Around the Region

By 1st Lt. Christopher Carroll
July 20, 2017
Nine cadets from the SRQ Composite Squadron had the unique opportunity to fly a refueling mission aboard a KC-135 Aircraft.
By Lt. Col. Judy Steele
July 19, 2017
In the CAP Mississippi Wing, Banks is a member of the Cadet Advisory Council and Wing Honor Society. The YPC new member selection panel was particularly impressed by his dedication to personally change the requirements within his CAP squadron, requir ...
By Maj. Marian Motyl-Szary
July 18, 2017
ADS-B is part of FAA NextGen initiative to transform America's ATC System from a radar-based system to a satellite-based one.
By Maj. Marian Motyl-Szary
June 30, 2017
Marco Island CAP squadron supports STEM academy summer camp with tour of facilities and aerospace education presentation.

National Headline


CAP Brothers Parlay Cadet Experiences into Careers
Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:30:01 -0500

Kristi Carr
Contributing Writer

When Lt. Cols. Randy and Mary Fuller of the Missouri Wing made Civil Air Patrol a family affair, they were thinking about spending time together and instilling volunteer service and patriotism in their three sons.

They got all that and much more. CAP work eventually helped lead each of their sons into meaningful careers.

Big brother Sean Fuller was the first to capitalize on his CAP background. Today the director of NASA Human Space Flight Programs in Russia, he was the only son old enough to join CAP when the organization first came to his father’s attention through a newspaper article.

Both father and son joined the River City Composite Squadron in Fenton, Missouri. Sean took full advantage of the CAP program, attending summer programs like National Blue Beret, Cadet Officers School and the International Air Cadet Exchange and eventually earning the prestigious Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award, the highest achievement for a CAP cadet.

He already had a strong interest in aerospace before joining CAP, but he allows that the organization helped fuel that interest while providing him with many opportunities to pursue it, including a CAP scholarship that helped him earn a pilot’s certificate and education in model rocketry and the history and fundamentals of aviation.



After getting a degree in engineering physics from Embry-Riddle, he already had a job at the United Space Alliance in Houston working on NASA’s International Space Station program. Though his job titles may have changed, he has continued to be involved with the ISS. This fall he will complete his tour of duty in Russia, where he represents NASA in liaisons with Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe.

He describes the ISS as “the cutting edge of human space flight, preparing us to go beyond low Earth orbit, opening the door to commercial space and advancing research to benefit life on Earth as well as prepare for longer-duration journeys deeper into the cosmos.” He goes on to cite the ISS as a prime example of inter-country cooperation in the “greatest engineering achievement of mankind in peacetime.”

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer took an in-depth look in 2015 at Sean Fuller’s work in Russia.

Most recently, middle brother Kurt Fuller was named Bell Helicopter manager of the Bell Boeing V-22 program at its Dallas-Fort Worth site.

Like his brothers, he learned to fly while in CAP, doing so through a family friend who owned a plane. After graduation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida with a degree in aerospace engineering, he embarked on a career in aviation, joining The Aerostructures Corp. in 1998. He worked with Aerostructures for five years.

“In 2003, I joined Bell Helicopter-Textron, where I spent the following almost 11½ years on V-22, advancing in my career with increasing responsibility and leadership,” he said. “In November 2014, I left V-22 as the manager of mechanical systems to lead the UH-1Y and AH-1Z engineering team as the chief engineer. In September 2016, I returned to my tilt-rotor roots with a promotion to program manager at Bell for the V-22.”

The V-22, also known as Osprey, is a multimission, tilt-rotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing and short takeoff and landing capabilities. It’s designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.

Fuller became interested in tilt-rotor aircraft during his first job as a structural design engineer on the 609 Civil Tilt-Rotor with Aerostructures. “It wasn’t helicopters as much as it was tilt-rotors, which I found fascinating by their innovative and transformational capability.”

He credits Civil Air Patrol with kick-starting his career. “CAP provided me early exposure to leadership roles and fueled my passion for aviation,” he said. “CAP also gave me insight into and education regarding U.S. military rank/chain of command and organization (squadron, group, wing), which is a world I work in on a daily basis now.

“CAP likely fueled my passion for working with and supporting the U.S. military,” he said.

Youngest brother Chad Fuller took the military route and is currently serving as an F-16 pilot with the Colorado National Guard.

“CAP helped foster my interest in aviation and introduced me to the military/Air Force and the many opportunities they had to offer,” he said. “As I spent more time in CAP and participated in many of the activities, it became clear to me that I wanted to pursue a career in military aviation with the dream of being a fighter pilot.”

Because of a wrist injury, Chad didn’t get his wings until he was a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy. When he graduated, he went on to flight school at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, and was later sent to Randolph Air Force Base, Texas to study to be a flight instructor.

He learned to fly the F-16 while at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona., subsequently spending the next four years overseas, first in Korea and then in Italy.

“Being a fighter pilot in the F-16 really is a dream job for me,” he said, adding that the best part of flying an F-16 is “the view from the office! … I love the flying, the camaraderie of the squadron, the challenges and being ready to fight for our country when called upon.”

Chad finished his commitment to the Air Force back at Luke, where he was an F-16 instructor. Always wanting to return to Colorado, he jumped at a job opportunity there and is now on Active Guard Reserve status at Buckley Air Force Base.

Mom and dad
As for mom and dad, both remain active in CAP. After separate stints for each as commander of their Missouri squadron, they moved on to work at the wing level.

Mary Fuller — whose husband claims she joined CAP “out of self defense” as everyone else in the family was already a member — is the Missouri Wing’s assistant chief of staff. Randy Fuller is assistant director of emergency services and serves as the wing’s adviser on government relations and commander of the Legislative Squadron.

“For many years, while all the boys were still home, we functioned as a complete ground team and were usually the first called, since they knew we could deploy rapidly,” Randy Fuller said. “One time, we responded to four emergency locator transmitter missions in a 24-hour period in addition to attending a first aid class.”

Sean Fuller, a major in the Texas Wing’s Ellington Composite Squadron, described service on a ground team as important to the family as he and his brothers were growing up. “Through numerous ELT missions, missing aircraft, responding to disaster relief, standing ready and providing weather spotter information or training for such missions, we did it together.” Later, when he lived in Florida, he continued to serve on ground teams. He was part of one of the first ground teams to respond to Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Kurt Fuller said, “CAP offers a great way to support your local community and aviation through a wide variety of different activities while learning critical skills (lifesaving, leadership, communication, teamwork, etc.) and growing as a family.”

Their father agrees: Randy Fuller has seen CAP’s effect on his three sons.

“CAP was something we could do as a family unit,” he said. “Each of us enjoyed various activities together. It is comforting to see people that were cadets under our command now graduated to senior members with their children now becoming cadets.”

Enduring Patriot
Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:58:39 -0500

Russell Slater
Contributing Writer

Even though Civil Air Patrol Capt. John Gleeson retired as a business owner more than 20 years ago, the 93-year-old aviation veteran shows no signs of slowing down. The dedicated great-grandfather has a third-class medical certification from the Federal Aviation Administration and is the oldest active pilot in Hawaii.

Gleeson brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Honolulu Senior Squadron, where he serves as public information officer. Motivated by a love for flying and serving others, he continues to demonstrate an enduring patriotism that has not waned through the years.

Answering the Call
Gleeson developed his lifelong passion for flying while growing up in Long Beach, California. As a young adult, he and thousands of his peers were deeply moved by a historic event that spurred them to take immediate action.

“Dec. 7, 1941, was a day like no other. Patriotism was palpable, even reaching down to an 18-year-old laborer at a California shipyard,” Gleeson recalled. “I got up early Dec. 8, 1941, to enlist to protect our country at the Long Beach, California, main post office. I arrived there about 7 a.m., surprised to see a line of 20 or 30 other young men.

“Many, many young men across the United States of America felt the same,” he said.

As a member of the 8th Air Force Gleeson flew a B-24 Liberator and was involved in both combat and covert missions in Europe. He served as a flight engineer and later would see action again during the Korean War.

During World War II “we, 8th Air Force, flew a multitude of bombing missions into Germany, single-aircraft night missions. I remember the apprehension with an element of terror thrown into the mix. The adrenalin was piqued from the moment of full power at takeoff until seeing the English coastline at the completion of our mission.”

“The covert missions were completely different.“Civilian clothes, unmarked and unarmed aircraft, skeleton crew and a very long flight," he added. "The mission was hazardous, due to the lengthy time over the North Sea and the threat of Nazi night fighters as we crossed the most northern area of Norway. Once we were in Swedish airspace we were safe, as Sweden was a neutral nation.”

Gleeson is quick to dispel any romantic notions of secret wartime missions. “The mystique of combat and covert missions does not take into account the abject loss of millions of lives around the world during World War II. If the pundits around the world that initiate wars were required to participate in actual combat, there would be far, far fewer conflicts.”

After the end of hostilities, Gleeson declined a direct commission in the California National Guard, but his military service wasn’t yet finished.

He remembers the Korean War as a very different experience from the Second World War.

“I re-enlisted in early 1948, and I was assigned to the 452nd Bomb Group Flight Test Department. We were flying Douglas B-26 Invaders. We were an Air Force Reserve unit and were activated immediately on the call to arms for the Korean Conflict. I flew a lot and enjoyed every minute of it,” he said.

During that period, he attended flight school and received his private pilot’s certificate.

Once an Aviator … ​
After his wartime experiences, during the 1960s Gleeson briefly flew a Beechcraft T-34, a training craft, with Civil Air Patrol in Sparks, Nevada. He and his wife – they’ve now been married for 71 years – moved to Honolulu in 1972, and eight years later he decided to join CAP.

He went on to serve as  commander of the glider squadron out of Mokuleia and proudly says, “Yes, I am still actively flying gliders.”

Upon retiring from his own business – John Gleeson Ltd., a mechanical contracting company that specialized in engineering and marine sales/consulting – in 1995, Gleeson remained active organizing aviation-related events in Hawaii.


Before and after his retirement, he organized aviation classes and meetings at schools, an Aviation Weekend for the YCMA (which included a speaker, a film, and an air tour of the island of Oahu) and other events aimed at getting young people interested in flying.

Gleeson is also founder of the Great Hawaiian Air Race, an event that involved aircraft from the U.S., United Kingdom, Spain, Canada, Japan and Australia. The race generated about $150,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation over a five-year span.

And he is one of the founding directors of the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island in Oahu; he served at the museum’s director for three years.

Another memorable chapter in Gleeson’s life involved production of “Pearl Harbor,” the 2001 Michael Bay film based on the Japanese attack on the American naval base, the very attack that drove Gleeson to enlist at 18. He organized a charter flight for Disney executives, dubbed the First Attack Flight, that showed the route the attackers flew, radar sites and gun positions.

Given his outstanding record of more than 50 years of safe flight operations, Gleeson received the Master Pilot Award from the FAA in 2006. His undying spirit of service continues to make a positive impression on those who serve with him.

“Since I joined the Civil Air Patrol in August 2013 as a senior member, John was my mentor and I looked up to him for guidance,” said Capt. Roy Barden, commander of the Honolulu Senior Squadron since 2016. He credits Gleeson and Col. Patrick Collins, Hawaii Wing commander, for helping him achieve his current position.

Barden described Gleeson as “a great leader. There’s no such thing as a challenge too big to handle. He really did a great job setting up our squadron’s Facebook page. He is still very active in our unit. … I would love to be able to be his age and still be in the active flying community.”

Betty Friedan, one of the founders of the modern feminist movement, once said, “Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”

Gleeson is a perfect example of someone who draws on the strength of his experience in order to set the stage for new opportunities. He agrees his stories from both the military and civilian sectors are valuable. He is in the final stages of putting together a book intended for his family.

He continues to serve as an example to his fellow citizens as a patriot whose love of country has endured the test of time.

What does he have to say about the life he’s led? “What a journey!” he exclaimed.

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eServices Updates


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CAPWATCH Process Change - FAQS
Fri, 14 Jul 2017 09:09:32 CDT
CAPWATCH Process Change - FAQS
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CAPWATCH Process Change
Thu, 06 Jul 2017 11:26:15 CDT
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Wheless, National Commander From 2004-2005, Passes at 76
Sun, 02 Jul 2017 21:14:21 CDT
Wheless, National Commander From 2004-2005, Passes at 76
National Headquarters Closed 3 & 4 July in Observance of Independence Day
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 17:29:56 CDT
National Headquarters Closed 3 & 4 July in Observance of Independence Day
CAP National Vice Commander Selection Process Announced
Wed, 21 Jun 2017 15:09:46 CDT
CAP National Vice Commander Selection Process Announced

Wing News


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.

Congressional Squadron Adds Two from N.Y.
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:36:16 -0500

1st Lt. Franklin Birt
Assistant Public Affairs Officer
New York Wing

Civil Air Patrol’s Congressional Squadron welcomed two news members June 23 in Washington, D.C., as Reps. John Katko and Elise Stefanik were inducted into the squadron in their Capitol offices.

Both legislators represent districts in New York. Lt. Col. John Jones, New York Wing chief of staff, presented their membership certificates on behalf of Col. Thomas Carello, wing commander.

Stefanik represents New York's 21st District in the House of Representatives. She is a member of the Armed Services Committee, the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. She servess as chair for the Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities and is a member of the Subcommittee on Readiness. On the Committee on Education and the Workforce, she serves on the subcommittees on Higher Education and Workforce Development and Workforce Protections. She also serves as chair of the House Republican Policy Committee’s Millennial Task Force.

Stefanik, who is serving her second term, is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, having taken office at age 30.

“Thank you to the New York Wing of the Civil Air Patrol for this great honor,” she said. “The Civil Air Patrol does critical work for emergency services, aerospace education and much more. I thank all who volunteer to serve in this important organization, and I will continue working to ensure the Civil Air Patrol has the support they need.”

Katko, who represents the 24th Congressional District, is also serving his second term.

He serves on the House Homeland Security Committee as chairman of the Transportation and Protective Security subcommittee. He also serves on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.