Wesley Chapel CAP Tours USCG Air Station Clearwater
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters on Sunday, September 14, 2014 by Author: Wesley Chapel Cadet Sq., Florida Wing.

Photo:  Clockwise, from top left: Lt Lewis explaining the USCG mission of the H-60 ‘Jayhawk’; Some of the hundreds of life vests, each from a vessel in distress that Air Station Clearwater has responded to, kept to mark successful missions; C-130 aircrew and Wesley Chapel CAP members after a training mission along the gulf coast near Tampa Bay; CPO Gordon explaining aspects of what is required to be a USCG rescue swimmer.

Clearwater, Florida--Cadets and senior members of Wesley Chapel Cadet Squadron, was granted the amazing opportunity to tour USCG Air Station Clearwater, FL, the largest Coast Guard air base in the country. There the USCG operates the two primary aircraft in their inventory: the C-130 Hercules, and the H-60 Jayhawk.

Upon arrival at the base LTJg Justin Lewis, USCG, provided a guided tour of the facilities. After a short introduction and safety brief, CAP members were taken to the C-130 hangar for an aircraft walkthrough familiar with the Hercules, while a ground crew was readying another C-130 with palletized seating so that CAP members could participate in a scheduled training flight.

After the approximately hour-long training flight, the group gathered at flight ops, where missions are planned and aircrews are briefed. Here LT Lewis explained the sequence of how rescue missions are carried out and coordinated with other agencies.

Next it was on the hangar where the stations helicopters are kept and maintained. Air Station Clearwater has the capability to perform all aspects of helicopter maintenance on site from engine replacement to major airframe refurbishment. Here we learned about the H-60s capabilities from LTJg Lewis, himself a helicopter pilot who transferred to the Coast Guard from the USAF.

Once the aircraft presentations was done, it was off the survival and rescue equipment shop, where we learned from Chief Petty Officer Scott Gordon, USCG, about the evolution of water rescue from aircraft, the development of specialized equipment for the mission, and learned of the backgrounds and training required to become a rescue swimmer with the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard not only helps people involved in boating and water rescues, but also assists agencies on land when rescues require specialized methods, such as from the face of a cliff. All in all, the Coast Guard tour was extremely amazing and taught us a lot about this branch of service.

There was a definite feeling of pride and unity at the airbase from the people we met stationed there. It was an amazing trip in every way because the people stationed there were willing to introduce us to everything their jobs entailed. The men and women working at the station didn’t just teach us about their station, they taught us about what morals inspired them and drove then to become as successful as they were. And we hope to apply those in the future to better ourselves and the world around us.

And we thank the US Coast Guard for this wonderful opportunity.

 Article contributions by C/MSgt Andrea Rocha, C/ SSgt Sydney Jung and C/AB Anmol Mittal. Photos by C/ CMSgt Ian Lee





Florida Wing best in Nation in Aerospace Education, Puerto Rico wins Brewer Award
Filed under Region Hq on Saturday, September 13, 2014 by Author: Maj Jonathan Lartigue, Southeast Region Public Affairs.

Teneessee, Puerto Rico, Georgia, Alabama wings top the Region in other mission areas

Maxwell AFB, Ala. The Florida Wing was named the best in the nation in fulfilling the Aerospace Education mission of Civil Air Patrol at the National Conference August 16 in Las Vegas.  Additionally, the Puerto Rico Wing and InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico received the Frank G. Brewer award in the Individual/Organization category.

Each year Civil Air Patrol recognizes its outstanding Wings in five mission areas including search & rescue, disaster relief, counterdrug and homeland security, aerospace education, and cadet programs.  

Florida Wing was named best in the region and No. 1 overall in the nation in promoting Civil Air Patrol's internal and external aerospace education missions.

The Tennessee Wing placed top in the region for search and rescue while the Puerto Rico Wing placed first or disaster relief missions.  The outstanding wing in each region, as determined by CAP-USAF inspection and evaluation of search and rescue and disaster relief missions becomes the recipient of the SAR and DR mission awards.  

The Georgia Wing was named best in region for counterdrug and homeland security operations, based upon  mission performance; relationships with federal, state and local agencies; and the overall effectiveness of the wing’s counterdrug program. 

Alabama Wing received the Cadet Programs Mission Award, which recognizes the wing in each region that has the most outstanding cadet program. 

Finally, IntraAmerican University in Puerto Rico was selected for the annual Frank G. Brewer Memorial Aerospace award in the Individual/Organization category.  The award, in memory of Frank G. Brewer, Sr., and his lifelong interest in aviation, youth, and education, recognized outstanding contributions to the advancement of youth in aerospace activities. Recipients are selected based on CAP program support, significance of accomplishment, community involvement, and support of all facets of the aerospace education mission.

SER Members Receive Balsem Awards for Public Affairs Excellence
Filed under Region Hq on Friday, September 12, 2014 by Author: Maj Jonathan Lartigue, Southeast Region Public Affairs.

Maxwell AFB, Ala. - Seven members of the Southeast Region received a total of nine awards for their achievements in public affairs this August at the Civil Air Patrol’s National PAO Academy in Las Vegas.  The annual Maj. Howell Balsem CAP Public Affairs Exceptional Achievement Awards recognize the best public affairs efforts in nine different categories ranging from event promotion to photography to social media.

2014 Balsem Award winners and honorees were selected from the Southeast Region in the following categories: 

Certificate of Merit for Brochure/Poster/Flyer
  • Lt. Col. Brian H. Berry of the Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron, Georgia Wing, for his brochure “History of the Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron”.  
  • Maj. Ronald Clark of the North Georgia Composite Squadron, Georgia Wing, for his brochures on Cadet and General Recruiting.  
Event Promotion
  • LtCol. Brian H. Berry of the Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron, Georgia Wing, received the Balsem Award for the Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron’s 50th Anniversary Open House.
  • 2Lt. Charles Vaughn of the Jacksonville Composite Squadron, Florida Wing, received an Award of Excellence for promotion of the 2013 Great Jacksonville Agricultural Fair.
External Media Coverage
  • Capt. Ernest Lee of the Wesley Chapel Cadet Squadron, Florida Wing, received an Award of Excellence for coordinating coverage of CAP’s involvement in the  2013 Sun’n’Fun International Fly-in and Exposition.  
  • 1Lt. Parris M. Sepe of the Hillsborough One Senior Squadron, Florida Wing, received an Award of Excellence for coverage in the The Observer News and a Certificate of Merit for coverage in the Tampa Tribune and Brandon News.
Slideshow/PowerPoint Presentation
  • Capt. Joan Scarborough of the Brunswick Senior Squadron, Georgia Wing, received the Balsem award for her presentation “The Story of Civil Air Patrol – Then and Now.”
  • LtCol. Brian H. Berry of the Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron, Georgia Wing, received an Award of Excellence for his presentation “Sandy Springs Cadet Squaron 50th Anniversary.”
Social Media
  • Capt. Shaun J. Kelly of the Vicksburg Composite Squadron, Mississippi Wing, received an Award of Excellence for Facebook coverage entitled “Vicksburg Flight/Composite Squadron 2013 Year-in-Review.”
The awards program is named for Maj. Howell Balsem, who served as an Army Air Forces officer during World War II and as CAP PAO from 1949-1956, editing the organization’s weekly newspaper.  Balsem is credited with getting international exposure for CAP by getting a story in National Geographic.

A full listing of Balsem Award recipients can be found on the Volunteer Now website at http://www.capvolunteernow.com/todays-features/?show=news&newsID=18912.

Two Cadets travel to Hong Kong with IACE
Filed under Region Hq, Alabama Wing, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 5, Group 6, Group 7, Group 800, Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, Florida Feature on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 by Author: C/Lt Col Elena Lee, Wesley Chapel Cadet Sq., Florida Wing.

Photo: Clockwise from top left, delegates at Big Buddha; delegates and local escorts at IACE Hong Kong Welcome Reception; C/Lt Col Lee and C/Lt Col French with local escort before their Courtesy Call; delegates and local escorts at Victoria Harbour.

Florida-Imagine spending two weeks of the summer in a foreign country with Cadets from all over the world.That is exactly what International Air Cadet Exchange offers.Two Cadets, C/Lt Col Miriam Elena Lee of FLWG, and C/Lt Col Jessica French of ALWG, got the rare opportunity to visit Hong Kong and mainland China for two weeks in the summer.Joining them were thirty-five other delegates from Australia, Canada, China, France, Japan, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Turkey, and United Kingdom.

The delegates participated in numerous activities all organized by the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps. While Hong Kong is a very busy place to visit, and many things to see, some of the favorite locations were the Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha), Government Flying Services where each cadet enjoyed a twenty minute helicopter ride, a steep forty-five degree tram ride to the most spectacular view over Hong Kong at Victoria Peak, Tai O’ Tour, Victoria Harbour, and many shopping opportunities that exposed us to bargaining for merchandise. We also got the opportunity to tour mainland China for three days. That trip was definitely memorable due to the fact we were exposed to so many different culture differences.

I can’t express how fantastic it was visiting Hong Kong with International Air Cadet Exchange. Yes, we got the opportunity to visit so many unique places but I think the most memorable thing about my time in Hong Kong was the people I met. When I first started this journey, I really didn't know many people overseas but once I left Hong Kong, I had so many new international friends and connections.

FLWG Cadets Participate in Cyberspace Fam Course
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 5, Group 6, Group 7, Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, Florida Feature on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 by Author: C/Lt Col Elena Lee, Wesley Chapel Cadet Sq., Florida Wing.

Clockwise from top left, FLWG Cadets, C/Capt Tripp, C/SMSgt Collins, C/Lt Col Lee, and C/1st Lt Lavoie; winners of the academy Cyber Patriot Competition; Cadets enjoying dinner during “Dinner with the Commanders” ; academy female participants pose with Brig General Murphy; academy Honor Graduate, C/SMSgt Collins.  

San Antonio, TX Do you enjoy computers and want to learn how to secure your system?  If you said yes, then this is the activity for you!  Four Cadets of Florida Wing, C/Lt Col Miriam Lee, C/Capt Tripp, C/1st Lt Lavoie, and C/SMSgt Collin joined thirty-four other Cadets from all over the country to learn computer skills as well as Cyber Defense training.  The training provided wasn't just from some random computer geek, no.  The Cadets for one week were taught by U.S Air Force’s top notch cyber experts. 

Each morning at five, Cadets would wake up to the hot summer days of Lackland Air Force Base to begin physical training.  To follow, Cadets would then be briefed by a different cyber-security expert each morning.  Cadets received the same briefing as if they were the General receiving it, excluding any “Classified” information.  Next, the fun part of the event begins.  Each day, the Cadets would cover a chapter specific to the Cyber Defense field.  In the week long activity, the Cadets covered Introduction into Networks, Operating Systems, Workstation, and Server Fundamentals, and mitigating threats.  Their training guide consisted of a four hundred page book published by numerous Air Force Cyber experts and Commander of the academy, Maj Stauffer.  The Academy is known as one of the most academically challenging event of Civil Air Patrol.  Every day the Cadets would be tested on their new found knowledge by taking exams and then participating in a capstone mock Cyber Patriots completion towards the end of the week. 

All thirty-eight cadets of the academy successfully graduated.  C/SMSgt Collins of North-Tampa Lutz was recognized as Honor Graduate. C/Capt Tripp of Jacksonville Composite Squadron was recognized for successfully leading his flight/squadron as Honor Flight.  Lastly, C/Lt Col Lee of Wesley Chapel Cadet Squadron and C/SMSgt Collins of North-Tampa Lutz and the rest of Echo Team were recognized as Honor Team.  Each Cadet from the academy walked away with newfound knowledge to further their education in the computer world.  Some have shown interest in pursuing this career field in the future. 

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