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:
THIS COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY DEDICATED TO
THOMAS R. GIBBONS
SQUADRON 150 COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
WITH GRATITUDE FOR HIS LEADERSHIP AND FRIENDSHIP
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