Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Squadron Meeting, 13 December 2012

"Old Dawg on the Hunt"
This week will be a working session principally devoted to "calendarizing" our FY 2013 squadron goals. To refresh your memories (and mine), these are:

Conduct one Group 7 or California Wing-oriented project per quarter.
Complete and improve Group 7 communications facility
Improve and Enhance Group 7 Computer Systems
Augment Squadron’s Air Crew Compliment and Mission Base Staff
Augment Effective Education/Mentoring program

While we are perilously close to completing two of them (renovating the Group 7 communications room and improving the Group 7 computer systems) and are making substantive progress on a third (augmenting the effective education/mentoring program) we will need to apply the aspects of our goals that need to have calendar dates associated with them. These include the SAREXes we might be contemplating (or making up for) as well as the culmination of my dreams to put on an SLS/CLC for Group 7 and surrounds.

In any event, it will be an around-the-table planning forum to get us revved up for 2013.

Also, along the lines of preparation for our 2013 goals is the fact we have committed to minting two new Mission Pilots and four each of Mission Observers and mission Scanners. So we need to put the arm on those of us who would want to move into these ES ratings and see to it that they are move along the pipeline.

(I will be looking for members to step up in staff officer roles in 2013 as well. We need a Logistics Officer and an Aerospace Officer. Also, other staff positions will be moved around depending upon preference and wishes.)

While on the subject of ES training, I note that there will be a combined Group 3 and Group 7 Scanner Ground School being put on in February next year. Per the All-Wing you received last week:

Group 3 and Group 7 are hosting a 2-Day Mission Scanner Training Course at Riverside Senior Squadron 5 in Riverside, CA. The dates of this course will be February 9-10, 2013. Please see the attached flyer for all of the information you will need to know to get registered. If you have questions please feel free to contact myself ( or Craig Newton ( and we will assist you. Please pay close attention to the prerequisites as they will be strictly adhered to.

The course will complete the following objectives:

1. All Familiarization and Preparatory Training (22 tasks)
2. Advanced Training Tasks as follows:
Task O-0204
Task O-0205
Task O-2016
Task O-2023
Task O-2025
Task P-0101

The only task for Mission Scanner that must be done in the aircraft is O-2018 (Operate Aircraft Communications Equipment). This course will not provide either of the (2) Exercise Participation Sign Offs that are REQUIRED to complete the Mission Scanner SQTR.

See You in February!

Steve Groner, 1LT, CAP
Project Officer
Riverside Senior Squadron 5
Phone: 951-254-3442

There was a flyer sent out accompanying e-mail. I shall forward it to all interested upon request. Let's avail ourselves of this, shall we?

In closing, I wanted to remind all of you that the meeting of December 20th will be a casual get-together NOT AT THE CLUB HOUSE but rather at a local bistro nearby. We will be zeroing in on the location at Thursday's meeting and I shall post the time and directions here.

Stay tuned; same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

W. H. Phinizy, MAJ, CAP
Squadron Commander
Squadron 150

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Operation Constant Watch 2012

Attention all Communicators

This message details the California Wing response to Operation Constant Watch 2012. All interested communicators are encouraged to participate. All corporate issued HF stations, fixed, mobile, portable, conventional and ALE should participate in this exercise. This message details the HF procedures for the exercise including conventional HF operations.

HF net control stations will pass the exercise traffic on VHF as well. VHF stations will be asked to send their exercise response to an HF station to be delivered to 0163CACAP. Add the initials VHF to the first line of your response to indicate you are a VHF only station. If you are not able to pass your response to an HF station, please email it to:

If you do not know how to log your station into WIMRS on a ground sortie, please send your mission sign in information to:

The exercise operation plan has been uploaded to the files section of the CAWDC Yahoo group. You can request access to the Yahoo group by sending an email message to: Include your CAP ID in the message. Messages without a valid CAPID will not be allowed access to the Yahoo group.
Please make sure that all available corporate HF stations participate in this exercise. Stations do not have to operate for the entire 24 hour period to participate in this exercise.

Exercise Name: Constant Watch 2012
Mission Number: 13C3275
Mission Operational Period: 08 Dec 2012 1700Z (0900 Pacific) to 09 Dec 2012 1700Z (0900 Pacific)
Mission Sign in: All stations have been asked to enter a Ground Sortie in WIMRS with the CAP ID of all members present at that station.
Region Message Station: 0163CACAP (Hanford Ca.)

Beginning at 0900 local 0163CACAP and 004PCRCAP will transmit the exercise message to the identified Wing message stations. Wing message stations will in turn transmit the exercise message to their respective participating Wing stations. The exercise traffic will be transmitted via Voice or Text dependent upon the status of the receiving station when a successful connection is made (station is attended = voice, unattended = text). The CAWG station located in Eureka will attempt to deliver the exercise message to Alaska Wing. Oregon and Washington Wing stations with previous successful connections will attempt to send the message to Hawaii Wing.

Upon receipt of the exercise message participating stations will compose a response. The response will be sent to 0163CACAP during the response window assigned to the station's Wing shown in a later paragraph of this document. If 0163CACAP is attended the response will be sent via voice. If 0163CACAP is unattended the message will be sent via text. 0163CACAP will produce a summary of all responses that will be forwarded to the exercise staff at the completion of the exercise. If a station cannot connect to 0163CACAP they should attempt to relay the message via other ALE stations. If this is not successful the station can relay the message via conventional HF during the net windows detailed in a later paragraph.

Exercise Message

Exercise Exercise Exercise
Respond 0163CACAP with the following:
A = Station Lat/Long in Degrees Minutes Seconds
B = CAP ID of all present at station
C = Antenna used at station

Text format to be sent to unattended stations:

Wing ALE Response Windows
Oregon: 1200 Local
Washington: 1300 Local
Alaska: 1400 Local
Hawaii: 1500 Local
California: 1600 Local
Nevada: 1700 Local

Conventional HF Operations

California Wing will conduct a directed net for the Region to allow conventional HF stations to participate in the exercise. The exercise message and response will be transmitted and received by participating stations during the conventional HF net windows. Each net will be done first on frequency PCD and then on Frequency PCC to maximize participation under prevailing propagation conditions.

The net window times are shown below:

0930 Local
1230 Local
1630 Local
1830 Local
2130 Local

Questions can be addressed to:

Squadron Meeting, 6 December 2012

This week's meeting will primarily focus on safety so that we may all refresh our currency in that area. CAPT Valerie Guaci will present a video on Workplace Violence and there will be a supplemental talk about talk about Christmas shopping parking lot safety.

1LT Bodo Rau and the finance committee will meet and discuss, among other things, our proposed server/network and internet access with our IT officer, 2LT Lance Boland. This convenes in advance of the meeting at 1830L.

The comm room upgrade is in its final throes with the painting and ceiling tiles completed by 1LT Kevin King and 2LT Mary Oh (shown on the left). The only effort remaining is the patching of the panels and switch covers, running of power lines and cables, mounting the server in the rack, and stringing the CAT 5 cable.

Important notice before I sign off: Last week's postponed SAREX will resume this weekend at KFUL. Last weekend the El Cajon rendition was held while weather and aircraft unavailability caused our cancellation. 1LT Rau will refresh our memories on the detail of this weekend's efforts.

See you Thursday.

W. H. Phinizy, MAJ, CAP
Squadron Commander
Squadron 150

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Motion Induced Blindness

If you stare at one point for too long, small details will disappear. It's known as the Troxler effect or Troxler fading. It seems to affect small details away from the center of your field of regard. Of course objects at the center of regard can also disappear but that is a different topic (related to how the optic nerve leaves the eye).

An interesting Flash demo can be found here. Try it with different options, as the dot size, background color and speed of rotating crosses affect how long it takes for the fixed dots to disappear The time to disappear will vary with each person. Even the smallest shift in gaze and blinking will bring the fixed dots back to view, at least for a few seconds. Changing the center of your gaze needs to be combined with fixing your gaze on a point, especially to findchanges on the ground. And not knowing what the feature looks like until after it has been found only increases the challenge. Here is a similar demo via You Tube:

David Martin , 1LT, CAP
Assistant Emergency Services Officer
Squadron 150

A Belated Happy Birthday..

You did not know that you turned 71 yesterday, did you? Well, in fact, you did -- although you don't look it!

Civil Air Patrol came into being by the signing of an administrative order signed by New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia on 1 December 1941 (ironically seven days before the attack on Pearl Harbor) and has since served as the United States Air Force Auxiliary as well as an effective volunteer organization in service to the community, state, and nation.

Our wing commander, Col John Stokes said it best in his CAP Birthday message yesterday:
Members of the California Wing,

71 years ago today, a dedicated group of visionaries created an organization designed to serve the country in a time of war. After helping to win the war by defending the homeland, these same visionaries transformed the organization into what it has become today. Those of us that have chosen to serve our country and communities through the Civil Air Patrol should be proud that we are the living legacy of those visionaries. For these past 71 years, we and those that came before us, have been there for others in their time of need, help create the next generation of leaders and raised the nation's awareness about the aerospace. This is not only our organization's birthday but our birthday as well. Let's celebrate our accomplishments and celebrate our membership in the finest volunteer organization in the world.

Semper Vigilans!

Jon Stokes, Colonel, CAP
Commander, California Wing
Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force Auxiliary
Many happy returns of the day.

W. H. Phinizy, MAJ, CAP
Squadron Commander
Squadron 150