|Lt Col Bob Gelinas|
Lt Col Bob Gelinas retired this month on the 30thanniversary of his membership in CAP. 2018 also marks the 30thanniversary of Squadron 188’s charter.
Lt Col Gelinas was the fourth charter member of Squadron 188 and coincidentally its fourth commander from 2007-9. He was one of the key architects in establishing Squadron 188 as an active and viable unit in the San Francisco Bay Area. Despite a short term as commander, he accomplished several unprecedented achievements that positioned Squadron 188 for growth and success in the 21stcentury.
With the help of then Finance Officer Lt Col Juan Tinnirello, he managed to relocate Squadron 188 to its first flight line location on Earhart Road. In addition to it being the largest squadron facility (over 20,000 sq. ft.) in California Wing (CAWG), Building L-130’s ample aircraft parking facilitated negotiations with Group 2 and CAWG DO, former commander and PACRDO Lt Col Mitch Richman. Lt Col Gelinas was able to set the path for Squadron 188 to eventually obtain permanent use and location of CAP aircraft. Squadron 188 is now an active CAP flying squadron because of his initiative.
Lt Col Gelinas was also the first commander to establish an annual SAREX hosted by Squadron 188, as well making Squadron 188 a Net Control Station. He was a master ground team member and leader for several years but quickly transitioned into mission base management as an OSC, PSC, GBD, CUL and MSO. During his command, he discovered and recruited George DiJeau back into CAP, and promoted him to honorary colonel status for the remainder of his membership. CAP Col DiJeau was a former CAP Pilot during WWII. An electrical engineer, IT professional and businessman by trade, Lt Col Gelinas also was first to create Squadron 188’s website. Future squadron commander, and current Group 2 commander, Lt Col Noel Luneau was able to expand and cultivate it into the dynamic website it is today.
Lt Col Gelinas achieved a Masters rating in the Logistics Specialty Track, with mentoring from former CAWG and PACR LG Lt Col Bob McIntyre. He was the first Logistics Officer of Squadron 188, and maintained that position for 10 years. During that time, Squadron 188’s asset value doubled, and it became the largest asset-holding squadron in Group 2. Lt Col Tinnirello and Lt Col Gelinas were able to acquire several vehicles, generators and high-value communication equipment during the early years of Squadron 188. Through the help of Squadron 188’s founding commander and his mentor, Maj Paul Groff (ret.), Lt Col Gelinas was promoted to Group 2 Logistics Officer, a position he held for over 10 years. In addition to managing the Group 2 assets and performing IG inspections, he was a CAWG CEMS Administrator and helped to implement CATS Wing-wide in 2002.