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Archive for November 2011

Local Civil Air Patrol unit participating in wreath-laying salute to veterans

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RED OAK, Iowa — Members of Civil Air Patrol’s Southwest Iowa Composite Squadron are proud to partner with Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit initiative that recognizes the courage and sacrifices of U.S. veterans by placing wreaths on the graves of the fallen during the yearend holiday season.

“Our mission is to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and teach our children the value of freedom,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America. “Thousands of CAP members participate each year to help us do just that, and, with CAP’s help, this project has continued to see remarkable growth.”

This year, in tribute to the 25 million men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces — guarding and preserving America’s freedom throughout history — wreaths from Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, Maine, will be placed on 200,000 veterans’ graves at more than 500 cemetery or memorial sites in all 50 states, as well as 24 foreign locations. Civil Air Patrol is a fundraiser for Wreaths Across America, and its members also lead or participate, often with color and honor guards, in many of the ceremonies at cemeteries and war memorials.

This year the Southwest Iowa Composite Squadron has chosen to work with the Iowa Veteran’s Cemetery near Van Meter, Iowa. The cemetery, which held its groundbreaking ceremony on Veterans Day in 2006, was dedicated on July 3, 2008. The Iowa Veterans Cemetery (IVC) is the first federally funded construction of a state-owned and operated veterans cemetery in the State of Iowa. The cemetery serves the veteran population throughout the state and ultimately will be able to provide burial space for up to 80,000 burials.

Wreaths Across America culminates on Dec. 10 with thousands of wreaths placed on gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery and numerous ceremonies held at many of Arlington’s memorials, including the Tomb of the Unknowns. Several other ceremonies, new this year, will be held later that day, including one at war memorials along the National Mall. Simultaneous ceremonies will be held throughout the day at veterans’ cemeteries and memorials nationwide and abroad.

“Each year, we look forward to the opportunities provided by Wreaths Across America,” said CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Charles L. Carr Jr. “Laying the wreaths is an honor to our veterans, a service to our communities and a learning experience for our cadets and officers.”

Twenty years ago, Morrill Worcester of the Worcester Wreath Co. donated the first wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery, starting an annual tradition that continues today as Wreaths Across America. The initiative began in 2006 as an offshoot of Worcester’s Arlington National Cemetery wreath project. Since its inception six years ago, Wreaths Across America has experienced tremendous growth.

Visit for more information about Wreaths Across America and participating locations.

Written by Southwest Iowa Composite Squadron

November 30, 2011 at 8:00 am

Civil Air Patrol Cadet Honored as the State’s Best Two Years in a Row

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Betsy Becker, 1st Lt, CAP
Public Affairs Officer, IA-007
Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron

Excellence and hard work are rewarded to local CAP cadet and squadron

FORT DODGE – IA.  Applying the Civil Air Patrol’s Core Values to his daily life, 17-year-old Adam Wachholz received the Cadet of the Year award from an organization that promotes leadership and character development at the Iowa Civil Air Patrol Wing Conference on November 12, 2011, held in Dubuque, Iowa.

Wachholz, a member of the Civil Air Patrol’s Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron, was selected by the Iowa Wing Promotion and Awards Board as Outstanding Cadet of the Year for the state of Iowa.

“It is an honor to be named Cadet of the Year,” stated Wachholz, “and I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds.”

C/Lt Col Wachholz, who was chosen out of 102 cadets statewide for his leadership and service, was presented the award by the Iowa CAP Wing Commander Col Ronald Scheitzach.  Wachholz also received this award in 2010.

“Civil Air Patrol has so many outstanding young men and women who are dedicated to the Core Values of integrity, excellence, respect, and volunteer service,” stated Squadron Commander Capt Cindi Wachholz.  “For C/Lt Col Adam Wachholz to receive this award in the state of Iowa two years in a row is an honor for our squadron (and for our family).”

During his time with Civil Air Patrol, Wachholz has participated in a variety of regional and national activities related to the organization including Civic Leadership Academy (a National Cadet Special Activity) and the International Air Cadet Exchange in 2011.  He attended the Wisconsin Basic School Encampment as Squadron 1 Deputy Commander in 2010 where Wachholz’s squadron received the Honor Squadron Award under his leadership.  He also attended the Wisconsin Cadet Academy in 2009 where he received the Honor Squadron Commander Award and Achievement Award for Outstanding Duty Performance while participating in the Regional Cadet Leadership School.  He was also the Cadet Commander for the Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron from 2008-2010.  While he was the Cadet Commander he served on the Iowa Cadet Advisory Council and one year as the Council Chairperson 2010-2011.  Cadet Wachholz received the General Ira C. Eaker Award which promoted him to the grade of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel in October of 2011.  The next and final promotion for Wachholz as a CAP cadet is the General Carl A. Spaatz which could occur in December of 2011 or January of 2012.

“I am proud to be a part of this terrific organization that has given me so many opportunities to development my leadership skills and serve my community,” stated Cadet Wachholz.

The Air Force presents an award to the individual whom the Cadet of the Year feels has mentored them through in their CAP career. Cadet Wachholz selected his mother, Cindi Wachholz, as the recipient of the USAF Torch Award. This award was presented to Wachholz by USAF Maj Jeff Peterson at the Wing Conference.

Other awards presented to members of the NWICS were: C/Lt Col Adam Wachholz as he received two Commander’s Commendations (for two separate time periods) and Capt Cindi Wachholz as she received a Commander’s Commendation from the Iowa Wing.

The Civil Air Patrol organization is the auxiliary of the United States Air Force, and its mission is to provide aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services. Cadet training is designed to motivate young men and women in the ideals of leadership and service through military-style training, discipline and education. Through orientation flights with experienced Civil Air Patrol volunteer pilots, cadets learn about navigation and aircraft instrumentation. According to the national organization, cadets fly about 16,000 hours in powered aircraft each year.  Cadet Wachholz’s squadron meets the first and third Saturdays at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport in the lower level conference room.  The Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron includes members from Algona, West Bend, Humboldt, Klemme, Sac City, Fort Dodge, Belmond, and Hubbard, IA areas.

Written by Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron IA-007

November 29, 2011 at 9:00 am

Civil Air Patrol Prepares to Celebrate 70th Anniversary

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Maj Casey Schroeder
Iowa Wing Historian

This December marks the 70th anniversary of the Civil Air Patrol.  In the 1930s, over 150,000 citizens pushed the U.S. Congress for the creation of a citizen based aviation group to assist the United States.  Prior to the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, on December 1st, 1947 Administrative Order #9 was officially signed, establishing the Civil Air Patrol.  Congress tasked the newly created volunteer organization with protection of the U.S. coastal waters.  Assigned to the War Department under the Army Air Corps, the Civil Air Patrol performed critical wartime missions.  At the end of World War II, the organization logged over 500,000 flying hours, sunk two German submarines, and saved hundreds of crash victims.

In recognition of the organization’s efforts and with the blessing from a thankful nation, President Harry S. Truman signed Public Law 476 on July 1, 1946.  This law incorporated the Civil Air Patrol as a benevolent, nonprofit volunteer organization.  Two years later, Congress passed Public Law 557 permanently placing the Civil Air Patrol under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force.

Since 1941, the Civil Air Patrol has been serving the State of Iowa in many different capacities.  The Cadet Program trains today’s youth in leadership and followership principles while instilling selfless service.  The Iowa Wing has produced 19 cadets that have completed the program’s highest achievement, the General Carl A. Spaatz Award.  There have only been 1,760 cadets nationwide to achieve this award since its establishment in 1964.  Completion of this award means that the youth member has demonstrated superior leadership skills along with knowledge in aerospace education and leadership principles.  The Iowa Wing has sent youth members to over 10 different countries through an international exchange program along with sending members to various other Wings for additional leadership training.

The Civil Air Patrol provides community services in the form of aerospace education and drug demand reduction.  These professional volunteers help in educating local schools in fields of model rocketry, aircraft mechanics, principles of flight, and many more.  Furthermore, it provides resources for educating today’s youth about the dangers of illegal substances.

The Iowa Wing, Civil Air Patrol provides emergency services to the citizens of Iowa at almost no cost to the State.  These missions are in the form of homeland security, disaster relief, missing person searches, and locating aircraft in distress.  To date, the Iowa Wing has provided over 12,000 flying hours in over 400 distress missions.  These volunteers have saved over 20 Iowan lives.  In addition, it has provided the State over 3,000 flying hours for over 370 counter-narcotic missions.  The Iowa Wing provided assistance in 1993, 2004, and 2008 floods along with the 2004 Bradgate and 2008 Parkersburg tornadoes.

Today, the Iowa Wing has 200 adult volunteers and over 100 youth volunteers with local units in eight different areas of the State.  For more information please contact Jessa Erickson at or visit or

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

November 29, 2011 at 8:00 am

Civil Air Patrol approaches 70th anniversary, looks to honor World War II’s ‘unsung heroes’

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MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – On Dec. 1, Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, observes 70 years of vigilant service. But the celebration won’t be complete until CAP’s earliest members – now in their eighties and nineties – are “rightly honored” with the Congressional Gold Medal.

CAP, an all-volunteer service of more than 61,000 members, was founded 70 years ago on Dec. 1, 1941, less than a week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor led to America’s involvement in World War II. Known at the time as the Coastal Patrol, members soon proved their worth by conducting aerial missions at the request of the Office of Civilian Defense, displaying heroism that discouraged and eventually stopped deadly German U-boat attacks on supply ships leaving American ports headed to support the Allied war effort.

The “subchasers” flew at great personal risk. In all, 90 CAP planes were forced to ditch at sea. Of the 59 CAP pilots killed during World War II, 26 were lost while on Coastal Patrol duty and seven others were seriously injured while carrying out the missions. Their wartime service was highly unusual because they were civilian volunteers flying combat missions in their own aircraft at a time when the military could not adequately respond the U-boat threat. The military decided to arm their aircraft soon after the patrols began and, all told, they sank or damaged two or more submarines and attacked 57.

Legislation has been introduced and is pending in both houses of the U.S. Congress, H.R. 719 and S. 418, that would award CAP a Congressional Gold Medal for its World War II service. It will be a diminished victory, however, if none of the World War II-era CAP members are alive to see this law’s passage.

“These members from our earliest days as an organization helped save lives and preserve our nation’s freedom,” said Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr, CAP’s national commander. “They were truly unsung heroes of the war, using their small private aircraft to search for enemy submarines close to America’s shores, towing targets for military practice, transporting critical supplies within the country and conducting general airborne reconnaissance. They provided selfless service, without fanfare, in defense of their homeland.”

Time, instead of a German submarine, is now the enemy of the roughly 60,000 CAP volunteers from World War II. Only a few hundred of them are still alive today.

“Each week, each month, others are lost,” said Carr. “We want to make sure those who remain, and those who have passed, are rightly honored for their great service to America.”

These early CAP heroes included men like 94-year-old Charles Compton, the father of ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton. He was in his early 20s when he left dual jobs in Chicago — one as an advertising salesman for the Daily News, the other working in a plant that manufactured aircraft parts — to go to the East Coast as a CAP citizen volunteer based on “a desire to be more actively engaged in the war effort.” There he was part of the flight staff of Coastal Patrol Base 1 in Atlantic City, N.J., flying missions to search for enemy submarines or to provide an escort for American convoys as they sailed along the Eastern Seaboard.

During the war, CAP operated 21 such units up and down the Eastern Seaboard and into the Gulf of Mexico. The duty was dangerous, Charles Compton recalled. “There was nothing like GPS,” he said, as he told about using partially sunken American merchant ships, which were plentiful, as a navigational tool.

Wylie Apte Sr., who died in 1970, was a seasoned pilot, having flown with the Army Air Corps during World War I and later owning and operating White Mountain Airport in North Conway, N.H. As a CAP member, Apte was assigned to a unit of the Coastal Patrol based in Portland, Maine, to search for enemy subs off the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Flying his own Waco YKS-7 biplane, Apte trailed an antenna, longer than 100 yards, for communication back to his land base, which would in turn be used to notify the military to dispatch fighters and bombers in the event a sub was spotted.

Propelled by duty and love of country, Joseph W. Leonard joined CAP the day it was established, six days before Pearl Harbor. Leonard, who remained a CAP member until his death in March of this year, was a member of the Pennsylvania Wing’s Chester Squadron. He flew out of Coastal Patrol Base 2 at Rehoboth Beach, Del. Base 2 was populated by such CAP heroes as Eddie Edwards, who received the first Air Medal of World War II from President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his daring all-night rescue of a downed CAP pilot from the Atlantic waters.

In a journal he left behind, Leonard wrote: “On my day off I was in the habit of going surfing. There I had a close encounter with a torpedo that was fired at a convoy a few miles offshore and missed. I was about a half mile beyond the breakers, watching a convoy heading north. I was focusing on the ships and didn’t notice the bubble trail approaching me until it was pretty close. I rolled the surfboard to one side, and the German torpedo slid by me.”

To support CAP’s Congressional Gold Medal legislation, contact federal legislators, both senators and representatives, and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 719 and S. 418. In both houses, two-thirds of the membership must sponsor a bill before it can be brought up for a vote. Sample letters and other details, including a list of current cosponsors, are available at

Meanwhile, anyone with information on adult CAP members who served the organization during World War II is encouraged to upload their information into the World War II Congressional Gold Medal database at


Written by Iowa Wing CAP

November 28, 2011 at 11:00 am

2010 Iowa Wing Awards

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The following is a list of all awards presented at the Iowa Wing Conference in Dubuque on November 12th.  Photos from the event can be found here courtesy of 1st Lt Jessa Erickson.

Achievement Award

  • Lt Col Marlo D. Baetke
  • Capt Daniel Stone
  • Capt Paul W. Klees
  • 1st Lt Anna M. Klees
  • 2d Lt Tina M. Lewis
  • 2d Lt Matthew D. Chilcote
  • 2d Lt Bradley E. Meyers
  • C/2d Lt Kent B. Keil
  • C/CMSgt Samuel H. Koranda

Commander’s Commendations

  • Col Joe E. Casler
  • Col Sheila Waldorf
  • Lt Col Glen-Allen Thatcher Chilcote
  • Lt Col Susan L. Chilcote
  • Lt Col William Mausser
  • Lt Col Philip J. Patterson
  • CH Maj Ralph L. Cole Sr.
  • Maj Stephen C. Gara
  • Maj Joseph C. Murphy
  • Maj Jon A. Sawyer
  • Maj Casey Lee C. Schroeder
  • Capt Brian E. Mishmash
  • Capt Cynthia Wachholz
  • Capt Kim C. Kirschman
  • Capt Edwin G. Spoelstra
  • Capt Jonathan J. Newell
  • Capt Elizabeth Spoerl
  • 1st Lt Allen Thomas
  • 1st Lt  Terry L. Kruse
  • 1st Lt  Josephine C. Weston
  • 1st Lt Jason Erickson
  • 1st Lt Jessa M. Brace
  • 1st Lt Griffin K. Hamilton
  • 2d Lt Jean A. Napp
  • C/Capt James L. Eimers
  • C/2d Lt Jacob K. Napp

Commander’s Commendations (for specific dates)

  • 1st Lt  Lt John Ellis Jr. | 23 April 2010-31 Dec 2010
  • 1st Lt Rick Lewis | 25 May 2010-31 Dec 2010
  • C/Maj Adam W. Wachholz | 1 June 2010-1 August 2011
  • C/2d Lt Adam W. Wachholz | 1 January 2009-31 Dec 2009

Exceptional Service Award

  • 1st Lt Charles H. Brudtkuhl

Meritorious Service Award

  • Lt Col Donald M. Hahn
  • Maj Leo Bertling
  • Maj Roger W. Elliott

Certificate of Appreciation                        

  • Mrs. Deanna Brudtkuhl
  • Ms. Theresa Carroll

2010 Wing Awards

  • Cadet of the Year 2010  C/Maj Adam Wachholz
  • Flying Squadron of the Year 2010  Des Moines Senior Squadron
  • Non Flying Squadron of the Year 2010  Dubuque Composite Squadron
  • Safety Officer of the Year 2010  Lt Col William Mausser
  • Senior Member of the Year 2010  1st Lt Charles Brudtkuhl
  • Squadron Commander of the Year 2010  Lt Col Eric Schneider
  • Wing Staff Member of the Year 2010  Col Joe Casler
  • Ground Team Member of the Year 2010  Lt Col Glenn Allen Thatcher Chilcote

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

November 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm

CAC Meeting – 4 December 2011

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The next CAC meeting will be held on December 4th from 1900-2000. The Agenda and dial in number will be send out at a later date.

C/Maj Jacob Napp
Iowa CAC Chair

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

November 18, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Civil Air Patrol’s Board of Governors welcomes 3 new members

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MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – The Civil Air Patrol Board of Governors welcomes three new members, including the first three-star commander of Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region-1st Air Force (NORAD) and Air Forces Northern (USNORTHCOM), U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III.

Other new Board of Governor members are retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Leon Johnson, the national president of Tuskegee Airmen Inc., and William A. Davidson, the former administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force.

Clarke, Johnson and Davidson are appointees of Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley. All will serve three-year terms on the Board of Governors, CAP’s highest level strategic policy-making body.

Clarke comes to 1st Air Force from the U.S. European Command in Ankara, Turkey, where he was the senior defense official and defense attaché for the Office of Defense Cooperation Turkey. This is Clarke’s first assignment at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. He received his third star before assuming command after senior Air Force officials decided – based on the scope of responsibility that falls to the 1st Air Force commander – that the command position needed to be upgraded and filled by a lieutenant general.

First Air Force is made up of four direct reporting units, 10 aligned Air National Guard units and a large number of active aerospace control alert sites – including aircraft, air defense artillery and up to 15,000 active duty, National Guard, Air Force Reserve and civilian personnel, which include members of Civil Air Patrol, the official Air Force auxiliary.

As the Joint Force Air Component Commander for NORAD and USNORTHCOM, Clarke is directly responsible for developing contingency plans and conducting full-spectrum Air Force air and space operations in the continental United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as over the maritime approaches to the U.S. The organization is also responsible for providing defense support to civil authorities as the air component to USNORTHCOM. Additionally, the 601st Air & Space Operations Center falls under the 1st Air Force commander’s direction, which plans, directs and assesses air and space operations for NORAD and USNORTHCOM.

Johnson, currently in his second year of a two-year term as national president of Tuskegee Airmen Inc., retired from the Air Force in 2004 with the rank of brigadier general after 33 years of service. During his Air Force career, Johnson commanded a fighter squadron and fighter group, was the vice commander of 10th Air Force at the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, and served as mobilization assistant to the assistant secretary of the Air Force and director of operations at Air Education and Training Command.

A command pilot with more than 3,500 hours of military flying time in the T-37 trainer, A-37 and A-10 fighter aircraft, Johnson’s missions included flights over Bosnia in support of Operation Deny. As a civilian, Johnson worked for Trans World Airlines and United Parcel Service, retiring from UPS with nearly 20 years of service as a management captain and chief pilot as well as a variety of managerial roles. Most recently, he served as a director of the Air Force Crisis Action Team in the Pentagon following the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

He is a member of the U.S. National Academies of Science and Engineering Naval Studies Board.

As the administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Davidson served as a member of the Senior Executive Service at Headquarters U.S. Air Force in Washington, D.C. Prior to his retirement in October 2011, he was the Air Force’s senior career civilian adviser to the secretary, managing and supporting administratively the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, its 1,650-member Secretariat and supported field operating agencies. These include manpower, people, organization, budget, supply and the secretary’s contingency fund; information, personnel and industrial security; security oversight for U.S. treaty issues; special access programs; and antiterrorism.

Before becoming administrative assistant in 1994, Davidson was the deputy administrative assistant. He served as an active-duty Air Force officer for 22 years, serving as an Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent and chief of the Air Force Polygraph Program. At the time of his retirement from active duty, Davidson was the deputy for security and investigative programs at Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He retired as a colonel and entered the Senior Executive Service in 1990.

Civil Air Patrol’s Board of Governors consists of representatives from CAP and the Air Force and civilians involved in education, aviation and emergency management.

As three of the 11 members of the Board of Governors, Clarke, Johnson and Davidson join other distinguished Air Force, CAP and civilian advisers, including retired Air Force Maj. Gens. John M. Speigel and Susan L. Pamerleau and retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Sanford “Sandy” Schlitt.

CAP members on the Board of Governors are current National Commander Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr, former National Commander Brig. Gen. Richard L. Anderson, current National Vice Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Vazquez and Lt. Col. Edward F. “Ned” Lee.

The other member of the Board of Governors is Paul L. Graziani, chief executive officer and co-founder of Analytical Graphics Inc., who was reappointed to a second three-year term on the Board of Governors last year. Anderson currently serves as chairman of the Board of Governors, while Speigel is vice chairman.

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

November 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm