supply Officer of the Year – Capt Vanessa Urbana

*All ”Of the Year” award recipients also received a Commander’s Commendation.

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AZ Wing supports Precautionary SAR on Colorado River

AZ Wing CAP members were eyes in the skies and on the ground for a three-day precautionary SAR mission along the Colorado River during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Based out of the Lake Havasu airport and a Mohave Sheriff’s Department joint operations center, ground teams (including K-9s and their handlers) and flight crews worked with local, state, and federal agencies to ensure a safe holiday weekend for people celebrating on the river. It was also a chance to work with the new DAART (Domestic Operation Assessment & Awareness Response Tool), which is designed to provide simultaneous sharing of full-motion video, imagery and situational awareness information to Incident Management teams.

Three Arizona Wing members complete National Staff College at Maxwell AFB

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – From May 21 to 28, 86 of Civil Air Patrol’s rising leaders gathered in Alabama for a weeklong activity to sharpen their skills for executive-level success in CAP. National Staff College, coordinated out of CAP National Headquarters at Maxwell AFB, is an annual professional development opportunity instrumental in CAP’s success as a premier public service organization in America and as the U.S. Air Force auxiliary.

The college is designed for Civil Air Patrol senior members who are, or will be, assuming leadership positions at the wing, regional or national levels within CAP.

Three AZ Wing members are graduates of National Staff College 2017 including (left-right) Lt. Cols. Rob Pinckard, Linda Yaeger and A.C. Sperling. At right, Lt. Col. Les Manser, Deputy CAP IG for Training, Education and Staff Development.

From Arizona Wing Headquarters, Lt. Cols. Rob Pinckard, Chief of Staff and Linda Yaeger, Executive Officer completed NSC. Tucson Composite Squadron 105 Commander Lt. Col. A.C. Sperling also is a member of the 2017 NSC class.

“National Staff College helps our adult officers build their professional development portfolios and enhance their leadership experience,” said CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez. “Their week at Maxwell will help them become better leaders in CAP and in their communities.”

The curriculum included seminar discussions, case studies and exercises, along with presentations by top officials inside and outside the organization. Participants in the seven-day course concentrate on executive leadership, management, organizational behavior and policy formulation while examining CAP’s national-level operations in great detail.

The benefits extend beyond Civil Air Patrol. The leadership, communication and executive management skills, made available through the course at a fraction of what such classes would cost at various schools and universities, are in high demand by employers in all industries.

The training at National Staff College is a requirement for earning the Gill Robb Wilson Award, CAP’s highest professional development achievement. Because of the course’s graduate-level design and its focus on national-level operations, participation is usually restricted to members who hold the CAP grade of major or above and chief and senior master sergeants who have completed CAP’s Region Staff College or its equivalent and have received their wing commander’s endorsement.

Amateur Radio Technician Course Offered at Sq. 305

The Falcon Composite Squadron 305 will be hosting an Amateur Radio Technician License Course for CAP members interested in testing for their HAM Radio Technician’s License. All Cadets and Seniors are welcomed to participate. Please go to eWing on this website to sign up. Registration will be open until 2 June 2017. Maj. Ruben Kafenbaum will be instructing the course and providing all materials electronically.


  • Where: Falcon Composite Squadron 305 Building/Classroom
  • When: Thursday Nights, from 8 June to 29 June 2015, at 1900-2100
  • Cost: None
  • Sign-up: Go to eWing – Activity Interest Reporting System on Arizona Wing Web page at
  • Contact Falcon Squadron 305 commander Lt. Col. Bob Ditch ( if you have any questions.  More information will be posted before the course begins.

    New Air Force Secretary’s Aviation Roots Run Deep

    Wilson Family’s Flying Legacy Dates Back to World War I
    By Steve Cox, NHQ Public Affairs

    Dr. Heather A. Wilson, confirmed recently as the 24th secretary of the U.S. Air Force, has a very special connection to Civil Air Patrol.

    Her beloved grandfather, George G. “Scotty” Wilson, was among the original members of CAP, joining the New Hampshire Wing during the earliest days of World War II and later serving as one of the first commanders of the wing.

    Scotty Wilson’s influence on Wilson is undeniable.

    “He certainly told a lot of flying stories,” said Wilson, recalling her grandfather’s tales of being a barnstorming pilot in New England in the 1920s and 1930s and towing targets for Civil Air Patrol in the 1940s.

    “He and I were always pretty close,” she said. “I felt he had a sweet spot for me.”

    Read the full article here.

    Operation Pulse Lift Provides Much-Needed Blood Donations

    On April 12, CAP members arrived to give blood at Falcon Composite Squadron 305 as part of the Operation Pulse Lift blood donation mission. A total of 30 units of blood were collected.

    Five other members around the state reported that they have given blood at their local donation centers in the last week, bringing the current total blood donation from the Wing to 35 units. These donations essentially give the Wing six potential saves over the next couple of weeks as the blood is used to help accident victims and others in desperate need of donated blood.

    Phase II of Operation Pulse Lift is scheduled for August 11, 2017, at Falcon Field.  The longer-term plan is to hold a third blood donation event on Saturday, December 2, 2017, as a part of the Spirit of 76 – 76th Anniversary/Birthday Party at Falcon Field.

    The American Red Cross workers were extremely pleased with the Falcon Squadron capabilities and support, saying that it is a perfect blood drawing center. As a result, it has been now listed as an Emergency Blood Drawing Center for them. Should there be an unannounced call-out for blood (for example, in a distant emergency in the state or if another donation center has to cancel at the last minute), the Red Cross will call on CAP to back them up by providing a location for an Emergency Blood Draw.

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