Around the Region

By Lt. Col. Rita Cucchiara
August 17, 2017
Ongoing partnership between the Venice Cadet Squadron and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8118 creates opportunity for cadets to participate in more CAP activities.
By 1st Lt. Christopher Carroll
August 15, 2017
The behind-the-scenes tour of Cape Canaveral provided a unique aerospace education opportunity for CAP members.
By Lt. Col. Jeff P. Carlson
August 12, 2017
More than 90 CAP members participated in Air Force evaluation of Florida Wing's emergency response capability. The exercise provided valuable feedback on current capability that will help guide future training.
By Florida Wing Public Affairs
August 11, 2017
The Florida Wing of Civil Air Patrol recognized sponsors of the Civil Air Patrol Leave Act in the Florida legislature. The Act provides certain employment protections for CAP members who are absent from the workplace due to service or training with t ...

National Headline


Incoming Senior Staff Appointments Announced
Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:12:18 -0500

Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, Civil Air Patrol CEO and national commander, and Maj. Gen.-Select Mark Smith, incoming CEO/national commander, announce the following six appointments to the incoming senior staff:

  • Col. Arlinda C. Bailey, national executive officer
    Bailey, a 19½-year member of CAP, is in her third year as the first female commander of the Tennessee Wing. A resident of Johnson City, Tennessee, she previously commanded the wing’s Group 1 in east Tennessee after serving as deputy group commander and commander of the Kingsport Composite Squadron. She was honored as the wing’s squadron commander of the year in 2006. Bailey graduated from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City and worked as an electronic sales representative for Texas Instruments and as a merchandise representative for the Procter and Gamble Corp. She became a full-time mom after the birth of two sons, Ed and Sam. Sam eventually enrolled as a cadet in the Kingsport squadron, which prompted Bailey’s lengthy volunteer service in CAP.
  • Col. Frank Blazich, national historian
    Blazich has served as national historian since April 2013, playing a prominent role in Civil Air Patrol’s observance of its 75th anniversary in 2016. He has completed all five levels of the senior member professional development program and has a Master rating as a CAP historian. He previously served as historian of the Ohio Wing. In his civilian work, Blazich is a military curator with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He has a doctorate in history from Ohio State University.
  • Col. Cheryl Fielitz-Scarbrough, national inspector general
    Fielitz-Scarbrough, of Bluefield, West Virginia, is continuing as national IG, a post she has held since January. Previously, she served as the IG for CAP’s Middle East Region and for the West Virginia Wing. She was a Distinguished Graduate of the National Inspector General College in 2014 and an instructor of the National IG College in 2016. Fielitz-Scarbrough holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health from Malone College in Canton, Ohio, as well as a master’s in athletic administration from Seattle Pacific University. A former basketball coach, she serves as an evaluator of officials for women’s Division II college basketball.
  • Lt. Col. John A. Maxfield, chief of the Legal Officer Corps
    Maxfield has been serving as the interim chief since the death of Maj. Gen. Dwight Wheless in June. A resident of Raleigh, North javascript:void(0)Carolina, Maxfield was the assistant deputy chief of the legal officer corps under Wheless. He also serves as Middle East Region assistant legal officer and North Carolina Wing assistant legal officer and as the North Carolina Wing assistant director of safety. He previously served as chief legal officer for the region and the wing. Maxfield has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount and a Juris Doctor from Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has been the Wake County, North Carolina, sheriff’s attorney for 28 years.
  • Chief Master Sgt. Dennis H. Orcutt Jr., command chief
    Serving as Middle East Region command noncommissioned officer since September 2016, Orcutt is a resident of Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He previously served as command NCO of the National Capital Wing. Orcutt joined the Okinawa Cadet Squadron at Kadena Air Base in Japan as a senior member in 1992, having been an Air Force Junior ROTC cadet before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. During his 25 years in CAP, he has held a variety of positions within the Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia and National Capital wings along with the overseas unit in Japan. A native of Oklahoma, Orcutt has earned associate degrees in logistics, information management and human resource management from the Community College of the Air Force and a bachelor’s degree in network management from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. Still active in the Air Force, Orcutt deployed to support Operation Desert Storm/Provide Comfort and Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • Chaplain Lt. Col. Charlie Sattgast, chief of the Chaplain Corps
    Sattgast, who resides in Portland, Oregon, and Yuma, Arizona, has been deputy chief of the CAP Chaplain Corps since September 2015. Previously, he served as chaplain of the Pacific Region and the Oregon Wing. Sattgast has been in CAP since 2001. In addition to his chaplain Master rating, he holds a Senior rating in cadet programs. He earned the Gill Robb Wilson Award in 2007. Sattgast is endorsed by the Foursquare Church and has served over the years as a senior pastor, associate pastor, worship pastor and children's pastor. He serves as a volunteer assisting minister in his local church, The Oregon Community, in Portland. He holds a master’s degree from Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland and a doctorate in leadership development from Bethel University. He and his wife, Linda, have two adult children and own a training company that teaches Photoshop online.

“I am very fortunate to have professionals of this caliber to serve alongside me on the senior national staff,” Smith said. “I look forward to working with them to lead CAP forward.”

The new senior staff members will begin their duties Sept. 2 during Civil Air Patrol’s National Conference in San Antonio, following a change of command ceremony in which Smith officially becomes CAP’s CEO and national commander and Brig. Gen.-Select Edward Phelka becomes national vice commander.

Search & Rescue Saves Surpass Century Mark for Fiscal 2017
Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:52:32 -0500

Sheila Pursglove
Contributing Writer

Col. Martha Morris, Arizona Wing commander, calls Civil Air Patrol’s National Cell Phone Forensics Team “The League of Secret Super Heroes:" “They work in the dark of night, many hours, sifting data and saving lives with no one knowing who they are or what they do,” she said. 

The team, consisting of Col. Brian Ready and Maj. Jerad Hoff in Arizona and Maj. Justin Ogden in Virginia, is one of the main reasons CAP has been credited with 101 saves so far in fiscal year 2017, far above the organization’s annual average of 80.CAP crossed the search and rescue century mark for the year this past weekend, when the cell phone team was credited with two more saves by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center.

“Technology is the key,” said John Desmarais, CAP’s director of operations. “The cellular forensics guys are continuing to provide more and more assistance every day, and making huge impacts.”

The weekend missions involved an injured hiker on Crestone Peak in Segauche County, Colorado, and a missing brother and sister who had been hiking Three Fingered Jack, a mountian in Linn County, Oregon.“In the latter case," Hoff said, the pair “had called 911 but the coordinates from the 911 system didn’t match with the location the objectives said they were at."

The cell phone team works with ground search and rescue teams to narrow search areas by using data obtained from cell phones to focus on specific locations.

Ogden added that “being 0.3 miles wrong in some of these mountains is a big deal. Our data, tools and efforts help provide searchers with better insight into location information available from all data sources.”

Since its inception the team, which collaborates via videoconferencing, has worked with CAP’s National Radar Analysis Team on missing or overdue aircraft, the Coast Guard on overdue or distressed vessels, the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, the National Park Service and public safety and volunteer SAR teams across the nation.

“The sheer volume of searches they accomplish is staggering — many a week,” Morris said. “Almost every Sunday night, when someone has not returned after a weekend of fun, the team starts a search at bedtime that goes until the wee hours of the morning.

“Rarely do they get credit and oftentimes are reported in the media as ‘searchers,’ when they were the ones to point the search teams to the correct location. It’s my privilege to help support their efforts,” Morris said.

“Typically, 911 data is the most accurate information we can find during a search, but surprisingly after analyzing data from the cell carrier, we were able to confirm to the SAR team that the location the (hikers) said they were at was correct, which was 0.3 miles away from the position being given by the 911 system,” Hoff said.

Ogden stresses that, when called, the team is part of an entire search organization.

“It takes a full range of talents, skills, capabilities and resources to get the job done — we’re one piece to the puzzle,” he said. “We collect clues and data and present findings to the incident commander or search planners. It’s rewarding when our clues direct teams to the right area in short order.

“I’m thankful for the tremendous collaboration and teamwork of everyone involved in our searches — from radar, to the AFRCC controllers, support from our data sources, the local SAR planners and actual searchers in the field.”

“I’m thrilled to see our number of saves increasing and look forward to a continuing the trend,” Ogden added, noting that the team is expanding its membership, improving processes, exploring new technologies and using software tools that enhance capabilities.

“I’m proud of the contributions CAP provides to the search and rescue community. It’s rewarding to be a member of our great organization.”

According to Hoff, Ogden took a concept not a lot of people believed in and single-handedly made it one of CAP’s biggest SAR assets.

“We’ve worked with a few agencies that had prior poor experiences using cell phone information during a search. Having their opinion about the viability of utilizing cell phone data to create a search area after working with our team is certainly satisfying. They’ve gone from skeptics to putting us on speed-dial.”

Ready noted that Ogden’s unique and innovative use of tools — mostly software he created — can process data in minutes. “It’s not uncommon for us to be running multiple missions simultaneously which would have been virtually impossible a couple of years ago,” he said.

Both the cell phone team and NRAT are national assets, with members from across the country. “One benefit of having such a diverse team is there is usually someone up for the late night or early morning missions,” Ready said.

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New Modules Released for Past Activities and Activity and Service Ribbons
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New Modules Released for Past Activities and Activity and Service Ribbons
CAP Vector Jul - Sep 2017
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CAPWATCH Process Change - FAQS
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CAPWATCH Process Change - FAQS

Wing News


Wyo. Unit Launches 'Superday' Recruitment Push
Fri, 18 Aug 2017 08:50:01 -0500

Tech. Sgt. Salvatore Chiporo
Public Affairs Officer
Cheyenne Composite Squadron
Wyoming Wing

Members of the Wyoming Wing’s Cheyenne Composite Squadron used the 35th annual Cheyenne Superday at Lions Park as a recruiting and networking opportunity – a campaign bolstered by the unit deputy commander’s entry in the event’s car show.

The activity, sponsored by HollyFrontier Refinery, annually celebrates Cheyenne and its culture. Such attractions as the car show, rides, live music, games, exhibits, arts and crafts and refreshment brought hundreds of Wyoming residents to the park.

The car show included “Sabrina,” the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am owned by Maj. Michael Heaberliln, the Wyoming Wing’s chief of staff as well as the Cheyenne squadron’s deputy commander and aerospace education officer. The vintage coupe provided a popular backdrop for the participating squadron members – Tech. Sgt. Salvatore Chiporo; Senior Members Parker Dunbar, Kathleen Larson and Matthew McClure; Cadet Airman 1st Class Austin Keenan; and Cadet Airman Alexandria Morris.

The squadron members handed out over 30 business cards, which featured the date and time of the unit open house set for Sept. 18, to prospective recruits. In addition, several members of the community approached the group and ask for information about Civil Air Patrol and its mission.

Throughout the day the team spoke to representatives of service organizations within the community, including ambulance companies and firefighters, as well as veterans.

The cadets and senior members also met with Richard Johnson of the Cheyenne City Council and discussed his project to restore the original city’s original fire bell, which has suffered from neglect, misuse and graffiti over the years. They talked as well with the volunteer team from Dogs & Tags, a nonprofit volunteer organization that trains and provides service dogs to military veterans suffering from traumatic b Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Double Spaatz Presentation Highlights Okla. Wing's Air Show Support
Wed, 19 Jul 2017 11:32:39 -0500

Senior Member Jennifer Hogan
Cadet Activities Officer
Flying Castle Composite Squadron
Oklahoma Wing

It started with anticipation, as Old Glory descended from the sky on the back of a parachutist. It ended with a roar, as the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds raced through the sky in complex and dangerous patterns.

In between, not only did dozens of Oklahoma Wing members help make sure things ran smoothly, but also a pair of brothers were presented CAP’s top cadet honor, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award.

Attendance for the Star Spangled Salute Air Show at Tinker Air Force Base, which coincided with the Oklahoma City community’s observation of the base’s 75th anniversary, totaled nearly 250,000 – a record for the two-day event. For the first time ever, base leadership was forced to close the gates early the first afternoon as the ramp and flight line reached capacity.

Careful planning and dedicated volunteers were needed to stage such a large event. Nearly 100 wing members devoted more than 2,500 hours to doing their part.

Before many spectators were even out of their beds the first morning, the Civil Air Patrol volunteers were hard at work setting up tents and chairs and pulling airplanes out of hangars. Severe weather the night before had prevented air show organizers and vendors from organizing things early.

Early morning participant Cadet Capt. Jackie Harsha, a member of the Edmond Composite Squadron, said she volunteered to help for a simple reason.

“I like planes,” Harsha said. “My mom joined CAP when she was 16. So it has been in the family for a long time.”

The Oklahoma Wing displayed two airplanes next to its recruitment tent, a Gippsland GA8 and a Cessna 182. An aircrew in another CAP Cessna 182 flew photo sorties several times each day to help air show organizers evaluate traffic flow and parking lot capacities.

Wing members talked to interested visitors about the aircraft and the Oklahoma Wing’s mission serving the state. Capt. Matthew Gregory, information technology officer for the Flying Castle Composite Squadron, helped child after child climb up into the pilot’s seat.

“The smile on their faces was priceless,” Gregory said. “Many were interested in CAP and our mission. They like the idea of being able to give back to the community, and CAP is a great way to do that.”

Air Force Col. Kenyon Bell, base commander, felt the CAP volunteers were a large part of the air show’s success.

“The Civil Air Patrol is a huge asset to our air show, and every cadet I spoke with was professional, courteous and a pleasure to work with,” Bell told the Oklahoma Wing members. “The way you jumped in to help us recover from the setbacks created by the severe weather was nothing less than outstanding! Thank you again for all of your support. Our airshow would not be as successful without CAP’s involvement.”

The cadets and senior members had front-row seats for the air show as they stood watch to ensure visitors were safe and didn’t enter the flight line. Tinker airmen flew a trio of aircraft for the massive crowd – an E-3 Sentry, KC-135 Stratotanker and E-6 Mercury.

Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Lauren Shaffer of the Broken Arrow Composite Squadron volunteered to work the show not only because of a love for aviation but also because of the opportunities it offered.

“I enjoy all the activities we do in CAP and getting opportunities other people don’t,” Shaffer said. “I grew up going to air shows, and it has become a hobby. And as a CAP member you get to meet the Thunderbirds!”

The acrobatic Air Force fliers, who stole the show with amazing aerial choreography, took time after their last performance to meet with the Oklahoma Wing volunteers.

Thunderbird No. 3, Maj. Nate Hoffman, is a former Illinois Wing cadet. He surprised two of the Oklahoma Wing cadets by presenting them with the coveted Spaatz award, which less than 1 percent of all CAP cadets ever achieve.

New Cadet Cols. Jarod Murphey and Jarel Murphey, brothers in the Edmond squadron, were nearly speechless.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be like this,” Jarod Murphey said. “This was the last big checkmark for my CAP career. Every cadet should try [to attain the Spaatz]. It is attainable.”

The brothers were each given a Thunderbird challenge coin in addition to an ornately framed Spaatz award certificate. Hoffman offered some encouraging words to the pair and to their fellow wing members that summed up not only the Murpheys’ accomplishment but also the extraordinary community service the entire team of volunteers had just completed.

“What these guys have accomplished is incredible,” Hoffman said. “This is the beginning for you to take the leadership lessons you have learned and cultivate an environment of mutual respect focused on community service.”

Ill. Balloon Academy Features 1st All-Female Cadet Crew
Thu, 13 Jul 2017 14:03:48 -0500

Nestled in the heart of central Illinois, Civil Air Patrol’s Johnson Flight Academy prides itself in having provided over 50 years of safe and affordable cadet flight training. The academy has conducted successful aircraft operations for decades through its thriving powered and glider sections, but it also boasts a unique future -- the only hot air balloon academy in all of CAP.

The academy has hosted balloon operations since 1975, exposing dozens of cadets to a distinctive aviation niche. This year, for the first time in the academy’s history, the student balloon crew consisted entirely of female cadets:

  • Cadet Col. Jodie Gawthrop, Lake in the Hills Composite Squadron, Illinois Wing
  • Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Raegan Buzzard, Mount Airy Composite Squadron, Maryland Wing
  • Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Jacqueline Harding, Monroe County Composite Squadron, Indiana Wing
  • Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Taylor Nordman, Louisville Composite Squadron, Kentucky Wing
  • Cadet Staff Sgt. Crystal Giron, Pines-Miramar Composite Squadron, Florida Wing

Spanning three CAP regions, the five traveled to the academy site in Mattoon for 10 days of immersive training unlike any other available to cadets.

Each day was physically and academically demanding, as the cadets rose well before sunrise to take advantage of the calm conditions necessary for quality balloon flight. Tethered flights served as a chance to become proficient in balloon system setup and control, and serene free flights over the patchwork fields of Illinois lent their sense of adventure and breathtaking views.

Much like airplanes and gliders, balloons attract a vibrant community of pilots, crew members and enthusiasts alike to achieve flight. Second Lt. Rachael Gallant of the Indiana Wing’s Bakalar Composite Squadron participated in the academy’s balloon activity as a cadet student in 2006. She now returns as a licensed balloon pilot and leads the course along with her father, 1st Lt. Michael Gallant, aerospace education officer for the Bakalar squadron.


“I fell in love with the people, the sport and the magic of seeing the world from a different point of view. I had to be a part of it,” she said. Gallant and her dedicated staff shared their passion for the art and instilled the spirit of ballooning within each of their students.

The course was academically demanding as well. Daily in-depth ground school lessons went above and beyond on aerospace topics, exploring paramount ballooning concepts such as navigation, weather theory and even landowner relations. Ballooning burgeons on community engagement, and students are instructed on the finer points of interacting with the general public amidst their highly visible aircraft.

In many cases, lessons learned beyond the grips of gravity can be applied to cadets’ everyday lives back on solid ground. “I would say the most important lesson is to go with the flow,” Gallant said.

Many aviators compare ballooning to a team sport. “I was worried when three cadets decline their slots just days before the start of the academy, since ballooning is a physically intensive activity” said Maj. Robert Bowden, activity director for the flight academy.

“I could not have been more wrong,” he said. “These five cadets surpassed all expectations, bonded together as a team and had an amazing experience, with all five earning their pre-solo wings.”

Johnson graduates continue to prove the sky is no limit for CAP’s cadets.