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Wingtips News and Photos

Luke Days support provided by Arizona Wing Civil Air Patrol

by C/Capt Meghan Parsons, Assistant PIO

Capt Parsons F35ARIZ.-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 whoThunderbird 6 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.


Arizona Wing Sets CAP Benchmark

Arizona Wing added to its bragging rights during an Air Force evaluated exercise on November 16, 2013 when it became the first wing in the CAP record books to earn an “Outstanding” rating in both a compliance inspection and evaluated exercise in the same year.
The team for the Operations Evaluation (OpEval) weathered simulated hurricanes, power outages and heart attacks while launching 18 air, and 11 ground sorties to prove its readiness to meet any challenge. Aircrews submitted over 50 high quality aerial photos to complete assigned missions.
Michael "E.T." Holm SWLR/ADO extended his congratulations to Arizona Wing with the following remarks: "YOU, the Arizona Civil Air Patrol Wing, are now THE sole possessor of a unique record in CAP’s evaluation history. You are the only wing to score “OUTSTANDING” ratings on BOTH your quadrennial Compliance Inspection (CI) plus your biennial OpEval…and BOTH IN THE SAME YEAR, setting a Civil Air Patrol benchmark for all history!!"
During the evaluation, these seven cadets impressed the evaluators with their stellar efforts and earned an “Outstanding Performer” designation:
C/Lt Col Shanna Anderson - Building Security
C/1Lt Jessica Parsons - Communications
C/1Lt Meghan Parsons - Public Affairs
C/2nd Lt Bradley Reithman - Ground Teams
C/CMSgt Clarissa Hand - Communications
C/CMSgt Ryan Payne - Ground Teams
C/TSgt Michael Landtiser - Ground Teams
Three senior members Major Dallas Lane - Ground Branch, Captain Jeff Eden - Aircrew and Captain Jerad Hoff - Communications and Information Technology who awed the inspectors with their skills were also named outstanding performers.
In addition, these functional areas received Outstanding ratings:
Incident Commander
Ground Branch
Air Operations Branch
Ground Teams
Planning Section
Communications Section
Information Technology
Finance and Administration Section
Highly Successful ratings were awarded to:
Mission Safety  
Mission Chaplain - 
Public Information  
Operations Section
Logistics Section
Counterdrug Operations
Major Ruben Kafenbaum, AZ Wing Director of Communications and IT, who led the outstanding performance of the Communications team described his team’s extraordinary accomplishments this way --“The time taken and dedication shown by everyone over the past few months has allowed Arizona Wing Communications to attain this goal and everyone should be proud of their part. In addition to the Outstanding effort that was performed by everyone in their handling of messages from the aircraft and ground teams, it was noted that Arizona Wing was able to maintain constant High Frequency radio communications throughout the Wing during the entire exercise. The fact that we were able to maintain this in part by "relay" was not unnoticed. This could not have occurred without Yuma and Show Low's efforts. Both the Outstanding rating and maintaining HF communications is a first for the Arizona Wing Communications."
The “Outstanding” performance of the Arizona Wing was the result of months of preparation by a multitude of determined team members. Wing Commander Col Brian N. Ready expressed his gratitude and congratulations to everyone immediately after the out briefing with the following heartfelt comment:
 “We should be extremely proud of our accomplishments. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to the Arizona Wing and Civil Air Patrol. Congratulations Arizona Wing!”

Arizona Wing DDR Event 2013

By C/1st Lt Meghan Parsons

Glendale Arizona - On Saturday, 26 October 2013, Arizona Wing hosted a Drug Demand Reduction Activity at the 388th Composite Squadron hangar  attended by cadets from across the wing.

The event started with a visit from a DPS helicopter, marshaled by C/1st Lt Jessica Parsons. Aboard were Angela Rose who has been with Air Rescue for eight years and Clifford Brunsting a Vietnam Veteran. They both spoke with the cadets about Air Rescue, and showed the cadets the helicopter.

Col Ready and Lt Col Slapper DDR Carts
Later the Cadets were introduced to Officer Green from the K-9 unit, as well as Nico the dog, who showed off his skills in finding drugs and taking down 'bad guys'. Cadets learned that Nico doesn’t bite to be mean, but since he was a puppy, he had been trained to consider it a game. Seeing Nico drag a grown man across the room was exciting, and the cadets enjoyed seeing Nico and Officer Green again from last year's Character Day.

The cadets also had the opportunity to learn from many other guest speakers. There was a wrecked car from a drunk driving accident, provided by Unique Recovery. They told the cadets about the different causes of car wrecks, and ways to avoid them.

Cadets had the opportunity to visit with the bomb squad and see one of their robots, interacting with it and seeing how it was operated. Cadets also got the opportunity to climb through a tank. They learned about the different drugs on the market and how to identify them and toured one of CAP's aircraft. Cadets also attended a presentation by Jerry Lester, a former drug addict who has been sober for over seven years who educated them on the adverse effects drugs have had on his life, and his struggle to become sober.

Another highlight of the day was driving  the “drunk carts”. Cadets drove through an obstacle course on the go-carts, and on their return trip, wore special goggles that simulate the effects of drunk driving. Even Wing Commander Col. Brian Ready and Vice Commander Lt. Col. Layne Slapper got in on the fun! (See photo above)

The event was an excellent opportunity for cadets to learn more about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and also to see some of the exciting careers available in law enforcement and drug interdiction. A huge thank you goes to 1st Lt. Kevin Deinzer, the wing DDR Administrator for putting on this great event.


Senior Member Wins Gold With Softball Team

By C/1st Lt Meghan Parsons

Yeager MedalGLENDALE, ARIZONA- The 388th Composite Squadron congratulates SM Frank Yeager on his softball team's recent accomplishment during the Special Olympics. The Squadron color guard, and members of the Squadron were present to cheer on SM Yeager and his teammates.

SM Yeager, a new addition to the Squadron 388 team, has been playing softball since he was 8 years old, and has been with his current team for over five years.

SM Yeager is the Assistant Communications Officer at Squadron 388, and is interested in helping the cadets achieve their goals. SM Yeager joined CAP to continue his family's tradition of service. "It's not only serving, but also being able to learn new things." SM Yeager said.


388th Composite Squadron FTX

By C/1st Lt Meghan Parsons

GLENDALE, Arizona - The 388th Composite Squadron, located at the Glendale Municipal Airport held a  Field Training Exercise just north of Flagstaff for both advanced and basic skill levels in late September.

The Basic camp was commanded by Major Fi Newell and C/1st Lt Jessica Parsons. Commander of the Advanced Camp was C/SMSgt Steven Fulmer and C/CMSgt Herr.

Basic Camp had a great time learning about shelter making, campfires and doing team building activities. The Advanced camp hiked five miles with all their gear to a near-by lava tube, climbing over a mile and a half through the tube with their gear, and set up camp during the evening.

Saturday morning, one of the cadets 'wandered away' from base camp. All cadet and senior members searched the entire camp and escalated the search from a quick search to a line search in order to find the cadet. Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Adam Such reported the 'missing' cadet to Wing Commander, Col. Brian Ready and had an emergency helicopter flown into the camp, with the Basic Camp Commander C/1st Lt Parsons pulling the daytime flare, and directing the helicopter to its landing zone. At this time, the command was given to break down camp. As the cadets started from the senior member camp back to the cadet camp, the 'missing cadet', C/TSgt Rushton Smith, appeared.

The incident turned out to be an exercise, known only to Lt Col Such and Major Newell, testing both the cadets and senior members to their reactions during a real life emergency scenario. Incidents like this are why Civil Air Patrol is called out on missions. In many cases, when someone wanders away from camp without supplies or goes missing, a call is placed to 911, and CAP could potentially be called to assist in the search. At the conclusion of the exercise, the cadets attended a class presented by the helicopter's crew. 

The cadets and senior members preformed outstandingly, keeping calm and focused on the search for C/Smith. They divided into teams to conduct the search, using basic compass navigation and search line techniques.  Commander Such praised both cadets and seniors for their actions during the search. 

C/1st Lt Parsons was very excited to have marshaled the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Helicopter. "I've only marshaled Cessna's before," She explained. "But from what I know from my training, I was able to figure out what to do." She said. (Click here to watch the video)

The FTX was a ton of fun, and the 388th composite Squadron is already planning another FTX in March. A huge thank you to Major Newell, Lt. Col Such, C/SMSgt Fulmer, C/CMSgt Herr and C/1st Lt Parsons who put so much work into making this event a success.



Yuma Squadron 508 hosts International Air Cadet Exchange Cadets

IACE2YUMA, ARIZ— The Yuma Composite Squadron 508 hosted a special visit by the International Air Cadet Exchange cadets in July at the squadrons hanger facility located at the Yuma International Airport. Each summer, hundreds of cadets from eighteen nations come together to broaden their understanding of aviation and foreign cultures through the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE).

Civil Air Patrol has been the United States representative to the Exchange for more than 60 years. CAP cadets selected for the Exchange have a reputation as being the best of the best; possessing great integrity and leadership ability; a keen interest in aviation and foreign culture; and the desire to share their experiences with their fellow cadets, family, and community.

1st Lieutenant Christine Eaves, deputy squadron commander, and Major Marilee Taylor, Arizona Wing Cadet Programs Support Commander hosted the International Air Cadet Exchange cadets as they participated in a model rocket launch with the cadets of Squadron 508 on Monday morning, and floated the Colorado River that runs through Yuma in the afternoon.  On Tuesday the cadets toured the Million Air Yuma FBO facility in the afternoon, and joined the composite squadron in the evening for the Squadron 508 cadet change of command ceremony. 

Seniors members of the squadron were present to greet the visiting International Cadets and were excited to learn more about their home countries and the aviation programs they were currently involved with. The squadrons Deputy Commander for Cadets, 2Lt. Brian Grossenburg, did double duty in the evening by providing a wonderful BBQ dinner of hamburgers and hot dogs that was enjoyed by all in IACE3attendance.

Senior IACE leader Keith Mann of Alberta, Canada, is the National Vice President of the Air Cadet League of Canada said of his visit to Yuma, “We have had the experience of a lifetime!  Arizona is an amazing, beautiful place and we have made friends and had adventures that will remain with us forever.  And besides, were else in world can you watch the new F-35 fighters take off and land from your squadron hanger?”


Yuma Squadron Serves as Color Guard for the Dedication Ceremony of New Aviation Industrial Center

YUMA, ARIZ—The Yuma Composite Squadron 508 provided the Color Guard for the Dedication Ceremony for the Yuma International Airports brand new Aviation Industrial Center on September 11, 2013.508ColorGuard


The Aviation Industrial Center in the Yuma International Airport’s Defense Contractor Complex features two 110 ft x 110 ft hanger bays plus 7,800 square feet of office and shop space.  The new complex will fill a vital role in developing technologies for the aerospace industry in today’s competitive aviation market

The cadets and senior members of Squadron 508 also enjoyed a wonderful BBQ dinner served in one of the new hangers, an outstanding presentation by Mr. Eric Fox of Lockheed Martin on the construction of the brand new F-35 Lighting II fighter jet, and participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony that signaled the new facility as open for business.

After the Dedication Ceremonies were completed the cadets and senior members of the Yuma Squadron were invited to try their hand at piloting the F-35 simulator Lockheed Martin brought along to celebrate the dedication of the new Aviation Industrial Center.



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