Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Save the Date! Feb 21 Squadron Meeting Features Special Guest Speaker!

Squadron 150 is pleased to serve as the host squadron for this month's Joint Group 7 Training. Our special guest speaker is Aldo Spadoni who will be speaking on "Exploring the Boundaries of Art, Design, Aerospace Engineering, and Popular Culture" during our regular squadron meeting on Thursday February 21, 2019 from 7:30pm to 9:00pm. Aldo will be speaking on how he managed to blend art and engineering to great advantage throughout his technical career in aerospace engineering, as well as his career as a consultant to the entertainment industry on projects including Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Stealth, and Apollo 13.
About Aldo: Also Spadoni is the President of Aerospace Imagineering, is an MIT graduate with extensive experience as an aerospace engineer, conceptual designer, and futurist. He has contributed to the conceptual, prototype, and production design of numerous advanced aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft For NASA, DARPA and The U.S. Armed Services. He created an award-winning simulation team at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. Aldo is also an accomplished concept designer/inventor with four U.S. patents, space artist, and Hollywood technical consultant. He is a Fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA) and is currently serving on its Board of Trustees.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Latest Issue of Airman Magazine Features Interview with CAP National Commander

National Commander and CEO Maj. Gen. Mark Smith talks about all things Civil Air Patrol in an interview posted Tuesday atop the homepage of Airman Magazine’s website.
Airman is the official magazine of the U.S. Air Force. It’s published bimonthly online by the Defense Media Activity group and is considered a major publication of the U.S. Air Force.
Entitled “Serving, Saving, Shaping,” the Airman post includes a 4½-minute video of Smith’s interview, which was conducted in December in Washington, D.C. He was interviewed by Joseph Eddins, and a transcript of a portion of the question-and-answer session is also posted on the website.
On Wednesday, Smith responded to the post, saying he was grateful for the experience.
“I’m thankful for this opportunity to tell Airmen across the world about Civil Air Patrol,” he said. “It is my hope that it will make them and others more aware of the capabilities of CAP and encourage them to one day join us in our many missions for America.”
In the Airman interview, Smith talked about a life-changing mentor who guided him to the Air Force Academy, which allowed him to fulfill his childhood dream of being a fighter pilot.
Smith told Eddins the experience has greatly affected his current mission to build CAP cadets into leaders of the future. “I love to talk to young people about the power of mentorship because it’s something that made a fundamental difference in my life and being able to achieve my life goal,” he said.
The Airman transcript includes an old photo of Smith and one of his mentor, the late Air Force Reserve Maj. Ray Powell. Another photo from his career in the Air Force shows Smith in the 27th Tactical Fighter Squadron during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
But much of the transcript deals with CAP and Smith’s post as national commander/CEO, which he called “the best job in the world.”
He told Eddins two things attracted him to CAP — the volunteers who make up the Air Force auxiliary and the ability to continuing flying in service to his country.
“These are amazing people who are giving of their time, treasure and talents to serve community, state and nation and doing a wide variety of amazing things,” Smith said. “So what’s not to like about that? Then the stick and rudder flying, of course I love airplanes, love flying, and it’s nice to still do that.”
Other interview topics ranged from CAP’s rich history to its current role as a force-multiplier for the Air Force. Smith talked about the organization’s steadily increasing role in America’s homeland security as the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force.
“We have 61,500 volunteers who are passionate about being volunteer Airmen and making a difference for community, state and nation,” Smith said. “CAP is unlike any other volunteer organization I’ve ever seen. They’re doing things that are helping on an operational level, whether it’s disaster response or search and rescue or developing young people to be highly successful and ethical leaders for the next generation.”
John Salvador, CAP’s chief operating officer, said Smith’s interview was a first for the organization.
“This is the first time CAP’s national commander/CEO has ever been interviewed by the Air Force for a major story,” he said. “We appreciate Airman Magazine taking the time to do this.”

Monday, January 28, 2019

We Remember the Challenger Seven

by: 1st Lt. Rommel Anacan

Thirty-three years ago today (28 January, 1986) we lost the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-51L), when the orbiter exploded 73 seconds into the mission. It was determined that record cold temperatures damaged the rubber O-ring seals on the solid rocket boosters, reducing their ability to effectively seal the gap between the booster segments. This allowed superheated flare from the boosters to escape through the gaps, compromising the structural integrity of the external tank, causing a breakup of the vehicle in flight.

The Crew of Challenger STS 51-L
Interest in STS-51was high around the nation because it was to have the first teacher-in-space. Christa McAuliffe, of New Hampshire, was selected among over 100 semi-finalists (from 11,000 original applicants) to fly on board Challenger. The plan was for her to teach several lessons while Challenger was in orbit, which would have been broadcast live to millions of schoolchildren.

The crew of STS-51L was:
  • Commander: Lt. Col. Francis "Dick" Scobee, USAF
  • Pilot: Cmdr. Michael Smith, USN
  • Mission Specialist: Lt. Col. Ellison Onizuka, USAF
  • Mission Specialist: Judith Resnik
  • Mission Specialist: Ronald McNair
  • Payload Specialist: Gregory Jarvis
  • Payload Specialist: S. Christa McAuliffe
The legacy of the Challenger's crew lives on today...

"In the aftermath of the Challenger accident, the families of the Challenger crew come together, firmly committed to the belief that they must carry on the spirit of their loved ones. They envision a place where children, teachers and citizens can touch the future: manipulate equipment, conduct experiments, solve problems, and work together, immersing themselves in space-like surroundings. Their goal is to spark youth interest and joy in science and engineering, believing that spark can change lives. With their collective efforts, they create Challenger Center for Space Science Education. "
-From www.challenger.org



Sunday, January 27, 2019

Remembering the Crew of Apollo 1

by: 1st Lt. Rommel Anacan

Fifty-two years ago today, on January 27, 1967 our nation lost the crew of Apollo 1 in a flash fire that occurred in their spacecraft during a test on Launch Complex 34 at Cape Kennedy Air Force Station in Florida. 


From L to R Roger Chaffee, Edward White and Virgil "Gus" Grissom
The commander of Apollo 1 was Lt. Col. Virgil "Gus" Grissom, USAF. Grissom was a veteran of two previous spaceflights; Liberty Bell 7 during the Mercury program and Molly Brown (Gemini 3). Grissom had been told privately by "Deke" Slayton (who was in charge of astronaut crew selection) that he would be the first to walk on the moon.

The senior pilot was Lt. Col. Edward White, USAF who may have been best known for being the first American to "walk in space" during the mission of Gemini 4 in 1965.

Apollo 1 would have been the first spaceflight for pilot Lt. Cmdr. Roger Chaffee, USN.

On January 27, 1967 the crew was conducting what was called the "plugs out" test, which was a test of the spacecraft's systems, to ensure that everything was nominal for the mission's scheduled launch date of February 21, 1967. During the test the spacecraft was disconnected from any external sources of power and ran solely on battery power from the spacecraft.

At approximately 6:31pm someone on the crew said, "We've got a fire in the cockpit!" It is believed that a spark originated in a bundle of wiring beneath Grissom's seat. In just a few seconds the spark, fueled by the pure oxygen atmosphere inside the spacecraft, raged through Apollo 1. Under ideal conditions it would have taken 90 seconds to open the three piece hatch; unfortunately the crew was lost within 30 seconds of the first "fire" transmission.

While Grissom, White and Chaffee would never fly their mission nor go to the moon, their mission, in a sense, made the moon landing possible. The investigation uncovered many things that were unsafe in the Apollo spacecraft design (such as the hatch, the use of flammable materials in the cabin and using a pure oxygen atmosphere while the spacecraft was on the ground) in NASA's policies and procedures, and in the general mindset that everyone associated with the program had. In our quest to reach the moon by the end of the decade corners were cut, unnecessary risks were taken and everyone suffered from "go-fever."

The fire forced all involved to pause and reflect and come up with a better way forward...which they ultimately did. On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong famously took a "giant leap for mankind" as he and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. In all twelve men, over six missions, walked on the moon during the Apollo program.

Prior to his death Grissom was asked about the risks of spaceflight and this is what he said, "If we die, we want people to accept it. We're in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life."

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Introducing Squadron 150's New Deputy Commander

Long Beach Senior Squadron 150 commander Maj. David Powell appointed 2nd Lt. Craig Roalf as the squadron's new deputy commander, succeeding 1st Lt. Rommel Anacan who served as deputy commander for two and a half years. 

Powell said, "I chose 2nd Lt. Craig Roalf as my deputy commander because of his hard work, his extensive dedication to Civil Air Patrol, and his extraordinary passion for aviation.  I am looking forward to working with him to develop a stellar squadron in 2019 that emphasizes emergency services and aerospace education."

(L to R) In this file photo 2nd Lt. Craig Roalf is flanked on his left by Squadron 150 commander Maj. David Powell and on his right by outgoing Squadron 150 deputy commander 1st Lt. Rommel Anacan
(Civil Air Patrol by Maj. Alexander Smith)
"I would like to humbly express my appreciation for being given the opportunity to assist Major Powell in the leadership role of our squadron in the position of deputy commander" said Roalf. 
I would like to humbly
express my appreciation for bei
ng given the opportunity to assist Major
Powell in the leadership role o
f our Squadron as Deputy Command
er.

Roalf became a member of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in June 2017 and, in addition to his new duties as deputy commander, also serves as Squadron 150's emergency services officer, emergency services training officer and assistant aerospace education officer. His emergency services qualifications include Mission Observer, Mission Scanner, Ground Team Member-Level 3, and Mission Radio Operator. 

Anacan will continue to serve as the public affairs officer for South Coast Group 7 (the parent organization of Long Beach Senior Squadron 150) and as the public affairs officer and assistant emergency services officer for Squadron 150.
I would like to humbly
express my appreciation for bei
ng given the opportunity to assist Major
Powell in the leadership role o
f our Squadron as Deputy Command
er.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Congratulations Second Lieutenant Sochirca!

Long Beach Senior Squadron 150 announced the promotion of SM Mihai Sochirca to the grade of second lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), United States Air Force Auxiliary during a meeting on 6 December, 2018. 2nd Lieutenant Sochirca has been a member of CAP since February 2018. He currently serves as an assistant safety officer, assistant aerospace education officer and is a mission scanner trainee.

(L to R) Squadron 150 Deputy Commander 1st Lt. Rommel Anacan, 2nd Lt. Mihai Sochirca, Squadron 150 Commander Maj. David Powell (Civil Air Patrol photo by SM Donna Babi)
Squadron 150 deputy commander 1st Lt. Rommel Anacan said, "2nd Lieutenant Sochirca has been a valued member of Squadron 150 since joining CAP. His knowledge and expertise has boosted our safety department's efforts; his emergency preparedness initiative has not only encouraged all squadron members to prepare now in the event of an emergency, but he has also made it very simple for members to know how to procure the needed items. We are highly appreciative of his efforts."

 2nd Lt. Mihai Sochirca (L) receiving his certificate of promotion from Squadron 150 Commander Maj. David Powell (Civil Air Patrol photo by SM Donna Babi)

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Garmin VIRB Discussion During Our Next Meeting (10 January, 2019)

Join us this Thursday 10 January, 2019 for our next Squadron 150 meeting. The topic will be on the Garmin VIRB camera system that is used by Civil Air Patrol (CAP) for airborne photography missions. During the wildfires in Fall of 2017 in California CAP was tasked by FEMA with taking pictures of the affected areas. Civil Air Patrol aircrews flew about 140 flights taking roughly 6,000 photos with the wing-mounted VIRB cameras. We will also be discussing Garmin Drones and North American Aviation, time-permitting.

Garmin ViRB camera used for Civil Air Patrol (CAP) airborne photography missions mounted on wing of CAP aircraft
(Civil Air Patrol photo by 1st Lt. Rommel Anacan)
If you are visiting for the first time, we recommend that you plan on arriving by 7:15pm so that we have some time to welcome you before the meeting begins. Please also plan on staying a few minutes after the meeting so that we can make sure to answer any questions you might have about serving in CAP.

Be advised that Los Alamitos JFTB is an active military installation and you will need to show proper picture ID to the guards at the front gate. Let them know that you are visiting the base for the purpose of attending the Civil Air Patrol meeting.

Please be aware that your vehicle may be subject to search; the speed limit while driving on base is 25 MPH and it is strictly enforced by Federal law. Please note that cell phones may be operated while driving aboard the base only if a hands-free device is employed.




Friday, January 04, 2019

CAP's Lester Wolff Celebrates 100th Birthday

This was originally published on www.CAP.news
_______________________________
4 January, 2018
Civil Air Patrol Col. Lester L. Wolff, U.S. representative from New York from 1965-1981, turns 100 years old today.
Four years ago, Wolff (second from left in the graphic photo below) was selected to receive the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of CAP members -- like him -- who served on the home front during World War II. In addition to his service during the war, Wolff made many contributions to CAP in his lifetime, including legislation that led to full congressional funding for the organization. 
CAP National Headquarters joins with members of the Congressional Squadron (which he co-founded), as well as Wolff’s former constituents in New York, in thanking him for his service and wishing him a happy 100th birthday.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

No Squadron 150 Meetings on 20 December or 27 December

Squadron 150 will NOT be having meetings on 20 December or 27 December so that our members may spend more time during the Holidays with their loved ones. We look forward to seeing all of you on 3 January, 2019 for our first meeting of the year!


Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Squadron Potluck Dinner this Thursday 13 December, 2018

In commemoration of a very successful year for our squadron we will be having a potluck dinner in place of our regular squadron meeting this Thursday (13 December.) Squadron members a sign up sheet was passed around during the squadron meeting on 6 December and one was included on the weekly email. As a reminder this Thursday's "uniform" is civilian attire. 

Reception held after Squadron 150 change of command ceremony (Civil Air Patrol file photo)
Visitors: We invite you to attend our first meeting of 2019 which will be held on 3 January!

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

CAP Providing Aerial 3D Views of Hurricane Michael's Damage

This post was originally published on www.CAP.news
___________


CAP Director of Operations John Desmarais said two CAP Cessnas were outfitted with XCAM Ultra50 camera pods developed by WaldoAir Corp., a Franklin, Tennessee-based company. The camera pods were previously tested on two CAP planes during the Hurricane Florence response in the Carolinas, where they collected imagery with the advanced imaging sensor, which is then processed into high-resolution (1-inch ground sample distance) 3-D models.
FEMA’s request for the Michael missions has been for WaldoAir’s 3D mesh product, which provides volumetric measurements of debris piles and integration of resulting digital elevation models into flood modeling.

The imagery collected may also be used to supplement National Insurance Crime Bureau files.CAP aircrews using the camera pods, under agreement with WaldoAir, have been tasked with surveying heavily damaged Mexico Beach as well as the Port St. Joe and Marianna areas of the Panhandle that Michael impacted.

After their initial flights on Oct. 18, the aircrews have continued their image collections over the same areas and will do so through Nov. 16.
Mission pilots Lt. Col. Ande Boyer and Maj. Deming Gray, two of the four Tennessee Wing aircrew members deployed for the Florence response, helped train the Florida Wing members in the use of the WaldoAir system. And there are plans in place to train additional CAP members from Alabama and Georgia in operating the system over the next three weeks as the mission continues.
Boyer said the WaldoAir system is “the highest-quality and most user-friendly total package imaging and image-processing system that I’ve ever seen.” The enhancements “make sortie planning and execution a piece of cake,” he said.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Happy 77th Birthday Civil Air Patrol!

This post was originally published on www.CAP.news
___________________________
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.
“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.
Those services provided by Civil Air Patrol’s World War II-era veterans earned CAP a Congressional Gold Medal on Dec. 10, 2014. The medal — the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress — was presented to CAP on behalf of those founding members.
That legacy lives on in today’s all-volunteer force, which still contributes greatly to America’s defense by providing aerial reconnaissance for homeland security, giving Air Force fighter pilots practice in protecting America’s airspace and helping train U.S. military troops for service overseas.
CAP members also make a profound difference in more than 1,500 communities across the nation, saving lives through search and rescue and other emergency services and conducting aerospace education and youth programs that help develop the nation’s next generation of leaders.
“Every day, our more than 61,000 members continue to build on the terrific foundation forged by their forefathers,” Smith said. “Their contributions have helped Civil Air Patrol evolve into the premier public service organization that it is today.”
CAP, which celebrated 70 years as the official Air Force Auxiliary in 2018, truly makes its mark as a force-multiplier, providing vital services for both country and community. This coming year, CAP and its cadet program have been tasked by the Air Force to help identify and train young pilots for future military services as well as commercial airlines and general aviation.
In observance of CAP’s 77th anniversary, Smith has asked CAP cadets and senior members to join him in an annual tradition this weekend — representing CAP by wearing their Air Force-style blue uniforms to their place of worship.
Members of all faiths, particularly CAP’s chaplains and character development officers, are encouraged to participate.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Join Us This Thursday 29 November for Our Next Squadron Meeting

After several weeks off from our regular meeting schedule we are excited to be meeting again at our HQ at Los Alamitos JFTB this Thursday 29 November. We will be discussing the Garmin ViRB camera that is used on some of our airborne photography missions and on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) commonly known as "drones." Lastly we will have a presentation on the Concorde.

1st Lt. Rommel Anacan (L), 1st Lt. E. Buesing (M) and Maj. Alexander Smith (R) during a Squadron 150 meeting.
(Civil Air Patrol photo by Capt. Gary Mathieson)
We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving! No Squadron Meeting this Thursday 22 November!

As you might have imagined, Squadron 150 will NOT be meeting this week in observance of Thanksgiving. We will be meeting again next week (29 November) at our normal time of 1930 hours (7:30pm) at our HQ at Los Alamitos JFTB.

We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

No Squadron 150 Meeting on 15 November!

Squadron 150 will not be meeting this Thursday 15 November as we will be attending the Joint Group 7 Training meeting that evening at Squadron 40. Group 7 is expecting to receive a Cessna 182 Q this month which has newly upgraded avionics that include the Garmin G500 Display and Garmin GPS/Com equipment. Therefore the subject of this joint training meeting will be this new panel. 




For Civil Air Patrol members this training will be conducted by Maj Scott Dineen of Falcon Squadron 40 and will take place in the AFI training room at Fullerton Airport located at 4119 W. Commonwealth Ave in Fullerton. The meeting begins at 1900 (7:00pm) on 15 November, 2018. 

For our guests we will be off for Thanksgiving but our normal meeting schedule will resume on 29 November and we look forward to seeing you at our next Squadron 150 meeting then!

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Congratulations to Award Winners

Congratulations to Maj. Jerry Civalleri and 1st Lt. Steven Schock for being awarded the Commander's Commendation award by South Coast Group 7 Commander Maj. Craig Newton during the Squadron 150 meeting on 25 October, 2018.

Maj. Jerry Civalleri (L) and (then SM) now 1st Lt. Steve Schock (R) in a file photo from 2016
Civil Air Patrol photo by 1st Lt. Rommel Anacan

Major Civalleri was awarded the Commander's Commendation Award for being named the South Coast Group 7 2018 Professional Development Officer of the Year and 1st Lieutenant Schock received Commander's Commendation Award for being named the South Coast Group 7 Safety Officer of the Year.

Congratulations to you and thank you for your service to Civil Air Patrol!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

CAP Awarded American Airlines Grant to Support Pilot Shortage Initiatives


October
11,
2018

American Airlines is helping Civil Air Patrol address a national emphasis on pilot shortages by providing grant funding to be used to train the next generation of aviators.
CAP, one of 17 American Airlines grant recipients, was awarded $25,000. The grants totaling $337,000 will benefit aviation-focused schools and organizations across America.
In American Airlines’ grant announcement, made Wednesday via news release, Capt. David Tatum, director of Pilot Recruiting and Development, said, “We believe we’re making the pilot profession more visible, accessible and obtainable to a broader range of people than ever before.”
“Solving a national pilot shortage is an industry-wide issue,” said CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Mark Smith. “Our partnership with American Airlines will benefit programs designed to encourage CAP cadets to consider pursing aviation careers.”
Civil Air Patrol’s cadet program for youth 12 to 21 years old emphasizes pilot training through 19 National Flight Academies offered annually, as well as local academies and one-on-one training provided by over 600 active CAP flight instructors. In fiscal year 2019, these programs also will be complemented by $2.4 million in funding from the U.S. Air Force that will be used to support formal flight instruction, cadet orientation flights and science, technology, engineering and math initiatives.
To date, American’s Flight Education Grant program has awarded 34 grants totaling $789,000 to flight schools, nonprofit organizations, and middle school, high school and college-level organizations that generate innovative and creative ideas for growing and diversifying the nation’s pool of pilots. The American Airlines Cadet Academy, another innovative initiative targeting the pilot shortage, provides aspiring pilots of all backgrounds with the opportunity to receive training, financing and mentoring opportunities necessary to fly for American Airlines.
___________________________________________________

This article was originally published on www.CAP.news

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Squadron 150 Volunteers at Great Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach

Over one million people converged onto Huntington Beach this past weekend (19 October-21) for The Great Pacific Airshow (formerly the Huntington Beach Airshow); in the middle of it all were Civil Air Patrol (CAP) members of Squadron 150, South Coast Group 7 and Southern California.

CAP members assisted with airshow operations, manned CAP information booths, interacted with the public, assisted attendees who wanted to take a picture in a CAP glider and more! We are proud that Squadron 150 members were very involved in the planning and execution of everything associated with CAP's involvement in this year's airshow and we "salute" all of our squadron's members who made this year's show an amazing success.

For their hard work CAP members had the best seat in the house, right at show center to watch this year's show featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, SOCOM Para Commanders, a C-47 Dakota from Lyon Air Museum, U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker and more!

Here are some pictures from the weekend...

1st Lt. E. Buesing (L) and 2d Lt. Craig Roalf (R) at a Civil Air Patrol booth at The Great Pacific Airshow
Civil Air Patrol photo by SM Donna Babi

C-17 Globemsaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker
Civil Air Patrol photo by SM Donna Babi

Civil Air Patrol photo by SM Donna Babi

Civil Air Patrol cadets and adult members with the Thunderbirds Demonstration team 
Civil Air Patrol photo courtesy SM Donna Babi






Tuesday, October 16, 2018

No Squadron 150 Meeting This Week (18 October)

There will be NO Squadron 150 Meeting this Thursday 18 October as many of our members will be attending an event associated with the Great Pacific Airshow. As a reminder the airshow is this weekend 19-21 October in Huntington Beach. Please stop by our Civil Air Patrol booths at the airshow and say, "hello!"

We will be meeting as regularly scheduled on 25 October.

Squadron 150 members using FAA charts during a meeting
(Civil Air Patrol photo by 1st Lt. Rommel Anacan)

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Civil Air Patrol Responsible for 155 Saves in 2018

This article was originally published on www.CAP.news
_____________________________________

Vicky Travis
Contributing Writer

A save Sunday afternoon off the southern tip of Florida has given Civil Air Patrol a new  record for lives saved in a fiscal year – 155, as credited by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC).

Virtually all of those saves – 147, or 95 percent – occurred with the support of CAP’s National Cell Phone Forensics Team. 
The organization totaled 154 saves in fiscal 1983 and again in fiscal 1994, surpassing 100 in 16 of the previous 51 years. Before that, saves weren't reported annually.
“An amazing year for CAP!” was the response of Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, CAP national commander, when he learned of the record-breaking number of saves.
The Florida save occurred after the AFRCC at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, contacted the cell phone team at 4:20 p.m. about a boater whose disabled craft ran aground after he left Naples, Florida, at 9 a.m. Contacting the relevant cell phone provider resulted in information about a ping 5,000 meters off Joe Kemp Key.

At 5:21 p.m., just over an hour after the AFRCC contacted the cell phone team, the U.S. Coast Guard used the team’s data to find the boater.

The new saves record reflects continuous advances in technology and training in one of CAP’s key missions, search and rescue. 
CAP’s total team effort for search and rescue, which also includes the National Radar Analysis Team and state- and locally based ground teams, totaled 1,044 missions for fiscal 2018.
The cell phone team participated in 373 of those missions, compared with 78 for the radar team. In addition to saves, the AFRCC credited CAP with 640 finds for fiscal 2018, of which 199 involved the cell team and 53 the radar team.
Last year the total number of missions stood at 798. The mission count for fiscal 2016 was 946.
Before 2009, the AFRCC assigned about 2,000 missions a year to CAP, with searches for activated emergency locator transmitters dominating. After the satellite system that monitored the old 121.5 megahertz beacons was turned off in February 2009, the annual mission count dropped by at least half.

Technology's impact
Since then, the cell phone team has been a major contributor to the rising annual mission count.
“Technology has changed how we do business,” said John Desmarais, CAP's director of operations. “We’re saving more lives and doing more in a cost-effective manner.”
“We’re always making tweaks to software, and constantly working to make sure we don’t waste time or put people at risk,” he said. “Both our cellular forensics team and the National Radar Analysis Team are revolutionizing how we support SAR operations.”
Cell phone data is often the first tool used in a search for a missing individual, as most people, including pilots, go nowhere these days without a cell phone. Cellular data can eliminate search areas and curtail the search time.
Lost 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 has improved the software the cell team uses.
That team, which began with Ogden in 2006, now has eight members. It’s growing to meet the increasing requests for support, Desmarais said.
Early on, Ogden would manipulate cell phone data by hand in Excel and then use Google Earth to inform searchers. Now, smartphones are ubiquitous and the amount of data they provide is too overwhelming to work by hand.
So Ogden created software that would crunch the raw data and pour it into a program that connects to Google Earth.
When a person or plane is reported missing, ground search begins using clues from the cell phone team. Across the country, about 900 ground teams of three to six people are called upon to provide the feet, eyes and ears in a ground search, Desmarais said.
An incident commander, once notified, contacts wing personnel. The incident commander identifies staff and field resources and ground team members to go in and assist either the relevant state agency or the CAP commander, depending on which one is leading the mission.
“It’s all investigative work, with people analyzing data,” Desmarais said. 
As a search grows longer, incident commanders make decisions about the scale of the effort and resourcing in order not to waste time or put people at risk.
Hand-in-hand
CAP may lead a search or help a local jurisdiction with a search.
“What ends up happening with cell phone data in most cases is that we’ll push it to local jurisdictions,” Desmarais said. “We offer whatever assistance we can provide, but some states are well-equipped, too. Some may need physical ground searchers. We do what we can for them.”
The cell phone team stays busy with searches for both aircraft and individuals, such as lost hikers. Summer is an especially busy time.  The team worked its 1,500th mission this July searching for a lost hiker in Utah.
“The cell phone team is going all the time,” Desmarais said.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

September is National Preparedness Month

Note: This post was originally published on www.CAP.news

-------------------------------------
Vicky Travis
Contributing Writer
September is National Preparedness Month, prompting many government agencies to stress the importance of anticipating emergencies to the general public ... because they will happen.

For Civil Air Patrol, though, preparedness has always been in the organization’s DNA.
“We prepare to support a variety of disasters, but obviously also support search and rescue missions, communications activities and many other Air Force missions like air defense intercept training and helping training warfighters in the use of sensors,” said John Desmarais, CAP's national operations director. 
“Bottom line, we are probably not the CAP that people may have seen years ago. We do so much more now, as we continue to change to meet the needs of our nation.”
This month, some 3,000 global, national and local governments and private and public health institutions are encouraging preparedness efforts for all: The effort to help Americans prepare for disaster is detailed on the official website for the Department of Homeland Security.
Facing Florence
Hurricane Florence is bringing many of these lessons home with a vengeance after barreling onshore in North Carolina on Sept. 14. Residents throughout the Carolinas faced their own personal emergencies; many still are.

For the multitudes who evacuated and for others affected by widespread flooding, preparedness could include maintaining a supply kit, knowing their evacuation path and setting up communication with family.
CAP members go well beyond such basics.
“In preparation for the hurricanes, our members made sure equipment was ready and secure to ride out the storms, and once the storm cleared they have responded by collecting imagery, supporting emergency communications, transporting critical supplies and meeting any other requests we can reasonably support,”  Desmarais said.
In doing so, they were drawing on strenuous training at the local, wing, region and national levels.
Emergency services training
CAP members undergo a wide variety of training, whether in the air, on the ground or the classroom. They focus on such topics as flying, professional development, leadership at the senior member and cadet levels, aerospace education, high-tech equipment operation and youth development.
The highest-profile emergency services training opportunities are those offered through national activities like Hawk Mountain Ranger School and the National Emergency Services Academy (NESA)
“The training we do at NESA (and other programs) all go toward meeting our broader goal of being able to respond when called upon,” Desmarais said.

Hawk Mountain
In 1953, Air Force pararescue and survival instructors trained Pennsylvania Wing search and rescue teams at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts. In 1956, the school moved to property at Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania, belonging to Col. Philip Neuweiler, Pennsylvania Wing commander from 1947-1970.
“We’re teaching cadets and senior members to go back and build emergency services in their unit and then teach and lead members in the field,” said Lt. Col. Brian J. Cuce, director of emergency services for the Pennsylvania Wing. “Anyone who graduates the school is encouraged and able to go back to their units and teach the skills they learned as a basic student.”
Training at Hawk Mountain starts with foundational skills. From there students may progress to Fully Qualified and Expert Ranger levels and choose either the Ranger track or Medic track.
This summer, 240 members from most CAP wings came to Kempton, Pennsylvania, for Hawk Mountain.
NESA
In 1996, Desmarais began the National Ground Search and Rescue School at the Miller School of Albemarle in Charlottesville, Virginia. Two years later it moved to Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, Indiana.
The school evolved into the National Emergency Services Academy, and it now consists of three schools: Ground Search and Rescue, Mission Aircrew and Incident Command System. NESA added training for incident staff in 1998 and mission aircrew members in 2000.
This summer 490 participants attended, representing every CAP Wing. Many are currently working to support Hurricane Florence operations.
Looking ahead
A major update is in the works to align all CAP training, led by NESA staff members and experts from across the country, which embrace changing federal standards and reflect technological advances such as cell phone and radar forensics, airborne sensor collection and management.
Work is also underway to offer training at other times of year and locations as well as through distance-learning opportunities. Several new course offerings were rolled out during the summer and are now available in smaller sessions throughout the rest of the year.
“The newest addition is for small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) training to be added to the slate of main school courses and year-round sessions,” Desmarais said. “Some people don’t know we are doing that.”
Staff members are working with wings across the country to provide sUAS training in October in preparation for expanding this program.
At Hawk Mountain, new initiatives include making training more accessible through online resources. Also, Cuce is looking into appointing liaisons in each CAP region and using them to develop weekend training.
As both Hawk Mountain and NESA refine and update their training, CAP members have choices.
“NESA is probably more of a traditional school environment, where there is a combination of field and academic work in a classroom,” Desmarais said. “Hawk Mountain has students in the field throughout the event, sleeping in shelters and tents the whole time.
“Both have value, and some people prefer one environment over the other.”
But, the end goal is the same – to have highly trained members who are prepared to meet the needs at hand.