Just wanted to keep everyone up-to-date on the training opportunities available in the Iowa Wing for FY15. As you can see, we have a busy year planned.
Capt Jessen, Lt Col Hahn and myself are working to set up a Color Guard Academy and an Aerospace weekend for cadets this year. More information to come.
20-22 Feb Emergency Services Academy Part I – Camp Dodge
7 Mar SAREX at Dubuque
20-22 Mar Emergency Services Academy Part II – Camp Dodge
28 Mar Training Leaders of Cadets (TLC)-Davenport
11 Apr Unit Commanders Course (UCC)-Davenport
?? May Communications Exercise-Boone & Washington
17 May AF Compliance Inspection
13 Jun SAREX at Davenport (this will also be our AF Over-the-Shoulder)
15-24 Jul Encampment – Camp Dodge (Capt Jason Erickson is the POC)
20-21 Aug Wing Conference – Camp Dodge
?? Sep SAREX at Red Oak
Senior Members – please use the CAPF 17 to apply for the TLC and UCC. There will be a charge for lunch – $5-$8 otherwise the courses are free. Both courses will be held at the Davenport Composite Squadron building at the Davenport Airport.
If you have any activites ideas, please let myself, Capt Mutchler, or Capt Jessen for cadet activities know.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Forty-six founding Civil Air Patrol members were present today to see the organization honored with the Congressional Gold Medal for the service they and more than 200,000 other CAP volunteers provided during World War II, when they helped proect U.S. shipping against German U-boat attacks and carried out other vital wartime domestic missions.
Speaker of the House John Boehner presented the medal to CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez and former U.S. Rep. Lester Wolff, who served in CAP’s New York Wing during the war, in a 40-minute ceremony that began at 3 p.m. Eastern time in Emancipation Hall at the Capitol.
Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas all spoke before the presentation, describing CAP members’ acts of selfless service in volunteering to help protect the homefront during the war.
The CAP members being honored “were just private citizens who wanted to lend a hand. They also lent their planes, their two-way radios and their replacement parts,” Boehner said.
“They weren’t pressed into serving – the government was pressed into letting them serve.”
“World War II could have turned out a lot differently if not for the men and women of the Civil Air Patrol,” McConnell told the gathering.
“Today’s gold medal may be overdue, but it’s well-deserved. It’s the highest civilian honor we can bestow, and we’re proud to bestow it.”
Reid acknowledged the service of the World War II members present while also praising those no longer alive to see their service recognized. “Their acts of heroism and bravery will never be forgotten,” he said.
Wolff described the full scope of CAP’s wartime service, telling his audience that the Coastal Patrol mission “began in the dark days following Pearl Harbor, when submarines were sinking oil tankers within sight of East Coast cities.”
“For 18 months we patrolled the Atlantic and Gulf coasts hunting submarines, escorting thousands of ships and searching for attack survivors,” he said.
Coastal Patrol pilots flew 24 million miles through August 1943 over the Atlantic and Gulf coasts in order to ward off German U-boat attacks against U.S. shipping – especially domestic oil tankers bound for Europe to help fuel the military machine. They did so at the request of the U.S. Petroleum Industry War Council, because the U.S. Navy lacked the resources to guard against the submarine attacks and provide escorts for commercial convoys.
Flying out of 21 bases located along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Maine to the southern tip of Texas, Coastal Patrol pilots spotted 173 U-boats and attacked 57. They also escorted more than 5,600 convoys and reported 17 floating mines, 36 bodies, 91 ships in distress and 363 survivors in the water.
Elsewhere, CAP members patrolled the country’s southern border by air, vigilant for potential saboteurs. Others towed targets for military trainees, watched for forest fires, conducted search and rescue missions, provided disaster relief and emergency transport of people and parts and conducted orientation flights for future pilots.
In all, 65 CAP members lost their lives in the line of duty by the end of the war, including 26 Coastal Patrol participants.
“Every one of those lives was given to defend this nation,” Wolff said. “We accept this award particularly for those who did not come home.”
In introducing Wolff, Vazquez referred to the World War II members as “brave and heroic citizen volunteers from America’s greatest generation. They served valiantly on the home front and along the coasts, helping to save lives and preserve our nation’s freedom.”
Along with the 46 members present, more than 50 other pioneering CAP members were represented by family members attending the ceremony.
The gold medal will be placed on permanent display in the Smithsonian Institution. Three-inch bronze replicas will be presented to the veterans and families tonight at a celebratory dinner sponsored by CITGO at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, where bronze replica medals will be presented to the World War II-era CAP members courtesy of the oil giant. Sunoco and Sunoco Logistic are also major sponsors of the events.
In addition to the bronze replicas being distributed tonight, World War II members and families unable to attend today’s events will be presented with replicas of their own in local ceremonies later. Anyone wishing to buy a replica will be able to do so by ordering through the U.S. Mint starting Thursday.
The story of CAP’s World War II service and its members’ wartime experiences can be found on the organization’s Congressional Gold Medal website.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 59,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 70 lives annually. Its volunteer professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com, www.capvolunteernow.com and www.capgoldmedal.com for more information.
Deputy Director, Public Affairs, CAP National Headquarters
W: 877-227-9142, ext. 250
A CAP holiday tradition, this year’s wreath-laying salute on tap for Dec. 13
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – Every December, in all 52 Civil Air Patrol wings and even abroad – from Hawaii’s Punchbowl to snow-covered sites in the upper Midwest to a Civil War battlefield in Georgia to the poppy fields of Normandy, France – thousands of CAP officers and cadets participate in Wreaths Across America observances to honor the nation’s fallen. They present the colors, deliver orations and place remembrance wreaths on veterans’ graves at national cemeteries and war memorials.
This year, most of those observances will occur on Dec. 13 and coincide with a Wreaths Across America ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in which organizers hope to cover approximately 227,000 grave sites in honor of the historic cemetery’s 150th anniversary.
“For the first time, Wreaths Across America is very close to its goal of honoring all at Arlington,” said Civil Air Patrol Col. Dan Leclair, former Maine Wing and current Northeast Region commander who is actively involved in Wreaths Across America.
Leclair and other CAP officers and cadets will join an estimated 20,000 volunteers at Arlington on Dec. 13 for National Wreaths Across America Day. At Arlington and at more than 1,000 U.S. cemeteries and memorial sites around the world, other volunteers – many of them CAP members – will also participate in the venture, placing more than 700,000 fresh balsam evergreens from Maine on the graves of military veterans as a tribute to their service and sacrifice.
Civil Air Patrol has been a proud partner in Wreaths Across America since the initiative was started by Morrill Worcester and Worcester Wreath Co. in 2006. Thousands of service-minded CAP members across America tap into the initiative each year — selling wreath sponsorships to the public, laying wreaths and conducting ceremonies to mark the day with pomp, circumstance and patriotism.
“Each and every wreath is a gift from an appreciative person or family who knows what it means to serve and sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy, fulfilling our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America.
Besides CAP, numerous other civic and charitable organizations, as well as corporate donors, are also involved in the effort, which receives notable support from Gold Star Mothers in the U.S., the Silver Star Mothers in Canada and the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle club.
The most visible Wreaths Across America event is a weeklong convoy that begins with a wreath exchange at the Canadian border with Maine and proceeds down the Northeast corridor, stopping for numerous ceremonies along the way. This year, over 65 trucks will be part of the convoy unloading their cargo of wreaths at Arlington, where the remainder of the day is devoted to special wreath placements at cemetery sites such as the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Women In Military Service For America Memorial. From there, ceremonies move to the National Mall’s various war memorials.
Meanwhile, other Wreaths Across America ceremonies are also conducted at national cemeteries and war memorials around the world. The initiative is a heartfelt way to remember, honor and teach — goals that mirror CAP’s devotion to the military.
“Like Wreaths Across America, we take pride in honoring those who have served our country,” said Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis, CAP’s 2014 national Wreaths Across America coordinator. “This is our way of expressing our appreciation and paying tribute for the sacrifices made for our country by our service men and women.”
For more information about Wreaths Across America and participating locations, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org. Donations for Arlington wreaths are being accepted until Dec. 11 through Wreaths Across America’s website and through its Arlington Wreaths Facebook page – www.facebook.com/ArlingtonWreaths.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 59,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 70 lives annually. Its volunteer professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. Performing missions for America for more than 70 years, CAP is receiving the Congressional Gold Medal on Dec. 10 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com, www.capvolunteernow.com and www.capgoldmedal.com for more information.
Deputy Director, Public Affairs, CAP National Headquarters
W: 877-227-9142, ext. 250