Civil Air Patrol

CAP Memorial Day Video

National Command Chief Master Sergeant Robert Dandridge talks about what Memorial Day means to him in a new video from CAP National Headquarters.

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.

Air Force Team Finds Arizona Wing is Ready to Conduct Disaster Relief/Search and Rescue Missions

Arizona Wing’s use of an sUAS team during an Evaluated Exercise was a first for the CAP-USAF evaluation team. This image, shot from a CAP sUAS, shows one of the AF evaluators portraying a search target lost in the desert.

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…

AZ Wing Encampment Registration is Open

All cadets who have at least earned their Curry Award can now register for the 2019 Arizona Wing Summer Encampment being held at the Fort Huachuca Army Base in Sierra Vista, AZ from 22 June to 29 June 2019.

In addition, for the first time in Arizona Wing history, this encampment will host an advanced training flight. This second-year course will feature more advanced classes and activities such as color guard, leadership, first aid, and aerospace topics! This option is open to any cadet who has already completed an encampment but is not serving on the cadet cadre.

Read more about 2019 Encampment in a message from C/Maj. Mackenzie Mollohan, Commander of this year’s encampment.

To register for encampment, visit and be sure to complete the entire registration process. Until you see the words “You’re registered to attend the 2019 Encampment!” on the screen, you’re not done registering. Registration will close on 1 June 2019

AZ Wing Conference Award Winners

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

Death of Lt. Col. Arthur Weisberger

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.”

(L-R) Southwest Region Commander Col. Joe Smith, Weisberger, Arizona Wing Commander Col. Martha Morris.

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. 

Read the full article…

Cell Phone Team Helps Searchers Find Missing Boy, Father in Montana

Gallatin County Search and Rescue Team members arrange to transport a 12-year-old boy rescued in the Spanish Peaks area near Bozeman, Montana. Photo courtesy of Gallatin County, Montana, Sheriff’s Office.

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.

Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP, in Airman Magazine

Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, National Commander, Civil Air Patrol.

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.

A 4½-minute video and a transcript of a portion of Gen. Smith’s interview have been posted on Airman Magazine‘s website. A link to the video and transcript can also be found on  

SW Region Fly-By Features AZ Wing Squadrons

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:

Cadet 2nd Lt. Tristan Obregon, CAP, (left) salutes a Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma during the ceremonial placement of wreaths honoring U.S. military service branches. (Photo: Cadet Tech. Sgt. Elena Paz, CAP)
  • 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.

CAP Celebrates 77th Anniversary of Volunteer Service

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.

Read the full article…

Cell Phone Forensics and Radar Analysis Teams Help Locate Missing Aircraft

This image shows the radar track of the air ambulance, from takeoff to 12,000 feet and then a rapid descent that resulted in three fatalities

Members of the CAP National Cell Phone Forensics and Radar Analysis teams were activated at 2 a.m. EST on Monday, Nov. 19, to assist with the search for a missing Cessna 441, twin-engine air ambulance that disappeared from Federal Aviation Administration radar screens shortly after takeoff from Bismarck, N.D. The plane, carrying a pilot, paramedic, and nurse, was bound for Williston to pick up a patient.

“Combining and analyzing data from both the Cell Phone Forensics and Radar Analysis teams allows us to pinpoint the most likely area to search for a missing aircraft,” said Major Justin Ogden, a technical specialist on the cell phone team. “Within two hours of being assigned the mission, CAP was able to provide highly accurate location information to first responders.”

Unfortunately, there were no survivors of the crash. Read more on

About the National Cell Phone Forensics Team

The concept of using historical cell phone data to support Civil Air Patrol search and rescue (SAR) missions originated in 2006 when Maj. Justin Ogden, CAP, developed software that helped predict the most likely area to search for a missing person. Ogden was joined by Col. Brian Ready and Maj. Jerad Hoff, and the three became the core of the National Cell Phone Forensics Team, which was designated a national CAP asset in 2009. As the number of missions has grown, the team now includes eight members, all of whom are members of Arizona Wing. 

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