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Wingtips News and Photos

Civil Air Patrol supports homeland security air-defense operations

TUCSON, Ariz. – Members of the Arizona Wing are scheduled to take to the skies today, 10 days before Super Bowl XLIX, as part of a Continental U.S. region of NORAD air-defense exercise preparing fighters to protect the airspace around Phoenix’s University of Phoenix Stadium, site of the football championship game. 

The air-defense exercise is set for this morning, terminating around 1:30 p.m., to allow inter-agency partners to practice airspace violation procedures. The exercise consists of a series of training flights conducted in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, Customs and Border Protection and CONR’s Western Air Defense Sector, along with the Civil Air Patrol. 

Three Civil Air Patrol aircrews will be involved, with two planes serving as intercept target aircraft for an F-16 fighter from the 162nd Fighter Wing, based at Tucson International Airport. Another plane will fly “high bird,” handling communications from the ground and other aircraft. 

The Arizona CAP aircrew is trained to simulate either threat or duress flights that inadvertently or purposely enter into restricted airspace, warranting the scramble of, and resultant intercept by, the U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft.

First Air Force/CONR officials have conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


Southwest Region Newsletter January, 2015

The January, 2015 issue of Southwest Region The Fly-By is posted at


National Commander's Update 2015

As we begin a new year, I would like to reflect on the year just completed and the year ahead. In particular, the past few months have seen some historic developments.
The most important event was undoubtedly the award of the Congressional Gold Medal to CAP and its World War II members. We had all four leaders of Congress present at the ceremony, which I’ve been told was the first time that has happened at a Gold Medal ceremony since the 1960s. This was quite a tribute to Civil Air Patrol and demonstrates the level of support we enjoy in Congress due to the efforts of our 52 Wing Commanders.  
But what was the most memorable part of the Congressional Gold Medal event was not the actual ceremony at the Capitol but the dinner that followed, where I presented the medal to the WWII CAP veterans and families of veterans present. The stories those veterans told were heartfelt and moving and demonstrated how CAP contributed to the American war effort during the difficult early years. It made all of us in the room proud to be members of CAP and of the legacy of service to America we inherited from our founding members.
2014 also saw the opening of many new initiatives and the expansion of CAP’s connection to the U.S. Air Force and other agencies. I was privileged to sign a new memorandum of understanding with the American Red Cross, and I recently met with the administrator of FEMA to discuss CAP’s growing relationship with that agency. I also met with the president of AOPA just last month to see where CAP (as one of the largest operators of single engine airplanes in the U.S.) can assist with aviation safety and other general aviation initiatives.  
Many exciting opportunities have been explored and will be followed up on in 2015. CAP is well positioned, as a low-cost provider of aircraft reconnaissance, to expand into new missions, becoming a recognized component of the Total Air Force (Active Duty, Reserve, Guard and Auxiliary).
For 2015, I look forward to not only new mission development but also continued success in developing our members. Gen. Larry Myrick, Col. Larry Ragland and I will travel as much as possible to visit CAP members throughout the U.S. Last year I was privileged to attend conferences or events hosted by 16 different wing or region headquarters, and I will look to continuing that schedule this year.  It is important to keep in contact with CAP throughout the country, and I look forward to meeting members in as many different places as possible.  
Thank you for your support of CAP last year and your continued support of our great corporation this year!

Joseph R. Vazquez 


Congressional Gold Medal honors Civil Air Patrol's World War II Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Forty-six founding Civil Air Patrol members were present today to see the organization honored with the Congressional Gold Medal for the service they and more than 200,000 other CAP volunteers provided during World War II, when they helped proect U.S. shipping against German U-boat attacks and carried out other vital wartime domestic missions.

Speaker of the House John Boehner presented the medal to CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez and former U.S. Rep. Lester Wolff, who served in CAP’s New York Wing during the war, in a 40-minute ceremony that began at 3 p.m. Eastern time in Emancipation Hall at the Capitol.

Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas all spoke before the presentation, describing CAP members’ acts of selfless service in volunteering to help protect the homefront during the war.

The CAP members being honored “were just private citizens who wanted to lend a hand. They also lent their planes, their two-way radios and their replacement parts,” Boehner said.

“They weren’t pressed into serving – the government was pressed into letting them serve.”

“World War II could have turned out a lot differently if not for the men and women of the Civil Air Patrol,” McConnell told the gathering.

“Today’s gold medal may be overdue, but it’s well-deserved. It’s the highest civilian honor we can bestow, and we’re proud to bestow it.”

Reid acknowledged the service of the World War II members present while also praising those no longer alive to see their service recognized. “Their acts of heroism and bravery will never be forgotten,” he said.

Wolff described the full scope of CAP’s wartime service, telling his audience that the Coastal Patrol mission “began in the dark days following Pearl Harbor, when submarines were sinking oil tankers within sight of East Coast cities.”

“For 18 months we patrolled the Atlantic and Gulf coasts hunting submarines, escorting thousands of ships and searching for attack survivors,” he said.

Coastal Patrol pilots flew 24 million miles through August 1943 over the Atlantic and Gulf coasts in order to ward off German U-boat attacks against U.S. shipping – especially domestic oil tankers bound for Europe to help fuel the military machine. They did so at the request of the U.S. Petroleum Industry War Council, because the U.S. Navy lacked the resources to guard against the submarine attacks and provide escorts for commercial convoys.

Flying out of 21 bases located along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Maine to the southern tip of Texas, Coastal Patrol pilots spotted 173 U-boats and attacked 57. They also escorted more than 5,600 convoys and reported 17 floating mines, 36 bodies, 91 ships in distress and 363 survivors in the water.

Elsewhere, CAP members patrolled the country’s southern border by air, vigilant for potential saboteurs. Others towed targets for military trainees, watched for forest fires, conducted search and rescue missions, provided disaster relief and emergency transport of people and parts and conducted orientation flights for future pilots.

In all, 65 CAP members lost their lives in the line of duty by the end of the war, including 26 Coastal Patrol participants.

“Every one of those lives was given to defend this nation,” Wolff said. “We accept this award particularly for those who did not come home.”

In introducing Wolff, Vazquez referred to the World War II members as “brave and heroic citizen volunteers from America’s greatest generation. They served valiantly on the home front and along the coasts, helping to save lives and preserve our nation’s freedom.”

Along with the 46 members present, more than 50 other pioneering CAP members were represented by family members attending the ceremony.

The gold medal will be placed on permanent display in the Smithsonian Institution. Three-inch bronze replicas will be presented to the veterans and families tonight at a celebratory dinner sponsored by CITGO at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, where bronze replica medals will be presented to the World War II-era CAP members courtesy of the oil giant. Sunoco and Sunoco Logistic are also major sponsors of the events.

In addition to the bronze replicas being distributed tonight, World War II members and families unable to attend today’s events will be presented with replicas of their own in local ceremonies later. Anyone wishing to buy a replica will be able to do so by ordering through the U.S. Mint starting Thursday.

The story of CAP's World War II service and its members' wartime experiences can be found on the organization's Congressional Gold Medal website.


Arizona Wing Year End Awards Due by January 15, 2015

To All Arizona Wing Members:
Recognizing our outstanding Civil Air Patrol members should be a continual process, however some awards are tied to a calendar year, thus as we begin to close out 2014, we should stop and consider those who have truly performed a great service and nominate them for awards and recognitions.   For official regulations regarding the processing and approvals of CAP awards, please consult the CAP Regulation at the end of each award listed.
 1.  ALL awards will be submitted to Your Commander for signature, as normal.
2.  Commanders will then submit Awards to the AZWG Personnel Officer, 1st Lt Jan Parsons: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .     The CAPF 120’s will be logged by AZWG Personnel Officer.  Awards MUST be submitted on, or before, January 15, 2015.
3. By January 16, 2015, the Awards will be logged and sent to their respective Sector Commanders. The Sector Commanders will select ONE Award in each category, and then send back to the AZWG Personnel Officer. They will be logged again. The Sector Commanders will have until January 25, 2015 to send back to AZWG Personnel Officer.
Example: If the Sector Commander receives 4 awards for the same “of the year” award, they will select one and send that one award in that “category” to AZWG Personnel Officer.
4. The AZWG Personnel Officer will then send the awards to the AZWG Awards Committee on or before January 26, 2015.
 Category Annual National Level Awards. The following awards/nominations must be received by AZWG Personnel Officer by January 15, 2015 at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .    
1.   Major General Jeanne M. Holm Award (CAPR 280-2, para 5b) & (CAPR 39-3, para 29)
2.   Frank G. Brewer –Civil Air Patrol Memorial Aerospace Award, this can be for   Cadet/Senior/Individual/Organization/ Lifetime Achievement (CAPR 280-2, para 5b)
3.   Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Teacher of the Year Award (CAPR 280-2, para 5b) & (CAPR 39-3, para 28)(AFA)
4.   Air Force Association Award to Outstanding CAP Cadet Noncommissioned Officer of the Year (CAPR 39-3, para 35)
5.   (AFSA) Air Force Sergeants Association Outstanding National Cadet NCO of the Year(CAPR 39-3, para 35)
6.   (AFSA) Air Force Sergeants Association Award to Outstanding Squadron Cadet Noncommissioned Officer of the Year (CAPR 39-3, para 43)
7.   American Legion Award to Outstanding CAP Squadrons (CAPR 39-3, para 41) (Wing)
8.   CAP Honor Roll at the USAF Academy (CAPR39-3, para 36)
9.   CAP Squadron of Distinction Program (Region and Wing) (CAPR 39-3, para 38)
10. Col Dion E. DeCamp Ground Team of the Year Award (CAP39-3, para 27)
11. Col Robert “Bud” Payton Public Affairs Officer of the Year (CAPR 190-1, para 14a)
12. Communicator of the Year (Unit, Wing, Region) (CAPR 100-1, para 4-8)
13. Drug Demand Reduction Member of the Year Award (CAPR 39-3, para 33)
14. George Texido Legislative Officer of the Year Award (Wing) (CAPR 39-3, para 30)
15. Norm Edwards Counter Drug Officer of the Year Award (CAPR 39-3, para 31)
16. Senior Member of the Year Award (CAPR 39-3, para 23)
17. Squadron of Merit (CAPR 39-3, para 39)
18. Cadet of the Year (CAPR 39-3, para 24)
19. CDI of the Year (CAP 265-1, para 11c) 
20. Chaplain of the Year (CAPR 265-1, para 11b) 
 Category Arizona Wing Annual Position “of the Year” Awards - These awards are Arizona Wing Level Awards, thus do not have to comply with required criteria as defined by CAP regulations in 39-3.   Please submit a CAPF120 to the AZWG Personnel Officer by January 15, 2015 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .      
1.   New Member (less than 1.5 years service)
2.   Senior Member
3.   Cadet Officer & NCO
4.   Aerospace Officer
5.   Cadet Programs Officer
6.   Drug Demand Reduction Officer
7.   Operations Officer 
8.   Maintenance Officer
9.   Emergency Services Officer
10. Communications Officer
11. Chaplain
12. Finance Officer
13. Administration Officer
15. Personnel Officer
16. Professional Development Officer
17. Public Affairs Officer
18. Logistics Officer
19. Supply Officer
20. Transportation Officer
20. Safety Officer
21. Commander
22. Pilot
23. Observer

24. Ground Team Leader

25. Ground Team Member
The following  Non-Category Awards are not limited to category selection. Sector Commanders may select as many of these Awards as they deem deserving. These awards can be awarded to Cadets, or Seniors, if deserving and qualify.
As always, Certificates of Appreciation can be awarded and presented by Squadron Commanders.  These can be awarded and recorded at the local unit level.   
The Achievement Award (Ribbon) (CAPR 39-3, para 9g) is recognition for outstanding service to the unit, group, or wing.  Submit this award to the AZWG Personnel Officer by January 15, 2015 at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .     These awards will be approved by the Sector Commanders and sent back to AZWG Personnel Officer by January  25, 2015.

The Commander Commendation (Ribbon)(CAPF 39-3, para 9f) is awarded for outstanding duty performance where achievements and services are clearly and unmistakably exceptional when compared to similar achievements and service of members of like rank and responsibility.  This is approved by the Wing Commander.   Complete a CAPF120 and submit to the AZWG Personnel Officer by January 15, 2015 at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .    

 The Meritorious Service Award  (Ribbon) is awarded for outstanding achievement or meritorious service rendered specifically on behalf of CAP.  See CAPR 39-3, 9e) for additional details.  Complete a CAPF120 and submit to the AZWG Personnel Officer by January 15, 2015 at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .    

The Exceptional Service Award (Ribbon) is awarded for exceptionally outstanding service to CAP in a duty of great responsibility while serving in any capacity with CAP.  See CAPR 39-3, 9d) for additional details. Complete a CAPF120 and submit to the  AZWG Personnel Officer by January 15, 2015 at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .    

Due to the many locations of reference for these awards, some awards may have been accidentally omitted.  If one is missing, please contact AZWG DP at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and submit a CAPF120.  
Any questions concerning the procedures or these awards, may be directed to AZWG Personnel Officer, 1st Lt Jan Parsons, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .    


Watch the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony Live Online

Today is the big day, when CAP is presented the Congressional Gold Medal! If you’re not able to be in DC to watch the ceremony on 10 Dec (today) at 3PM Eastern, you can watch it live at  Please share this information with your members.

Forty five living CAP WWII veterans will attend the ceremony and 55 families of deceased and other CAP WWII veterans will also attend. Among these, Arizona Wing Members Helen Gunter, Gail Halvorsen and Richard Snyder will be in attendance.

Please help CAP spread the word about our members contributions, and be sure to watch the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony.

The Civil Air Patrol Promotes STEM at the Annual 2014 Teachers Association Conference

By C/CMSgt Nicholas Rossetti

PB060350Over two hundred and fifty science teachers and administrators from all around Arizona came to the NAU Campus in Phoenix, AZ for the Annual Arizona Science Teachers Association Conference (AASTAC) on November 7-8 2014. During the AASTAC, the educators participated in workshops, lectures, and group presentations. They also visited an exhibit area where different booths were set up for the educators to learn about a variety of new technologies and activities for them to use in their classrooms.

The main focus of this year’s AASTAC was Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). STEM education is an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to learning that provides hands-on and relevant learning experiences for students. CAP promotes and supports Aerospace/STEM education, both for its own members and the general public. CAP's educational programs help prepare the youth of today to meet the challenges of a sophisticated Aerospace/STEM society and understand its related global issues, especially as pertains to national security. CAP offers national standards-driven educational products that include a variety of K-12 books, modules, activities, and DVDs, all focusing on Aerospace and STEM Education.

CAP was one of the many organizations that were on display. The booth was staffed by SM Fritz Seifritz, SM Raymond Johnson, SM Angelo Rossetti, SM Pete Feltz, and C/Nicholas Rossetti all from the Arizona Wing. They talked to the administrators and teachers about the missions of the Civil Air Patrol. The teachers were informed about the three Missions: Aerospace Education/STEM, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services. As teachers showed interest, the senior members shared with them printed information and links to the CAP website. 

CAP also had on display a flight simulator from Squadron 305. Teachers were given an opportunity to sit in the cockpit of the simulator and take off in a CessnaPB070354 182. Their flight originated from Falcon Field, through the desert of Arizona, making simple and advanced turns to the left and right, and ultimately landing back at Falcon Field. Capt. Roden and C/CMSgt Rossetti helped guide the educators in operating the simulator.

SM Feltz, the AZ Wing DAE, said that he is confident that many of the administrators and teachers who saw what CAP has to offer will become Aerospace Education Members. This will allow them to be part of the many educators across Arizona who promotes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) thru CAP’s Aerospace Education Program.

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