Tuesday, July 26, 2016

In Honor of A1C Ken Sturgill

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

As most of our CAP colleagues in California Wing will know by now, Airman 1st Class Ken Sturgill passed away earlier this month while attending USAF training in Texas, at the age of 21.

A1C Sturgill was said to have graduated in the top of his basic training class of over 700 recruits. Before that, he served in CAP, where he had achieved the rank of Captain.

Known to many in CAP as “K3”, he was a long-time cadet member of CAP, serving in the East Bay Cadet Squadron 18 in San Francisco Bay Area’s Group 2 (see also Squadron 18’s Facebook link).

Although I never had the honor of working with or meeting K3, many of my CAP colleagues have told me how much they treasured working with both K3 and his parents, Maj Kenneth Sturgill and Maj Tammy Sturgill.

K3’s memory is a powerful reminder of our CAP core values of integrity, service, excellence and respect and an inspiration to integrate these values into our own lives each and every day.

Many of our members attended events celebrating K3’s life, on the weekend of 16 and 17 July 2016.  I attended and was very moved by the Final Honors ceremony at San Francisco National Cemetery, at the Presidio, where K3 was accorded full military honors and where both CAP and USAF representatives came together to speak about K3’s life of commitment and service, as well as the sacrifice that he and his family have made.

I was sorry to not have had the chance to meet K3 in life and yet I treasure the love and gratitude that so many expressed on that Sunday.  K3, you live on in the hearts of your family and many friends!

Photos from the celebration of K3’s life and from the Final Honors follow.

Friday, July 15, 2016

O-Rides at June Encampment

By 1st Lt Eric Choate

2d Lt Michael Gross (Squadron 10) and I departed Oakland at about 3pm on Sunday afternoon and arrived at San Luis Obispo at about 5pm, after an uneventful flight that included a practice approach into KSBP.   We were greeted by ACI Jet’s excellent staff who directed us to our tiedown spot next to numerous other CAP plans on the ramp.  
A quick call to Lt Col Nelson resulted in the dispatch of a CAP van from Camp San Luis Obispo to pick us and a few other pilots up and take us to camp (a 20-30 minute drive).  At camp we retrieved our keys from the billeting office and our driver dropped us off at our building.  Various accommodations are available on base from open barracks to private rooms with shared bathrooms to private cottages ranging from free to $50/night.  My room was comfortable and recently remodeled. After getting settled, transportation picked us up and took us to the mess hall, where we had a decent meal prepared by kitchen staff made up mostly of Cadets, after which we were taken back to our rooms for the night.

Up again at 6am the next day, transportation again took us to the mess hall for breakfast, and then to the airport for the 8am safety briefing.  Half of the planes would take Cadets south to Santa Maria, three Cadets at a time, the others north to Paso Robles.  Having been assigned to Paso Robles last time, I was excited to find out that my plane would be going to Santa Maria – which is much cooler than Paso, being closer to the ocean.

Shortly after the briefing, cadets arrived at the airport. I was assigned three excited Cadets for my first flight.  I went over the chart, weight and balance, and safety with them before obtaining our flight release.  Out to the aircraft we went, buckled up (having previously performed the preflight) and headed to Santa Maria.  A few maneuvers along the way, and we quickly arrived at Santa Maria where one of the Cadets from the back seat was swapped into the front seat, and we loaded back up for the return flight.  

Upon arrival back at San Luis Obispo, Lt Gross and three additional Cadets were ready to take our plane out again.  Shortly before Lt Gross was expected to return, I was assigned three more Cadets and the cycle continued for a day and a half until all 195 Cadets had been flown using 13 aircraft and more than 20 pilots.

In all Lt Gross and I flew six flights each, 18 Cadets total and 12 O-Rides.

My favorite memory was when I was working with my last three enthusiastic Cadets.   Two of them are hoping to become Air Force pilots.  They are well on their way because they quickly and accurately answered all my questions about lift, drag, etc… as well as weight & balance and magnetic heading vs true heading. I was very impressed!

Another highlight of the trip was dinner at Mo’s Smokehouse followed by ice cream at Batch on Monday night.  The walk between Mo’s and Batch took us past the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa founded in 1772.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July 2016 All Hands Meeting

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

July’s All Hands meeting took place on the 5th of July.

Squadron 188 Members at the All Hands Meeting

A warm welcome to our newest member, SM Dhawallah Aisien.

Squadron Monthly Recap

June was another busy month for our squadron, including multiple missions and training events.

  • On the 10th of June, 2d Lt Alexei Roudnev served on an Urban Direction Finder (UDF) team and earned a Find. 
  • From the 13th – 15th of June, Capt Jordan Hayes, 1st Lt Eric Choate, and 1st Lt Gabriel Fletcher-Hernandez participated in Ardent Sentry, serving as Mission Observer (MO), Mission Pilot (MP) and Airborne Photographer (AP), respectively.
  • On the 17th of June, Capt Georgios Michelogiannakis and 2d Lt Tim Roberts participated in an ELT mission in King City, serving as MP and MO, respectively.
  • On the 26th of June, Maj Steven DeFord (Transport Mission Pilot - TMP), Maj Chris Johnson (Air Operations Branch Director - AOBD), Maj Kathy Johnson (Mission Radio Operator – MRO), and Capt Michelogiannakis (TMP) participated in a CARDA/K-9 mission
  • On the 30th of June, Maj DeFord (UDF), Maj Noel Luneau (MP), and Capt Hayes (MO) earned a Find in an ELT mission in Placerville.
  • On the 2nd of July, Maj Luneau and 1st Lt Alvaro Chavez served on a UDF team on an ELT mission in Livermore.

Capt Hayes and Lt Pat Bitz presenting this month's Aerospace Moment

  • On the 8th of June, Maj Mark Fridell (Aerospace Education Excellence – AEX), Capt Michelogiannakis (CFI), and Lt Choate (Recruiting) participated in an education outreach event at Richmond College Preparatory School. 
  • On the 11th of June, Capt Don Eichelberger (instructor) and Capt Kathy Browne (student), and Lt Roudnev (student) participated in the Airborne Photography ground school @ KSAC 
  • On the 25th of June, Maj DeFord, Maj Luneau, Capt Hayes, Capt Luis Rivas, and Lt Hollerbach participated as instructors/staff in the 2016 Mission Aircrew School, NorCal Ground School @ OAK. Maj Mark Fridell (MP-T), Capt Brown (MO-T), and 2d Lt Roudnev (MO-T) participated as students.  See our earlier blog posting for more information. 
  • From the 26th through the 28th of June, 1st Lt Choate served as Orientation Pilot at the Encampment @ Camp San Luis Obispo

Awards, ES Ratings & Professional Development 
Congratulations to all of the following members and thank you for your dedication to CAP and hard work:
Lt Zherebnenkov receiving his Leadership Award
from Capt Rivas
  • Maj Jeff Ironfield renewed his F5 
  • Capt Hayes renewed his MO rating
  • 2d Lt Booth renewed his F5 and earned his TMP appointment
  • Capt Hayes completed the Technician level of the Emergency Services specialty track
  • 2d Lt Zherebnenkov received a Leadership Award, for his first Specialty Track Technician Level in Aerospace
  • Lt Roudnev was awareded a search Find Ribbon, for his first find

Upcoming Events
Lt Roudnev receiving his Find Ribbon from Capt Rivas
  • 9-10 July: Squadron Leadership School (SLS) / Corporate Learning Course (CLC) @ San Francisco (Maj Maggie Wang)
  • 9-10 July: DREX @ KSAC
  • 13 July: Aerospace Education Camp @ KTSP (Tehachapi: Maj DeFord, Maj Fridell)
  • 22-24 July: Mission Aircrew School (training for MP and MO) @ Fresno -participants from our squadron will include Lt Col Tinnirello, PIO; Maj Fridell, MP-T; Maj Luneau, MP-Mentor; Capt Brown, MO-T; Lt Roudnev: Mission Staff Assistant (MSA)
  • 28-29 August: LVK Advanced Exercise
  • 4-6 November: CAWG Conference, Bakersfield

Maj Blank presenting the Safety

Safety Presentation

Maj Phil Blank led this month’s safety presentation on crew resource management (CRM).


This month’s aerospace moment was a timely presentation on Juno.

We were also reminded that Lt Col Roger Glenn has been a member of our squadron since 1989, as mentioned in Vol 1 of the Logbook. We have a printed version to prove it!  Thank you, Lt Col Glenn!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

UDF Training led by 1st Lt Alvaro Chavez

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

Lt Chavez
Squadron 188’s 1st Lt Alvaro Chavez led an Urban Direction Finder (UDF) workshop over the past several Tuesdays.  Training included classroom instruction on operational, planning and logistics tasks, as well as hands-on practice in the field, searching for a distress beacon.

SM Forenza, Lts Roudnev and Roberts
assembling their DF equipment
Students, for example, are evaluated on their familiarity with UDF equipment and techniques, and on their ability to put the DF equipment into operation and successfully find a practice beacon within a reasonable period of time.

SM Forenza, Lts Roudnev and Roberts, Capt Ramsey

Participants receiving new or refresher training included:

  • Lt Col Juan Tinnirello
  • Capt Doug Ramsey
  • 2d Lt Tim Roberts
  • 2d Lt Alexei Roudnev
  • SM Antonio Forenza

Capt Jordan Hayes served as base Mission Radio Operator (MRO) during the training.   Among other things, this enabled participants to call in their ELT search progress on the radio, simulating true in the field conditions, where UDF teams are in radio communications with base staff.

SM Forenza, Lts Roudnev and Roberts

SM Forenza, Lts Roudnev and Roberts are ready to find ELTs!

Capt Ramsey reading the van for the search
On July 12, Lt Col Tinnirello and Lt Chavez hosted a final evening of hands-on UDF training, with the trainees searching for and finding a hidden training beacon.  They were given two lat-long points, which they plotted out to start their search, and then went to show off their newly acquired skills:  Lt Chavez acted as simulated Incident Commander (IC) and had the beacon hidden in his home.  When the team successfully found the beacon, they were rewarded for their efforts with real, homemade chocolate cookies - now there's incentive!  

CAP team in action!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Mission Aircrew School (MAS) Ground School at OAK

By 1st Lt Karin Hollerbach, photos by 2nd Lt Alexei Roudnev

Last weekend’s Mission Aircrew School (MAS) Ground School at OAK was a great success.

Participants from the MAS Ground School at OAK
Thirteen students took the class, including 4 Mission Pilot (MP) and 9 Mission Observer (MO) students.  All 13 passed their test and are eligible to move on to the air portion of their training.  Congratulations to all!

Capt John Heldt
Comments from various students during the training indicated that the ground school was fun and at times slightly overwhelming, and packed a lot of information into one weekend - exactly as it should be.

Squadron 188’s students included:

  • Maj Mark Fridell – MP training
  • Capt Kathy Brown – MO training
  • Lt Roudnev – MO training

Additional students came from other squadrons in Group 2 (including Palo Alto and San Jose squadrons), Group 1 (including Santa Monica squadron), Group 4 (including Santa Maria squadron), and Group 5 (including Novato, Redding, Sacramento, Santa Rose and Auburn squadrons).  We are delighted they were all able to join us in Oakland!

Capt Joshua Edwards
Many thanks to project officer, Capt Jordan Hayes (Squadron 188), for organizing and managing and teaching at this event, and to our staff, who helped make it happen and included:

  • Lt Col Ray Peterson
  • Maj Joseph Fernandes
  • Maj Noel Luneau, Squadron 188
  • Maj Steven DeFord, Squadron 188
  • Capt Luis Rivas, Squadron 188
  • Capt Joshua Edwards
  • Capt John Heldt
  • Lt Hollerbach, Squadron 188
  • 2nd Lt Michael Gross

The air portion of the next training will be held in July, based in Fresno.

Maj Joe Fernandes

Capt Jordan Hayes
Maj Steven DeFord


Students intently absorbing class materials! 

Relaxing downstairs in Squadron 188's building before class

Everyone is smiling... have they just passed their written test?