Civil Air Patrol

COVID-19 Info Center Available

A wide variety of information about the coronavirus pandemic is available in the COVID-19 information center on the CAP national website. From activities for cadets to contacting a CAP chaplain, this is the consolidated location for information for CAP members.

The following tips are offered for how to wear a face covering if you need to be out in public. This CDC page provides info on how to make your own face mask.

Arizona Wing Health Services Officer Lt. Col. Paul Rehman reports to wing leadership daily on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Arizona. He notes that community risk is increasing with some areas of heightened risk. The continuing advice is: Stay home if you can.  Practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently.

New Fly-By Released, Award Winners Announced

The Q2 edition of the Southwest Region Fly-By is now available. It includes many stories from AZ Wing squadrons: the inaugural Red Flag Aerial Combat Challenge at Eloy Squadron; a new commander at Yuma Squadron; an innovate OpEx/FTX with Deer Valley, 388th, and Scottsdale Squadrons; robotics and CyberPatriot teams from the 388th; teacher orientation flights in Yuma; Drone-X training in Phoenix and the wing’s first cadet to pass a Form 5U check ride. A guest column from Lt. Col. Bob Ditch describes his visit with an “old friend” at the Yanks Air Museum in Chino, California.

Lt. Col. Bob Ditch, Falcon Composite Squadron, writes about his visit to the Yanks Air Museum in the current issue of the Southwest Region Fly-By.

There also is an announcement on pages 1-2 of the recipients of the CAP SWR annual awards for performance in 2019. The following AZ Wing members were included on the list and will be competing for the national “of the year” awards, which will be presented at the CAP national conference in August:

Senior Member of the Year: Maj. Peter L. Iannone, Jr., Prescott Composite Squadron
Safety Officer of the Year: Capt. Dolly M. Mickle, Group 7
Col Robert V. “Bud” Payton Public Affairs Officer of the Year: Capt. Margot A. Myers, Deer Valley Composite Squadron and AZ Wing
Paul Turner Safety Award: Arizona Wing

New Wing Conference Dates

The annual AZ Wing Conference, originally scheduled for May 15-17, has been rescheduled for October 23-25. It will still be at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center. Please mark your calendars now. More details as they become available.

National restrictions on travel and meetings implemented in AZ Wing

On Saturday, March 14, CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Mark Smith issued a memo regarding restrictions on travel and meetings for CAP members nationwide. A copy of the full memo may be found here.

Some highlights include:

A. All CAP members and staff will postpone non-mission essential travel through 11 May 2020.

B. Any CAP gathering that can be postponed without negatively impacting CAP’s mission readiness or emergency services capabilities should be postponed until after 11 May 2020.

C. All Wing and Region conferences, encampments, activities and meetings not dedicated solely to maintaining a unit’s critical mission readiness or as outlined in paragraph b. above, will be cancelled or postponed until after 11 May 2020.

In response, all routine cadet and senior member squadron meetings throughout Arizona Wing are cancelled until after 11 May 2020. Unit commanders have received specific guidance on this matter and will communicate with their squadron members.

Scholarships to three AZWG cadets

Three Arizona Wing cadets received notification recently of their selection for national flight training scholarships.

Each year CAP awards academic and flight training scholarships to cadets based on merit. This year, three Arizona Wing cadets are among 36 nationwide who will receive flight training scholarships. Each scholarship pays $1,000 toward flight training.

The three cadets are:

  • C/Lt. Col. Jacob Kottraba, Eloy Composite Squadron
  • C/Capt. Weiss O’Connor, Deer Valley Composite Squadron
  • C/2nd Lt. Johnathon Wilmoth, 388th Composite Squadron

These three cadets were among 246 who applied for flight training scholarships.

In a notification letter, CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Mark E. Smith told the cadets, “For the aviation-minded, 107 of the applicants indicated they have piloting experience equivalent to the CAP pre-solo badge or more. Judging by the competition, your accomplishments place you at the top of the best of the best. I am pleased that we, CAP, can honor you with a reward for a job well-done, which helps you achieve your future academic or aviation goals.”

Three Arizona Wing cadets also received notification from national headquarters that they are prospective candidates for the Cadet Wings program.

According to the Cadet Wings Student Guide, the program “provides funded training to selected Civil Air Patrol cadets to earn their Private Pilot Certificate (PPC) in the Airplane (Single Engine Land-ASEL or otherwise known as powered), Glider, or Lighter-than-air (Balloon) categories and classes. The Air Force has allocated Civil Air Patrol (CAP) funds for CAP cadet flight training with the goal of fulfilling its mission of developing tomorrow’s aerospace leaders.

“As part of the Youth Aviation Initiative (YAI), Cadet Wings is a merit-based program, providing formal flight training for CAP cadets pursuing a PPC.”

More information will be announced as Cadet Wings finalists are selected and announced.

Read more about flight training opportunities for CAP cadets here.

Applications for Encampment Cadet Cadre Now Open

Cadet/Lt. Col. Jacob Little will serve as cadet commander of the 2020 Arizona Wing Summer Encampment at Ft. Huachuca. He provides the following information for cadets who are interested in applying to be part of the encampment cadet cadre:

The 16th Arizona Cadet Training Group is beginning to come together. The first major piece is forming our cadet cadre. We are looking for hardworking, motivated, and excited cadets to apply for this summer’s encampment.

To apply, follow this link. Use the online application to submit everything to the executive cadre.

After registering, applicants will plan on attending the selection exercise on Saturday, 4 April at 1200. The location will be at the Arizona Wing facility at 7011 N El Mirage Rd, Glendale, AZ 85307.

NOTE: The CCSE will begin at 1200 which means you should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to allow for time to turn in paperwork and get settled in.

The executive cadre leading the activity includes:

  • C/LtCol Jacob Little, Cadet Commander
  • C/Capt Tristan Obregon, Cadet Deputy Commander for Operations
  • C/1st Lt Tera Smeltzer, Cadet Deputy Commander for Support

Cadets attending the CCSE will arrive in the Battle Dress or Airman Battle Uniform. Please review CAPR 39-1 to ensure you are correctly following uniform standards.

What to bring:

  • Completed CAPF 60-81 with your Squadron Commander’s approval
  • The supporting document described below    
  • Water and snack
  • Eat lunch prior to arrival

What to expect:

  • Open Ranks Inspection
  • Drill Evaluation
  • CAP Knowledge Exam (Exam will cover uniform standards, drill, leadership concepts, and the Encampment Guide)
  • Interview
  • Team Leadership Problem

Supporting documents:

This supporting document is to give us an insight into you and how you would perform your responsibilities as a cadre member. You only have to provide 1 document for the position you put as your first choice. However, providing documentation for the other two choices is permitted. Please provide the correct document for the position listed below AT THE CCSE.

  •  Cadet Squadron Commander – A letter speaking of your character by a peer. (C/1st Lt and above)
  • Cadet Flight Commander – A letter speaking of your character by a peer (C/2nd Lt and above)
  • Cadet Flight Sergeant – A letter of recommendation by a peer (C/2nd Lt and above)
  • Public Affairs – A well-edited video OR a collection of 2-5 pictures with an article
  • Standard Evaluations Team – A layout of what you would like cadet bunks and dressers to look like with detail AND a letter speaking  to your organizational skills and work ethic.  
  • Logistics – A letter of recommendation from any of the following: Squadron Commander, Deputy Commander for Cadets, or any cadet officer.  

New Commander at Yuma Squadron

Maj. Stu Smith relinquishes command of Yuma Composite Squadron 508 to AZ Wing Commander Col. Rob Pinckard. 2nd Lt Albert Ustaszewski (at right) assumed command. (Photo: C/CMSgt Elainea Franklin)

On March 4, 2020, command of Yuma Composite Squadron 508 was transferred from Maj. Stu Smith to 2nd Lt Albert Ustaszewski. Arizona Wing Commander Col. Rob Pinckard presided over the change of command ceremony.

Smith thanked the team, families, and sponsors for achieving the vision and intent of his four-year tour and also thanked several members who have gone above and beyond in their service to the squadron and CAP.

Ustaszewski is a cadet parent and served in the Marine Corps. Prior to assuming command, he was the squadron’s Deputy Commander of Seniors. The new commander said he will continue 508 on the path to success by expanding the squadron’s role in ground team and sUAS missions.

After the change of command ceremony, Pinckard announced Smith’s appointment as the new group commander of the wing’s west sector, which includes the 388th (Glendale), Deer Valley, London Bridge, Mohave Valley and Yuma composite squadrons. Smith said, “I hope to inspire the squadron commanders in the group to help sister units attain their goals and missions to achieve the west sector vision of being the best in the west!”

Death of Lt. Col. Mike Sue

Lt. Col. Mike Sue (retired), a former member and former commander of Verde Valley Composite Squadron 205 passed away recently. There will be a memorial service for him on Saturday, March 7th, at 11:00 AM.

The location is Canyon Trails Cowboy Church, 3132 White Bear Road (Dry Creek Rd), Sedona. Any current members who attend the service are asked to wear the class A uniform if possible.

The obituary published on includes information about Lt. Col. Sue’s long-time service in 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.

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