Friday, July 24, 2015

Professionalism for CAP Aircrew (and other Members!)

By 1st Lt Karin Hollerbach (including photo)

On July 14th, Maj Jeff Ironfield and Capt Georgios Michelogiannakis led the squadron’s aircrew members in a discussion about professionalism, on the ground and in the air.

The discussion covered
Maj Jeff Ironfield and Capt Georgios Michelogiannakis
(photo taken at Squadron 188's headquarters
at an earlier date)
  • Why it is important for CAP members to behave professionally at all times while engaged in CAP activities
  • Professionalism on the ground and in the air
  • The impact of professionalism on the perception of CAP and its membership and on safety

Maintaining professional behavior while engaged in CAP activities or in any way representing CAP is critically important for creating and maintaining a positive reputation in the eyes of the public as well as new and fellow members.  Our collective behavior reflects not only on ourselves as individuals. It also reflects on our squadron, our Group, our Wing, CAP as a national organization – and even on the US Air Force, particularly when we are wearing Air Force style uniforms.

Professionalism here includes the whole range of behavior such as customs and courtesies, grooming standards, and how we interact with each other and with the public.

Professional behavior also contributes very directly to staying safe both on the ground and in the air. In the discussion, we reviewed several aircraft crashes that could be traced back in part to lapses in professionalism, with fatal results.

Most of the time, any lapses in professionalism, of course, result in lesser incidents and survivable lessons to be learned. Have you ever taken a shortcut in obtaining a weather or other briefing, in providing a passenger briefing, or in other aspects of preflight planning?  What about in maintaining your personal minimums and CAP safety standards?  Even if inadvertently, have you ever pressured a fellow aircrew member into hurrying their part of the assignment, perhaps because you were already ready with yours?  Could that have had any impact on mission safety?  Remember that one time when you didn't think through clearly enough what to say to ATC before you keyed the mike?

No doubt most of us aircrew members can think of examples where we have fallen short in some manner.  I know I can.  The key is to keep learning and keep striving for excellence.

Lessons can be learned from good examples as well!  Someone behaving particularly professionally can serve as an outstanding role model to be emulated.

Several squadron members shared stories of behavior – their own and others’ – of particularly professional behavior and – for learning purposes - of behavior that may have may have presented opportunities for improvement.

Speaking of professionalism:  kudos to our squadron for creating a safe environment where members can share stories of things they would have done differently, to help everyone learn without anyone being judged for it.  Thanks to all members for contributing to this safety and learning culture.

Monday, July 13, 2015

All Hands Meeting – 9 July 2015

By 1st Lt Karin Hollerbach, photos by Lt Col Juan Tinnirello

June Recap
June was another busy month for our squadron. Activities included:
Maj Kathy Johnson, Squadron 188's
newest AP

Disaster Relief Exercise (DRE) at KSAC
Participants included Maj Chris Johnson, Maj Maggie Wang, 1st Lt Gabriel Fletcher-Hernandez, Maj Jeff Ironfield, Capt Luis Rivas.  The DRE enabled many of the recent graduates of the Airborne Photographer (AP) Ground School to complete their training requirements and become APs.  The AP rating is not an easy one to achieve, and this DRE didn’t make things any easier:  According to Maj Wang, AP Trainees faced a “tough curriculum and a tough flight” with fairly windy conditions.

San Carlos Airshow
1st Lt Eric Choate represented Squadron 188 at the San Carlos Airshow on 27 June.

The squadron also held a BBQ on the 5th Tuesday of June.

VIP SoCal Mission
Capt Jordan Hayes served as Air Ops Branch Director (AOBD) for this mission.

Multiple ELT Missions
Maj Noel Luneau, Maj Steven DeFord and Lt Col Roger Glenn were among those participating in the prosecution of several ELT missions.

Awards and Ratings
Congratulations to the following members for their achievements:
Capt Rivas and SM Zherebnenkov
Capt Rivas and SM Roudnev
  • Maj Ironfield completed his Planning Section Chief (PSC) rating. 
  • Capt Doug Ramsey received his ES patch.
  • Capt Georgios Michelogiannakis completed his Senior Rating in Standards & Eval. 
  • Maj DeFord received an Air Search and Rescue Ribbon (10 sorties) 
  • Maj Luneau received a Rescue Find Ribbon, with a Bronze Clasp, and received his Incident Commander 2 (IC2) badge.
  • SM Alexei Roudnev and SM Nikolay Zherebnenkov both received their Level 1 Membership awards, and SM Zherebnenkov received the Yeager award.  
*** This now brings our squadron to 90% achievement rate of the Yeager (Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager Aerospace Education Achievement) award.  If you haven’t completed this training yet, please do, so we can get to 100%.

Other Squadron Achievements

Thanks to the dedication of all our squadron members, Squadron 188 has now achieved 100% completion in Cadet Protection Program training.

So far this year, our glider usage has reached 100% of goal, (200 sorties, 100 of which are cadet O-Rides), thanks to all glider pilots and those donating their time to give O-Rides to cadets.

Upcoming Events

Two Squadron 188 members (1st Lt Robert Kraus and 2d Lt Tim Roberts) will be students at the upcoming Mission Aircrew School (MAS) Ground School portion, held at KOAK July 11-12.  The second half of the MAS will be held July 24-26 in Fresno.  You must attend the Ground School portion in order to participate (as a Trainee) in Fresno.

There will be a Group 2 / 5 DRE held on August 29-30.  Details will be forthcoming. This DRE will focus on advanced aircrew and ground tasking and is primarily for standards, not trainees.

If you can, please consider attending the CAWG Wing Conference, held in Newport Beach at the end of September.

Aerospace Education Excellence: New Horizons Mission to Pluto 
Lt Bitz presenting information on
the New Horizon spacecraft

1st Lt Pat Bitz presented an AEX educational session on the New Horizon spacecraft that was launched 9 years (19 January 2006!) ago from Cape Canaveral and has just now reached the dwarf planet Pluto, for a first-time (by humans…) exploration.

NASA is holding a public information session on 14 July about this historic event. The first post-flyby, close-up images of Pluto and moons are scheduled to be released on 15 July and will be available on the Ames website.

New Horizon will pass within 7,800 miles of Pluto’s surface.  By comparison, at the same distance over Manhattan, the spacecraft’s sensors could pick out all the little ponds and lakes in Central Park.  More information provided by NASA can be found by clicking here.

Lt Bitz showed a great video about the mission, which you can also view by clicking here.

In an upcoming AEX session, Lt Bitz will demonstrate the use of the squadron’s telescope, which we received from CAP as part of a STEM kit.   Details when we find out more!

Safety Presentation
It's BBQ season, so food is this months' safety topic. 

Capt Hayes led the squadron through a Food Safety Quiz for this month’s safety presentation.

Do you know how long it is safe to keep cooked food out at room temperature, or whether you can salvage part of that loaf of bread when one piece of it is moldy?  No?  Well, if you had attended the meeting, you would know!

Squadron members were also alerted to the fact that reg 62-1 has been updated, removing safety currency requirements from event participation. Despite this, squadron members are expected to participate in safety briefings and, of course, to maintain safety as a first priority in all CAP activities.