Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Squadron Meeting, 28 FEB 2013 - The Evil SUI

This week we will visit upon the mysteries of a phenomenon in CAP: the Subordinate Unit Inspection -- or SUI -- which is given every three years to determine a unit's fitness to carry out it's mission. SQ 150 has comported itself well in the past and I wish not to break with tradition now. In order to do so, we will begin preparing for this starting on 1 MAR 2013 because, if we all attend to your staff duties with this SUI in mind, it will enhance the performance of the staff and the unit.

CAPT John Hill has been an inspector on behalf of the Wing IG and will brief us on how an inspection goes and what you might expect. As I recall, it is somewhat less excruciating than an IRS audit or a root canal -- unless you are unprepared.

About the time most of you are swooning from boredom -- I contemplate only 30 minutes of this -- we will break off and either do grid mapping or attend to any administrative duties we need to complete. So be sure to bring your sectionals, pens, and rulers to continue to work on your masterpieces. (Just because our Training Officer will not be in attendance is NOT and excuse for you to not to be prepared.) CAPT Hill will supervise this effort.

On 7 MAR 2013, the squadron will go dark and we will be visiting  Saddleback Valley Composite Squadron 68 for "mission workflow"  presentation by CAPT Tolga Tarhan of California. Wing.

Directions to Squadron 68 are here and more details on this presentation as the date approaches. So check back here.

Again with the donated computers.. 
Plenty are still available; please contact me or SM Sam Preston, or CAPT Bodo Rau for information. They will be gone by 31 MAR 2013, so don't delay. You snooze, you lose!

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

Monday, February 18, 2013

Squadron Meeting, 21 FEB 2013

This Thursday we will conduct our monthly Safety Meeting and that will be in conjunction with the annual CAP requirement for what they used to call the Safety Down Day. It will comprise two separate briefings by CAPT Dan Hoppy -- one on the culture of safety in Civil Air Patrol and the other on the Operation Risk Management (ORM) assessment process. Please plan to attend -- especially if your safety currency will be timing out.

There will be a short re-cap of the recent KFUL SAREX at the meeting if time permits. If not, we weill carry this over to the 28 FEB 2013 meeting.
Be advised that California Wing has approved the sale of the donated computers to benefit the squadron. The terms and conditions of sale and physical nature of these computers are as follows:

(1) They are the Lenovo desktop computers currently stored in the comm room.

(2) They are all recent-model pentium processors and most have 80 gigabyte hard drives (approx.) in them. They have read/write CDs and are, for the most part, in working order. Most have at least 2 gigabyte of ram on board.

(3) They are only the computer box and DO NOT include a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. You will have to supply those to make the computer complete. Also, they are sans an operating system so you will need to provide your own copy of Windows or Linux. However, each contains a ticket indicating that it has a license for Windows XP. If you make nice with the IT officer, he can see about legitimately "ghosting" that OS onto your computer.

(4) There are approximately 30-35 that now work and approximately four more we hope to revive and get into working condition.

(5) They will be sold for $25-50 depending on processor, configuration, and condition. Per CAWG, they are being sold "as is, no warranty expressed or implied". However, our IT officer will check out the machines before sales and ensure that you will not pay the price unless the machine is working. BUT ONCE A WORKING COMPUTER GOES OUT THE DOOR IN YOUR POSSESSION, THAT'S IT. It will be up to you to keep the beast going.

(6) Those that cannot be revived will be sold for scrap parts for $5-20 depending on what's on board. So if you would like to buy a couple and piece one together from the parts, be our guest. But again, the terms are "as is".

(7) Some members already have computers in their possession and have expressed a desire to buy them and, as such, will have the right to purchase those computers.

(8) They may be sold to non-CAP members but we would ask you to be the intermediary for transactional for tracking purposes.

In charge of this sales process will be our Logistics Officer, Sam Preston, and our IT officer, Lance Boland. (They will turn the funds over to our Finance Officer, Bodo Rau.) When we have this first round of purchasers compiled, we will sell the actual computers at meetings and/or Saturday sessions. Terms are cash on the barrel head and there will be NO reservations of the computers in the comm room. First one with the loot gets the computer of his or her choice.

We have been invited to attend a SAREX workflow seminar given by CAPT Tolga Tarhan over at Squadron 68 in Costa Mesa. on 7 MAR 2013 at 1900L. I will provide more info at Thursday's meeting and would like to get an indication as to what the non-seminar-attending folks would like to do. Since we are holding this month's Safety Meeting late, we can slip March's meeting until the fourteenth with little adverse affect. If there are enough attendees at the Squadron 68 soiree, we might reserve the seventh for an administrative meeting only.

Thanks and see you Thursday,

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

Sunday, February 10, 2013

In Memory of Tom Gibbons, Former Squadron DC

Squadron 150 lost a good and kind member the other day. Tom Gibbons, who served many years as the unit's Director of Communications and accomplished ACUT (Advanced Communications User Training) course instructor, passed away on 28 JAN 2013.

Tom accomplished many significant tasks in his life. He earned his law degree followed by a career in the US Army from which he retired as a Major. He then served as Superior Court judge in the State of Illinois before moving to Southern California where he continued to practice law. He had a passion for amateur radio, licensed an Extra Class as W9EYB, Tom brought many into the radio amateur ranks as a volunteer examiner for the Long Beach amateur radio club. He also served many times as a shift operator aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach.

Coincident with his amateur radio talents was Tom's abilities as an ACUT instructor. The classes he taught to senior and cadet members consistently yielded among the highest test scores, such was his gift.

Squadron 150 is in the process of renovating the Group 7 communications facility and, at its conclusion, plans are to dedicate that to his memory.

..thank you, Tom, for all you have done for this unit. We will miss you a great deal.

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

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

KFUL SAREX, 2-3 FEB 2013

Some pictures from the Group 7 SAREX held at KFUL this past weekend.


David Martin, 1LT, CAP
Squadron 150 DOSA

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Squadron Meeting - 7 Feb 2013 and beyond..

Last week, our new training officer, 1LT Dave Martin, conducted a start-up  on the chart gridding series we will be holding. The objective was to educate the masses on this black art and ensure that all members with aircrew aspirations can possess one by dint of their own blood, sweat, and tears. This week we will continue this -- mostly devoted to hands-on help for you to accomplish this effort. Be sure to bring your chart, a 12-inch straight edge, marker, and your brain. We will supply the guidance and, if you do not possess one, a Los Angeles sectional. (By the way, it is not necessary to have a current sectional. Expired ones work perfectly fine.)

"..Insure Domestic Tranquility.."
It is our constitutional duty to honor this precept. Consequently, the following week -- 14 FEB 2013 -- we will be dark (no meeting) in observance of Valentine's Day and so you can all be with your sweeties. If anyone would like to meet at the ready room and bend an elbow that evening, let me know and I'll see what I can do. Otherwise, enjoy.

"..Promote the General Welfare.."
Two Thursdays hence will be an extremely important day -- our annual Safety Down Day. You are encouraged to attend as it will couint towards the monthly safety requirement as well as the unit requirement. CAPT Dan will present a talk on our overall safety concerns in the squadron as well as our missions and CAP. Additionally, he will present a SEPARATE briefing on Operational Risk Management (ORM). Hope to see you there.

Last Weekend's SAREX
I personally want to thank all of your who participated in what turned out to be an excellent training opportunity. With the assistance of the folks at Squadron 40, Squadron 68, and Group 7, we were able to bring off some highly effective training on a virtually infinitesimal budget. My personal and sincere gratitude to our DO, CAPT Bodo Rau, for his tenacity in bringing this effort to fruition. You will remember that this was to have been held in December and then the week before last. Through all of the troubles, bureaucratic hurdles, and last-minute changes, CAPT Rau and his team saw this through.

Notable: SM Adam Shane is now a qualified scanner and will soon be on short final as Mission Pilot.

Congrats to him and to all.

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