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Iowa Civil Air Patrol Cadet Flying High with Air Force Academy Appointment

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1st Lt Betsy Becker
Public Affairs Officer
Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron

FORT DODGE, IA –  Cadet Capt Felix Knutson of the Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron (NWICS) Civil Air Patrol has received an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy’s class of 2016.

Knutson joined Civil Air Patrol in 2008.  He attended the Nebraska Wing Encampment in 2009, served on the Iowa Cadet Advisory Council for one year and was the squadron cadet commander for the NWICS in 2010-11.  Knutson led many of the aerospace studies mentoring sessions at the squadron meetings.

After graduation from high school in 2011 and not receiving an appointment to USAFA, Knutson enrolled at Iowa State University in Ames, IA.  There he studied Aerospace Engineering with a Russian Studies minor.  Knutson also joined the Iowa State University Air Force ROTC program.  He is currently serving as the Public Affairs Officer for the Arnold Air Society of the ISU ROTC.

“I am very excited and thankful for this opportunity that’s been given to me,” stated Knutson, “I know that life at the academy is going to take a lot of hard work, but it’s going to be worth it in the end.”

Knutson may have an idea how difficult life may be at the academy.  He has an older brother, Brady Knutson, who is in the class of 2012 at USAFA.  The brothers also have an uncle, Clark Knutson, who also graduated from USAFA.

Knutson’s advice to cadets is, “Don’t let failure drag you down.  Let it be the very thing that pushes you to success.  I didn’t get into the academy when I applied the first time.  That drove me to work harder in school and in ROTC when I came to Iowa State University, because I knew that USAFA was where I wanted to be.”

Competition for an appointment to USAFA is extremely high.  Knutson was one of roughly 1,050 candidates to receive an appointment out of an initial group of 10,000.  Approximately ten percent of USAFA cadets have CAP experience.

Knutson’s parents are Dallas and Danielle Knutson of Hubbard, IA.  He reports for in-processing at Colorado Springs June 28, 2012

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Written by Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron IA-007

April 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

Posted in IACAP - Cadets

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

First Aid Training for Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron

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1st Lt Betsy Becker
Public Affairs Officer
Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron

Cadets practicing their first aid procedures

FORT DODGE – IA   Twelve members of the IA-007 CAP squadron and three guests completed the American Red Cross First Aid Training presented by Maj Roger Elliott at the 5 Nov 2011 NWICS squadron meeting.  The training included lecture, video and practicing the specific first aid techniques with a partner.

“There is no better way to learn then hands-on and it gives the members a chance to build team dynamics by working with several other cadets or senior members,” stated Capt Cindi Wachholz.

It had been three years since the first aid course had been taught at the IA-007 and for many members it was their first time taking the class.

“I took the class when it was offered three years ago, but found that this class was a great refresher,” stated C/Lt Col Adam Wachholz.  “I plan to use the refresher emails provided by the Red Cross every quarter to keep my skills sharp.”

“This training is a requirement for completion of the GT3 and most other Emergency Services SQTR’s.  It is important for members to receive the training as quickly as possible so they are prepared for a SAREX or an actual emergency,” stated Capt Wachholz.

Maj Elliott, has been teaching first aid for 14 years and a member of CAP for 11 years. He has served in several CAP duties including Squadron Commander of the IA-007. He is currently the Wing Logistics Officer, maintaining the Quartermaster/Comm shed.

The IA-007 has additional Emergency Services training planned through the winter months for members to complete their SQTR’s.

Written by Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron IA-007

November 8, 2011 at 9:21 am

C/Lt Col Adam Wachholz to receive Gen Ira C Eaker award

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It is our great pleasure to announce that Cadet Lt Col Adam Wachholz of the Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron will be awarded the General Ira C. Eaker Award on 1 Oct 2011 at 11:30 am at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport lower level conference room.  All media and special guests are encouraged to  attend.  Please forward questions or RSVP responses to Betsy Becker, the public affairs officer, for the NWICS at isubetzer@yahoo.com.

Written by Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron IA-007

September 22, 2011 at 7:25 am

Thank A Veteran With A Wreath Sponsorship

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2d Lt Betsy Becker
Public Affairs Officer
Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron

4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY A CHANCE TO REMEMBER VETERANS WITH A WREATH SPONSORSHIP

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

FORT DODGE – IA.  Members of Civil Air Patrol Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron (NWICS) based in Fort Dodge are proud to partner once more with Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization that recognizes the courage and sacrifices of U.S. veterans by placing wreaths on the graves of the fallen during the holiday season.

“Our mission is to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and teach our children the value of freedom,” said 2d Lt Betsy Becker, the NWICS point of contact for the Wreaths Across America project.  “Thousands of CAP members participate each year to help honor those veterans who have sacrificed for our country.  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 Maine’s Worcester Wreath Co. 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.

The NWICS will be participating with the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Adel, IA and is currently accepting wreath sponsorships through November 15, 2011.  Each wreath sponsorship is $15 made out to Wreaths Across America.  Unfortunately at this time, grave specific wreath sponsorships cannot be made.

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.

“Laying the wreaths is an honor to our veterans, a service to our communities and a learning experience for our members,” said NWICS Capt Cindi Wachholz.

Wreaths Across America began in 2006 as an offshoot of the Arlington National Cemetery wreath project, which was started in 1992 with the annual placement of wreaths donated by Worcester Wreath Co., which is owned by the Worcester family. Since its inception five years ago, Wreaths Across America has experienced tremendous growth.

Contact Cindi Wachholz at cindi.wachholz@iawg.cap.gov or Betsy Becker at 515-295-2210 for questions or to sponsor a wreath.

Written by Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron IA-007

June 24, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Parade Allows Squadron to Increase Community Awareness

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2d Lt Betsy Becker
Public Affairs Officer
Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron

Civil Air Patrol Members Walk in Frontier Days Parade to Promote Squadron

FORT DODGE, IA. –  It was a beautiful day for the 2011 Frontier Days Parade.  Eight members of the IA-007 Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron (NWICS) took part in the annual downtown parade in Fort Dodge.

Cadets and senior members walked the parade route handing out flyers inviting community members to attend their squadron’s Open House at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport.  The squadron members also took the opportunity to shake hands of retired military and those who are serving actively in the US military branches and thanked them for their service.

Along the parade route, cadets C/Amn Barry Jensen of Humboldt, and C/A1C Jacob Ulicki of Ft. Dodge, proudly carried the CAP banner. Squadron senior members 2d LtBetsy Becker of Algona, 1Lt Jan Lewandowski of Ft. Dodge, 2d Lt Harry Bockoven of Ft. Dodge, along with cadets C/MSgt Jacob Lewandowski of Ft. Dodge, and C/2dLt Isaac Wachholz of Ottosen passed out flyers and answered questions about CAP.  The squadron commander, Capt Cindi Wachholz of Ottosen, drove the CAP van.

When asked, “what is the message you want to bring to the Ft. Dodge community?”

Capt Wachholz replied, “That they too can be involved in a wonderful organization that  serves America by performing Homeland Security and humanitarian missions for our communities, states, and nation; develop our country’s youth; and educate our citizens on the importance of air and space power.”

While passing the reviewing stand, the announcer read a brief public service announcement about the CAP squadron. The message focused on CAP’s three missions: Aerospace Education, Emergency Services, and the Cadet Program.  The CAP Cadet Program includes leadership, physical fitness, aerospace education and character development.

The NWICS will hold an informational Open House on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport from 6:30pm – 8:30pm in the basement conference room.  The community is encouraged to attend to learn more about CAP and the NWICS.  For  questions please contact Capt. Cindi Wachholz at cindi.wachholz@iawg.cap.gov.  Refreshments will be served.

Written by Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron IA-007

June 7, 2011 at 7:41 am

CAP Members Welcome Home A Special Family Member

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Year-long deployment ends with a happy family reunion.

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

FORT DODGE, IA – After a year of deployment, members of the 875th Replacement Company returned home on April 29th to reunite with their family and friends.

Senior member First Lieutenant (1Lt) Jan Lewandowski and Cadet Technical Sergeant (C/TSgt) Jacob Lewandowski of the IA-007 Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron were on hand to welcome home Sergeant First Class Dan Lewandowski.  He is the husband to Jan and father of Jacob, and his four siblings.  After a short ceremony honoring the returning soldiers they were dismissed to meet with their families.  There was not a shortage of hugs, kisses or tears for the Lewandowskis.

While her husband was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA, Jan was at home in Fort Dodge caring for their family and the day to day activities.  The Lewandowskis have 5 children; Nick-19, Brett-17, Jacob-14, Luke-12, and Anna-10.

“It was difficult for all of us while Dan was deployed.  The kids stayed busy with school, sports, church and CAP activities,” stated Jan Lewandowski, “I felt bad that he was missing out as they grew up.”

It was sometimes difficult for Jan to juggle the schedules of their kids’ activities.  Some days she would ask friends to help get her kids to team practices and games, 4-H meetings, or CAP activities as they sometimes over lapped.  While Dan was stationed in Georgia they communicated daily over the phone and via the computer.  “It helped knowing I could talk with him each day,” stated Jan.

“I talked with my dad every day.  If I had questions or needed help with a project or activity I was able to talk with him,” stated Jacob.  “I look to my dad for advice and guidance.”

He has plans to trap some small animals with his dad this summer as well as build a boat together.  “I really missed him and I look forward to having him home again,” said Jacob.  The “men in the family”  are looking forward to their church’s father/son overnight activity in May.

This was his second and final deployment with the Army Reserve Unit for Lewandowski.  He previously deployed in 2005-06 to Fort Bliss in Texas.  “We learned a lot after my arrival back from that deployment on the adjustment of returning.  I am looking forward to being with my family again.”  In January of 2012 SFC Lewandowski will retire from the Army with over 31 years of service.  Currently, he is full time Army who works with the Army Reserve unit in Fort Dodge.

“While I was in Georgia, I stayed extremely busy with my work and responsibilities.  I felt bad that Jan was at home and was forced to take care of everything,” stated SFC Lewandowski.

The mission of the 875th Replacement Co. was to deploy soldiers and civilians to 32 geographical locations around the world to places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. The soldiers processed over 23,000 troops, Department of Defense personnel, and civilian contractors to ensure they were prepared for whatever tasks they were assigned to do upon leaving Ft. Benning, GA.

The Patriot Guard led the troops from the Iowa State Patrol headquarters south of Fort Dodge to the Army Reserve Center just north of the Fort Dodge Regional Airport.  The Iowa State Patrol and Fort Dodge Police directed traffic and escorted the caravan to ensure their safe arrival.  Members of the community greeted the troops along the route and at the Army Reserve Center waving, saluting, and thanking the soldiers on a job well done.

Written by Northwest Iowa Composite Squadron IA-007

May 9, 2011 at 11:10 am