Monday, January 23, 2017

Group 5 and Group 2 Leadership Training Weekend at Travis Air Force Base

This blog posting is largely taken from a press release written by Lt Col Andrew Peters, with additional information provided by 1st Lt Tim Roberts and 2d Lt Alexei Roudnev. Photos by Lt Roudnev.

During the weekend of January 14th and 15th, 2017 at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, Thirty Four (34) Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Officers from all over Northern California participated in a Squadron Leadership School (SLS) and Corporate Learning Course (CLC). While all these volunteer individuals hailed from areas from Redding to Santa Cruz, all of them were engrossed in learning how their local units and national CAP organization functions as a cohesive unit to complete the CAP missions serving as dedicated citizens in their communities.

CAP Students in Travis University Classroom
The SLS is the first classroom-based level of the CAP professional development program where a member begins to learn new technical skills and gain new experiences through networking. The SLS concentrates on teaching relatively new officers CAP history, organization, mission, basic military customs and courtesies, effective communications skills, introductory leadership, and the role of the squadron in the CAP organizational structure. The course provides officers with insight into being an effective staff officer/team member within their local squadron unit by emphasizing hands-on activities and discussion.

Lt Col William Wetzel, Safety Officer and Instructor
1st Lt Michael Venning, one of a
Number of Instructors for the Weekend 

The CLC is designed to develop a member's experience and expertise beyond working within a local squadron unit to eventually commanding a squadron or working at the group and/or wing level. The CLC is a program which is the next step in officership advancement by working in a team-based environment, comprehending the role of CAP at the wing level, and working within higher levels of the chain of command. The course provides mid-level officers, First Lieutenants and Captains, with the tools needed to interact at higher-level CAP echelons, and to begin to take on state-wide responsibilities.
Maj Elsie Lam, Instructor

CAP is a federally chartered non-profit corporation which is the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force. Congress chartered CAP to perform certain duties for individual communities and for the nation. To accomplish its mission, CAP requires an informed, active membership trained in leadership, management, and functional tasks. The CAP Professional Development Program prepares members to serve their units, their communities, and their nation.

Maj Maggie Wang, Instructor
The weekend activity was a combined Group 5 and Group 2 training event. Attending the school from Group 2 were:
Maj Paul Kubiak, Instructor

  • Maj Maggie Wang (instructor), Squadron 188
  • Maj Elsie Lam (instructor), Squadron 10
  • Maj Paul Kubiak (instructor), Group 2
  • Capt John Stevulak (student), Squadron 188
  • 1st Lt Tim Roberts (student), Squadron 188
  • 2d Lt Alexei Roudnev (student), Squadron 188

According to participant Lt Roberts, “the instructors were all dedicated CAP leaders that were very knowledgeable and committed to the program. Each module was developed and optimized for teaching leadership skills.”

Students and Staff Following Successful Completion of the Courses - Congratulations to All!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Wreaths Across America 2016

By 1st Lt Karin Hollerbach, photographs by Capt John Stevulak (except as noted)

The mission of the non-profit, Wreaths Across America, is to Remember fallen US veterans, Honor those who serve, and Teach your children the value of freedom.

Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, this mission is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1,100 additional locations in all 50 US states, at sea, and abroad.

CAP participates annually in this important and moving event. In 2016, three of our squadron members (Capt Stevulak, Lt Bitz and 2d Lt Dhawallah Aisien) attended the ceremony on December 17, 2016, at the Golden Gate National Cemetery.

2d Lt Aisien (R), with family member

1st Lt Bitz

Capt Stevulak, photo by Lt Bitz

Veterans' graves with wreaths

Veterans' graves with wreaths, at the Golden Gate National Cemetery

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Happy New Year! All Hands Meeting January 2017

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

Squadron 188 classroom, prior to the start of the meeting
The new year is starting off well, with numerous events, including missions and training, as well as other activities and promotions.

Welcome to the guests that were present at the All Hands meeting, including Capt Russ Kipp, an airline pilot and CAP member visiting from FLWG.

From left to right: Lt Bob Adams, Lt Col Dennis Matarrese,
Capt Chris Fenolio, Capt Doug Ramsey, Capt Russ Kipp

This month we had 2 safety updates!

Mr Denny discussing the
fragility of seabird eggs
Sean Denny, who is an Outreach Specialist for the Seabird Protection Network, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, working at NOAA, gave a presentation on how to be a wildlife friendly pilot, including information about several marine sanctuaries as well as requested flight altitudes over them, to avoid disturbing the wildlife and to keep everyone safe. 

Mr Denny showing a map of the Greater Farallones
National Marine Sanctuary

Maj Steven DeFord gave a presentation on medications and their effects on flying.  Key points included:
  • Review the FARs on medications and alcohol use with respect to flying!
  • Effects of various drugs/medications
  • Some surprising medications that can affect your ability to fly, including over-the-counter medications
  • Sleep deprivation and its similarity to alcohol, in terms of impairment
  • Some discussion about pharmacokinetics – how drugs and alcohol are processed in your body

Squadron Monthly Recap
Lt Pat Bitz providing another great
aerospace moment for our membership. 

Promotions, Ratings and Professional Development
Congratulations to:
  • Maj Mark Fridell’s new Mission Observer (MO) rating
  • Lt Karin Hollerbach’s completion of the Officer Basic Course and Level II 
  • 2d Lt Tim Roberts’ promotion to 1st Lt 
  • 2d Lt Terry Baldwin’s new Mission Scanner (MS) rating
  • 2d Lt Scott Booth’s renewed MO rating
Thank you for squadron members who supported CAP in completing our WMAO duty in this round (during which 3 SoCal missions were initiated):
  • Maj Steven DeFord
  • Capt Jordan Hayes
  • Lt Eric Choate
  • Lt Karin Hollerbach
Thanks to all who attended the holiday party in December (click here for more info).

Lt Terry Baldwin (L) and Lt Bob Adams (R) replacing epaulets for
Lt Tim Roberts' romotion ceremony; Capt Jordan Hayes (Back L)
and Capt Lou Rivas (Back R) look on.
And to Lt Bitz and Capt John Stevulak for participating in this season’s Wreaths Across America ceremony.

Group 2 increased its collective expertise and readiness to handle search and rescue (SAR) and disaster relief (DR) activities in December, completing another successful Basic SAREX, held at KRHV, in which the following Squadron 188 members participated:

  • Maj Steven DeFord, Incident Commander 3 Trainee (IC3-T)
  • Maj Mark Fridell, Mission Pilot (P)
  • Maj Jeff Ironfield, MP
  • Maj Maggie Wang, Urban Direction Finder (UDF) 
  • Capt Kathy Brown, Finance/Administration Section Chief (FASC)
  • Capt Don Eichelberger, MP
  • Capt Jordan Hayes, Logistics Section Chief (LSC)
  • Lt Tim Roberts, UDF
  • Lt Alexei Roudnev, UDF
  • Lt Terry Baldwin, MS
  • Lt Scott Booth, MO

Upcoming Events
More exciting training events are coming up in January and February.  If you are interested in attending any of these training events, please contact the Project Officers for more info, and look for emails with registration information.
  • 14-15 Jan NorCal Squadron Leadership School (SLS)/ Corporate Learning Course (CLC) at Travis, Group 2 Project Officer Maj Maggie Wang, Group 5 Project Officer Lt Col Andrew Peters 
  • 12-Feb Airborne Photography (AP) Ground School (at KOAK), Project Officer Lt Karin Hollerbach
  • 25-26 Feb AP DREX (at KOAK), Project Officer Lt Karin Hollerbach