Iowa Wing News

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Archive for December 2011

January – March ‘Volunteer’ available for online reading

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The January-March 2012 issue of Civil Air Patrol Volunteer, CAP’s quarterly magazine, is available online through VolunteerNow in the innovative digital format powered by Imirus software, designed to enhance readers’ access through such features as easy navigation and flip-through pages.

Featured articles include:

  • The second in a series of profiles of some of CAP’s World War II members, this time focusing on mechanics, flight instructors and others who provided support services.
  • The Utah Wing’s involvement in development testing of the U.S. Army’s Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS) to help ensure the effectiveness of defense against low-altitude cruise missiles.
  • Indiana Wing Cadet Maj. Sarah Biddle’s being named the first female recipient of the Amateur Athletic Union High School Sullivan Sports Award and Scholarship for her record-setting performance as a power lifter.
  • The CAP aerospace education program’s receiving a pair of prestigious honors from the National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education – the 2011 Crown Circle for Aerospace Education Leadership Award and the Dr. Mervin K. Strickler Jr. Aerospace Education Leadership Award.
  • The assistance that Cadet 1st Lt. James C. Shawn of the Texas Wing provided after witnessing a fatal air crash at the National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno, Nev.
  • CAP’s 70th anniversary ceremony at National Headquarters, which included presentations of Distinguished Service Awards to two World War II members — representatives of those the organization is working to see recognized with a Congressional Gold Medal for their wartime service.
  • CAP’s role in the Wreaths Across America observations nationwide and overseas, honoring the service and sacrifice of veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
  • The importance that the CAP cadet experience played in helping shape the lives and careers of Bill Geyer Jr., now an academy instructor at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, and U.S. Air Force Maj. Tara Cook, a staff neurologist at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
  • The benefits that CAP’s Teacher Orientation Program Flights offer classroom instructors across the country.
  • Col. Erica Williams’ following in her father’s footsteps as Missouri Wing commander.
  • Texas Wing Cadet Capt. Graham Andre’s persistence and courage in overcoming a rare disease to succeed as a member of the Lakeshore Composite Squadron.

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

December 30, 2011 at 8:00 am

Three Brothers Receive CAP Milestone Award

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L to R: Noah, Nathan and Isaac Schuetz

C/2d Lt Noah Schuetz
Dubuque Composite Squadron

DUBUQUE, IA – For the Schuetz brothers, Civil Air Patrol and promoting is a family affair.

Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadets Nathan, Isaac, and Noah Schuetz were presented the Billy Mitchell Award on August 16, 2011. The Mitchell Award was presented by Iowa Wing Commander Colonel Ron Scheitzach. The Award was presented at the Army Reserve Center at the Dubuque Regional Airport in Dubuque, Iowa.

The Billy Mitchell Award honors General Billy Mitchell, who had a vision for an independent Air Force. It is presented to CAP cadets that have completed phase II in the Cadet Program. To earn this award, cadets must pass leadership and aerospace tests along with a physical fitness test. This is a high honor to be earned by any one cadet, and the fact that three brothers reached this achievement at the same time shows their commitment to the cadet program and to each other.

It took the three brothers just over two years to accomplish this award.  “These awards are not easy to achieve,” stated Col Scheitzach.

The Schuetz brothers belong to the CAP Dubuque Composite Squadron. The squadron is made up of 15 cadets, ages 12 to 21, and 17 senior members. They meet on Tuesday nights at the Dubuque Regional Airport from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The meetings include cadet training, aerospace education, and emergency services training.

The Mitchell recipients – Nathan (age 18), Isaac (age 15), and Noah (age 14) – all joined CAP in  September 2009.  They are the only members of their family in CAP. Each Schuetz brother has attended a basic encampment and Nathan has also completed an Advanced Training Encampment. In addition, all three have attended a Regional Cadet Leadership School in Minnesota. They each have the goal of obtaining the Spaatz Award, which is the highest award in CAP. Noah also intends to be a flight commander at a basic encampment next summer and Nathan hopes to attend the Blue Beret Encampment which is held in conjunction with the EAA Flight Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

“The Mitchell Award took a lot of dedication and commitment to CAP,” commented C/2d Lt Nathan Schuetz upon receiving the award.

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

December 29, 2011 at 11:29 am

Remembering Lt Col Eric Schneider

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Capt Jessa Erickson & Capt Cindi Wachholz
Public Affairs Team
Iowa Wing

Dedicated.  adjective wholly committed to something, as to an ideal, political cause, or personal goal

This word easily and accurately describes Lt Col Eric Schneider when it came to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), his family, and his friends.

Eric joined CAP as a senior member in April 1996 and quickly took on training and responsibilities that led him to his many roles in the Iowa Wing. Throughout his more than 15 year CAP career, Eric held the duties of Squadron Commander for the 043rd Dubuque Composite Squadron, stepping down from the role of Wing Vice Commander to fill that position, as well as the squadron’s Deputy Commander for Cadets and Deputy Commander for Seniors, Health Services Officer, Safety Officer and Testing Officer.

Eric was dedicated to the CAP Cadet Program. Often times he would point out which of his Specialty Badges he chose to wear on his uniform – it was always the Cadet Programs badge. He took pride in the accomplishments of CAP cadets regardless of what squadron they happened to be in and never wavered from the opportunity to congratulate the newest Airman, or present a milestone award, both done with heartfelt words of encouragement. Through his years working with cadets, Eric served as a staff member at the Joint Dakota 1999 Encampment and the National Blue Beret in August 2007.

Despite his love of the Cadet Program, Eric also had a deep respect for and commitment to training his fellow senior members.  Many times he travelled across the state to serve as instructor for Squadron Leadership Schools, Corporate Learning Courses and Unit Commanders Courses.  And then there were the emails that he diligently kept up with, often times responding to into the wee hours of the morning.  Eric was oftentimes a go-to source for questions and ideas on how to run a successful squadron because of his vast knowledge.  His experience and know-how helped him lead his squadron to achieve the Quality Cadet Unit Award for the 2010 year.

In 2010 Eric received the Exceptional Service Award at the North Central Region Conference held in Des Moines, IA. He was recognized for his distinguished service during the 2008 flooding, serving as a liaison between CAP and other state and local agencies. Eric set the bar high for his fellow CAP members having attained Level V in the Professional Development Program with a Master Rating in Cadet Programs in 2001 and Health Services in 2010.

Within the Emergency Services program Eric was qualified as Ground Branch Director, Ground Team Leader, Urban Direction Finding Team and Mission Safety Officer.  Although he was unable to participate in the field with ground teams recently, he was in attendance at every Search and Rescue (SAR) exercise/evaluation to encourage the participants to strive toward excellence in their responsibilities.

Eric was by no means a “softy”. His appearance and demeanor could have been seen as intimidating by some who didn’t get the chance to know him. It was not uncommon for him to open up his home, affectionately called “Chez Sheila” after his very patient wife, allowing cadets and senior members to “camp” at his place to avoid a long drive on a busy SAR weekend.

With his 30 years in law enforcement he was a “straight shooter”.  He said it like it was, including the use of “colorful” language that only he could get away with. Not much room for gray area when it came to making decisions and doing the right thing.  But another side to that all business attitude could be found when he was mentoring new senior members as well as seasoned members needing advice. Or working with cadets, as when teaching the “Queen Anne’s Salute” (a set of drill team movements he learned as a CAP cadet in the Silver Lancer’s Color Guard in the 1960’s) which was fortuitously captured on video for all to enjoy. Eric was not afraid to laugh at himself and just be real. His ability to bring out the desire for excellent in people will be missed in the Iowa Wing and with his abundant number of friends who will remember him always.

He was a mentor to many, and a friend to all.

Remembering Lt Col Eric Schneider

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

December 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Civil Air Patrol Squadron Presents Christmas Stockings to Local Veterans Hospital

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Lt Col Glen Allen Thatcher-Chilcote
Des Moines Metro Cadet Squadron

DES MOINES, IA – Cadets and senior members from the Civil Air Patrol’s Des Moines Metro Cadet Squadron presented Christmas stockings to the patients of the Veteran (VA) Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa for the holiday season.  For some of the veterans in the hospital, these stockings would be the only present they would receive this holiday season.

A Vietnam Veteran stated that he had no home and this was the only present he would receive and wanted to thank all of the cadets and senior members of the squadron for all the hard work and effort they were putting in to help out the veterans. The VA Hospital is a great example of the price of freedom and the sacrifice that is made every day by the men and women of this fine country.

The Des Moines Metro Cadet Squadron has been delivering stockings to the VA Hospital since 2006. Last year they gave out over 180 stockings in two different locations at the VA Hospital and over 100 this year.  In addition to simply handing out the stocking, members go inside the veteran’s room and tell them “Thank you for serving our country and keeping us safe,” then they shake their hands and give them a sharp salute.

For their generosity and giving spirit, the Des Moines Metro Cadet Squadron received a thank you letter from the VA Hospital asking them to continue with the stockings for the Vets in the future.

The Des Moines Metro Cadet Squadron continues to show their patriotism for their country and for all those who have and are serving. This act of honor shall be something to look upon for generations to come with great respect.

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

December 28, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Visitation & Funeral Arrangements for Lt Col Eric Schneider

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Visitation for Lt Col Eric Schneider will be from 1pm to 9pm at the Hoffmann Schneider & Kitchen Funeral Home (3860 Asbury Road, Dubuque, IA) on Friday December 30th.

Funeral services will be held at 10am at the Church of the Resurrection (4300 Asbury Road, Dubuque, IA) on Saturday December 31st.

If you would like to send cards to the family please send an email request to for the address.  If any additional information becomes available or if anything changes we will let you know.

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

December 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Lt Col Eric Schneider

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Lt Col Eric Schneider passed peacefully away this morning after a long battle with cancer. Many of you have known Eric for a long time and without question few members of CAP championed the Cadet program and our Cadets as he did. There will be a huge hole in our program to fill with the loss of Lt Col Schneider and as a friend to all who worked with him.

The Schneider family wishes all of you a Very Merry Christmas and to celebrate this special time of the year with the happiness it deserves. There will be no services until late next week, I will convey that information when I receive it early next week.

Please keep the Schneider family in your prayers during this trying time.

Ron Scheitzach, Col, CAP
Commander, Iowa Wing

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

December 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Iowa Cadets Prepare to Head Off to Kansas Winter Encampment

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It is that time of year again where you will find cadets busily packing, planning and finishing up last minute tasks before they eagerly make the trip south to Salina, Kansas for the Kansas Wing Training Group’s Winter Encampment.

According to the Training Group’s Facebook page, 230+ CAP members have enrolled for the week long activity which begins on December 26th and culminates with a graduation ceremony at 11am on January 2nd.  That last estimate means there will be approximately 9 flights of about 14 or so per flight with 7 cadets also attending the Region Cadet Leadership School, 10 attending for Honor Guard and 6 attending for Emergency Services.  The remaining numbers are cadet and senior staff.

This is only the 3rd year for the encampment which draws cadets and seniors from numerous states, both near and far.  While Iowa Wing has only sent 3 cadets in previous years – 1 in 2009 and 2 in 2010 – this year will see a record 7+ cadets and 1 senior member attending from at least 2 squadrons.

For more information and to keep up on the week’s activities be sure to check out the Kansas Wing website.

Written by Iowa Wing CAP

December 23, 2011 at 8:00 am