Around the Region

By Lt. Col. Joyce Nader
April 5, 2017
Col. Barry Melton, Southeast Region Commander, announced on April 3, 2017, that Lt. Col. Luis Garcia was selected to take command of the Florida Wing.
By Maj. Earle Bretz
March 31, 2017
Charlotte County Composite Squadron recognizes achievements of four cadets.
By Maj. Marian Motyl-Szary
March 31, 2017
Florida Wing's Group 5 hosted a Squadron Leadership School at Gulf Middle School in Cape Coral, Fl.
By 1st Lt. Christopher Carroll
March 21, 2017
Cadets from the Venice Cadet Squadron joined SRQ Composite Squadron cadets for Cadet Orientation Flights on 18 March 2017.

National Headline


Talk About Bang for the Buck!
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 16:52:40 -0500

By Kristi Carr
Contributing Writer

In light of today’s meager half-percent interest on a typical savings account, Civil Air Patrol made a particularly sound investment some years ago when it awarded three $2,000 scholarships to one of its members.

Lt. Col. Ronald Hanson parlayed those funds into multiple careers. In gratitude, he is funding a CAP scholarship he established a couple of years ago in addition to providing, in his will, another $1 million for future CAP scholarship use.

Hanson, who chairs CAP’s National Scholarship Committee as well as directing Cadet Programs for the Alabama Wing, is not alone in his estimation of CAP as a wise investment. Thanks to donors like him, over the last year CAP has nearly doubled its number of scholarship recipients, from 46 in 2016 to 90 in 2017, representing 36 of the 52 CAP wings.


Turning $6,000 into a lifetime of service

Besides helping to fund cadets at summer activities and encampments, CAP offers scholarships to help cover costs for learning to fly — either through attendance at a CAP flight academy or for instruction to advance toward a flight rating — and for pursuing higher education, whether in college or at a trade school.

Hanson used his scholarships for academics. An up-and-comer in CAP as a young man, he took command of a squadron at only age 21, later applying for a CAP scholarship to help him cover the costs of earning a Ph.D. in physics at Arizona State University.

Armed with that degree, he moved to Huntsville, Alabama, where he worked for the U.S. Department of Defense. Staying in the Yellowhammer State, he then went on to pursue a medical degree at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, after which he set up practice in Gadsden.

His cardiology practice took him away from CAP, even though he maintained his membership throughout. When he left the medical field to work on yet another degree, this one in law, he realized just how much he owed to CAP and became actively involved again.

Hanson, who described himself as shy and introverted as a 14-year-old, credits CAP with teaching him discipline and giving him leadership skills.

“I attribute my success in life to what I learned in CAP,” he said. “I firmly believe that the cadet program helps to train our youth to be leaders in the future.“

Investing in the future

Cadet Lt. Col. Gracelyne Allred of the Pennsylvania Wing received a CAP flight scholarship last year and was awarded a CAP academic scholarship this year.

“The flight scholarship provided me with an amazing opportunity to actually become a pilot,” she said.

As for this year’s scholarship, she said, “I'm excited to be a first-year engineering student at Penn State University’s main campus this fall. I hope to one day work for Lockheed Martin or NASA!

“CAP has empowered me to pursue my education and brought me closer to my goal of becoming an aerospace engineer. Not only am I so thankful for the funds CAP provided for my flight training and higher education but for the leadership training and learning opportunities I experience through the cadet program.”

Senior Member Emilia Apodaca, a freshman at the University of New Mexico, is another recipient of a CAP scholarship, this one for academics. The New Mexico Wing member is working on a master’s degree in special education.

“The scholarship from CAP helped me to start paying off my tuition even as school began,” Apodaca said.

Paying it forward

The Dr. Ron Hanson Academic Scholarship will help two CAP members this year. They are among the fortunate 90 to receive a portion of approximately $180,000 in 2017 CAP scholarships, a total that represents about a threefold increase over 2016.

Of the scholarships awarded this year 35 percent were for academics, with the remaining 65 percent for flight training, though statistics over time indicate the usual breakdown is closer to 50-50. Scholarship awards typically total $1,000 and higher, with a median of about $2,000. Three of this year's academic scholarships, each valued at $1,000 were provided by USAA.

But even with the remarkable increases in scholarship funds and the number of CAP members served by them, need still far exceeds resources. This year brought 337 scholarship applicants, all with high credentials; a third had grade-point averages of 3.8 or higher with SAT scores averaging 1311 or ACT scores of 30 or above, putting them on a par with incoming classes at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

“It’s important we tap into and encourage the talent we already have in our organization, and our push right now is to bring in new donors,” said Maj. James Fogal, CAP’s national chief of development. “Toward that end, we want to make it as easy as possible.”

Options exist to suit everyone — estate gifts, one-time gifts, memorial scholarships and designated gifts. And there are multiple ways to send payments — by credit card, check, in wills, charges by the month or other time increments. Funds for scholarships can even be designated for use by a specific squadron or wing, as long as that request is submitted in writing.

While CAP members, former and current, as well as CAP employees, are encouraged to consider donations to scholarships, Fogal noted corporations are also on CAP’s radar. In fact, this summer’s CAP national conference in San Antonio will feature several seminars on techniques for wings and squadrons to solicit donations in their local areas, and a webinar is in the works for Internet access anytime.

“It’s new contributions and increased funds from current donors that have really made the difference, allowing us to so substantially increase the number of scholarships this year,” Hanson said.

“I know what CAP has meant to me,” he added, “and I’m asking other CAP members to consider doing what I am by giving back to the future generations that will continue to make CAP proud, based on what they have already done and by what they will deliver down the line to CAP and to America.”


How To Apply For a CAP Flight or Academic Scholarship

Notice that scholarship applications are being accepted goes out Nov. 1, with applications due by the end of the year. Winners are notified the following April. Application procedures can be found online.

Applicants can designate a particular scholarship or, instead of a scholarship, ask for a recommendation to the Air Force Academy preparatory school, which could lead down the road to acceptance into the Academy.

Typical sections of the scholarship application include a resume, proof of grade point averages or SAT/ACT scores, a statement of how the applicant intends to use the scholarship funds, a letter of recommendation from a CAP member who knows the applicant and signed endorsements from both the candidate’s wing and squadron commanders.

After the application deadline, applicant data is processed and rated. From there, a panel of three from the National Scholarship Committee reviews the applications for the applicant’s service to CAP, career plans and how the applicant intends to apply the scholarship.

It should be noted that, while most of the scholarships are traditionally awarded to cadets, senior CAP members also are encouraged to apply.

How to donate to a CAP scholarship

If you are interested in achieving an outstanding rate of return, consider a donation to CAP scholarships. To set up a donation, go online or contact the Development Office at 877-227-9142, ext. 225.

From 'Semper Vigilans' to 'Semper Fi'
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:14:22 -0500

By Kristi Carr
Contributing Writer

From Civil Air Patrol Volunteer

At 5-foot-1 and not much more than 100 pounds soaking wet, Katelen Van Aken doesn’t fit the stereotype of a U.S. Marine. But size and gender don’t determine skill and grit.

CAP as springboard

Civil Air Patrol Lt. Col. John Washington, for one, is not surprised Van Aken is making a place for herself in the Marines. He bases that feeling on her performance as a cadet in the New Hampshire Wing’s Seacoast Composite Squadron, which he commands.

“Katelen is always smiling,” Washington said during Van Aken's tenure in his squadron, “but as soon as it is time for CAP work, that smile disappears and she is all business. I think that is indicative of her self-discipline. She knows when to turn it on and when to turn it off. As the son of a former Marine, I am extremely proud of her accomplishments.”

Focused on training for emergency services, Van Aken’s CAP experiences included a marksmanship program with monthly trips to a local firing range, where she fell in love with the art and act of shooting, appreciating the patience and attention to detail required.

“It’s my happy place,” she said.

Dovetailing with joining CAP in her early high school years, Van Aken increasingly focused on joining the military after graduation. “I just wanted to do more, and I wanted to serve my country,” she said. Given CAP’s connection to the U.S. Air Force, it was an obvious step for her to join the Air Force’s Delayed Entry Program, a prelude to joining the Air Force after high school graduation.


“Give me more!”

But even the direction provided by the Delayed Entry Program did not fully satisfy her, because the group met only once a month. She still wanted more. When a friend in a counterpart program for the Marines described that branch’s more rigorous training schedule, Van Aken switched.

The Marines have groomed her ever since.

When graduation from high school meant no more soccer or ice hockey to keep her physically fit, her recruiter stepped in, working with her on physical stamina and exercises until she was called to boot camp in the fall.

U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. James Ralstin said it was his duty to give recruits a level of skills that would make him comfortable serving alongside them. He made sure to present a hard look at Marine service, but this frank discussion with Van Aken only deepened her resolve.

Where the rubber meets the road

When Van Aken arrived at Parris Island, South Carolina, to begin Marine boot camp, she encountered many other female recruits. In her platoon alone, she noted 67 other women — 59 at the end.

Van Aken was determined she would be one of the boot camp survivors. “I may be small,” she acknowledged, “but I’ve always been tough.” In fact, she said, “Mental toughness is what drives physical toughness.”

For example, as boot camp progressed, the load each camper was expected to carry became increasingly heavy, up to 50 pounds — almost half Van Aken’s body weight.

“No problem,” she said.


What now?

Van Aken will serve in the Marines as a communications specialist. “I expect to be afield radio operator, attached to an infantry unit,” she said.

At the prospect of an overseas assignment, her response was “cool!” At this point, she contemplates making the Marine Corps into a career and is looking forward to the opportunity to travel and experience other cultures.

All along her journey to military service, Van Aken has had the support of family, friends and mentors. Of course, she wouldn’t allow anything less.

“It’s what I want to do, so that’s the end of it, “she said. “Everyone knew not to change my mind.”

Contributing to this story was a Dec. 14, 2016, U.S. Marine news article by Sgt. Zachary Scanlon and Staff Sgt. Jonathan Wright of the 1st Marine Corps District.

Social Media


eServices Updates


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
Now Available - Spring 2017 Volunteer Magazine
Fri, 07 Apr 2017 14:51:47 CDT
Now Available - Spring 2017 Volunteer Magazine
Colorado Springs team takes 2nd CyberPatriot national title
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 16:42:16 CDT
Colorado Springs team takes 2nd CyberPatriot national title
CAP Team Headed to StellarXplorer Finals
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 15:04:49 CDT
CAP Team Headed to StellarXplorer Finals
CAP Vector (Staff Updates) Apr - Jun 2017
Fri, 31 Mar 2017 15:21:28 CDT
CAP Vector (Staff Updates) Apr - Jun 2017
CAPR20-3 Inspections 24 Apr 17 Replaces R123-3
Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:39:03 CDT
CAPR20-3 Inspections 24 Apr 17 Replaces R123-3
CAP History Journal - July-Dec 2016
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 08:30:56 CDT
CAP History Journal - July-Dec 2016

Wing News


Search Suspended for Missing Calif. Plane With 2 Aboard
Sun, 23 Apr 2017 12:39:00 -0500

Civil Air Patrol concluded its operations Monday morning in the search for a missing aircraft with two persons on board in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

The search was suspended by the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office at 9 p.m. Sunday. The aircraft has not been found.

The Socata TB-20 Trinidad took off April 17 from the Truckee-Tahoe Airport in Truckee, California, and never arrived at its intended destination, Petaluma Municipal Airport. CAPl was activated for the search shortly after midnight Tuesday by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

Aerial assets from the California Highway Patrol and California National Guard also participated in the multi-agency search, as did ground teams from CAP and multiple agencies. The search was conducted in a unified command in support of the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office.

Throughout the six-day search, CAP aircrews from California and Nevada conducted visual and photographic searches while logging more than 60 flight hours over the rugged, heavily wooded, snow-covered search area 18 miles northwest of Truckee.

CAP volunteers on the ground reviewed more than 8,000 high-resolution digital images of the search area, which were captured by wing-mounted cameras on the CAP search planes.











Five Civil Air Patrol search planes from California launched Saturday morning in the continuing search for a missing aircraft in the Sierra Nevada mountain range with two people aboard.

CAP, along with the California Highway Patrol and the California National Guard, continues to assist the Sierra and Nevada County sheriffs’ offices in the search.

The five CAP planes, flown by aircrews from California, are conductingvisual and photographic searches of an area in the Sierra Nevadas about 18 miles northwest of Truckee. Aircraft from both the Highway Patrol and Air National Guard were also in the air. Multiple agencies are participating in the ground search.

CAP aircraft have conducted over 60 hours of aerial search and will continue as long as requested.

“We are extremely disappointed in the outcome of this search,” said Maj. Shane Terpstra, CAP incident commander. “We always hope for a fast resolution with missing aircraft searches, but rapidly changing weather compounded with fresh snow worked against us this entire search. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

Nearly 120 CAP volunteers, 15 CAP aircraft and 12 CAP vehicles participated in the search.

Sun 'N Fun Soars With Help From 152 CAP Members
Fri, 14 Apr 2017 15:48:53 -0500

By Capt. Sybrian Castleman
Public Affairs Officer
Group 3
Florida Wing

Well over 100 volunteers from four Civil Air Patrol wings converged on Sun ‘n Fun at Florida’s Lakeland Linder Regional Airport to once again ensure the success of the world’s second largest fly-in, featuring acrobatic fliers, an industry trade show, aerospace-related exhibits and workshops.

More than 1,000 aircraft appeared this year, including 130 warbirds, 17 of which were P-51 Mustangs present to commemorate the fabled fighter plane’s 75th anniversary.

Providing exhibitions were the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels, U.S. Air Force’s F-16 Thunderbird Angels, GEICO Skytypers, AeroShell Aerobatic Team and French Acrobatic Patrol.

In all, 152 members from the Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota and New York wings assisted the Federal Aviation Administration and Leidos Flight Service with overdue aircraft responses and emergency locator transmitter searches.

CAP members recorded a pair of finds – one an overdue aircraft, the other an ELT accidentally activated in an aircraft on the ground.

Taxiway safety duty forms a significant part of the assistance CAP volunteers provide at Sun ‘n Fun, as people attending the event are permitted to walk across active taxiways to access aircraft displays and vendor areas.

This year the Florida Wing’s Wesley Chapel Cadet Squadron Honor Guard was selected to provide part of the welcome escort team for veterans returning from Washington, D.C., on the Polk Flight of Honor. In addition, cadets and senior members were able to assist with the hot-air balloon launch and work with the U.S. Special Operations Command flag recovery team as part of the opening ceremonies jump.

Members were also able to participate in several “meet and greets” with pilots from some of the teams flying in the air show, including the Blue Angels. They were able as well to talk with CAP’s national commander, Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez; the Southeast Region’s commander, Col. Barry Melton, and chaplain, Chaplain, Lt. Col. Linda Pugsley, Tech. John Marino, CAP-USAF Liaison Region representative; and Lt. Col. Luis Garcia, incoming Florida Wing commander.

During his visit Vazquez was interviewed by Sun ‘N Fun Radio. He also presented two CAP Amelia Earhart Awards on the flight line to new Cadet Capts. Michael Bohn and Jay Nulph, both members of the Florida Wing’s Seminole Composite Squadron.

Every year at Sun ‘N Fun, one of the highlights for CAP cadets is a Friday night pizza party with visiting Royal Air Force Cadets from the United Kingdom. They use that opportunities to talk about the similarities and differences in their cadet programs, exchange trinkets and interact in a cultural exchange. Many on both sides have visited Sun ‘N Fun for several years, so they greet each other as old friends.

Tenn. Chaplain Celebrates 100 Years
Thu, 13 Apr 2017 16:52:14 -0500

By 1st Lt. Tracy Loftis
Public Affairs Officer
Sumner County Cadet Squadron
Tennessee Wing

Not long after Civil Air Patrol’s 75th anniversary celebration, Lt. Col. Ivan Peacock, chaplain of the Sumner County Cadet Squadron in Gallatin, Tennessee, observed a huge milestone of his own. Peacock celebrated his 100th birthday on Jan. 9.

The Sumner County squadron brought friends, family, members of the community and current and former Civil Air Patrol members together two days later, on Jan. 11, to join in his celebration. Guests included Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown, country singer/songwriter Ben Cesare, members of the Gallatin Chapter of the American Legion and CAP’s Southeast Region commander, Col. Barry Melton, and Southeast Region chaplain, Lt. Col. Sergio Freeman.

The celebration at Sumner County Regional Airport, where the squadron meets each week, included a performance of the National Anthem and Cesare’s rendition of Toby Keith’s “American Soldier.” Mayor Brown issued a proclamation in honor of Peacock’s special day, and Melton presented a plaque on behalf of CAP. A reception was held in Peacock’s honor after the ceremony.

Peacock joined CAP at 79 and continues to serve his squadron and community with dedication. He regularly attends Sumner County squadron meetings, opening and closing each meeting with prayer, and oversees the monthly character development lessons for the unit’s 16 cadets.

“I’ve always liked teaching young people,” he said.

He also serves his community through the Seventh-day Adventist Church and as a volunteer at his local library. In addition, he is involved in SilverSneakers, a fitness program that encourages older adults to stay active.

Until just a few years ago, Peacock actively participated in physical training days alongside the cadets. His favorite part of being a CAP member is having the opportunity to teach young people and to guide them in their own paths of growth and development.

Commitment to service has been a lifelong journey, beginning with Peacock’s years in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was raised a Quaker and did not believe in committing violence, but he was still determined to serve his country. He did not carry a weapon, but he did serve on the medical team to care for wounded soldiers. He and another soldier were in charge of a medical tent in Australia and New Guinea.

After the war, Peacock continued his life of service through missionary work in Iran, Honduras, Thailand and Canada. He spent 10 years in Iran and was the head of that country’s first physical therapy clinic.

Eventually, circumstances led Peacock to Portland, Tennessee, where he and his family settled down and made their home and where he was led to the local CAP squadron.