Sunday, February 12, 2017

AP Ground School at KOAK

By 1st Lt Karin Hollerbach, photos by Lt Col Juan Tinnirello and 2d Lt Alexei Roudnev

AP Ground School Students in Oakland, photo by 2d Lt Roudnev
Capt Eichelberger, Introducing the Class Topics
On 12 February, Squadron 188 hosted a one-day Airborne Photography (AP) Ground School in preparation for training a new group of APs at our squadron headquarters at Oakland airport. AP is rapidly become the top CAP emergency services mission, and we hope to have more and more of our members trained and ready for AP missions.

With approximately 30 participants, class consisted of a group of 11 AP Trainees (AP-Ts), as well as approximately 15 other aircrew and base staff, and several folks who are planning well ahead (not yet eligible to start AP training but know they will want to pursue AP once they do become eligible – thank you for being proactive).

1st Lt Hollerbach Discussing Sortie Planning, photo by
2d Lt Roudnev
We encourage all aircrew and base staff to participate in these AP Ground Schools, regardless of whether they want to go through the complete AP training. AP missions are much more likely to be successful when all participants have a level of awareness of how best to plan for and execute an AP mission.

1st Lt Hartman Discussing Flying AP Sorties
photo by 2d Lt Roudnev
  • Mission Pilots and Mission Observers – can improve their knowledge of AP missions, and learn what their APs will need from them, how to plan for an AP sortie, and how to fly an AP sortie. MPs, MOs and APs must all work together to accomplish the mission. Due to high workloads, there tends to be a higher degree of coordination and communication required than in other missions. 
  • AP Standards – even if you already have your AP rating, AP is a dynamic area for California Wing – things change!  The Ground School is a great opportunity to refresh and update your knowledge.
  • Base Staff – although there is no base staff rating that pertains specifically to AP, it is really helpful for Planning Section Chiefs to understand how to most effectively create target briefing cards, and for anyone working in planning to understand how to process and upload for our customers the resulting photographs. 

Maj Wang Discussing Photo Processing
photo by 2d Lt Roudnev
Instructor staff included
AP Students Learning the Camera Setup, photo by 2d Lt Roudnev
  • Capt Eichelberger, Squadron 188
  • Maj Wang, Squadron 188
  • 1st Lt Hartman, Squadron 80
  • 1st Lt Hollerbach, Squadron 188

Topics addressed in the Ground School included:
  • AP sortie planning including target briefings, operational risk management, and planning tools
  • Pre-flighting the camera equipment
  • Flying the sortie
  • Debriefing an AP sortie
  • Processing and uploading images
  • Aircrew roles and communications
  • Camera equipment setup 
  • Legal questions pertaining to AP
  • Hands-on practice with the cameras 

Finally, a Lunch Break! Photo by Lt Col Tinnirello

Why Isn't that Camera Working? Photo by 2d Lt Roudnev 
Student participants ranged from squadrons throughout Group 2 and 5, with people coming from as far away as Redding, Placerville and Travis.  Squadron 188 students included:
  • Lt Col Tinnirello
  • Lt Col Glenn
  • Capt Hayes
  • Capt Stevulak
  • 1st Lt Fall
  • 2d Lt Roudnev
  • Hands-On Practice in Setting up the Cameras, photo by 2d Lt Roudnev 
  • 2d Lt Roberts

A big thank you to everyone helping out in the planning and implementation of this event, including the instructors as well as those CAP members from other squadrons, who brought their squadron cameras for the hands-on practice portion of this event. Special thanks to Capt Hayes and 1st Lt Roudnev, for helping out with logistics and documentation, as well as 1st Lt Roberts, our Safety Officer.

Diligent Students, photo by Lt Col Tinnirello
Congratulations to all of our new AP-Ts. AP-T graduates of the Ground School will be invited to participate in the upcoming Disaster Relief Exercise (DREX), which will be held on the last weekend in February. We can still use more base staff for the DREX, so please let us know (contact Project Officer 1st Lt Hollerbach or Maj DeFord) if you can help out.  See you later in February!

More Camera Practice, photo by Lt Col Tinnirello

Happy Students, Having Successfully Set up Their
Camera, photo by Lt Col Tinnirello

More Camera Practice, photo by 2d Lt Roudnev 

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