Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson was the keynote speaker at the 2018 Civil Air Patrol National Conference in Anaheim, Calif. She related the story of her grandfather, who was a CAP member during World War II, talked about her experience learning to fly as a young woman, and laid out her expectations for the members of the 70-year-old Air Force auxiliary. Read the story, see photos and listen to Secretary Wilson’s keynote speech in cap.news.
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The 2018 Civil Air Patrol National Conference concluded on August 25. After pre-conference courses and activities, plus two days of general sessions and learning labs, more than 850 CAP members from across the country headed for home.
The Arizona Wing received three significant awards during the conference. On Friday, August 24, Wing Commander Col. Martha Morris accepted Southwest Region mission awards for Search and Rescue and Aerospace Education. On Saturday, Morris accepted the Paul W. Turner Safety Award on behalf of Arizona Wing. The citation read, “A wing-wide commitment to safety from the top down is evident throughout Arizona Wing.”
Former Arizona Wing Commander Col. Brian Ready was recognized with a Distinguished Service Award at a ceremony on August 25, for his work as the command representative to the CAP Information Technology Steering Committee. Over the past two years, Col. Ready has worked to prioritize proposed IT projects and on the CAP website consolidation project, contributing to the design, functionality, and testing of the new gocivilairpatrol.com website.
Capt. Klara Olcott of the 388th Composite Squadron in Glendale was recognized earlier in the week, receiving a Public Affairs Balsem Awards Certificate of Merit for a photograph she took during the National Blue Beret activity in Oshkosh, Wisc.
Squadron commanders, members of the Arizona Wing staff, and others met at the 388th Composite Squadron building at the Glendale Municipal Airport on Saturday, August 4, for the quarterly Commander’s Call.
Arizona Wing Commander Col. Martha Morris briefed the group on “where we are and where we want to go,” beginning with the Wing Vision:
- To provide a rewarding experience and growth opportunities for volunteers looking to exercise leadership while learning and utilizing aviation and SAR related skills in support of statewide emergencies.
- To provide a learning and maturing environment for CAP cadets to help them become the leaders of tomorrow
- To educate, inspire, and instill an appreciation for and an understanding of aerospace in today’s and tomorrow’s world.
Wing Commander Col. Martha Morris announced several changes to Wing staff on July 31. AZWG Vice Commander Lt. Col. Paul Rehman moves to a SW Region assignment as Wing Coordinator and AF liaison. Lt. Col. Rob Pinckard moves from chief of staff to AZWG Vice Commander. Maj. Jerad Hoff, completing his assignment as group commander for cadet programs and aerospace education, becomes chief of staff. Maj. Ken Smith takes over cadet programs and AE. Maj. Dave Girolami will serve as Southern Sector Commander, replacing Lt. Col. Newton Muehleisen. Finally, Lt. Cols. Luis Camus and Jim Nova with share the responsibilities of the Wing Executive Officer position.
Nine members of the Arizona Wing recently completed the week-long Southwest Region Staff College, held at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. Three additional Wing members served in staff positions at the college.
The college is an intensive learning experience with a widely varied curriculum. Students tackle both individual and group projects, working in their seminar groups each evening to discuss and formulate strategies to address various scenarios that a commander may face.
Arizona Wing was fortunate to have two banquet speakers at the Wing Conference in Tucson in May — Representative Martha McSally (USAF retired) and Lt. Col. Jennifer Aupke, USAF.
Lt. Col. Aupke spent the whole weekend at the conference, meeting one-on-one and in small groups will cadets and senior members. She asked a lot of questions, listened and learned about CAP and its missions. On June 2, Aupke posted an article about her experience on her Linked In page.
As of June 8, she assumes command of her new unit at Maxwell AFB and already has plans to meet CAP National HQ staff members there to further her relationship with CAP.
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 Maj. Gen. 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.