Around the Region

By Southeast Region Public Affairs
May 23, 2017
I wanted to do that,” said Dr. Ruben A. Hernandez, now a lieutenant colonel in Civil Air Patrol and assistant director of communications for the Southeast Region. “I wanted to be wearing that uniform and be part of the drill team." The disciplin ...
By Mississippi Wing Public Affairs
May 15, 2017
Mississippi Wing volunteers spotted and helped rescue four boaters who vessel was stranded without power in the Mississippi Sound on 22 April 2017. This air crew was part of an aerial "sundown patrol" for the Civil Air Patrol and were aided ...
By Southeast Region Public Affairs
May 15, 2017
"What started as an idea just a few months ago now has become a reality, having the wing commanders of two components of the Total Force working together across the hall from each other," Fernandez, Puerto Rico Civil Air Patrol said. " ...
By 1st Lt. Morgan Torp-Pedersen
May 15, 2017
On Friday afternoon, at a ceremony held at the Georgia Tech’s historic Academy of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, seventeen cadets of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) were commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force....

National Headline


2020 Vision
Wed, 24 May 2017 13:33:43 -0500

By Sheila Pursglove
Contributing Writer

Since 2010, the Federal Aviation Administration has been transitioning away from ground radar and navigational aids to precise tracking using satellite signal technology. This step-up in avionics safety carries a Jan. 1, 2020, deadline for all airplanes that operate in designated airspace to be equipped with the new system.

Gary Schneider, Civil Air Patrol’s director of logistics, is staying well ahead of the curve. Because of the airports CAP must be capable of operating from and the types of missions performed, all of CAP’s large fleet of single-engine planes must be configured for ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) Out when the New Year dawns in three years. 

“My concern is that a number of general aviation aircraft owners are holding off on installing ADS-B, hoping the FAA will extend the deadline,” Schneider said. “I don’t want to be standing in line in December 2019 and competing with them for equipment and availability of avionics technicians and shops.”

ADS-B — touted by the FAA as environmentally friendly technology that enhances safety and efficiency and directly benefits pilots, controllers, airports, airlines and the public — is the foundation for NextGen surveillance.

Beginning in 2015, all new aircraft came from the factory with ADS-B Out installed, allowing an aircraft to broadcast its position and other information.

While the 2020 deadline does not require ADS-B In, aircraft equipped with that system gain additional benefits,
receiving broadcasts and messages from the ground network such as Traffic Information Service–Broadcast (TIS−B) and Flight Information Service–Broadcast (FIS-B).

“ADS-B, simply stated, is a very precise satellite-based system that uses GPS information coupled with data
from ground stations to determine the exact location, airspeed and other aircraft data and transmits that data
to a network of ground stations,” Schneider said. “These ground stations process this data and relay it to air
traffic control and nearby aircraft equipped with ADS-B In.”

Under the new rule, ADS-B Out performance will be required to operate in Class A, B and C airspace; Class E airspace within the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia at and above 10,000 feet MSL, excluding the airspace at and below 2,500 feet above the surface; and Class E airspace at and above 3,000 feet MSL over the Gulf of Mexico from the U.S. coastline out to 12 nautical miles.

By early February of this year, around 70 of CAP’s 560 aircraft across the country were equipped with ADS-B Out and a small number were equipped with both ADS-B Out and In.

“ADS-B itself requires little or no additional training for our aircrews,” Schneider said. “The transponder performs very much like transponders pilots are accustomed to using. The ADS-B functions are handled by onboard equipment and require nothing more than to be turned on.”

Schneider noted that CAP aircrews like the features, especially the In function that improves situational awareness and provides real-time weather and traffic information. “This is where we see the true benefits,” he said.

“An aircraft equipped with ADS-B In and Out will receive air-to-air traffic from aircraft near their location that are equipped with ADS-B as well as traffic information transmitted from the ground. Everything within +/13,500 feet and within a 15-nautical miles-radius will be displayed on their screens.”

The estimated cost of a complete ADS-B In and Out system is approximately $7,000 per aircraft. “We’vesecured funding from aircraft sales and other sources to get the program going,” Schneider said. “We’re currently in contact with avionics shops and are making arrangements to get our aircraft scheduled in for installations as quickly as possible.”

According to the FAA, with ADS-B In pilots can now see what controllers see: displays showing other aircraft in the sky. Cockpit displays also pinpoint hazardous weather and terrain and give pilots important flight information, such as temporary flight restrictions. The new system reduces the risk of runway incursions with cockpit and controller displays that show the location of aircraft and equipped ground vehicles on airport surfaces — even at night or during heavy rainfall.

ADS-B applications being developed now will give pilots indications or alerts of potential collisions. ADS-B also provides greater coverage because ground stations are so much easier to place than radar. Remote areas without radar coverage, like the Gulf of Mexico and parts of Alaska, now have surveillance with ADS-B. Relying on satellites also means aircraft will be able to fly more directly from one point to another, saving time and money and reducing fuel burn and emissions.

“The true benefits of ADS-B from a pilot’s perspective are improved situational awareness and a level of aviation safety and efficiency that we have not seen to this point,” Schneider said. “While it is rarely mentioned, ADS-B will actually enhance CAP’s lifesaving search and rescue capability as well.

“ADS-B systems transmit position information once every second, providing extremely accurate last reported positions to help narrow down the search area and ultimately reducing the time vital to a rescue operation.”

Surgeon Credits CAP Service For His Success
Mon, 22 May 2017 14:39:45 -0500

By Markeshia Ricks
Contributing Writer

Dr. Ruben A. Hernandez was 13 years old when he first saw the Moca High School Cadet Squadron Drill Team put on an exhibition.

By the time it was done, he was hooked.

“I wanted to do that,” said Hernandez, now a lieutenant colonel in Civil Air Patrol and assistant director of communications for the Southeast Region. “I wanted to be wearing that uniform and part of the drill team."

"Teamwork was something I had never experienced before.”

In September 1981 he became a CAP cadet. A year later he was able to join the drill team. 

Just two years after that his cadet squadron, under the direction of then-commander Lt. Col. Eric E. Perez, won the Puerto Rico Wing Drill Team competition.

Hernandez credits Perez, who also was an aerospace education teacher at his high school in Moca, as a role model and mentor.

“[He] always encouraged us to maintain discipline and good study habits,” Hernandez said. “He helped me to keep the same discipline outside the Civil Air Patrol and into my personal life.”

In fact, the two men remain close friends today. Perez said Hernandez demonstrated his potential as a leader right from the beginning of his CAP cadet career.

“He advanced rapidly and participated in all unit and wing activities,” said Perez, now the Moca squadron commander. “He has used the CAP core values throughout his life, as a member of the CAP and professionally. He is a great example for others and he has served as an inspiration to continue being part of the CAP.”

The discipline Hernandez learned in Civil Air Patrol came in handy when he decided he wanted to be a doctor. His father worked as a medical technologist in a lab, and he encouraged him to be a physician, Hernandez said.

“He took me to his lab and he said, ‘I want you to do better than I have done; you can be a doctor,’” he recalled.

Drilled To Perfection
He decided to be a surgeon, specifically an orthopedic surgeon, as he pursued his medical studies. He credits CAP with helping him attain that goal.

Hernandez practices in the southern part of the island in Ponce. He is an attending physician for two hospitals, Yauco Metro Pavia Hospital and Hospital Metropolitano Dr. Pila, and holds a private practice in both. A fellowship-trained adult reconstructive hip and knee surgeon, he performs around 250 total knee and hip surgeries a year.
Hernandez did his fellowship training with one of the most renowned hip and knee orthopedic surgeons in the United States – Dr. Chitranjan J. Ranawat from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

“Today, I am an orthopedic surgeon because being in the Civil Air Patrol gave me the discipline to pursue my goal and to be a better student,” Hernandez said. “Every surgery is rewarding. It's biblical, helping someone walk when they can't -- helping someone walk when they are wheelchair-bound, unable to walk because the pain is so severe.”

Being a surgeon requires not only discipline but a strong commitment to precision, and he said he learned that level of precision on the drill team. To him, he said, one surgery is much like all the hundreds of others he’s performed.

But for his patients, he knows he has to get everything right so that it will be their only surgery.

“That one has to be perfect,” Hernandez said. “They don’t want another -- period.”

Similarly, CAP drill team members might practice a lot, but in competition there’s only one chance to excel.

“That one had to be perfect,” he said. “No chance for seconds -- period.”

A Life of Service
Hernandez has remained in CAP since he joined as a cadet in 1981. He completed Phase IV of the cadet program, achieving the rank of cadet lieutenant colonel, and at 21 became a senior member. Though his medical studies and residency cut into his service, he always made a point of continuing to support his local squadron. He even served as his former squadron’s commander.

“I always visited my squadron giving motivational talks to cadets, telling them about the importance of discipline, studying and pursuing your dreams and goals, and how those things can make them happen,” he said.

Hernandez said one of his favorite things about both Civil Air Patrol and being a surgeon is teaching and helping others.

“As a surgeon I teach interns, residents and other surgeons about surgeries and other issues,” he said. “In the CAP I like to teach radio communications and to help train mission scanners/observers.”

He said CAP allowed him to fulfill his dream of flying in an airplane. His first cadet orientation flight was his first time ever in an aircraft. And as a cadet captain, he obtained his mission observer rating.

CAP also allowed him to pursue his love of radio communications, which he discovered when he was just 9 years old. At that time he had experienced the camaraderie of the CB radio community, and much like drill team competition he was hooked.

Ironically, Hernandez met his mentor before he knew he would fill that role. Perez also was a CB and amateur radio enthusiast. and it turned out the pair had been communicating all along.

“When I joined the Civil Air Patrol I knew I liked the military way, and it is why I joined the Civil Air Patrol communications program. I did a lot of communications training, went to communications encampments and trained quite a few cadets into doing communications before the new communications program came in. It was really fun.”

Hernandez said he enjoys teaching because he likes to see people do their best.

“That’s the way my father taught me, and that's the way my former commander, Lt. Col. Eric E. Perez, taught me,” he said. “Lt. Col. Perez had a great impact on me, and I enjoyed learning from him. The joy he had teaching inspired me to teach others as well.”

While it might seem natural that Hernandez has served as a medical officer for many CAP activities, he said it’s important to recognize he was a member of CAP before he become a surgeon. That means it’s often his CAP service that influences him first.

“I was a ground team member before being an orthopedic surgeon,” he said. “I was a mission observer before being an orthopedic surgeon. Because of this … my CAP service converges with my orthopedic surgeon's career.

“I feel I am a CAP member that became an orthopedic surgeon, not an orthopedic surgeon who became a CAP member. I feel I have a lot to give back to CAP because of what I have gained in the CAP.”

He said CAP gave him discipline, respect for his superiors and respect for others. It also gave him friends he considers to be family.

“It reinforced my core values,” he said. “Also, my best friends are CAP members. They are family to me because there is that same respect and care for them as they gave me. I believe this is more rewarding than anything.

"They are part of my extended family, which for me is priceless.”

Social Media


eServices Updates


Memorial Day closing notice
Wed, 24 May 2017 14:52:57 CDT
Memorial Day closing notice
NEW - P40-40 PD Specialty Track Guide (Was R204)
Tue, 16 May 2017 09:44:42 CDT
NEW - P40-40 PD Specialty Track Guide (Was R204)
SecAF's CAP Connection
Fri, 12 May 2017 15:54:42 CDT
SecAF's CAP Connection
What’s next for my help-desk ticket? Changes coming to CAP Helpdesk System process on 8 May 2017
Fri, 05 May 2017 15:49:26 CDT
What’s next for my help-desk ticket? Changes coming to CAP Help-desk System process on 8 May 2017.
BasicMed Update
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:33:15 CDT
BasicMed Update
NEW CAPR 20-3, Inspections, replaces CAPR123-3
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:24:07 CDT
NEW CAPR 20-3, Inspections, replaces CAPR123-3
Civil Air Patrol Nearly Doubles its Academic, Flight Scholarships
Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:14:02 CDT
Civil Air Patrol Nearly Doubles its Academic, Flight Scholarships

Wing News


Ridley Named New Conn. Wing Commander
Thu, 25 May 2017 16:42:17 -0500

Capt. Andrew Liput
Public Affairs Officer
Western Connecticut Group
Connecticut Wing

Lt. Col. James A. Ridley Sr. is the new commander of the Connecticut Wing.

Ridley, who joined Civil Air Patrol in 2004, previously served as wing chief of staff and Western Connecticut Group commander. He formerly commanded the New York Wing’s Leroy R. Grumman Cadet Squadron for four years and also held positions at the squadron, group, wing and region levels as public affairs officer, cadet programs officer and plans and programs officer.

This year he will run the Northeast Region Staff College for the second time. In 2016 he directed the Northeast Region Cadet Leadership School as well.

“I am honored to have been selected for this important task and look forward to continuing to work with a great team who have contributed so much to this wing’s success these past four years,” Ridley said. “It is my intention to maintain the high standards of professionalism and the excellent achievements Connecticut have seen in the past and to work hard to exceed them.”

The Connecticut Wing completed its biennial U.S. Air Force emergency services evaluation in late April, receiving a “Highly Successful” ranking, with Ridley proving instrumental in preparing the public information officer team for its own “Highly Successful” rating. In 2016 he led the wing staff to the same rating in the wing’s CAP compliance inspection, with only five discrepancies noted.

Washington Wing Promotes CAP at Airline's Alaska Aviation Day
Mon, 22 May 2017 16:15:46 -0500

Lt. Col. Jeffrey A. Lustick
Assistant Public Affairs Officer
Washington Wing

Nearly 100 cadets from across the Washington Wing participated in the ninth annual Alaska Aviation Day at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, with Civil Air Patrol serving as a major event partner and exhibitor for the first time.

Originally the brainchild of Alaska Airlines pilot Allen Cassino, Alaska Aviation Day, held May 6 this year, has blossomed into a statewide convergence of flight schools, major and regional airlines, law enforcement aviation units, military aviators, Alaska Airlines, Port of Seattle, Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing employees who volunteer their time. Including the Washington Wing cadets, the event drew over 1,200 young adults in high school and college, all enthusiastic about possible futures in aviation.

Spread across a massive maintenance hangar at SeaTac were three Alaska Airlines Boeing 737s, a brand-new Embraer E175 jetliner operated by Horizon Airlines, a U.S. Navy EF-18 Growler and two King County Sheriff’s Office helicopters. Engineers from Alaska Airlines and the Boeing Company stood next to gigantic jet engines and landing gear assemblies to demonstrate the function of these aircraft components.

An adjacent hangar contained at least two dozen other general aircraft, ranging from a vintage 1930s Ryan SCW taildragger made of all-brushed aluminum, a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan from Kenmore Airlines, a Cessna 177 Cardinal owned by an Alaska Airlines captain, and two Diamond DA42 Twin Stars from area flight academies.

Maj. Ralph Black, Washington Wing director of operations, and wing mission pilot Lt Col Steve Bass flew into SeaTac from Bellingham, 100 miles to the north, in the wing’s new Cessna T206 Turbo Stationair. Aviation Day participants received guided tours of the aircraft from the pilots, who also took used the opportunity to encourage youth to join Civil Air Patrol.

In a main hallway of the hangar, nestled prominently next to college career counselors from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Alaska at Anchorage Aviation Program, was CAP’s membership display table.

Lt. Col. Russ Garlow, the wing’s assistant aerospace education officer, and Maj. Mike Moore, wing recruiting and retention officer, were busy all day greeting visitors and handing out hundreds of posters, brochures and pamphlets to prospective new members. Helping out were 1st Lt. Victoria Wonser, wing assistant public affairs officer, and Cadet Col. Zachary Lam and Cadet 1st Lt, Hannah Kusman of the Peninsula Composite Squadron.

Capt. Jessica Jerwa, the wing’s public affairs office, said more than 100 members – about 20 senior members and 90 cadets – from 10 squadrons were represented at Aviation Day 2017, coming from as far away as Spokane, Bellingham and Yakima. Participants also came from the Boy and Girls Scouts, Air Force Junior ROTC and several area school districts.

The day began with a keynote presentation from Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh. Participants were shuttled a short distance from SeaTac to Alaska Airlines’ flight training headquarters, where they got to pilot a Boeing 737 flight simulator. They could also attend seminars on becoming an airline pilot, aviation engineer or air traffic controller.

The airline’s Flight Attendant Training area was also featured, putting cadets through a mock emergency evacuation drill, including a trip down the inflatable emergency escape chute. Each participant was given a special Aviation Day backpack and provided free lunch by Alaska Airlines.

Cassino was belatedly presented with the 2015 Washington Wing Frank G. Brewer Sr. CAP Memorial Aerospace Award by Col. James P. Furlong, Washington Wing commander, at the start of the daylong event.

“The purpose of Alaska Airlines' Aviation day is to inspire youth in our community and help them realize the potential of their abilities by creating a path to careers in aviation and aerospace,” Cassino said.

This marked the first year that a parallel event was scheduled for Oregon’s Portland International Airport as well.

Puerto Rico Wing Gets New Office at Air National Guard Base
Mon, 22 May 2017 14:55:16 -0500

Officials with the Puerto Rico Air National Guard held a ceremony earlier this month to formally open a new office for Civil Air Patrol’s Puerto Rico Wing at Muñiz Air National Guard Base.

Col. Edward L. Vaughan, 156th Airlift Wing commander, presided over the May 2 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the office. He was joined by Col. Carlos Fernandez, Puerto Rico Wing commander; Lt. Col. Carlos Muñoz, the CAP wing's government relations adviser; and Juan Rodriguez, wing administrator.

Air Force and CAP officials said the new office, located inside 156th Airlift Wing headquarters, will reinforce the partnership between the Puerto Rico Air National Guard and the Puerto Rico Wing as members of the U.S. Air Force’s Total Force.

"What started as an idea just a few months ago now has become a reality, having the wing commanders of two components of the Total Force working together across the hall from each other," Fernandez said. "We are excited and grateful to be on base as this will further enhance carrying out our missions."