Civil Air Patrol

AZ Wing Members Recognized for Lifesaving Efforts

Maj. Randy and 1st Lt. Kelli Hammit of the 388th Composite Squadron rendered first aid to two teenage shooting victims in the mass shooter incident at Westgate Mall in Glendale on May 20.

Maj. Randy Hammit (left) and 1st Lt. Kelli Hammit during their interview with 12News.

Their story was told today in an interview with 12News reporter Erica Stapleton. You can see the interview on the 12News website.

2020 Summer Encampment Cancelled

Message from Maj. Jerad Hoff, AZ Wing Chief of Staff:

After consultation with Col Rob Pinckard, the Arizona Wing Commander along with Maj Joanna Moseley, the Arizona Wing Director of Cadet Programs, I am announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Arizona Wing Summer Encampment. While the decision is unbelievably disheartening, our commitment to the safety of our cadets made the decision itself a fairly easy one to make. Following the requirements put forward by our National Headquarters to safely re-mobilize the Civil Air Patrol, which require certain federal and state conditions to be met along with metrics related to the virus infection rate, we won’t be able to meet minimum requirements to have an activity with a large number of participants. Additionally, necessary social distancing requirements would have significantly interfered with our plans for housing, transportation, and dining.

I know this decision is extraordinarily disappointing. The Cadet Commander for encampment was supposed to be C/Lt Col Jacob Little. Representative of the exceptional dedication to servant leadership our cadets are known for, C/Lt Col Little’s first response to the news was to ask if he and the cadet cadre could develop a plan that would still provide a virtual opportunity to teach, mentor, and guide cadets who would be interested in advancing their skills and knowledge. I’ll be sure to let everyone know what our exceptional cadet leaders come up with.
I have already begun working with the U.S. Army on coordinating dates for 2021. We are also investigating possible smaller activities that could occur at Fort Huachuca and around the state once the wing gets the green light to engage in larger activities with large groups.   

If you are concerned about how cancelling encampment impacts your promotion path, there is a waiver in place to assist cadets who are ready to earn their Mitchell and don’t want to wait for another encampment. For details, here is the memo from NHQ:

As I am each year, I am extremely grateful to Maj Joanna Moseley, Maj Ken Smith, and Capt Jim Seeds for their dedication to encampment. They’ve been planning for months to get ready for this summer and unfortunately that planning won’t come to fruition this year. They are phenomenal members of the encampment team and we are fortunate to have them in our wing.

To the cadets and seniors that were planning on joining me for one of the most unique, challenging, and rewarding experiences found anywhere, I’m sorry we won’t be getting together this summer like planned. I urge you remain engaged in CAP and lean on your CAP family as needed to get through these unique challenges we’ve all been facing. A virus isn’t going to keep us for being there for one another.

Col. Martha Morris Named to Women in Aviation Advisory Board

From the May 19, 2020, issue of the PROPS e-newsletter:

Former Arizona Wing Commander Col. Martha Morris (at left) has been appointed as one of 30 women to serve on the newly-formed Women in Aviation Advisory Board (WIAAB).

The appointees were announced May 15 by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, who named former U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson to serve as chair of the board.

“The Department of Transportation welcomes Dr. Wilson and these accomplished advisory board members, who share a commitment and passion for encouraging women to access opportunities in aviation,” Chao said.

The WIAAB was established on October 3, 2019, under the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which specially designated CAP as a stakeholder group and, thus, to have a representative on the board. Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP’s National Commander and CEO, nominated Morris.

“Col. Morris brings a wealth of experience and knowledge as our proposed representative,” he wrote. “Since 1983, she has worked with our emergency services operations, youth programs and STEM/Aerospace Education support to teachers and schools in a range of increasingly responsible positions. She is also a highly experienced pilot (over 21,500 flight hours) with the airlines, business aviation and public service flying.”

The purpose of the WIAAB is to develop strategies and recommendations that would encourage women to enter the field of aviation. The board also will assess education, training, mentorship, outreach and recruitment of women in the aviation industry.

AZ Wing Recognized as ‘Extraordinary Blood Program Partner’

The AZ Wing received an Outstanding Service Award recognizing the wing as “an extraordinary Blood Program Partner who stood with the American Red Cross during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The award notes that the wing’s “dedicated support was essential in our mission to help save lives across the country through blood donation.”

In a message regarding the award, Red Cross President & CEO Gail McGovern wrote, “As thousands of blood drives around the nation were cancelled due to the impact of COVID-19, please know that your drive protected the health and well-being of the most vulnerable among us – including accident victims, cancer patients, those suffering from chronic illnesses and many others.”

The third emergency blood drive under the COVID-19 mission, hosted by AZ Wing with the Red Cross, takes place on May 16 at Falcon Squadron in Mesa. (All slots already reserved by donors.) The first two blood drives and independent donations by members have already yielded 93 units of blood for the Red Cross.

The fourth blood drive will take place at the 388th Composite Squadron in Glendale on Wednesday, June 17 from 9 am – 3 pm. Grab an appointment now at… before they are all reserved.

ICS-400 Course Offered Virtually May 23-24

The FEMA ICS-400 course, Advanced Incident Command System for Command and General Staff, Complex Incidents, and Multiagency Coordination Systems, will be offered virtually for Arizona Wing members on May 23-24. The National Emergency Services Academy Mobile Training Team will facilitate the course using Zoom online meeting technology from 0800-1700 each day.

Prerequisites for students include completion of the CAP GES; IS 100, 200, 700, 800; and ICS 300 courses. Students must also complete the course pre-test in CAP eServices AXIS no later than May 22.

Register by May 16 via AIRS on to take the course. The course will be held May 23-24 and students will have from May 25-June 7 to complete the course post-test in eServices.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How the National Incident Management System Command and Management component supports the management of expanding incidents.
  • The Incident/Event Management process for supervisors and expanding incidents as prescribed by the ICS.
  • How to implement the Incident Management process on a simulated Type 3 incident.
  • How to develop an Incident Action Plan for a simulated incident.

NESA-MTT recently hosted the nation’s first virtual/synchronous delivery of ICS 300. Twelve students from two Southwest Region states (Texas and Arizona) participated along with four instructors from Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, and Arizona, and two observers from Maryland and Florida, all joining by Zoom for the class.

According to Lt. Col. Bob Ditch, NESA-MTT coordinator, “We also managed two separate homeroom breakout areas successfully – most especially all at no-cost to the attendees, the faculty members, or CAP.”

National Commander Extends Travel/Meeting Restrictions to June 30

CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Mark Smith has just issued updated COVID-19 guidance on Travel, Meetings and Missions. The current guidance from NHQ was due to expire on 11 May 2020. Highlights from today’s memo from CAP/CC:

1. The previous 14 Mar 2020 directive, Coronavirus COVID-19 Travel and Meeting Guidance, included an end date of 11 May 2020. This memo extends the effective end date of that directive until 30 June 2020.

2. In addition, the effective end date for the following two directives is also extended to 30 June 2020:

  • Cease Cadet Orientation and Training Flights, 4 Apr 2020
  • Mission Essential Operations Only during Coronavirus COVID-19,
    7 Apr 2020

AZ Wing Director of Operations Maj. Mark Schadt says, “Given this guidance, AZ Wing will continue its current level of restricted operations. The memo also states that there will be updated guidance in the coming weeks from NHQ that will involve remobilizing certain parts of CAP. As those directives are issued, there will be additional updates on how those affect AZ Wing operations.”

More info, including a link to Maj. Gen. Smith’s memo can be found here.

You Donate Blood; CAP Serves Communities

Arizona Wing ran two successful blood drives with the American Red Cross in April, with 60 units of life-saving blood donated. Another drive is scheduled for May 16 at Falcon Composite Squadron and reservations are already close to full. But you can still donate and get recognized for supporting this mission.

Donate blood at any American Red Cross or Vitalant blood drive or donation center. Find Red Cross locations here and Vitalant locations here. Once you have donated, send an email to Lt. Col. Bob Ditch, Incident Commander for the AZ Wing COVID-19 response mission ( Let him know that you donated and your contribution will be credited toward the total amount of blood collected through CAP.

New Dates for Summer Encampment

The latest news on the 2020 AZ Wing summer encampment from Maj. Jerad Hoff:

“We have secured 11 July to 18 July as new 2020 Arizona Wing Summer Encampment dates (with staff reporting 8 July), provided the government and military leaders allow gatherings at that time. The situation remains fluid and I appreciate your patience as we work through the logistical issues related to working around a pandemic.

“I will continue to share new information as I receive it.”

Major Milestone for Civil Air Patrol’s Cell Phone Forensics Team: 1,000th ‘Find’ Credited by Air Force Rescue Coordination Center

Civil Air Patrol’s award-winning, Arizona-based National Cell Phone Forensics Team achieved another major milestone, recording its 1,000th find of a lost or missing person on the way to its 659th life saved since the innovative technology was developed.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, conducts approximately 90% of all search operations within the United States as assigned by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC).

“Technology applications are woven into the DNA of the Air Force, and our Civil Air Patrol is no exception,” said Lt. Gen. Marc H. Sasseville, commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region-1st Air Force. “Our Air Force Rescue Coordination Center has a 24/7 hotline right into CAP so that we can get help to our citizens as quickly as possible.”

In CAP terms, a find is recorded when the team assists local searchers in locating a missing person — in the 1,000th case, a 29-year-old hiker was reported missing on the western slope of Colorado. A save occurs when the missing person, typically in a life-threatening situation, could not self-recover, and was delivered to a safe place alive.

The team – all members of the CAP’s Arizona Wing – has carried out cell phone forensics missions for the AFRCC since 2006. CAP’s support began as a last-resort tool for locating missing persons and overdue aircraft but has evolved into a primary resource for search and rescue.

“Technology has changed how we operate,” said John Desmarais, CAP’s director of operations. “What used to take days of laborious searching is now done remotely using technology to find more people and find them faster.” 

Cell phone data is often the first tool used in a search for a missing individual since most people carry their phone at all times. For example, the team worked with emergency management officials to help locate a Chandler-based airplane that crashed near Elko, Nevada, recently.

Missing aircraft as well as lost and stranded hikers, snowmobilers, skiers and boaters have been found with the help of cell phone data. “It’s not just where the phone last was, but we can get a picture of a stream of events over time,” said Maj. Justin Ogden, who built and improved the software the team uses to establish a “most likely area” for the search and rescue personnel.

“While most cellular carriers will provide a latitude and longitude, colloquially known as a ‘ping,’ the carriers don’t provide any further analysis or services past that,” said Maj. Jerad Hoff, an analyst on the team. “Justin (Ogden) has processed and analyzed so many cases and with that unparalleled experience comes a trend analysis that leads him to sorting the good data from the bad faster than anyone else can.”

The cell phone team has contributed to a dramatic rise in the number of saved lives credited to CAP by the AFRCC, now totaling 659 saves in its 14-year existence. “We’re saving more lives and doing more missions in a cost-effective manner,” Desmarais said.

Team members Ogden and Col. Brian Ready have been honored on numerous occasions for their efforts, most notably with the 2014 1st Air Force (AFNORTH) Commander’s Award, which was presented to both men in August 2015, and the 2010 National Aeronautic Association Public Benefit Flying Award in the Distinguished Volunteer category, which was presented to Ogden.

Last year, the four fully qualified cell phone forensics analysts on the team — Ogden, Ready, Hoff and Maj. John Schofield — were recognized by the Arizona Wing with an Exceptional Service Award. The team has since added Lt. Col. Vic LaSala as an analyst trainee and Capt. Margot Myers as public information officer.

Summer Encampment Postponed

A message from AZ Wing Chief of Staff Maj. Jerad Hoff:

Due to a number of COVID-19 related obstacles, the 2020 AZWG Summer Encampment is being postponed. We are currently in discussions with the U.S. Army to see if there are dates available in July, provided the pandemic response allows for an encampment to occur by then.

I want to thank Maj. Joanna Moseley, C/Lt. Col. Jacob Little, C/1st Lt. Tera Smeltzer, and C/Capt. Tristan Obregon for the enormous amount of planning and preparation work they have done for this summer’s encampment. Given this is a postponement and not a cancellation, they along with the recently selected Cadet Cadre will continue moving forward to ensure our summer encampment provides the absolute best cadet experience for our students.

I’ve heard there was some concern among some parents in the wing that the encampment registration process was closed for cadets wanting to attend this summer; in fact it hasn’t been opened yet. Nobody has missed an opportunity to sign up for encampment. Once we have dates secured, we’ll start the registration process shortly thereafter.

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