The largest-ever group of cadets completed the Arizona Wing summer encampment at Fort Huachuca in late June. The event was featured in an article in the local newspaper, the Sierra Vista Herald/Review. Read the full article here.
William Rogers Memorial Squadron 104 in Tucson offered an FAA Basic Drone Class on June 22. The course covered basic information leading to potential CAP sUAS Pilot qualification. The course is required for FAA and CAP sUAS Certification.
The course was held at the University of Arizona College of Education. Members unable to attend in person could participate via telepresence.
As you remember family members and friends who made the ultimate sacrifice, please watch this new CAP Memorial Day video. The interviews were recorded as the CAP National Command Staff and Board of Governors met in Phoenix last month in conjunction with the Southwest Region/Arizona Wing Conference.
A U.S. Air Force Southwest Liaison Region (SWLR) evaluation team found that the Arizona Wing is ready to respond during an actual emergency. Along with the top rating of “Ready,” the evaluators noted six “commendables,” activities or processes that enhance mission readiness and allow for more effective and efficient mission accomplishment.
Sharing the final report from the Air Force evaluation team on the Evaluated Exercise (EvalEx), Arizona Wing Commander Col. Martha Morris wrote: “It is with great pride and honor that I forward to you the final report from SWLR. It states what we already know. Arizona Wing is second to none. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to our program.”Read the full article…
At the conclusion of the 2019 Arizona Wing Conference, awards were presented to members from across the wing for their achievements The Arizona Wing of the Year Awards winners are:
Administrative Officer – Capt Klara G. Olcott
Aerospace Education Teacher – Capt Nancy R Parra-Quinlan
Aircraft Maintenance Officer – Capt. Russell Miller
Cadet Aerospace Education Award – C/SSgt Anthony Orlando
Cadet Programs Officer – 2nd Lt Elizabeth Schmitt
Communication Officer – Maj William “Scotty” Haskell
Counter Drug Officer – Captain Russell Miller
Emergency Services Officer – Maj Christopher Dusard
Finance Officer of the Year – Capt Douglas K Isaly
Health Service Officer – Maj Dr. Larry Schappa
New Member – 1st Lt Joel (Michael) Ricker
Public Affairs Officer – Lt Col Robert Ditch
Senior Member – Capt. Gordon Helm
Two Arizona Wing members also were recognized with Southwest Region Awards:
Aerospace Education Award – Maj Dr. Robert Kaye
Character Development Instructor/Officer – Maj Edwin Segura
Arizona Wing Commander Col. Martha Morris today announced the death of long-time Arizona Wing member Lt. Col. Arthur Weisberger, 87. “Lt. Col. Weisberger was a pilot, observer and airborne photographer for us, excelling in each,” Col. Morris said in the announcement. “He was quite a character and full of stories. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
At the 2018 Arizona Wing Conference, Weisberger received the Congressional Gold Medal based on his service during World War II. He grew up in Tucson and joined the Civil Air Patrol in June 1944, at the age of 13. Squadron meetings were held at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, so Cadet Weisberger had to hitchhike the 14 miles from Tucson to Davis-Monthan.
In 1945, a lieutenant from the U.S. Army Air Force came to one of the squadron’s meetings and explained that they needed help disarming and overhauling the .50-caliber machine guns on all of the aircraft returning from Europe and Asia. He asked if any of the cadets would be interested in helping and explained that they would first have to go through Aerial Gunnery School.
Weisberger volunteered along with six other cadets. They joined 19
Army Air Force members in learning how to disassemble and reassemble the .50-caliber machine guns; how to lead a target on the shotgun range; and finally, flying in a B-17 and shooting at a target at 17,000 feet. Weisberger said that somehow he managed to get enough hits to qualify as an Aerial Gunner and he proudly wore the badge on his CAP Cadet uniform.
Information provided by Civil Air Patrol’s National Cell Phone Forensics Team helped lead searchers late Tuesday to a 12-year-old Utah boy and his father lost in subzero temperatures and near-blizzard conditions in the Spanish Peaks area southwest of Bozeman, Montana.
The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center alerted the cell phone team after the child’s mother reported the pair overdue at 6:30 p.m. local time. Col. Brian Ready took the lead on the mission for the team.
By then 20 members of the Gallatin County, Montana, Search and Rescue Team – volunteers within the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office – were searching on snowmobiles and skis.
Searchers found the boy about 10 p.m. Hypothermic and dazed, he was transported to a nearby hospital. As he warmed up, a sheriff’s deputy asked him questions to try to get a better idea of where to continue the search.
“Gallatin SAR had a pretty good idea about where to look for the father, but the cell phone forensics helped to narrow down the search area to about 1 square mile,” Ready said.
“It was our privilege to work with the dedicated volunteers from Gallatin SAR and help them reunite father and son.”
The father was found shortly after midnight. Despite frostbite, he and his son were in reasonably good condition, according to the sheriff’s office, especially considering conditions.
A member of the Gallatin SAR team emailed Ready a photo of two members of the sheriff’s team with the boy at the hospital. “I was asked to pass a photo on to you and your team,” the accompanying message said. “It’s a picture of one of the individuals you helped us find this evening. Our captain wanted to let you know that what you do matters, and that we appreciate it. And I know there’s a family out there tonight that appreciates you as well.”
Passing along the message to the team at the AFRCC, Ready wrote, “A great result to an awesome team effort. The reason we all do SAR. Please know how much we appreciate your efforts.”
The AFRCC credited the cell phone team with two saves, bringing to 48 the total number of saves for CAP in fiscal 2019.
In December 2018, Airman Magazine interviewed Maj. Gen. Mark E. Smith, the Civil Air Patrol’s 24th national commander. In the interview, Gen. Smith talks about his childhood dreams of becoming a pilot, his 26 years in the Air Force, and how he has continued to serve as a member of CAP.
The January 2019 issue of the Southwest Region Fly-By is now available and includes eight stories submitted by Arizona Wing squadrons. The articles include:
- A story by Cadet Tech. Sgt. Elena Paz about the Yuma Composite Squadron’s participation in Wreaths Across America on page 4.
- A combined article by Lt. Col. Robert Ditch, Falcon Composite Squadron, and Capt. Margot Myers, Deer Valley Composite Squadron, about the squadrons’ involvement in Veterans’ Day activities on page 8.
- On page 14, a story about the Scottsdale Senior Squadron and the Paradise Valley Cadet Squadron working together on two events at the Scottsdale Airport.
- A CAP-cadet-turned-Naval-aviator is the focus of a story by Staff Sgt. John Horne, Sky Harbor Composite Squadron, on page 24.
- Majors Dave Girolami and Steve Hulland contributed a story about events that brought CAP members together with two Tucson-based military units on page 26.
- On page 29, Lt. Col. Ditch submitted an article about a search and rescue mission in the Hualapai Mountains of northwestern Arizona that involved AZ Wing air crews, incident command and ground team members, along with the Arizona-based National Cell Phone Forensics Team.
- A story on page 32 describes the recognition of five Arizona Wing cadets who earned the Billy Mitchell Award at the State Capitol by a representative of Gov. Doug Ducey.
- Finally, on page 35, 2nd Lt. Roy Morales, Willie Composite Squadron, contributed a story about the change of command ceremony that took place in December.
Read these stories, plus more from across the Southwest Region, in the new Fly-By.
Civil Air Patrol’s rich heritage of volunteer service will be celebrated this coming weekend, as the longtime U.S. Air Force Auxiliary observes its 77th anniversary. See the 77th Anniversary video here.
“Our legacy is well worth celebrating,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP’s national commander and chief executive officer. “Each year, on the first day of December, we are reminded of the sacrifices of CAP’s earliest members, whose extraordinary contributions to America continue today in our citizen volunteers’ vigilant service to country and community.”
CAP was founded on Dec. 1, 1941, less than a week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor led to America’s involvement in World War II. Its members quickly proved their worth by conducting aerial patrols on their own, heroism that discouraged and eventually helped stop deadly German U-boat attacks along U.S. coastlines and waterways.
The wartime service of CAP’s “subchasers” helped stop the loss of American and Allied merchant vessels, saving the lives of untold thousands of sailors and countless millions of dollars of war materiel destined for the battlefields in Europe and the Pacific.
In addition to coastal patrols, CAP aircrews assisted with other essential wartime missions on the home front, such as search and rescue, disaster relief, border patrol, forest fire patrol, target towing for military practice and transporting critical supplies. Members also managed hundreds of airports and trained aviators – many of them teenage cadets – for future service in CAP and the military.