Friday, December 27, 2013

Holiday Party Celebrating 2013

By 2Lt Hollerbach and Maj Luneau, photos courtesy of Lt Col Tinnirello 

On December 21, Squadron 188 celebrated a year of significant achievements and got into the holiday spirit over dinner at Scott’s Seafood restaurant in Oakland’s Jack London Square.
Capt Rivas, Patricia Farrar-Rivas,
Maj Luneau, Sylvia Luneau
Maj Luneau highlighted the year’s accomplishments, including:


  • We fought for a new Cessna G1000 to be based at Oakland and Concord and won!
  • We finagled a hangar and spent 5 weeks painting the floor, walls, finding and moving in furniture, hooking up an Internet connection and adding a radio. 
  • We hosted a UDF Course.

1Lt Hipp, Capt Coreas,
Carmelita Miller


  • We hosted a G1000 Ground School. 


  • With Squadron 18, we hosted the Mission Scanner School. 
  • Squadron members attended the Palo Alto SAREX. 
  • Because of our hangar, CAWG loaned us another new plane for the hangar.
  • We put around 200 hours on 445CP in less than a year.
  • We attended the Tsunami Warning Exercise. 

1Lt Chavez, Sandra Lindman,
Alicia Tinnirello


  • Squadron members and 445CP attended the Half Moon Bay Airshow. 
  • Squadron members attended the USCG Aux Aviation Safety Workshop. 


  • Squadron members and 445CP attended the Hayward Open House. 
  • Squadron members attended and flew in the CAWG EVAL where we received an “Exceptional” grade.
  • We did a presentation to the 99'ers and showed them 445CP. 
  • 1Lt Rugroden
  • Squadron members connected the hangar and HQ to each other with two new wireless antennas.


  • Squadron members and 445CP attended the San Carlos Airport Open House.
  • Squadron members attended the Mountain Flying Course in CCR as Students and Staff.
  • We had a number of counter drug flights in support of various counties.


Squadron 188 Members and
Guests at Dinner
  • We hosted the Oakland SAREX.
  • We hosted the Mission Aircrew School Ground School in Oakland.
  • Squadron members took part in a short-notice tissue transport mission that saved two lives.
  • Squadron members attended the Fourth of July flag presentation at Oakland A's.
  • Squadron members attended the National Emergency Services Academy.


Tara Stevulak, 2Lt Stevulak
  • Squadron members attended the CAWG Mission Aircrew School as students and staff.
  • Squadron members and the aircraft attended the Watsonville Fly-in and Airshow.
  • We hosted a G1000 for Mission Observers course in Livermore.
  • We won Top Senior Squadron in GP2 and Juan won Lifetime Achievement Award for GP2.


Squadron 188 Members and
Guests at Dinner
  • 1Lt Hipp continued to paint the squadron, thank you!
  • Squadron members attended the Livermore Open House.
  • Squadron members flew in two F-16 Air Interception missions.
  • Squadron members attended the CAWG Conference in SMX.


  • Squadron members attended the Auburn Sarex.
  • 100% of our members achieved the Yeager award. 

Squadron 188 Members and
Guests at Dinner


  • Squadron members participated in a National Communication exercise. 
  • 445CP received its Find sticker. 
  • We sold almost 200 Wreaths in support of Wreaths Across America and participated in the WAA ceremony at Golden Gate National Cemetery. 

2Lt Kelly, 1Lt Rugroden, Joan Allan, 1Lt
Michelogiannakis, Capt Eichelberger
Throughout the year, we also added a number of new members, including:

  • Capt Chris Johnson
  • Capt Kathy Johnson
  • Capt Steven DeFord
  • 1Lt George Michelogiannakis
  • 2Lt Robert Kraus
  • 2Lt Eric Choate
  • 2Lt Karin Hollerbach
  • SM Dan Lunsford

Maj Luneau, Sylvia Luneau, Carolers
The dinner was a wonderful opportunity to get to know something about fellow squadron members’ lives outside of CAP and to meet a number of their spouses and significant others, without whose support our squadron’s activities would hardly be possible.

During the dinner, we enjoyed beautiful holiday songs sung by a quartet of a cappella carolers, who even included a number of our requests.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Wreaths Across America - Coast to Coast

By Maj Misra and 2Lt Hollerbach

This year, our Squadron participated in the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony coast to coast – well, at least in one East Coast ceremony in Florida and in our “home” ceremony in California!

I [Maj Misra] was able to attend and participate in the Wreaths Across America ceremony with/in collaboration with CAP Squadron 182 of Group 3 based at Albert Whittled Airport in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The ceremony was held at Veterans Memorial Park and Museum in Tampa, Florida.  There is no cemetery there; however the memorial as erected has a tribute to each branch of service.
Maj Misra and Art Stoutenberg, CAP

The event was hosted and directed by CAP Squadron 182 and was initiated with a presentation of the colors and the pledge of allegiance to our nations flag.

Then there was a salute to each branch of service followed by a descriptive narrative about the history and origins of WAA.  Unfortunately the wreaths themselves were not delivered in time by FedEx to be displayed as intended.  Nevertheless there were two wreaths that the organizers were able to use for the ceremony.

 The ceremony was approximately 15-20 minutes in length and attended by approximately 10-12 people from the local community.  This venue has a dedicated memorial to the Korean War and there was a veteran of the conflict from the Korean peninsula who was in attendance named Mr. Horace M. Clark.  He is a disabled veteran and a veteran of the unit named the “92nd AFA Red Devils” who were of the first American military presence to engage in battle during the Korean War.

Maj Misra and Mr Clark
I was immediately drawn to him on account of him uttering some unique Masonic phraseology during salute to the flag, which prompted me to approach him.  He and I belong to the oldest fraternity known today called the Freemasons and he also completed Scottish Rite as I did.  I informed him how much I appreciate his service not only to us broadly as a nation but that he also protected my family in Korea then, as my in-laws were just children when this horrible war happened.  If not for the bravery and distinction with which men like he and thousands others served, my own personal family would likely be very different today.  I am almost brought to tears when I give thought to this fact, which is why I support Wreaths Across America and all efforts that emphasize the depth that we owe these heroes who were either killed in action or gravely injured protecting our nation and its future generations – people they either never met or are unlikely to ever meet.
Honoring of Each Branch of Service

Closer to home, I [2Lt Hollerbach] and 1Lt Bitz attended the ceremony at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California, along with members of Cadet Squadron 18. This was my first time attending this event, and I found it incredibly moving.  The cadets did an exceptional job in their presentation of the colors.

Presentation of Colors by the Hillsborough County
Fire Department Honor Guard
Both ceremonies shared a lot in common with each other - and with other WAA ceremonies across the country:  At exactly noon Eastern Time, we observed one minute of silence in memory of the fallen, prisoners of war, those missing in action, and those who have served and are still serving.  Opening remarks by the Master of Ceremonies (Art Stoutenberg of CAP in Veterans Memorial Park and Museum in Florida and Marston Watson at Golden Gate National Cemetery in California. Presentation of the colors by the Hillsborough County Fire Department Honor Guard (Florida) and the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron 18 (California).  All branches of the military were honored, as were POWs and MIA. Prior to the laying of the wreaths, we had a rifle salute, closing remarks, and taps.

The Civil Air Patrol salutes the men and women of the armed forces. Our thanks to all who support this great event honoring our veterans and those who donated wreaths for the ceremony.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 2013, All Hands Meeting

By Lt. Col. Juan Tinnirello and 2n Lt. Karin Hollerbach, CAP Sq. 188 PAOs

The meeting started with the allegiance to the flag lead by Lt. Col. Tinnirello.  Commander Major Noel Luneau reflected on the many accomplishments of the squadron during 2013. He looks forward to the many activities already planned for 2014 and expects it to be an even better year.  He thanked all the members for their accomplishment.
Following Capt. Luis Rivas talked about the upcoming squadron holiday dinner at Scotts Seafood restaurant in Oakland and asked whether anyone else was attending.

The promotions and awards followed as listed below:

2Lt Hollerbach, Maj Luneau, 2Lt Choate

SM Karin Hollerbach promoted to 2nd Lt
SM Eric Choate promoted to 2nd Lt

Red Service Award:
Qualification: Awarded at the end of 2 years to members in good standing.
Maj Luneau, 2Lt Adams

2nd Lt Robert Adams

The Rescue Find Ribbon is awarded to any CAP member by his or her wing commander for making a Find (distress or nondistress) on a search and rescue mission. A distress Find involves a downed aircraft or persons in distress.

Capt. Steven DeFord
2nd Lt. Gabriel Fletcher-Hernandez

Maj Luneau, 1Lt Hipp
Achievement Award:
1st Lt. Jim Hipp
He was presented with an Achievement Award for his outstanding performance in continuing with the painting of the interior of the building, all by himself.

Other business: 
2nd Lt. Gabriel Fletcher-Hernandez commented on the ELT mission he participated in and that ended with a Find.

1Lt Hayes

1st Lt. Jordan Hayes talked about the upcoming communication exercise this weekend, Dec. 6-8.  Anyone interested, please contact him.

The Safety Program conducted by Maj. Frank Riebli followed with a very timely presentation about Safety around Food.

Maj Riebli
The very informative and interesting Power Point presentation depicted safety rules to follow while preparing food as well as during the time food is left at the table for people to eat later.  Maj. Riebli also discussed how to save and store leftovers as well as how long they can be kept.  We are sorry for those of you that did not attend the meeting, because you missed a very descriptive sequence of events that can lead to food poisoning and it is good to know what to do to avoid it.

After completion of the program, Maj. Luneau invited all members to go to the hangar where the “Find” ribbon was placed on N445CP.

Maj Luneau, N445CP
Have a very Happy Holidays and we will see you in the New Year!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nov 5, 2013 “All Hands” Meeting & Special Presentation

By Lt Col Juan Tinnirello, PAO

Lt Col. Juan Tinnirello and Maj. Steve
Renwick, Group 2 Commander
During this monthly meeting the following awards and Emergency Services Ratings were given to members of Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188.

Commander’s Commendation Award
Capt. Luis Rivas, 1Lt Gene Rugroden, Lt Col Juan Tinnirello.
Capt. Luis Rivas and 1Lt Gene Rugroden

Achievement Award
The Civil Air Patrol’s Achievement Award is given to a member when the circumstances of his or her performance are above and beyond those of the member’s peers.
2 Lt Robert Adams, Capt. Don Eichelberger, 2Lt Gabriel Fletcher-Hernandez, Lt Col Roger Glenn, 1Lt Jordan Hayes, 1Lt James Hipp, 2Lt Kenton Hoover, Capt. Chris Johnson, Capt. Kathy Johnson, 2Lt John Stevulak.

Certificate of recognition for Lifesaving
The Certificate of Lifesaving is awarded to members of the Civil Air patrol who save a human life.
Capt. Chris Johnson, Capt. Kathy Johnson, Capt. Jeff Ironfield,
Maj. Steve Renwick, Group 2 Commander
Capt. Jeff Ironfield, Capt. Chris Johnson, Capt. Kathy Johnson.

Level III- Grover C. Loening Award
The Grover Loening Award is given to CAP members who completed Level III of the Senior Member Professional Development program. It recognizes those members who have dedicated themselves to leadership and personal development in the CAP. The award is named for the aerospace manufacturer Grover Cleveland Loening.
Capt. Stephen Deford.

Charles E. 'Chuck' Yeager Aerospace Education Achievement Award
Seniors participating in the Aerospace Education Program for Senior Members (AEPSM) earn this award.
Capt. Yudis Coreas, SM Dan Lunsford.

Red Service Award
Awarded at the end of two years to members in good standing.
1Lt. James Hipp - 20 years, 2Lt Gregory Gai - 2 years.

Emergency Services Badge
1Lt Rex Beach, 1Lt Pat Bitz, 1Lt Gene Rugroden, SM Dan Lasford, 2Lt Adam Kelly, 1Lt Al Chavez, 2Lt Gabriel Fletcher-Hernandez, 2Lt Robert Adams, 1Lt Georgios Michelogiannakis.

1Lt Georgios Michelogiannakis, Maj Frank Riebli.

2Lt John Stevulak.

Group 2 Officer of the Year
Lt Col Juan Tinnirello

Special Presentation by Brian Brown
Capt. Brian Brown and his wife, Jayann
During the meeting Capt. Brian Brown, a member of the Consumnes Fire Department, related his 1966 model Cessna 172 trip on Memorial Day weekend.  His wife and younger daughter were on the trip to visit the older daughter in Iowa.  As it happens many times, the weather forecast was not as accurate as described and they were forced to make an unplanned stop at an airport 50 minutes away from the destination.  After they looked and believed the front had passed, they resumed the trip, but not too long later they found themselves surrounded by bad weather and forced to lower the altitude to see if they could find a way through.

Suddenly they were pushed by down drafts and hit a tree with the wing tip and then the ground very violently.  Miraculously, they survived the crash, but the following 15 hours of danger and rescue efforts were very dramatic. Finally, the rescue team reached them and they were taken from the mountain to a hospital.

Capt. Brian Brown and Maj Noel Luneau, Squadron 188 Commander
They wrote a book, called “Rescued” where all the details are recorded about this amazing story of a crash that could have been fatal, but they survived.

Thank you Capt. Brian Brown for sharing your amazing story and having your wife with you to participate in the recollection of the events.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Cessna 182 in its new hangar
The members of Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188 wish to thank California Wing (CAWG) for the generous opportunity to utilize a 2012 Cessna 182 with the G1000 cockpit. This report summarizes how Squadron 188 used this time and aircraft to train its pilots, promote CAP and fulfill its three primary missions.

Since the Cessna 182 was assigned to Squadron 188 and until the end of September, the Cessna 182 has flown 160 hours. The hours flown by the Cessna 182 in those six months is 74% higher than the California average, which is 91.85 hours calculated for the time period April - September 2013. This Cessna 182 is the fourth most flown CAP airplane within CAWG, and is within ten hours of the top three aircraft with the most hours flown.

G1000 for Mission Observers Course
Squadron 188 also organized a search and rescue exercise (SAREX) weekend specifically for Mission Observers to learn the G1000. This exercise and a number of others that the Cessna 182 has attended resulted in three new qualified mission observers for 13 total qualified mission observers, the second highest per squadron in CAWG. Our members have also flown the aircraft to numerous other SAREXs around California, and participated in the Evaluated Exercise. These missions, which included the Cessna 182, are key to encouraging members of Squadron 188 and other nearby squadrons to participate and earn or renew ES ratings. Their participation helps CAP members maintain proficiency in the various ES ratings required to support these missions, thus benefiting Group 2 and CAWG.

One of 300 young people introduced to CAP
In 2013, the Cessna 182 was flown to three air shows by members of Squadron 188 and used as a recruiting tool for the Squadron, as well as various Group 2 squadrons. The aircraft is a popular draw for the young and old, raised awareness among the general public, and played an important role in recruiting new members. An estimated 300 young people were introduced to the the Cessna 182 cockpit and gained a better understanding of CAP and aerospace education.

The Cessna 182 and Squadron 188 aircrew members played a key role in a real world mission when they were called to transport tissue from SoCal up to the Bay Area. This mission resulted in three life-saving awards for the crew members. The aircraft was also credited with two non-distress finds and flew a number of CD and WADS missions.

Instructor Pilot 1st Lt George Michelogiannakis
Squadron 188 hosted two G1000 ground school seminars to help pilots transition to the glass panel platform. The result of the seminars, and readily available aircraft is that Squadron 188 now has six pilots qualified to fly the G1000 and seven others queued up for Form 5 checkrides. Squadron 188 has organized those trainees by matching them with instructors in order to expedite the training process, and we are proud to have six new CAP G1000 pilots, as well as a G1000 instructor, who will increase our capacity for training.

Oakland Hangar
In January 2013, Squadron 188 negotiated with the Port of Oakland for the lease of a large hangar on the North Field. Squadron 188 members volunteered many hours over four months painting and fixing up the hangar. The hangar not only shelters the plane from the elements, it also serves as a recruiting tool and a classroom. Members often practice their G1000 skills in the hangar with the aid of an APU.

Thank you CAWG for entrusting Squadron 188 with the newest Cessna 182.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Why I joined Civil Air Patrol

By SM Eric Choate, CAP
Asst Recruiting Officer and Mission Scanner
Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188

California Wing

I was at Oakland Airport for 10+ years, and Hayward for 8+ before I even noticed the Civil Air Patrol.  How is that possible? And how did I become aware of the Civil Air Patrol let alone join?  Well, 445CP was hard to miss at the Hayward open house in May of 2013.

445CP at the Auburn SAREX with Capt Eichelberger,
SM Choate, and Lt Michelogiannakis.
She was so shinny and beautiful, I had to stop and ask "What does the Civil Air Patrol do?"  I was greeted by a guy named Ken who answered with "I'll show you", as he proceeded to guide me into the cockpit.

I thought "well, this will be a waste of time, I own a plane."  Then I saw it, like the sun shining down through the clouds, the most beautiful instrument panel I'd ever seen up close.  I thought "Why is he showing me this?  Don't you have to be Military to fly this?  I assumed since everyone was wearing flight suits or camo."

As I drooled over the G1000 glass panel Ken asked if I was a pilot.  I responded "Yes!"  To which he responded "You know, you could fly this..."  I said "What? How? Where do I signup?"  Well, after he demonstrated some of the cool features of the G1000, he introduced me to Chris Johnson.  Chris proceeded to explain what CAP did, and how he participated along with his wife, and how it sounded like CAP might be a good fit for me.  Chris struck me as a real stand up guy, so that night, with the image of that G1000 still fresh in my mind, I checked out the website. The more I read the more I couldn't believe it.

What an amazing organization and amazing group of people.  Shortly thereafter, I attended some meetings, completed my application and before I knew it I was attending a SAREX at Oakland, then another at Auburn, then the Watsonville airshow with 445CP.  I myself, a member for only 2 months, showed off her beauty to countless individuals both young and old.  Since then, I've continued to be amazed at the dedication and commitment of the squadron188 members.

I have yet to fly 445CP due to a backlog of pilots waiting to do the same, and can only imagine the wasted talent and enthusiasm for CAP in general and squadron188 in specific if 455CP is relocated.  I for one would seriously reconsider my involvement and level of commitment to squadron188 and CAP in general without 455CP.

This would be a loss for both CAP and squadron188 as I have already contributed my skills to help provide better reporting for squadron188, and help bring internet connectivity to the squadron188 hanger.

These contributions are only the beginning, as I'm also skilled in construction, auto repair, RC planes and helicopters, model rockets, and wilderness first aid.

Not to mention, I'd be happy to spend my weekends passing on my love of flying to our youth who in Oakland, more than any other city in the country, need to be exposed to something besides guns, drugs, and violence.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Livermore Airport Open House

CAP booth at Livermore Airport
By SM Eric Choate, CAP
Asst Recruiting Officer and Mission Scanner
Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188
California Wing

Amelia Earhart Squadron 188 members Lt John Stevulak, Lt Gene Rugroden, SM Eric Choate, Lt George Michelogiannakis, and SM Karin Hollerbach attended the Livermore Airport Open House on October 5th. It was a gorgeous fall day and a lovely way to spend the late morning / afternoon. Squadron 188 shared the booth with members of Cadet Squadron 18.

It was great having the cadets there, as they were impeccably attired and a pleasure to watch in their interactions with the public. CAP can be proud of their participation.

Mustang warbird display
A number of visitors stopped by our booth and asked about both pilot and non-pilot positions. For the non-pilots, the radios in the CAP vehicle were pretty cool! Not everyone realized that CAP has a lot to offer for both pilots and non-pilots!

We loved having parents and their kids come by to learn about CAP including its cadet and aerospace education programs.

SM Karin Hollerbach being interviewed by KKIQ
Several people were a bit shy about approaching, so reaching out to them as they stood, watching from a distance, was well worthwhile and gratifying. One young man (17) is hoping to join the Air Force and was thrilled to find out he could join CAP now.

Livermore’s radio station KKIQ came by the booth and did a mini interview, to help spread the word. These guys are great.

Classic cars on display
Wandering around the airport was a lot of fun, as there were cool cars and planes on display, not to mention a lot of friendly people (and dogs) hanging out.

All in all it was a great day. We recruited a number of Cadets for Squadron 18 and Concord, and a few Senior members too.

Audio from a KKIQ interview with SM Karin Hollerbach.

Pictures courtesy of SM Eric Choate

Friday, October 18, 2013

Auburn SAREX and First Find

Auburn SAREX
Auburn Airport
Capt Donald Eichelberger, Lt George Michelogiannakis, and Lt Eric Choate attended the Auburn SAREX on 24-25 Aug 13.  Capt Eichelberger who flew as a Mission Pilot (MP) mentioned that the SAREX was well "worth the effort of being there" and that "being at a remote location was good practice if we have to travel for a mission."

Both Lt Michelogiannakis and Lt Choate accomplished a number of flights each and were successful in received their accompanying sign offs. Lt Michelogiannakis achieved his Mission Observer wings and Lt Choate achieved his Mission Scanner rating.

Lt Eric Choate standing in front of CAP445
Capt Eichelberger also mentioned that the Rim Fire caused extensive smoke that blanketed the area on the Saturday.  He relates that "We had smoke from fires on Saturday (almost IFR in our search area), but Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day to fly because of the front that went through."

CAP445's First Find
Written by Lt Col John Aylesworth
CAP445 was on a training sortie near the Sutter Buttes on Sunday 25 August with aircrew members Maj Randy Weatherhead (Mission Pilot Trainee), Lt Col John Aylesworth (Mission Pilot Mentor) and Chris Baker (Mission Scanner Trainee). The crew was re-tasked to land at Lincoln (LHM) airport to assist a ground team DF a "no play" 406 MHz beacon for a mission opened early the previous morning.

CAP445 at Auburn Airport
Four previous air and two ground sorties had been launched to find this Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) which was only transmitting a burst every 50 seconds on 406.03x MHz with no 121.5 MHz homing signal. This complicated finding it as the ground teams had no mobile gear to home in on a 406 MHz only signal.

After getting bearings in the air confirming LHM as the likely location the crew landed. While on approach the Becker/Rhotheta RT-600 direction finder indicated bearings pointing to the east side of the field from a group of hangers. After landing, the aircraft was taxied up and down hanger rows until they "had it surrounded" and pretty much pinpointed to one hanger based on bearings while on the ground and Intel gathered by the ground team from locals at the airport in nearby hangers.

The crew's procedure had been to taxi 10-20 feet and stop in an open intersection between hanger rows, wait until the next 50 second burst, then taxi another 10-20 feet and take another bearing, turning where appropriate in the indicated direction. This worked very well. After returning to base, the Incident Commander (IC) thoroughly debriefed the crew using Google Earth and asked them to describe procedures and bearings. The IC confirmed that the following morning the airport manager had accessed the identified hanger and found the 406 MHz beacon.

Congratulations to the crew and CAP445 on its first find!

Pictures courtesy of Lt George Michelogiannakis, and Lt Eric Choate

Friday, June 7, 2013

Civil Air Patrol's presentation to the Bay Area 99s

By Lt. Col. Juan Tinnirello, CAP
Public Information Officer
Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188
California Wing

Lt Col Juan Tinnirello
On Thursday, May 9, 2013, Lieutenant Colonel Juan Tinnirello, the Public Information Officer for Amelia Earhart, Senior Squadron 188 of the Civil Air Patrol, made a presentation of what CAP is and does. CAP is the official Auxiliary to the United States Air Force. The event took place at the monthly meeting of the Ninety Nines, Inc. the International Organization of Women Pilots founded in 1929 by 99 licensed women pilots and the first president was Amelia Earhart. The meeting took place at the Kaiser Air building located at the Oakland International Airport, North Field.

Members of the 99'ers and CAP
The meeting started at 19:00 hr. and present were six members of the organization plus one guest.  Attending from Sq. 188 were, Major Noel Luneau, Squadron Commander, Captain Luis Rivas, Deputy Commander and Captain Kathy Johnson, Mission Observer.

Lt. Col. Tinnirello's presentation included a brief history of the beginning of CAP back in December 1941 as well as its participation during WWII. The current membership of 60,000 seniors and cadets includes 8,000 aircrews and 32,000 emergency responders trained to FEMA standard.  CAP also operates one the largest fleet of single-engine piston aircraft in the world, with 550 planes that fly more than 100,000 hours annually. It also has a fleet of 950 emergency services vehicles for training and mission support.

Maj Noel Luneau and a 99's member
He also talked, in detail, about CAP's three primary missions; emergency services, cadet programs and aerospace education.

During the presentation, the participants asked several questions to clarify or request more information.  The members from squadron 188 assisted by adding details of their particular specialties.

The presentation concluded by 20:00 hrs. and Lt. Col. Tinnirello invited all the participants to visit the CAP hanger to see the brand new Cessna 182 and it G1000 avionics suite.

Everyone was delighted to see the plane and took turns sitting in the completely lighted cockpit to enjoy the big screen display.
A 99's member sits in the Cessna

Mission Scanner School - Group 2

By Lt. Robert Adams, CAP
Transportation Officer and Mission Scanner Trainee
Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188
California Wing

Lt Adam's of SQ188 prepares for a sim flight
I attended a two day Civil Air Patrol Mission Scanner Training Class on Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17th 2013 that was hosted by Group-2 Headquarters at Squadron 18 at the Hayward, California airport.

There were at least 25-30 people in attendance including five instructors and several Cadets. (Some of the participants that attended this weekend event came from as far away as Washington State and others from locations throughout California.

All of the instructors that taught that weekend were exceptionally proficient to teach the various subjects that encompass the Mission Scanner Training Course.
The course was presented in an interesting format, and well planned classroom manner.

Lt Mumy of SQ188 prepares for a sim flight
Instructors presented subjects systematically with personal and helpful information depicting important personal experiences that were of an additional benefit to each of us relative to their subject at hand.

Prior to the conclusion of the two-day classes, we were instructed to break up into individual groups of four or five participants plus an instructor, who thoroughly guided us through an anatomy of a real Emergency Mission.

The instructors tactfully demonstrated and explained to us the various steps including the paperwork that is necessary to complete a real Mission from the beginning to end.

CAP members receiving training
At the conclusion of the (mock) emergency mission, we were all presented with a 50 question written test that covered all of the many subjects that had been presented to us over these last two days.

All participants were later informed that they passed the test and had completed all of the Familiarization and Preparatory Training Tasks, including most of the Advanced Training Tasks.  Leaving only task 0–2018, which required Operating the Aircraft Communication Equipment and the two Exercise Participation sign-offs to complete our Mission Scanner SQTR.

In summation; this was a most successful, well designed and organized (two day) Mission Scanner Training Class.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tsunami Exercise: An aircrewmans perspective

Lt Louie Rivas, CAP
Deputy Commander and Mission Pilot/Observer
Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188
California Wing

Speaker System
On a cloudy Wednesday morning three aircrew members of Group 2, California Wing participated in a Tsunami Exercise that extended north from Bodega Bay near San Francisco to the California/Oregon state line. The purpose of the exercise was to test the various components of the northern California Tsunami warning system.

Three aircraft were equipped with a high powered speaker system and the plan was to fly them at 1000 feet above the ground on a specific route along the California coast.  While flying they were to broadcast a pre recorded message for one hour that included a request for the public to call a phone number to report they heard the message.  A fourth aircraft known as High Bird was to circle at a high altitude and relay communications between aircraft and the command base located in Eureka.

Mission Pilot - Lt Col Brett Dolnick
Lt Col Brett Dolnick filed an IFR flight plan from Buchanan Field in Concord CA to Rohnerville Airport in Fortuna CA for an 11:00 rendezvous over Shelter Cove airport. The skies were clear at Concord but the coast was covered by a marine layer in both directions as far as the eye could see.  In the right seat Capt Paul Kubiak monitored communications and reported the flights progress to Eureka base, while 1st Lt Louie Rivas sitting in the rear of the plane prepared the broadcasting equipment.

The cloud layer covered the hilltops along the coast and prevented flying underneath the layer so the plan was to fly the approach into Rohnerville to penetrate the layer and then break off once the aircraft was beneath the clouds. The approach into the airport was executed expertly by Lt Col Dolnick but the layer was too low to safely fly underneath it. The crew then decided the best alternative was to climb and fly above the layer while broadcasting the message.

The GPS equipped aircraft has a moving map that displays the location of the aircraft relative to the terrain below. Lt Rivas was monitoring the moving map display and pushed the play button the moment the icon depicting the aircraft appeared over the image of the Shelter Cove airport hidden beneath the clouds.

Flying above the Marine Layer
The crew flew at 90 knots during the broadcast run and during this hour the crew only caught a small glimpse of the coastline below.  At 12:00, Capt Kubiak reported to Eureka Base that the aircrew had successfully broadcasted the message and that they were returning to base.  Lt Col Dolnick turned the nose of his aircraft to the south east and safely flew his crew home to Buchanan Field. 

Aircrew of Lt Col Dolnick, Capt Rivas and Capt Kubiak
All photos courtesy of Lt Louis Rivas.