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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How good is your knowledge of CAP? Check out this article from General Aviation News. You might learn something you didn’t know, such as:
- How many hours did CAP planes fly in fiscal year 2016?
- What is the annual cost to run CAP? And what is the value of the volunteer hours CAP provides?
- How do drones fit into the CAP mission?
- How many pilots are there in CAP?
- How many Search and Rescue “saves” was CAP credited with is fiscal year 2017.
Get to know your National Commander’s priority initiatives and his thoughts and ideas
on achieving success in each of these areas by viewing his Friday video series posted on YouTube
The only exception to this schedule will be for presentation of holiday messages,
such as Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Topics already set for presentation include:
Plus, an entire series of videos will be generated on Leadership and Recruitment and Retention.
Please spread the word about the availability of Gen. Smith’s videos. Link to the video series here.
For the third time in a row, the Arizona Wing earned an “outstanding” rating in the biennial Evaluated Exercise (EvalEx) that took place during the week of Oct. 30-Nov. 4. The EvalEx is an opportunity for the U.S. Air Force to review and assess the effectiveness of each wing in the Civil Air Patrol. Sixteen Air Force representatives evaluated all aspects of the Wing’s operations and support activities from aircrews and ground teams to logistics, safety, and communications. Lt. Col. Jordan Lee, USAF Southwest Region Liaison Commander, led the Air Force evaluation team.
“I am proud of everyone’s dedication and commitment and I appreciate the time invested to make (the EvalEx) such a great success,” said Wing Commander Col. Martha Morris in an email to senior members across the Wing. “To get an outstanding twice in a row (in 2013 and 2015) was remarkable. A three-peat is pretty much unheard-of.”
Tasks were entered in the Web Management Information Reporting System (WMIRS) at the beginning of the week and the first two sorties were flown on Nov. 1. The scenario started with a number of meteorites striking locations across the state. Four aerial photography sorties were flown on Nov. 2 and nine more on Nov. 3. The flights provided hundreds of high-resolution photographs of rivers, power plants, and other infrastructure such as dams and railroad tracks.
Some tasks in far-flung locations such as the Hoover Dam and Page were “virtually” handed off to Civil Air Patrol squadrons in the California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah Wings, to support Arizona Wing’s response to the widespread effects of the meteor strikes. At the in-brief on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 4, Lt. Col. Lee said he was pleased that Arizona Wing had completed all of the aerial photography tasks before the final day of the EvalEx. Read the full article…
CAP National Headquarters issued the following news release on October 13, 2017:
Twenty-two days into the massive federal response to Hurricane Maria, Civil Air Patrol is beginning to ramp down its air operations in Puerto Rico and the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands. CAP has been supporting flying operations for the full-scale disaster relief mission in Puerto Rico since Sept. 22, two days after Maria made landfall on the Caribbean island.
“We’re starting to wrap up our current mission in Puerto Rico,” said John Desmarais, CAP’s director of operations. Nearly 250 members from the Puerto Rico Wing and 20 other CAP wings and regions across the U.S. have been involved in the mission, providing local first responders, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other U.S. government agencies with aerial photography to document damage on the islands.
CAP aircraft from the mainland are expected to return home this weekend, but flights are expected to continue through the early part of next week — likely supported by Puerto Rico Wing planes and aircrews with minimal augmentation by mainland crews.