Civil Air Patrol

Arizona Wing Nominees for Regional/National Awards Announced

Arizona Wing Commander Col. Rob Pinckard has sent nominations to Southwest Region for consideration during the 2019 “of the year” awards cycle. Each of the six wings in the region may nominate one member in each award category. At the wing level, these are simply known as “of the year” awards, such as “Cadet Programs Officer of the Year.”

Regions select from these wing-level nominations and send one name forward to be considered for national-level awards, some of which are named in honor of a distinguished Civil Air Patrol member, for example, the John V. “Jack” Sorenson Cadet Programs Officer of the Year. There are nearly 30 duties and functions recognized annually at the CAP national conference as contributing most to the success of CAP’s missions.

Additional of the year awards are presented at the annual Arizona Wing Conference, which will take place May 15-17, 2020, in Prescott.

In accordance with CAP regulations, the wing awards board screens nominations from Arizona unit commanders and forwards recommendations of the best nominees to the wing commander.

“Now is a great time for every unit commander to start making notes about all the activities of your members,” said Lt Col Linda Yeager, Arizona Wing Mission Support Group commander. “You will then be ready for submission at the end of this year (for the 2020 awards).” Questions about the categories and submission requirements may be directed to Lt Col Ron Smith, the wing personnel officer.

These are the Arizona Wing members competing for regional and national recognition for their accomplishments in 2019:

John V. “Jack” Sorenson Cadet Programs Officer of the Year
Master Sgt Anthony Dickerson
Yuma Composite Squadron Deputy Commander for Cadets

Col (Bud) Payton PAO of the Year 
Capt Margot Myers
Deer Valley Composite Squadron Public Affairs Officer
Wing Public Affairs Officer

Professional Development Officer of the Year 
Lt Col Seth Grenke
Yuma Composite Squadron Professional Development Officer
Wing Assistant Professional Development Officer

Safety Officer of the Year
Capt Dolly Mickle
Wing Assistant Safety Officer

Senior Member of the Year                                            
Maj Peter Iannone
Prescott Composite Squadron Deputy Commander

Cadet of the Year                                                           
Cadet Capt Tristan Obregon
Yuma Composite Squadron Cadet Deputy Commander

Frank Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award – Cadet 
Cadet Tech Sgt Cheyenne McKinley
Show Low Composite Squadron Aerospace Education NCO

AZ Wing Members Serve on FEMA Disaster Relief Mission Team

Several AZ Wing members served in the virtual Incident Command Post for the FEMA earthquake disaster relief mission in Puerto Rico last month. Lt. Col. Bob Ditch served as planning section chief and also filled in as incident commander. Lt. Col. Linda Yeager stepped in as resource unit leader. And, Capts. Gordon Helm and Margot Myers shared mission public information officer duties.

Air Force Magazine just published this article about the mission.

Ground Team Recruitment and Training Announced

The Arizona Wing Ground Team is recruiting interested senior members to join the Arizona Wing Ground Team.  

The AZWG Ground Team will be conducting a GTM/Search And Rescue Academy beginning February 15 & 16. The SAR Academy will be held at Falcon Field, Mesa beginning February 15 & 16 and the weekends of March 21 & 22, & April 4 & 5 and 18 & 19. Members will gain qualifications as a CAP Ground Team Member 1 & 2 and national certification as a Search And Rescue Technician.

The Arizona Wing Ground Team is organized as a wing-wide, consolidated, all-hazards ground search and rescue team.

The primary mission of the AZWG Ground Team is to respond to aviation-related SAR incidents including electronic direction finding and missing/ overdue aircraft searches.

It is also the mission of the AZWG Ground Team to provide a NIMS compliant, all-hazards ground search and rescue team as a resource to federal, state, and local jurisdictions for missing persons searches.

The AZWG Ground Team trains to meet, or exceed, all CAP-required training for Ground Team Member, Ground Team Leader, and Ground Branch Director.  The AZWG Ground Team also trains to meet, or exceed, the requirements of the Arizona Search and Rescue Coordinators (ASARC) standards, which are based on the national ASTM Search And Rescue Team Member qualifications standard.

The Arizona Wing Ground Team has twice been awarded National Ground Team of the Year.  Ground Search and Rescue is one of the core
components of the CAP Emergency Services Program. 

For more information, contact:

Maj. Dallas C. Lane, CAP
AZWG Search And Rescue Officer

2020 AZ Wing Conference Dates Announced

The 2020 Arizona Wing Conference will be held May 15-17 at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center. More details to come, but please mark your calendars and save those dates.

Pricer to Lead Cadet Wings Program in AZ Wing

Maj. Mark Schadt, Arizona Wing Director of Operations, sent the following message to wing members on January 23 regarding flight training opportunities for cadets:

CAP National rolled out its Cadet Wings program some time ago and it presents many opportunities for cadets to obtain flight training. Starting out with orientation flights, National Cadet Special Activities for powered and glider flight and the Cadet Wings program, there are many pathways to getting cadets in the air and on their way to the private pilot certificate. As a former Squadron Commander, I share the frustrations many of you have about the deluge of information from CAP National on these programs and the disconnect with coordination at the region and wing level to help exploit these opportunities for our cadets.

I am pleased to announce that Lt Col Kurt Pricer has volunteered to be the Arizona Wing Manager for the Cadet Wings Program. With the assistance of Lt Col Luis Camus and in coordination with the Southwest Region Cadet Wings representative, Kurt will formalize the development of the Arizona Wing Cadet Wings program. Some of his goals are to identify and recruit CFIs throughout the wing to conduct flight training with qualified and interested cadets. Kurt will attend squadron cadet meetings throughout the wing to present all the opportunities available from CAP national and help facilitate wing assistance in implementing these programs. He wants to introduce the program to our cadets to identify those who are interested and willing to commit to the program.

As you know, Arizona Wing has taken delivery of a new Cessna 172 (331CP). While planning is in the initial stages, Kurt will travel throughout the wing in the new aircraft for his presentations. He believes that by introducing the program using the presentation prepared by CAP national and cadets seeing a representative training aircraft that is used at the wing or national level (NCSA’s), interest in the program will grow. Since Kurt and his team are in the beginning stages of this effort and much work needs to be done, specific basing and deployment of training aircraft will be determined in the future. 

This effort is important as well as personal for me as I obtained my private pilot certificate in high school as a CAP cadet in my squadron aircraft in the North Carolina wing. If it wasn’t for the dedication of my CAP flight instructor and the financial and operational support of my squadron, I would never have achieved my private as a cadet. I want this same opportunity for our Arizona Wing cadets and believe that with Kurt’s efforts along with the resources available through the Cadet Wings program, we can help our cadets achieve their flight training goals. 

I would appreciate it if all squadron commanders, deputy commanders for cadets and operations officers work with Kurt and his team to help get this effort moving forward. I know several squadrons around the wing have worked on various plans at the squadron level and their efforts to date will definitely help in the development of this program. 

I want to thank Kurt and Luis for stepping up to lead this effort in our wing. Their dedication to our cadets and interest in enabling their flight training goals is greatly appreciated by the members of the Arizona Wing.

Col. Rob Pinckard Assumes Command of AZ Wing

On January 4, 2020, Col. Robert C. Pinckard assumed command of Arizona Wing from Col. Martha Morris. Southwest Region Commander Col. Joe Smith presided over the traditional military change of command ceremony, which was held at the Scottsdale Airport Aviation Business Center.

Col. Robert C. Pinckard (left) takes the oath of office from Southwest Region Commander Col. Joe Smith during the change of command ceremony. (Photo by Maj. Rick Yang, CAP)

“It’s a great honor for me to have been chosen to lead the Arizona Wing,” Pinckard said. “I’m following in the footsteps of some exceptional wing commanders.”

Approximately 200 Arizona Wing members, their families and invited guests attended the ceremony.  Several awards were presented to CAP members, including a Certificate of Commendation for Lifesaving to 2nd Lt. Frank Arvizu, Deer Valley Composite Squadron, for rescuing five people from a vehicle involved in a five-car accident.

Pinckard assumes command of a wing that highly rated and well respected. “This is a great team of top performers,” Pinckard said. “I look forward to working with you to achieve continued success.” 

Pinckard joined Willie Composite Squadron in Chandler, Arizona, in 2001 and served as the squadron finance officer and cadet programs officer. In 2007, he assumed command of the squadron. Subsequently, he was promoted to group and sector commander positions before becoming the wing chief of staff in January 2016 and vice commander in July 2018.

He is an active incident commander, ground branch director, and ground team leader, with a master rating in emergency services and has three additional master ratings, one senior rating, and five technician ratings in a wide variety of CAP specialty tracks.

During his CAP career, Pinckard has been credited with more than 100 finds and three saves during Arizona Wing operational missions and has assisted with the physical rescue and recovery of the victims of multiple air crash and missing persons missions.

Pinckard has organized, conducted and taught at numerous ground and combined air/ground search and rescue and wilderness survival courses throughout Arizona Wing. He has trained and qualified numerous CAP ground team search and rescue and wilderness first aid members as well as many representatives of Arizona county sheriffs’ SAR teams who have participated in Arizona Wing ground team training. Pinckard also has instructed at several Unit Commander Courses, Squadron Leadership Schools, and Corporate Leadership Courses, as well as at Regional Staff College.

By day, Pinckard is a founder, owner and CEO of Allen & Pinckard Industrial Contractors, Inc., a 25-year-old, $8 million/year, multi-licensed specialty contractor operating in the western U.S. Pinckard and his wife, Pat, reside in San Tan Valley, Arizona, where they breed and train prize-winning Appaloosa horses.

Maj. Gen. Mark Smith Issues 2019 Holiday Message

In a video message to all CAP members, National Commander Maj. Gen. Mark Smith addressed several topics including:

  • How CAP is part of a broad effort to develop more pilots who can help meet the aircrew shortage the Air Force is facing.
  • His participation in the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Gen. Smith called these two items “bookends” because CAP is supported by funding from the Air Force at a national level and fundraisers like Wreaths Across America at the squadron level. Between those two, Gen. Smith said, there is an opportunity for members to consider CAP when making decisions about end-of-year charitable donations.

Pinckard Named Next AZ Wing Commander

On December 3, 2019, Southwest Region Commander Col. Joe Smith announced the selection of Lt. Col. Robert C. Pinckard to serve as the next Arizona Wing commander. Pinckard, an 18-year member of CAP, served most recently as the wing vice-commander.

Pinckard joined Willie Composite Squadron in Chandler, Arizona, in 2001 and served as the squadron finance officer and cadet programs officer. In 2007, he assumed command of the squadron. Subsequently, he was promoted to group and sector commander positions before becoming the chief of staff in January 2016 and vice-commander in July 2018.

Summer encampment featured in Sierra Vista paper

Cadet Master Sgt. Nathan Poulton, Neotoma Composite Squadron 109 in Tucson, tackles the Rappel Tower at Fort Huachuca during AZ Wing Summer Encampment. Photo: Mark Levy, Herald/Review.

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.

sUAS Class Offered via ‘Telepresence’

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.

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