Civil Air Patrol

Shonto Squadron Orientation Flights Featured on AZ PBS

Eights cadets from the Shonto, Arizona-based Code Talker Bahe Ketchum Composite Squadron had the chance to take their first orientation flights in Page, Arizona on April 7. CAP planes and pilots from across the Wing were on hand to take the cadets up for what was the first flight ever for most of them. There also was one CAP 172 that arrived from Albuquerque with a distinguished pilot — CAP National Commander and CEO Col. Mark E. Smith.

Olivia Richard, a reporter for AZ PBS (KAET, Phoenix) was on hand to record the event. Her report on the new squadron and the orientation flights aired on April 23.

TOP Flight Day Scheduled for April 14

The superintendent, board members and teachers from the Pendergast Elementary School District will gather at Glendale Municipal Airport, west of Phoenix, on Saturday, April 14, to learn more about the aerospace education curriculum materials and STEM kits available to them as Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Members (AEMs).

Flight Day will involve CAP airplanes from across the Wing and will provide many Pendergast AEMs with an opportunity to go on a Teacher Orientation Program flight. Capt. Angelo Rossetti, the Wing Aerospace Education Director, coordinated this event and actively helped the Pendergast District obtain a $500,000 grant that will support 110 AEMs in the District as well as many students who will be exposed to the opportunities of a STEM-related career.

Learn more about the plans for TOP Flight Day here.


Wing Conference Registration Now Open

Make plans now to attend the 2018 Arizona Wing Conference and a very special Awards Banquet at the Pima Air Museum

When: Friday, May 11 – Sunday, May 13

Where: Doubletree Suites by Hilton, Tucson Airport, 7051 S. Tucson Blvd, Tucson

Who: All Arizona Wing members are invited to attend.

Why: To learn the answers to some very important questions, such as …

  • What’s happening with drones in the CAP?
  • How has the Cellphone Forensics Team been credited with more than 1,300 saves with just a handful of members?
  • What does Representative Martha McSally have to say about the latest from Congress in Washington, DC?
  • Why did our guest, Lt. Col. Jennifer Aupke, USAF, decide to fly search and rescue helicopters instead of jets like the rest of her classmates at the Air ForceAcademy?
  • Who won squadron of the year?

What to expect: A Friday night mixer from 6-8 p.m. with a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres. A general session on Saturday morning followed by breakout sessions in the afternoon. The awards banquet in Hangar 5 – The South Pacific Theater – of the Pima Air Museum. A commander’s call on Sunday morning for unit commanders only.

Next steps: Register for the conference via EventBrite.

Book your room at the Doubletree Suites by calling (520) 225-0800 or 1-800-222-8733. Ask for the Civil Air Patrol conference rate. Single or double rooms are $129/night (plus state and local taxes), with a buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant included. The number of rooms at this rate is limited so call right away. All reservations must be made by Friday, April 20.

More details to come.

Reserve Your Room for the 2018 Wing Conference

The 2018 Arizona Wing Conference will be held at the Doubletree Inn at the Tucson Airport on May 11-13. Though the conference registration site is not yet active, plan to book your room at the hotel as soon as possible to ensure you get the best rate.

The schedule for the conference is similar to recent years, including:

  • A casual mixer on Friday from 5-7 p.m.
  • A full day of meetings (general session and breakouts) on Saturday
  • An awards banquet with guest speaker on Saturday evening
  • A commander’s call for squadron commanders on Sunday morning.

To make your hotel reservation, call (520) 225-0800 or 1-800-222-TREE. Ask for the Civil Air Patrol conference rate, which is $129/night for a king or double room and includes breakfast. Reservations must be guaranteed by a credit card, or advance deposit received 30 days prior to arrival. Reservations will automatically be billed for one night unless cancelled 24 hours prior to arrival.

Reservations received after midnight, Friday, April 20, 2018, will be provided on a space available basis at prevailing rates.

Former Arizona Wing Commander Has Died

Col. Paul Handverger passed away on Feb. 16, 2018, just shy of his 83rd birthday. He served 22 years in the Civil Air Patrol and was Arizona Wing Commander from October 1995 until January 1998.

According to current Wing Commander Col. Martha Morris, Handverger is the person who coined our radio call sign “RedRock” when the wing was ordered to give up the call sign “Thunderbird.”

Read Col. Handverger’s obituary from the Verde Valley News. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Roberta, as well as three children and 9 grandchildren.

USAF Recognizes CAP Organizational Excellence

In September 2016, in an unprecedented act of recognition, Civil Air Patrol received the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award (AFOEA), for outstanding service during the period Oct. 1, 2012, through Aug. 31, 2016.

Information regarding who is eligible to wear this ribbon, and how it may be worn, are included in a memo dated March 2, 2018, from National Commander Maj. Gen. Mark E. Smith.

Legislative Days in DC

Arizona Wing members met with Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in her office on Capitol Hill. Back row (l-r) Col. Martha Morris, Lt. Col. Robert Pinckard, Maj. Jerad Hoff, C/Lt. Col Katherine Hamiel. Front row (l-r) C/1st Lt. Kyra Martinez, Congresswoman Sinema, Lt. Col. James Nova.

A group of senior members and cadets from Arizona Wing were in Washington, DC, on February 28 and March 1, visiting members of the Arizona Congressional delegation. During meetings with Representatives and Senators (or members of their staffs), information about Civil Air Patrol missions and the need for continued financial support via Congressional appropriations were discussed.

C/Lt. Col. Katie Hamiel from Mohave Valley Composite Squadron and C/1st Lt. Kyra Martinez from Deer Valley Composite Squadron described how Civil Air Patrol has affected their lives and career choices, in addition to providing them with leadership skills and confidence.

The senior members representing Arizona Wing included:

  • Col. Martha Morris, Wing Commander
  • Lt. Col. Robert Pinckard, Chief of Staff
  • Lt. Col. James Nova, Government Relations Advisor
  • Maj. Jerad Hoff, Cadet Programs & Aerospace Education Support Group Commander
  • Capt. Gordon Helm, Deputy Commander for Seniors, Deer Valley Composite Squadron
  • Capt. Margot Myers, Wing Public Affairs Officer

One of the handouts provides information about Arizona Wing and CAP as a whole. This document is also good for sharing with members of the Arizona legislature, mayors, business organizations, media, etc.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

These training opportunities have been added to the Wing calendar.

  • March 31: Advanced Incident Command System course, ICS-400.
  • April 7-8: Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) Basic Inland Search and Rescue course

All courses will be taught at Falcon Composite Squadron 305,  4730E Falcon Drive, Mesa, Arizona 85215.

Contact Lt. Col. Bob Ditch for more info at

Check the Wing calendar for other training opportunities including mission observer, airborne photographer, G1000 operations, etc.

New Issue of Fly-By Posted

The latest issue of the Southwest Region newsletter, the Fly-By, has been posted here. You’ll find these articles from Arizona Wing: Cadet AE activity at Pima Air & Space Museum on page 6; Third outstanding OpEval in a row for AZ Wing on page 13; Presentation at Pinnacle High School for their disaster relief exercise on page 22; the new Code Talker Bahe Ketchum Composite Squadron in Shonto on page 29; Operation Pulse Lift blood drive on page 31; and, participation of a Sky Harbor Composite Squadron member in the funeral for a Daisy Mountain Fire Department captain on page 38.

CAP’s Cellphone Forensics Team Rocks!

Did you know? Civil Air Patrol’s cellphone forensics team’s success in finding missing people, often in record time, attracts an increasing number of missions each year. To date, the cellphone forensics team has conducted more than 1,300 missions and saved 372 lives over the past 11 years. The team was founded by three members of the Arizona Wing: Maj. Jerad Hoff, Maj. Justin Ogden, and Col. Brian Ready.

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