Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holiday Celebration at Squadron 188

By Lt. Col. Juan Tinnirello, CAP                   Photos by Lt. Col. Juan Tinnirello

1st Lt James Hipp and Capt. Lutz Heinrich
pointing at a tree ornament.
On 16 December, 2014 members of Amelia Earhart Senior squadron 188 gathered to celebrate the Holiday Season and spend time talking to each other.  Commander Capt. Luis

The tree ornament
Maj. Noel Luneau, 1st Lt. John Stevulak,
 Maj. Jeffrey Ironfield and Capt. Lutz Heinrich.
 Rivas welcomed everyone and commented on some of the achievements of this busy year.
1st Lt. Jordan Hayes was the main food
 1st Lt Jordan Hayes shaking hands
with Maj. Jeffrey Ironfield

 He sent an e-mail stating different types of food to choose from, so he could provide the right type and amount to satisfy everyone. He also prepared the salad.
1st Lt Hayes preparing a salad
After the celebration and enjoying the plentiful and tasty food, everyone moved to the classroom where a special presentation was made by the participants of a recent search mission for a missing aircraft.

Commander Capt. Luis Rivas addressing the group.

The purpose of the “round table” discussion was to analyze the mission as well as to learn from the mistakes so as to improve in the future.
2d Lt Eric Choate, a Mission Pilot with his Mission Observer Capt Doug Perreira determined the location of the missing aircraft, and together with Maj. Noel Luneau, analyzed the events that occurred during the mission.
Attendees enjoying the food and talking to each other.

Lt. Choate presented a series of slides stating items and events that can be improved on future missions.  Several other participants, directly or indirectly in the mission, offered their opinion on different aspects and events.

 Maj. Ironfield and 1st Lt Wayne Cao
helping themselves to salad
With the party and the presentation, it was a great way to end the year at squadron 188, sharing camaraderie and learning from each other what to do better in future missions.

The squadron will be dark from 16 December until 6 January, 2015, the date the next “All Hands” meeting will take place.
Feliz Navidad, Happy Holidays and prosperous New Year 2015 every one!

Several members talking with each other.

The audience at the “round table”
2nd Lt Choate making the presentation with Capt. Rivas and Maj. Luneau.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Wreaths Across America

By Maj Kumar Misra, Maj Chris Johnson, Maj Kathy Johnson, 1st Lt Patrick Bitz, and 2d Lt Karin Hollerbach

Wreaths Across America takes place at 12:00 EST across America and each year on the second Saturday of December. Of late at Golden Gate Cemetery in San Bruno, it customarily had been held at the base of the dominant flagpole visible from the highway. This year, it was held more in the interior of the campus with a relatively smaller group of attendees than in years past. However, it was no less exceptional.

The theme of "Honor, Remember and Teach" was again emphasized. As part of the annual program a wreath was dedicated to each branch of the service to pay respect accordingly. The Sons of the America Legion and the Patriot Riders were also in attendance, as they are each year. POW and MIA were recognized with great reverence as well.

The keynote speaker was Col Grace Edinboro, who is an Iraq war veteran and member of Civil Air Patrol in the Sacramento area. Col Edinboro grew up in San Francisco, was part of the San Francisco Squadron 86, and then went into the National Guard and served in Iraq. She spoke with great humility and grace detailing some aspects of her service both overseas and back home. Lt Col Edinboro will be retiring in April 2015, moving to Concord, where she will continue her CAP career. We at Squadron 188 are looking forward to hosting her for an evening to further speak to her experiences both within US Army and CAP.

Group of veterans
The ceremony began with a bagpipes playing, a chill in the air and a beautiful blue sky in San Bruno. Squadron 18 did their usual great job providing the color guard. The ceremony is very respectful and short.  The laying of the wreath is everything. The moments with the wreaths are very personal:  Seeing the name and touching the tombstone brings you face to face with the life of that soldier. You can personally say thank you and this wreath is my promise that you will not be forgotten.

 Col Grace Edinboro
We were asked to take a moment and reflect on the life that was given for our country. We read the tombstones front and back, which had information about the person who served, and some had their family information as well. The tombstones also included information about the war they had served in. It was a very moving experience to give honor to these individuals and spend time honoring their memories.

 Maj Kathy Johnson, Maj Chris Johnson,
Maj Kumar Misra and Col Grace Edinboro
The ceremony was attended by veterans as well as families that lost their children. All in all it was a very moving ceremony that we felt blessed to be a part of. Participating in this memorable event says we at CAP understand the importance of service to our country and that it is an honor and privilege to remember those who served before us.

An interesting announcement was made prior to the wreaths being distributed for placement after the formal program was over; all tombstones are to have a wreath placed upon them except ones with the Star of David on them. To ensure I heard those instructions correctly (as I had never heard of such a thing in years past), I inquired about the same to make sure I did not inadvertently do something incorrect. Apparently, earlier this year the JWV (Jewish War Veterans) in working with WAA made a request to ensure wreaths were not laid to rest upon the graves of Jewish American soldiers. Read about it here:
Maj Kumar Misra

In paying respect to those who paid the ultimate price for our values, freedom, and way of life, it is essential we always respect the sensitivities of the diverse communities our great nation has. This was a warm lesson learned this year around and I am sure many other such requests from different communities will come about in time. This diversity is our strength as a nation and for each of us to be a part of the beautiful mosaic that is "America" makes participating in such respectful ceremonies for our nations heroes all that much more special.
1st Lt Patrick Bitz

This was the first WAA program that Majs Chris and Kathy Johnson attended. According to Maj Chris Johnson, I was proud to represent CAP and to see the cadets so well turned out and professional! What saddened me was the small turn out. One would think thousands would come to pay their respects. Makes me think most Americans don't realize the freedoms we have and the cost involved to keep it.

Just driving along the frontage road to the cemetery was a moving moment. Looking at the 10s of thousands of graves, all lined up, all the same, gave one pause to reflect and well up with gratitude to those that gave all and to those that lost a loved one.
 Maj. Chris Johnson

Maj Kathy Johnson
One thing that stood out was the commitment and dedication of the Patriot Guard Riders that show up not only for an event like this, but to many of the interments and returning soldiers. They will go so far as to ride through the cemetery just to pay respects.

A key take away from the event is that we could do more to thank, respect, and honor our vets, both alive and dead. As printed on the front of the program, "don't say I SHOULD HAVE, say I did.

Maj. Kathy Johnson and Maj Chris Johnson

View of the tombstones with the wreaths

Friday, December 12, 2014

Safety Meeting, December 9, 2014

By Lt Col Juan Tinnirello (and pictures)

Squadron 188 came together for a mandatory meeting, to review safety procedures and to make sure that everyone is using the forms correctly. The people that need to know of the incident/accident must be informed in a timely fashion.   Deputy Commander 1st Lt Jordan Hayes presided over the meeting, since Commander Capt Luis Rivas was out of town.


1st Lt Hayes went over regulation 62-2, reviewing its major portions and specifically the sequence of the events to properly notify those people that need to know and to avoid unnecessary problems.

2d Lt Matthew Gast
1st Lt Jordan Hayes
Subsequently, 2d Lt Matthew Gast explained in detail how to fill out the online form found in the Safety Management System (SMS) on the eService’s CAP web page. He talked from experience, since he had to do it recently.  

The most important point on this form is to make sure not to press “Send Mishap Notification” on the bottom right hand corner of the form until ALL the information - in all of the form's tabs - has been completed.  To do so, you MUST click on the bottom left hand  corner where it says “Submit and Continue Data Entry”.  That will allow you to complete the rest of the form before submitting it.  

Before you start the form, compile the information on a piece of paper, making sure you have all the facts and then transfer them to the form.

Notification of the people listed in the regulations is the MOST important task to complete right away. 

Copies of the Reg. 62-2 can be found in the vehicle and in the plane. The form can be completed after making the initial phone calls, especially since the person you must call right away will help calm you down and guide you on what to do or how to report the event.

If you missed the meeting, you will have to figure it out by yourself. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

All Hands Meeting, 2 December, 2014

By Lt Col Juan Tinnirello (including pictures)

The meeting started at 19:30 hrs. with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, led by Lt Col Juan Tinnirello. Squadron Commander Capt Luis Rivas welcomed everyone, including Group 2 Commander Lt Col Brett Dolnick who came to make a special presentation to one of our members.  Maj Noel Luneau introduced David Thorson, ex Royal Canadian Air Cadet, non-current glider pilot, who plans to join Squadron 188.
David Thorson, introducing himself.
Capt Rivas commented that last month was a very busy month for the members of this unit.  Maj Steve DeFord attended National Inland SAR Planning Course and Maj DeFord and Maj Chris Johnson attended the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) Mission Manager Course at Sq. 188.
During November, there were two missions where our squadron participated.

2d Lt Eric Choate
14-M-0571A 08-Nov. Search and Rescue Notice (ALNOT) at Gilroy: Distress find: Mission Pilot 2d Lt Eric Choate; Mission Observer Capt. Doug Perreira flying CAP445.   2d Lt Choate made some comments about this mission and a round table discussion will take place 16 Dec.

14-M-0594 22-Nov. Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) at Santa Rosa. Non-Distress finds: Mission Pilot 1st Lt Gene Rugroden flying CAP 445; Mission Observer Maj Chris Johnson; Mission Scanner Maj Kathy Johnson.

Maj Chris Johnson renewed UDF and 2d Lt Terence Wilson earned his Glider Check Pilot endorsement on Form 5.

Maj Kathy Johnson completed the Technician level on the Public Affairs Specialty Track.
1s Lt Pat Bitz 

1s Lt Bitz talk about the Wreaths Across America event, remembering our heroes that are buried at the San Bruno National Cemetery.  He invited us to go there and participate in the moving ceremony that will take place 13-Dec. at 9:00 AM.  This year, unfortunately, we did not have as many sponsors as last year, so the amount of money donated to our squadron will be reduced to less than a third of the over $1,200 we received last year.  This will place a big dent on our budget for this fiscal year.

Also, 1st Lt Bitz suggested that we have one minute of Aerospace Education at every “All Hands” meeting to instruct everybody attending.  This Month 1s Lt Jordan Hayes volunteer and he presented a series of event that took place on 2 Dec in different years, as follows:

4 Launches of the space shuttle:

  • 1988: Atlantis as STS-27 (landed in Edwards AFB)
  • 1990: Columbia as STS-35 (landed in Edwards AFB)
  • 1992: Discovery as STS-53 (landed at Edwards AFB)
  • 1993: Endeavor as STS-61 (fixed the Hubble telescope)
  • 1939: La Guardia airport opens

Anyone willing to volunteer for next month's presentation?

The van was driven 14 miles last month with a total of 13,993 for this year so far. CAP 445 was flown 20.6 hours versus the expected 17 for Nov.

New Group 2 Duty Positions: Maj Jeff Ironfield (Operations Officer); Maj Steve DeFord (Emergency Services Officer); Maj Kathy Johnson (Public Affairs Officer) [total 10 Group positions; 5 Wing positions from our squadron]
Capt. Rivas and 2d Lt Tim Roberts

More awards:
Capt. Rivas and 1s Lt Choate
2d Lt Eric Choate and Capt Doug Perreira: bronze clasp for Find Ribbon (normally 20 non-distress finds)

2d Lt Tim Roberts: YEAGER Award

Maj Noel Luneau: Silver clasp for Air Search & Rescue Ribbon (over 60 sorties) [FROM NOVEMBER]

Maj Jeff Ironfield: ES Patch [from long ago]

Capt Rivas and 2d Lt Terence Wilson

2d Lt Terence Wilson: GLIDER PILOT RATING [from long ago]
 Capt Rivas and Maj Luneau
Other Business
Coming up, we have the Aerospace Education class 9 Dec, Mission round table on 16 Dec plus food and drinks.  This will be the last meeting for this year.  The squadron will be dark until 6 Jan 2015, our “All Hands“ meeting.

Our squadron is tasked with the WMAO (Wing Mission Alert Officer) job between 15-19 Dec.  Anyone able to volunteer for one day or portion of it, please contact 1s Lt Jordan Hayes.
 Lt Col Brett Dolnick and
Capt. George Michelogiannakis
1st Lt Jordan Hayes

Commander Rivas invited our Group 2 Commander Lt Col Brett Dolnick to present a special award.  The Commander’s Commendation went to Capt George Michelogiannakis for the many achievements accomplished since he became a member of Sq. 188 over a years ago.

Safety Presentation
For the Safety portion of the meeting 1s Lt Jordan Hayes had a series of answers that people had to tell the question related to it. It was done as a game, with questions worth $$ based on the complexity, Sq. 188 Safety Jeopardy.  The audience was divided in two, the right side and the left side. It was very instructive for the fact that you had to describe the event, form etc. that will required the answer read by Jordan.  It was difficult and very instructive in how much there is to learn.

The meeting ended at 21:05 hrs.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rocket Making Class

By 2d Lt Karin Hollerbach, photos by 2d Lt Hollerbach and Lt Col Juan Tinnirello

Following a fun aerospace education class #1 (click here for details), on 11 November (happy Veterans’ Day to all), 1st Lt Pat Bitz held the second in a series of Aerospace Education classes.  In this class, participants built and tested 2 rockets from everyday household materials and objects plus a super-secret rocket fuel formula.

Secret rocket fuel formula, photo by 2d Lt Hollerbach
The first rocket built was the Fizzy Flyer, a fun, liquid fueled rocket. Only class participants know the secret formula that was used!  But if you attend the rest of the series, we might tell you… without having to… you know…

The Fizzy Flyers were a lot of fun to build and launch, although time from ignition to liftoff was a bit unpredictable due to the nature of the fuel involved. In theory, one of the advantages of using liquid fuel in a rocket is that its burn can be controlled. That might have been a design shortcoming in our liquid fuel rocket, since we did not have such fine control!

Instructions for making the Fizzy Flyer,
photo by Lt Col Tinnirello
No wonder the second rocket type was designed – based on solid fuel (aka rubber bands).  This one was named after Dr. Robert Goddard, considered by many to be the father of modern rocketry.

Getting ready for launch, photo by
2d Lt Hollerbach

According to CAP’s rocket-making educational materials, during WWI, Dr. Goddard received a grant from the US Army to work on solid fuel rocket projects. One invention from his work during this time was a 3-inch rocket fired through a steel tube – which later evolved into the well-known anti-tank bazooka that was widely used in WWII.

1st Lt Bitz demonstrating how to make a Goddard rocket, photo by Lt Col Tinnirello

Dr. Goddard’s experiments also included fuel feeding devices, propellant pumps, gyroscopic stabilizers, and instruments for monitoring the flight of rockets. Just before WWII, Dr. Goddard was hired to help develop rocket-powered, quick-takeoff propulsion units for the US Navy.

We have now completed the rocket-making portion of Stage One: Redstone Phase of the cadet aerospace education program.

Capt Rivas launching his Goddard rocket,
photo by Lt Col Tinnirello
The third class in this 6-part series will be held at Squadron 188’s headquarters at Oakland Airport on 9 December. Members of other squadrons are welcome to participate.

For those of you senior members that want to learn more about CAP’s internal aerospace education programs, please go check out the requirements for earning the Charles E. Yeager Aerospace Education Award. Our squadron is proud to have a 90+% rate of members having earned the Yeager Awards!  New members, listen up – it’s up to you to get us back to 100%!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Congratulations Lt Gast - Commercial Glider Pilot

By 2d Lt Terence Wilson and 2d Lt Karin Hollerbach, photo provided by 2d Lt Wilson

Congratulations to 2d Lt Matthew Gast, who just earned his Commercial Glider Pilot rating.

On 25 October, Lt Gast completed his checkride with DPE Dan Gudgel, after training with his CFI, 2d Lt Terence Wilson at C83.

DPE Dan Gudgel, 2d Lt Matthew Gast, 2d Lt Terence Wilson
Next up for 2d Lt Gast? Working on his CFI rating.  Then we’ll have 2 CFI-Gs in our squadron!  

Besides flying gliders out of Byron, both Lts Gast and Wilson have been involved in CAP’s glider program (click here to see a recent description of glider O-Rides at Byron). Since CAP does not own many nearby gliders, the program relies on the support of and relationship with the Northern California Soaring Association (NCSA).  

Based at Byron airport, the NCSA is in an excellent position to support local CAP squadrons. The NCSA club has been in existence since 1947 and currently has half a dozen CFI-Gs (although I don’t think any of them were teaching when the club was founded!). You’ll be able to meet someone at the club almost every weekend, although a part of the glider fleet is repositioned to Truckee and Minden each summer, to take advantage of the excellent soaring conditions there.

In addition to being able to fly the NCSA gliders, squadron members now have an additional resource: California Wing recently got a Super Blanik from the United States Air Force (click here for a description of its assembly at Byron). 

Both Lts Gast and Wilson have offered to take squadron members for intro flights – so what are you waiting for?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lt Col Tinnirello interviewed for CAP Volunteer article on Amelia Rose Earhart

By 2d Lt Karin Hollerbach

Congratulations to Lt Col Juan Tinnirello!  Lt Col Tinnirello was interviewed for an article in CAP's Volunteer magazine, about Amelia Rose Earhart's historic flight around the world and about Lt Tinnirello's role in organizing Ms. Earhart's Welcome Home event at Oakland Airport.

Please click here to read the article, “New Ties to Amelia: California Squadron Welcomes Amelia Rose Earhart Following Her Flight Around the World.”

More information about the event can also be found in this blog article

Lt Col Juan Tinnirello and Amelia Rose Earhart at Oakland Airport