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Archive for January 2011

Iowa and Nebraska Join Wings to FLY

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Capt Cindi Wachholz, CAP
Assistant Public Affairs Officer, Iowa Wing

These were not your typical orientation rides on the morning of 9 October 2010. Members of the Des Moines Metro Cadet Squadron and Southwest Iowa Composite Squadron from the Iowa Wing joined with Offutt and Columbus Composite Squadrons from the Nebraska Wing to share o-rides aboard a UH-60 Blackhawk. The flights took place at the Nebraska Army and Air National Guard (NE-ANG) base at the Lincoln, NE Municipal Airport.  

The flights were coordinated by Maj Jason Johnsen, Deputy Commander of Cadets of the Offutt Composite Squadron. For the past several years, Major Johnsen has been successfully coordinating orientation flights with the NE-ANG as squadron and encampment activities.  Initially, this was one of the activities scheduled for the International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) cadets during their visit to Nebraska.  Because of a change in those plans, the Iowa and Nebraska cadets were given the opportunity to fly in the Blackhawks. 

SGT James Nordman, air crew from the NE-ANG, began the pre-flight briefing by talking to everyone about what they would see and experience during the flight. Three flights of ten CAP members began by circling the University of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium and then toward Nebraska’s State Capitol. Following some higher altitude flying the pilot, ANG Capt Brent Wiese, dropped down to lower altitude flying where the passengers were treated to some hard and fast turns.  After many ANG flight maneuvers that enthralled the CAP members, the pilot returned to base to conclude the 20 minute o-rides. 

Members of the Iowa Wing who participated in the UH-60 Blackhawk orientation flights were; from Red Oak cadets Logan Taylor, Josh Salvato, Kaleb White, William Griffey, and 2Lt Terry Koppa. From the Des Moines Metro Cadet Squadron, cadets Josh Newell, Cadet Marcus Kelly, McKenna Link, Dillon Houser, and SM Tina Lewis. 

Special thanks and appreciation goes to the UH-60 Blackhawk air crew: Capt Brent Wiese, CW2 James Score, SGT Matt Hawke, SGT James Nordman and ANG personnel who helped in orchestrating this day; SGT Jeremy Cutsor, and SGT Gus Swanson.


Written by Iowa Wing CAP

January 31, 2011 at 3:14 pm

ASC officer promotes camaraderie at Civil Air Patrol event

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By Tony A. Lopez (ASC)
DAVENPORT, Iowa-Lt. Col. Steven T. Wall of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command was the keynote speaker at the local Composite Civil Air Patrol Squadron dining out on Jan 15.
The main goal of this year’s event was to promote “camaraderie and [the] celebration of all the hard work these young people and their parents do for our squadron,” said Randy Mester of ASC’s Requisitions Management Division, who invited Wall to speak.
Approximately 75 attendees listened as Wall spoke on the subject of what the military has meant to him. He thanked the cadets and parents for their selfless service to the CAP.
“It represents your commitment to your nation, to your unit and your fellow airmen and cadets,” Wall said. “It can introduce you into a completely new world, expose you to things you never thought you would do, see or experience. The leadership experiences, learning to be a good follower, the values of loyalty, duty – to yourselves and others, respect for yourself and others” will make you a “better person and better citizen.”
“It may not seem like it now, but the skills and knowledge you are gaining will pay off in the future,” said Wall.
In closing his speech, Wall encouraged the cadets to “take every chance you have to learn and experience something new in the Civil Air Patrol.” Something that Roy Schindler, CAP cadet, reiterated, “I really enjoy the whole experience.”
The Davenport CAP squadron, commanded by Maj. Jon Sawyer, is the largest in the state of Iowa. The squadron was founded in 1953 and is located at the Davenport Municipal Airport.
The CAP is the Air Force’s official auxiliary and has a long history of success. Its three main missions are aerospace education, teaching the community and its members about aircraft and the aerospace industry, and a cadet program.
The cadet program gives members training in Air Force-style leadership, aerospace topics and emergency services. It provides many opportunities for youth to experience military customs and courtesies while participating in drills and ceremonies. Search and rescue missions are among the CAP’s most valuable activities.
for the full story and more pictures, click here.

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

January 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Media Relations Course Helps Prepare CAP Members When Working with the Media

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Betsy Becker, 2d Lt, CAP
Public Affairs Officer, IA-007
Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron

FORT DODGE, Ia  January 10th, two members of the Fort Dodge based Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron (NWICS) of the Civil Air Patrol, participated in FEMA training at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge.  The class was AWR 209 Dealing with the Media: A Short Course for Rural First Responders.  This course is designed to provide rural first responders with the skills and knowledge to quickly adopt the role of Public Information Officer (PIO) if or when needed. 

Those participating from the NWICS were Capt Cindi Wachholz and 2d Lt Betsy Becker.  The class also had participants from public health, local fire departments, the community college public safety and administrative staff.

Participants were given various scenarios of dealing with the media at the scene of an emergency situation and how to write a media release.  The instructors also presented valuable information through a power point presentation, videos, and first-hand knowledge of media relations.  “It is important to develop a good working relationship with local media,” said Teeg Stouffer, the AWR 209 course facilitator and a professional in communications and media.

Several areas were covered in this course. They included giving interviews, writing news releases, and interacting with media at the scene of an emergency. Topics taught included developing skills necessary to communicate effectively with the public through the different media channels.  This course is another tool that will aid the Civil Air Patrol members in completing their missions of Emergency Services, Aerospace Education, and Cadet Programs.

“I found the course to be a great introduction to communicating effectively with the media.  We are always representing the Civil Air Patrol when we speak and it is important to give a good impression,” stated 2d Lt Betsy Becker.  “I am the Public Affairs Officer for the NWICS and developing a good working relationship with the local media is important.”

The commander of the NWICS, Capt Cindi Wachholz, stated, “This was a wonderful opportunity to learn along-side a variety of emergency service professionals.  This training compliments the excellent Civil Air Patrol Public Affairs training that is available to our members.”

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

January 12, 2011 at 8:07 am

Kansas Wing Winter Encampment – A Cadet Perspective

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C/MSgt Joshua Salvato
Southwest Iowa Composite Squadron

This winter I had the honor and pleasure of expanding my Civil Air Patrol family & friends by attending The 2nd Kansas Wing Training Group Winter Encampment 2010. I travelled down to Salina, Kansas, along with C/SMSgt White, from the 26th of December until the 2nd of January. For the past 5 months I have been planning this trip to encampment, where I would give up a week of my winter break, pain, sweat, hard work, and a small fee. In exchange I would receive Physical Training, Drill and Ceremonies, and a lot of “loud voices directed at me”. “Psychotic?” You may ask. Quite simply put. Yes. And I wouldn’t trade that week for anything in world. I got to meet cadets from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Oklahoma. I got to improve on my personal Drill & Ceremonies performance. Get the experience of using a Guidon by becoming the Guidon Bearer for the Charlie Flight Falcons, part of Squadron 4 at the encampment. I pushed my limits farther in Physical Training. Learned how to properly make a bed, with hospital corners and an 18” total cuff, smile a pillow, organize a locker, arrange how my uniforms were folded, and roll T-shirts. I mentored younger cadets, and learned from more experienced ones. I had the privilege of helping my flight, filled with cadets of all ages, ranks, and from different backgrounds come together to form a family and team in less than a week. We got the chance of a lifetime on Wednesday to drive down to The Air National Guard 190th Air Refueling Wing and receive a VIP Flight in 2 separate planes to go Fuel 4 A-10 Warthogs on a mission at The Smokey Hills Bombing Range. I was lucky enough to be one of two cadets (out of 50 on my plane) to be able to sit in the cockpit. I got to sit next to the navigator for the taxi, take-off, and most of the flight. I then was able to travel to the back and watch the Boom Operator refuel the A-10. On Thursday we had the chance to participate in an obstacle course. My Flight ran the obstacle course in 12 minutes. Alpha Flight ran the obstacle course the fastest with a time of nine and a half minutes. The next day we were able to shoot .22 caliber rifles for a chance to qualify for the NRA Light Rifle Pro-Marksman achievement which I am pleased to say I earned. Friday ended with each flight competing in an Aerospace quiz bowl which my flight won. Saturday started with our traditional opening ceremony where Charlie Flight was named Honor Flight of the Day for Friday, Honor Flight of the Day is presented to the flight which did best overall as scored by the encampment staff for various activities and criteria. Later in the day all the flights competed in a Drill Competition which my flight won, missing only one move out of 43. Saturday came to an end with an End of Encampment Banquet where we ate, and interacted with all the other cadets. We then had some announcements made by the staff followed by awards. Several people were awarded with CAP Achievement awards and Commander’s Commendations. There were awards for Most Improved Cadet, Top Shooter, and Honor Cadet of the Encampment, of which I won Honorable Mention. Major Franz was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. And there were special presentations for Major Fortmayer, and Colonel Kuddes. Sunday morning marked the beginning of the end as we started to pack and clean the barracks, once finished we all hung out for the last time and then said farewell to our home for the past week as we departed for the National Guard Armory 3 blocks away for our Graduation ceremony. All of the cadets stood in a hallway nervous and excited for the commencement of the ceremony as the crowd filtered in through the doors. We then marched to our predetermined locations, reported, and stood awaiting the announcements of Major Lahan the Encampment Commander. The ceremony was a short one that ended with everyone scrambling to get out processed and say goodbye to all their new friends before their long drive home.

I am very pleased that I had the opportunity to go to encampment. I had the time of a life, and would recommend it to any cadet. I look forward to going to more encampments in the future, this time as staff to encourage the Basic Cadets the way my staff encouraged me.

Written by Southwest Iowa Composite Squadron

January 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Cadet Awards: December 2010

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Amelia Earhart Award          

•JamesL. Eimers, IA
•Felix J.Knutson, IA

Gen. Billy Mitchell Award          

•Kent B. Keil, IA
•Isaac J. Wachholz, IA

For a complete listing of all awards, click here

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

January 5, 2011 at 11:55 am