Tuesday, November 28, 2017

No Meeting this Week (30 November)! In the meantime, here is a CAP update!

Happy Holidays! As a reminder Squadron 150 will NOT be meeting this week (30 November). Our next meeting will be on 7 December and we look forward to seeing you then.

In the meantime, here is a story from www.cap.news regarding Civil Air Patrol's assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.


Hurricane Maria Response Mission Wrapping Up; 239 From 21 Wings Participate

236 Flights, 496 Hours in Air Generate 62,000+ Photos

Twenty-two days into the massive federal response to Hurricane Maria, Civil Air Patrol is beginning to ramp down its air operations in Puerto Rico and the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands. CAP has been supporting flying operations for the full-scale disaster relief mission in Puerto Rico since Sept. 22, two days after Maria made landfall on the Caribbean island.
“We’re starting to wrap up our current mission in Puerto Rico,” said John Desmarais, CAP’s director of operations. Nearly 250 members from the Puerto Rico Wing and 20 other CAP wings and regions across the U.S. have been involved in the mission, providing local first responders, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other U.S. government agencies with aerial photography to document damage on the islands.
CAP planes from the mainland are expected to return home this weekend, but flights are expected to continue through the early part of next week – likely supported by Puerto Rico Wing aircraft and crews with minimal augmentation by mainland crews.

To date, CAP aircrews have flown nearly 500 hours on 236 sorties over the affected areas in both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. On those flights, CAP photographers have taken 62,721 aerial images, which were provided to FEMA and emergency personnel to help focus on recovery efforts.
Puerto Rico took a direct hit from the Category 5 storm two weeks after a previous encounter with Hurricane Irma, another powerful storm that tracked just north of the island on Sept. 7. Irma greatly affected the U.S. Virgin Islands, much as Maria did Puerto Rico.
Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico’s infrastructure has posed challenges CAP members, particularly the local CAP wing’s nearly 400 adult officers. One is Capt. Luis J. Herrera, the wing’s inspector general, who lives in Bayamon, just south of San Juan.
“The last four weeks have been challenging, to say the least,” he said. “Power, water, cell phones, everything that we took for granted has been taken away from us. We did prepare for a hurricane, but we weren't prepared for a disaster.
“Hurricane Maria has been the worst event with the biggest devastation I have ever experienced,” Herrera said.
Slowly but surely, progress is being made toward recovery.

"My family and I are living within a schedule that we’ve created,” Herrera said. “We have a portable generator that can be run for several hours a day. So we run it several times a day to try to keep the fridge as cold as possible, to charge our electronic devices from time to time, and to turn some fans on to try to cool down the house a little.”
Herrera said his CAP training has prepared him and others to adapt and respond during such emergencies. “Some of our members lost their jobs, their houses were damaged, and others lost everything,” he said. “And yet they reported for duty, day after day, volunteering their time to help.
“In CAP, we train for situations like this, and when the time comes we are honored to step forward and be able to help. In a sense, serving with CAP in this emergency has helped me to focus my thoughts into productive ideas that can contribute to the mission's goals,” he said.
In addition to air operations, CAP members have also volunteered in shelter centers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. That work is expected to continue for weeks, even months to come.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! No Meeting this Week!

In observance of Thanksgiving Squadron 150 will NOT be meeting on Thursday 23 November or on 30 November! We hope you enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving and start to the Holiday Season with those you love!

Please join us for our next Squadron 150 meeting on 7 December at 7:30pm. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

We are partnering with Wreaths Across America again this year!

Many of you have sponsored wreaths which will help us honor and remember our fallen Veterans this Holiday season and also help our squadron continue to perform "Missions for America"....THANK YOU for your support!

If you'd like to donate a wreath for a Veteran's grave at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, it's not too late to do so! Click on this link to donate a wreath: 

We'd also like to invite you to join us at to help place these wreaths on Veteran's graves on 17 December, 2017. The ceremonies begin at 9:00am. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Calif. Wing Aircrews Applying New Technology to Wildfire Photography Mission

(This article originally appeared on www.CAP.news)

Sensor System Improves Image Quality

The California Wing is using new technology to help document the devastation from deadly October wildfires in California.
It’s called an Aeroptic Sensor Pod, a leading-edge tactical aerial imagery system attached to one of the wing’s Cessna 182s. The sensor system provides rapid access to visual and multispectral data of the damage wrought by the wildfires, which, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reports, have destroyed 8,900 structures and claimed 43 lives.
“The Aeroptic Sensor we have as a demo for 45 days was installed by Ivan Air to support a test last week,” said John Desmarais, CAP’s director of operations.
The imagery mosaic provided by the new camera system has been well received by Federal Emergency Management Agency staff, and they have asked us to re-fly several areas,” Desmaris said,
CAP aircrews in California are flying again this week, as most of the fires are starting to be contained.

“This imagery from the plane equipped with the Aeroptic Sensor, as well as photos previously taken with the wing’s traditional Garmin VIRB cameras, will still be needed to assist with determining access to federal assistance,” Desmarais said.
The California Wing has been supporting FEMA’s recovery efforts at the behest of 1st Air Force, operating from a temporary incident command post at Livermore Municipal Airport to accommodate aerial imagery flights to the areas of the Combined Fire in Santa Rosa and Northern California, then moving to Riverside Municipal Airport to photograph the area affected by the Southern Fires in Orange County in Southern California.

The CAP photographic coverage in California has resulted in about 140 flights over the past 11 days, providing roughly 6,000 photos using the VIRB cameras, mounted under the wing of several CAP aircraft.
“All feedback I have received directly from FEMA is that they are very happy with our work and the product we have been supplying them,” said Lt. Col. Joe Brickman, operations director for the California Wing. “Our photos have been instrumental in helping FEMA make their damage assessments of these burn areas.”
Both CAP and FEMA officials believe will provide the next generation of aerial photos.
”The Aeroptic Sensor is mounted on the step of the right strut of the aircraft,” Brickman said. “The camera can be flown at varying altitudes, ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 feet, depending on the ground covered. The camera imagery is also orthorectified (adjusted to eliminate any distortion) to make it easier for FEMA to analyze the data and … be more effective for their damage assessment.”
Flying with the Aeroptic Sensor Pod does require some practice, Brickman said, adding that aircrews from the California Wing are “humbled” to be the first to test the new system and to participate in the mission.
“The devastating fires here in California have affected everyone in some way, but we all came together to do our part,” he said. “Everyone is working to achieve one goal — to help FEMA support the communities that have been so devastated. I am so proud of the airmen of the California Wing.”