Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Welcome to our Eight new Mission Scanner Trainees!

By 1st Lt Karin Hollerbach, photographs by Capt Jordan Hayes

Capt Nicholson (Instructor)
Welcome to our eight newly minted Mission Scanner Trainees (MS-Ts), who just graduated from the Mission Scanner School, hosted by Group 2 at Oakland airport this past weekend.

Congratulations to all of you, as well as to the two current Mission Scanners, who attended to renew their ratings:

  • Maj Maggie Wang (MS), Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188 (Group 2) 
  • Maj Ted Mahoney (MS), Sacramento Composite Squadron 14 (Group 5)
  • 2d Lt Ann Suter (MS-T), Diablo Composite Squadron 44 (Group 2) 
  • SM Robert Schultz (MS-T), John E Kramer Composite Squadron 10 (Group 2)
  • SM Clarence Binninger (MS-T), Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188 (Group 2)
  • SM Jason Gordon (MS-T), San Jose Senior Squadron 80 (Group 2) 
  • SM Chuck Towns (MS-T), Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188 (Group 2)
  • SM Erik Langenbacher (MS-T), Marin Search and Rescue Composite Squadron 23 (Group 5) 
  • SM Sergio Mello (MS-T), Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188 (Group 2)
  • 1st Lt Hollerbach (Instructor)
  • SM Stephen Collins (MS-T), West Bay Composite Squadron 192 (Group 2) 

Also, thanks to the instructors who gave up part of their weekend to teach the class:

  • Maj Chris Suter, Diablo Composite Squadron 44 (Group 2)
  • Maj Dan Tupper, San Jose Senior Squadron 80 (Group 2) 
  • Capt Jordan Hayes, Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188 (Group 2)
  • Capt John Heldt, San Jose Senior Squadron 80 (Group 2)
  • Capt Dave Nicholson, Marin Search and Rescue Composite Squadron 23 (Group 5)  
  • 1st Lt Karin Hollerbach, Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188 (Group 2)

Capt Hayes (archive photo,
by Lt Col Juan Tinnirello)

Special thanks to Capt Hayes, who also served as Project Officer for the weekend event!

The MS rating is often one of the first Emergency Services ratings that CAP members achieve, and it sets the foundation for all of the other aircrew ratings (Mission Observer, Airborne Photographer and Mission Pilot). Topics covered this weekend included:

  • Scanner duties
  • Aircraft familiarization
  • Survival and urgent care
  • Communications
  • Scanning techniques & sighting characteristics
  • Weather
  • High altitude & terrain considerations
  • Navigation & position determination
  • Search planning & coverage
  • Visual search patterns
  • Crew resource management
  • Scanner course tabletop exercise – a hands-on sortie planning exercises

Congratulations to all participants, especially the new MS-Ts, for making it through the course and passing the test. The class is challenging, particularly for non-pilots, as it covers a lot of information, including concepts familiar to pilots from their ground school.  I remember when I took the class, it was a little bewildering to learn the search patterns, specialized communications, crew resource management with a SAR (search and rescue) crew, and other things I was not really familiar with. If you're one of the new MS-Ts and you're still confused, don't worry, it will all become more clear at your upcoming SAREX!

Thanks to all of you, for helping to strengthen California Wing’s capabilities and readiness to serve our community when we are called upon to do so.

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