Thursday, July 25, 2013

Event Horizon

In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. In layman's terms, it is defined as "the point of no return" i.e. the point at which the gravitational pull becomes so great as to make escape impossible.
Given that, you should all be aware if the imminent CAWG Conferenceto be held in Santa Maria during the first weekend in October. The recent flyer gives all the relevant poop:

The registration info can be found here. So far, the X. O., me, and Captain Dan are headed up there. Make plans to attend; if you fly in, the hotel is located right there at the airport (i.e., no vehicles are needed) and there's an outta sight Mexican restaurant at the airport that purveys world class enchiladas and Dos Equis.

Stay thirsty, my friend.

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

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A time to remember..

The squadron hosted an open house/family day affair to celebrate the completion of the communications room at Group 7 Headquarters on Saturday, 20 July 2013. After several noble starts and considerably effort, the communications facility was finally made fully operational and the keys turned over to Group 7 Communications Officer Major Gardner Harris, Yosemite 706.

But more than that, it was a time to remember one of our unit's illustrious members, 2LT Thomas Gibbons, who served as Communications Officer for the unit from 2005 until 2010. Tom was taken from us in earlier this year and, upon his passing, it was determined that the renovation effort and the results should be dedicated to Tom's memory.

We were graced with the presence of Lisa Gibbons, Tom's widow, who did us the honor of presiding over the dedication and stayed with us for the festivities. A plaque in memory of Tom was placed prominently in the comm room:

And an identical plaques was presented to Lisa with the additional inscription:

Presented to Lisa Gibbons with gratitude for her unwavering support of her husband, Thomas R. Gibbons, during his tenure as the Squadron 150 Communications Officer from 2005-2010.

The events of the afternoon also included a buffet and an impromptu "turning over of the keys" to Group Communications Officer Major Gardener Harris, Yosemite 706, who was extremely excited about the prospect of not having to do comm work out of a glorified storage room. Paul Koons even organized a raffle of prizes for guests. Below are some pictures from the soiree.

The initial communications room renovation was started before 2010 and was a prodigious effort by former Squadron 150 member Tom Barbre. Owing to other considerations and organizational changes, that effort ws stopped before fruition and the room languished in inattention until the middle of 2012. The "final push" on the remodeling effort was done by Squadron 150 personnel (with Gar's assistance, of course) and was the culmination of several years' efforts. This project was ramrodded home by 2LT Marty Oh with the considerable help of the members of Squadron 150.

The facility houses the HF and VHF radios as well as the capability to accept additional radios as the needs arise. Additionally, the new Squadron 150 network has its sever and switching rack residing in the room as well. Subsequent upgrades will allow personnel in the communications facility to log events of a SAREX on the computer in the room and have the status displayed on a large screen in the main lecture area. Additionally, the networked computers will allow internet access to workstations throughout the Group 7 building. All of this was brought into being by he considerable efforts of CAPT John Frerichs, the unit's communications and IT officer.

The entire party and commemoration was organized by 2LT Paul Koons, the recruiting and retention officer for Squadron 150. He was assisted by CAPT Alexander Smith who ran the final prep group. Thanks are also owed to (among others) CAPT Jerry Civalleri, CAP Mike Cardenas, CAPT John Hill, 1LT Dave Martin, 2LT Robert Hanks, SM Al Valenciano, and SM Melissa Johnson.

We loo forward to expanding on the utility of this facility and making it a very useful and used resource for Group 7 and CAP.

(Photos by CAPT Alexander Smith.)

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Squadron Meeting: 11 July 2013 - Safety and Surviving MREs

"..white cliffs of Dover?"

We are constantly preached at to prepare ourselves for impending doom and a lot of this persiflage sinks in without thought or analysis. Too often, we engage in the knee-jerk reaction of cutting a check for anywhere from $350 up to many thousands of dollars and lay in a supply "survival fare".

The comforting feeling of having an immense, nondescript brown cardboard box (or two or even three) sitting in the corner of your garage waiting for the Russkies (or towel heads) to drop the big one surely is calming. But it is, like so much in our life, illusory.

Come to the meeting this Thursday and find out among other things (1) what the acronym "MRE" really means and (2) why MREs have more to do with the phrase "drop the big one" than you dared to imagine.

Presented by your imperious commander.

"..white cliffs of Dover?"

It's a safety meeting so attendance, of course, will get you off the schneid for another 60 days.

W. H. Phinizy, MAJ, CAP
Squadron Commander

Friday, July 05, 2013

2013 Mission Aircrew School: Long Beach, Oakland, Fresno

Beautiful, historic downtown Fresno "Raisin Capital of the World"

In addition to providing the premier MP and MO training opportunity of the year, all three locations require base staff of all functions, providing both currency and training opportunities.

Ground schools will be held on 20-21 July at KLGB and KOAK, with the flight school on 9-11 August at KFAT. Addtional information and applications are to be found at Due to the substantial driving distance (248 mi from KSLI), please advise the Sq 150 training officer of rides offered or wanted.

In addition to providing the premier MP and MO training opportunity of the year, all three locations require base staff of all functions, providing both currency and training opportunities.
The Wing is only sponsoring one MAS this year. There will be Ground School in the North and in the South with the Flight School being held in Fresno on August 9, 10 & 11.

Applications and more information is available at

We also need Base staff to run the operation. This is one of the largest events the wing does each year with 12 aircraft. Fresno has secured a 3600 sq foot air conditioned building at the Airport. Transportation funding is available for carpools of 3 or more. Base staff may also catch a ride with aircraft.

All members interested in attending in a any capacity are urged to sign up now.

Thank You
Marc Sobel, Maj, CAP
Project Officer
Mission Air Crew School

David Martin, 1st Lt, CAP
Sq 150 Training Officer

Be a Part of History: The LAST Group 7 SAREX in San Diego County

There are fossils and other relics of the past, and then there are the active participants with real memories to use and share with others. Which group do you want to be in?

Group Seven is conducting a SAREX hosted by Squadron 57 on the weekend of 26-28 July 2013. Friday (26th) is primarily UDF training. The SAREX focus is initial and recurrent qualification training of base staff, aircrews, ground teams and UDF teams. Mission base is Gillespie Field (KSEE). Initial participants will be selected from Group Seven until 15Jun and then opened to all CAWG thereafter. All participants must have at least SQTR training status when applying. (Emphasis added.)

Participation cost is $20. CAP uniform and standards shall be adhered (sic).
Please reply to the Major David Wallace, Project Officer at

If interested, please respond with the following:
  • Name, CAP ID, Squadron, phone number
  • Training needed (MO, MS, AOBD, UDF, etc.)
  • Number of sorties needed to complete your SQTR
  • For aircrew, weight including baggage
  • Any specific training needed
  • Days able to participate (Fri, Sat, Sun)
Because of the substantial driving distance from KSLI to KSEE (112 mi), carpooling is encouraged. Please advise the Sq 150 training officer of rides offered and wanted.

David Martin, 1st Lt, CAP
Sq 150 Training Officer

Thursday, July 04, 2013

July 4, 1776

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it; and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the Lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free People.
Nor have We been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.—
WE, THEREFORE, the REPRESENTATIVES of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.—And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Signed by ORDER and in BEHALF of the CONGRESS,