Lt Col Luis Garcia Selected As New Florida Wing Commander
Filed under Region Hq, Alabama Wing, Florida Wing, Georgia Wing, Mississippi Wing, Tennessee Wing, Puerto Rico 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, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 2, Group 4, Group 5, Group 6, Group 7, Group 8, Group 9, Group 11, Group 5, Group 6 on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 by Author: Lt. Col. Joyce Nader.

Dateline: April 5, 2017, Southeast Region Headquarters


By: Joyce Nader, Lt Col, Director of Public Affairs, FLWG



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, the largest wing in the Civil Air Patrol. Lt. Col. Garcia will assume these duties at the Change of Command Ceremony on April 29, 2017 at the annual Florida Wing Conference during the banquet.


An active member of CAP for 25 years, Garcia has served in assignments at most levels within the organization to include squadron, group, wing and national staff. He has admirably served Florida Wing in many capacities, including as the Standardization/Evaluation Officer, Director of Emergency Services, Director of Operations, and Chief of Staff. Most recently Lt. Col. Garcia served as the Florida Wing Vice Commander


Garcia is, also, an active CAP pilot and holds numerous ratings and qualifications that include Incident Commander, SAR/DR Mission Pilot, Mission Observer, Check Pilot and Mission Check Pilot, Cadet and AFROTC orientation pilot, and Liaison Officer. He is also a recipient of the Gill Rob Wilson Award.


Lt. Col. Garcia is currently an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves. His military awards and badges include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf clusters, Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal, Parachutist, and Combat Action Badge. His CAP awards and badges include the Meritorious Service Award, Commander’s Commendation Award, Lifesaving Award and Senior Pilot Rating.


In acknowledging his upcoming journey as the new Florida Wing Commander, Garcia expressed that he is “anxious and excited. I want to build on the path, the legacy forged by all the prior wing commanders who have admirably led Florida Wing over the past 75 years.”


In Col. Melton’s announcement, he also asked the members of the Florida Wing to join him in congratulating Col Henry Irizarry as he completes a successful tenure as the Florida Wing Commander.


Charlotte County Squadron Cadets Promoted
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 5 on Friday, March 31, 2017 by Author: Maj. Earle Bretz.

The Charlotte County Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol celebrated the accomplishments of four cadets by promoting them to new grades.

Each cadet career is marked with a personal sense of achievement and the ceremonies which brings a momentary spotlight which shines on each cadet as they stand in front of their peers to be recognized for the progress up the grade ladder. This promotion ceremony is a significant reward in the life of a CAP cadet.

Being a CAP cadet is a rewarding experience and receiving a special award or a promotion in recognition for hard work, effort and success is a special occasion. These cadets may begin their career as young as the age of 12 and many continue to the age of 21. The series of milestones along the way mark grow in character development, leadership ability, physical prowess and greater understanding of the concepts involved with aerospace discovery and industry.

The three following pictures record this magical moment and the pride of cadet achievement.

Picture 1 shows Cadet Tech Sgt Sean Staples left and Cadet Chief Mstr Sgt Tyler Ezzi.

Picture 2 is of Cadet Mstr Sgt Justin McDonald and his proud parents.

Picture 3 is especially remarkable. It is of Cadet Lt Col Austin Alonso and Deputy Commander of Cadets, 2nd Lt. Karen Casa. It is remarkable because this young man has achieved the second highest grade possible in the cadet program, a level that a small percentage of cadets achieve. It was accomplished while Cadet Alonso was battling a non-malignant brain tumor that required two major surgeries in addition to months of rehabilitation.

Despite the challenges, this young man amazed his CAP comrades and seniors as he battled everything that life has thrown at him, staying focused to complete all that CAP required of him and climbed into the stratosphere of a Lieutenant Colonel. A true success story deserving of the highest accolades. His commander commented, "Where he found the drive and energy for all of his accomplishments is amazing. Throughout his cadet career, we have seen this drive in every task he was assigned."

Each of these cadets continue to apply themselves to reach personal goals and in volunteer service. We can all be very proud. Congratulations, gentlemen.

Group 5 Squadron Leadership School – A Great Success
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Group 5 on Friday, March 31, 2017 by Author: Maj. Marian Motyl-Szary.

Florida Wing Group 5 continued the pursuit of excellence in professional development with a one-day Squadron Leadership School (SLS) capstone session. 

SLS is a CAP Level II requirement and uses a blended-learning format. In order to qualify for this course attendees must have completed the online portion of the course on the Wing eLearning website.  The course provides CAP adult "senior" members with an understanding of CAP operations at the squadron level and how those operations affect CAP's national missions. Additionally, members learn more about CAP customs, core values, and communications. Case studies, discussion, and group assignments are integral facets of the SLS. 

Gulf Middle School of Cape Coral was the site for the Saturday class.  CAP senior members from four southwest Florida attended. The professional development was facilitated by five experienced officers including: Lt. Col. Dave Moruzzi, Maj. Bob Corriveau, Capt. Lyle Odland, Capt. AnnMarie Kozloski, and 1st Lt. Louis Corda. 

The course included challenging role playing exercises and encouraged group interaction to solve real-life CAP issues.  The students came away better equipped to fill squadron leadership positions.  The SLS director, Capt Lyle Odland of Marco Island Senior Squadron, said after the class: "I do believe that the SLS presented this Saturday was a great success."
The venue for the class was hosted by Lt. Col. Jim Spieth and Maj. Nancy Spieth, both of whom are long-standing CAP members, commanding the Lee County Schools Cadet Squadron, and past faculty members of the middle school. 
The Group 5 Professional Development Officer, Major Corriveau, concluded: "I have to compliment the staff and the participants on their enthusiasm and preparedness for this event."

Two Florida Squadrons Work Together to Help Cadets Soar
Filed under Region Hq, 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, March 21, 2017 by Author: 1st Lt. Christopher Carroll.

On 18 March 2017, four cadets from the Venice Cadet Squadron, joined by their Deputy Commander, Lt. Col. Rita Cucchiara, joined cadets and senior members from the SRQ Composite Squadron for a day of Cadet Orientation Flights.

“Our relationship with the SRQ Composite Squadron is extremely helpful,” Cucciara said. “We have a smaller cadet squadron and it’s good for our cadets to have the opportunity to interact with other cadets and share experiences.”  She noted the relationship allows cadets from both squadrons to gain insights and work to expand team-building skills.

In addition to orientation flights, the two squadrons have worked closely on first aid training, a winter bivouac, and Wreaths Across America.

Saturday’s flight held particular significance for an SRQ Composite Squadron cadet. Cadet Melissa Nepomuseno-grez, who has been a CAP member for only a month, had her very first airplane flight on Saturday. The eighth grader from Sarasota Middle School, who thinks she might like to pursue an aviation career, said she joined CAP so she could have more activities outside of home and school.

The Cadet Orientation Flight Program, through a series of five flights, introduces cadets to the use of flight controls; how the effects of lift, drag and gravity affect an airplane; how to perform basic flight maneuvers; how to maintain a safe flying environment; and how weather impacts flight. Best of all, cadets get to take the controls and actually fly the airplane. Senior member pilots in the squadron receive training to help them share their knowledge with cadets.

Upon return from her flight, Nepomuseno-grez said, “It was amazing! I want to do it again. Everything seems so small up there.”

CAP’s cadet program introduces young people, from ages 12 through 21, to aviation. Cadets progress at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and moral leadership. Cadets compete for academic scholarships to further their studies in fields such as engineering, science, aircraft mechanics, aerospace medicine, meteorology, and many others. Those cadets who earn cadet officer status may enter the Air Force as an E3 (airman first class) rather than an E1 (airman basic).

Based at the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport, the SRQ Composite Squadron is one of more than 1,700 Civil Air Patrol squadrons across the nation. The SRQ Composite Squadron includes 98 members: 60 senior members and 38 cadets. Members put general aviation to its best use, dedicated to saving lives, flying counter-drug missions, participating in homeland security efforts, providing disaster relief, advancing young people, and supporting America’s educators. For information about the SRQ Composite Squadron of CAP, visit


SRQ Composite Squadron pilot Maj. Benjamin Moore (right) guides Venice Cadet Aidan Freihaut (left) through the preflight inspection prior to a Cadet Orientation Flight. (Photo Credit: 1st Lt. Christopher Carroll, CAP)

Naples Cadets Provide Community Service at Lorenzo Walker Air Show
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 5 on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 by Author: Maj. Marian Motyl-Szary.

The Lorenzo Walker Car and Air Show came to Naples on 4 February 2017. Held annually at the Naples Municipal Airport, it has antique and muscle cars in addition to local aircraft on display. A special attraction this year was the three unique aircraft: a P51, B17, and B25 brought to the show by the Collings Foundation.

Two Civil Air Patrol cadets from the Naples squadron C/A1C Cendall Gonzales and C/SSgt Collin Duke Early greeted the early morning arrivers at the gate to the show. An additional eight cadets, their parents and senior CAP members provided important logistical support to the air show.

Naples Cadet Squadron Commander, Major Kevin Dinger, monitored the cadet activity with the assistance of staff members 1st Lt. Donald Binner and 2nd Lt. Tom Ryan. The squadron’s newly purchased hand-held radios helped to keep everyone coordinated as events changed throughout the day.

The first order of business was a FOD walk. The cadets assembled at the ramp where the WWII bombers were displayed. They formed in a line to sweep the ramp of any foreign objects or debris that could be launched by the starting of the bombers powerful engines. The cadets assisted airport security personnel to move spectators to a safe viewing area. The cadets then formed and held a security line at the north edge of the area to keep people from wandering into the area when the giant propellers began to turn as the B17’s and then the B25’s engines started.

One by one the engines coughed, the propellers turned and finally roared to life. The aircrews completed the pre-flight and engine start procedures. The B17 revved up its four 1200hp engines and slowly turned toward the taxiway for takeoff. The B25 followed, the roar from its four 1700hp engines was nearly deafening. The historic aircraft taxied out, holding short of the main runway. One after the other, the four-engine bombers pulled onto the main runway, accelerated to rotation speed and lifted gracefully into the blue morning sky.

The cadets smiled and pointed, looking on in appreciation, as each bomber roared past them and the spectators on their first morning sortie. The cadets would be called again later in the day to help secure the bomber ramp for other sorties.


The cadets also provided support to U.S. Customs located on the airport to help direct ground traffic in the ramp area to maintain safe operations area for inbound aircraft. Officer Muenchausen, from the Naples Customs and Border Protection, has requested assistance from the CAP squadron for previous events.

Muenchausen requested the cadets to assemble at his office for a briefing. Only two members in the group had previous experience with this duty so a quick review ensured that each person was clear on his or her duties.

> C/1st Sgt McIntire used his hand-held radio to alert the team to the first plane’s arrival. The cadets quickly took up their assigned position and cordoned off an area for the aircraft to park. Once the plane departed, the cadets resumed other duties. The cadets returned and repeated these actions for several more aircraft during the day.

In appreciation for the day of volunteer service, the Collins Foundation graciously allowed all of the CAP members a chance climb aboard the bombers for an up-close tour of these magnificent flying machines.

The air show is one of many community service projects the CAP cadets participate in each year. Citizens serving communities is more than a slogan to Naples cadets, it is a core value which drive their duty.

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