Saturday, January 10, 2015

All Hands Meeting & Stargazing - January 2015

By 2d Lt Karin Hollerbach, photos courtesy of Lt Col Juan Tinnirello and 1st Lt Gabriel Fletcher-Hernandez

The first All Hands meeting of 2015 was kicked off with a pledge of allegiance, led by Lt Col Juan Tinnirello.

Squadron 188 members and guests at the start of the all hands meeting (photo by Lt Col Tinnirello)

Maj Mark Fridell (photo
by Lt Col Tinnirello)
New Member
A warm welcome to Maj Mark Fridell, who is transferring from Squadron 18.  Maj Fridell is an Air Force veteran, flies for the airlines, and joined CAP in 2007.  He is the Group 2 Aerospace Education (AE) Officer, as well as Director of AE for the Wing.

Wing Announcements
Proficiency flight funds are available for Mission Pilots (MP).  Contact Capt Paul Kubiak.

Group 2 Commander Goals for 2015
  1. The Group 2 Commander has set the following goals for the current year: 
  2. Increase recruiting & retention
  3. Encourage cadet participation in Emergency Services (ES)
  4. Color guard/drill team formation – currently, Sq 18 is the only squadron to represent Group 2 in color guard competitions
  5. Present the AE curriculum to schools to aid in STEM education
  6. Host more local courses, including SLS/CLC, BCS/ATS, NCOS

ES Ratings, Specialty Tracks & Awards
Congratulations to the following members, who completed and/or renewed ES ratings:
Capt Lou Rivas and 1st Lt Stevulak (photo
by Lt Col Tinnirello)
  • Maj Chris Johnson completed his GTM3 (Ground Team 3) rating
  • 1st Lt John Stevulak completed his initial Form 5
  • Maj Steven DeFord renewed his CUL rating (Communications Unit Leader)
  • Maj DeFord and 1st Lt Jordan Hayes are now FROs (Flight Release Officer)
  • Maj Noel Luneau completed his Master rating in Administration – bringing us to 5 current Master ratings in the squadron
  • 2d Lt Matthew Gast: earned a Find Ribbon in November
  • 2d Lt Wilson: earned a 2 yr Red Ribbon
  • SM Mike Smith: earned the Yeager Award, bringing the squadron to 88% completion.  That leaves 2 active members who have yet to complete this important AE training – you know who you are! 

Capt Rivas and SM Smith (photo
by Lt Col Tinnirello)
Capt Rivas and Lt Gast (photo
by Lt Col Tinnirello)

Capt Rivas and Lt Wilson (photo
by Lt Col Tinnirello)

Squadron Recap: Glider Program
Lt Gast and Lt Wilson reported that Squadron 188 has flown all of the Wing’s glider o-rides since the beginning of this fiscal year. Every 5th weekend will be reserved for proficiency flying, and several of our senior members have started glider training. The next senior weekend will be held on Jan 31/Feb 1 – so mark your calendars and come on out to Byron.  Please contact Lt Gast or Lt Wilson for more information.

AE Minute
1st Lt Gabriel Fletcher-Hernandez spent Thanksgiving weekend inside the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) in Hawaii and came back with an amazing time-lapse video.  From Lt Fletcher-Hernandez’ notes:

It is a brisk 0 degrees outside. I can see Maui, the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy M31, and most of the Big Island of Hawaii. The world’s two largest observatories, Kecks 1 and 2, are a couple hundred meters away, and I will be visiting the astronomers there shortly. The NASA scientists I am working with here at the IRTF are currently helping a researcher use the telescope remotely.
The NASA IRTF (photo by Lt Fletcher-Hernandez)

The astronomer using the telescope is in Indiana, relaxing at 3 feet above sea level, presumably with a cat on the lap and an espresso in hand; no longer do researchers have to even leave their homes if they have a broadband connection. Considering that many people have symptoms at the nearly 14,000 feet such as fainting, vomiting, and the ever so fun feeling like you are drunk and need an O2 tank, remote access has increased the productivity of the facilities on Mauna Kea, and freed up funding. When I take a shower in the dorms the water is 12 cents a gallon, for example, so keeping folks at home makes research more inviting for institutions and saves resources.

View from the NASA IRTF (photo by Lt Fletcher-Hernandez)

The NASA IRTF engineers troubleshoot equipment errors and point the telescope from the control room using the astronomers’ coordinates. The remote observer then takes a reading, and this goes on all night, as researchers around the world are queued up. The current user is looking at the Trojan Asteroids, getting mineral composition and other infrared data. Another astronomer I met working on the Caltech Submillimeter Array is using that radio telescope to try and look inside protostars in an anomalous star formation region called The Gold Belt. Using 270 GHz receivers she is looking inside the envelope (outer shell of the forming star) to gather data on the accretion disk inside; by using an unusual radio band, she is able to look through the hot gases obscuring the heart of the star. Also, this star field is outside the Milky Way, so the distances involved are staggering.

Night sky! (photo by Lt Fletcher-Hernandez)

Upcoming Events
Wing Comms Exercise – January 
There will be a Wing Comms Exercise on 17 January. For further information, please see Lt Gast.  In addition, there will be another national exercise in June. Information on the national exercise will be forthcoming.

Maj Steven DeFord (photo
by Lt Col Tinnirello)
ES Training – February 
Maj DeFord announced an ES ground school weekend on 7-8 February. This will include a gentle introduction to ES for both cadets and new senior members, including ground school for both Ground Team (GT) and UDF team tracks, as well as mission base staff tracks (Mission Radio Operator, MRO, and Mission Staff Assistant, MSA). Members that need to renew their ratings may also participate. Following the ground school, there will be a training exercise in Concord (late February).

The ground school is currently seeking additional instructors, so please contact Maj DeFord if you are interested.

CORE Training
1st Lt Alvaro Chavez is organizing CORE training at a future date to be determined.  We need at least 20 participants.  If you are interested, please see 1st Lt Chavez.

Safety Briefing: CAP’s Social Media Policy and Cyber Security 
2d Lt Hollerbach presented CAP’s social media policy and led a discussion on cyber security, with an emphasis on practical tips for members, specifically in the context of social media usage.

2d Lt Hollerbach (photo
by Lt Col Tinnirello)
Please remember to stay safe with your social media usage.  This includes things like reviewing (and not just accepting the default settings) the privacy settings of your account periodically, being careful whom you connect with on social media, and what personal information you share online.  Assume that, once posted, information is effectively public.

All CAP units are encouraged to have active social media accounts to help spread the word about the good work that CAP is doing at all levels throughout the country.   For questions about CAP social media policy details or safe social media usage, please ask your local squadron, Group 2, or CAWG Public Affairs Officers or your IT officers.

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