Civil Air Patrol Cadets Receive Orientation Flight on a KC-135 Refueling Aircraft
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 5, Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters on Thursday, July 20, 2017 by Author: 1st Lt. Christopher Carroll.

On 13 June 2017, nine cadets and senior member 1st Lt. Todd Sullivan from the SRQ Composite Squadron of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) joined other members from the Florida Wing to experience a three-hour orientation ride on a KC-135 refueling aircraft. The mission included special recognition of a retiring pilot.

1st Lt. Todd Sullivan described the experience as, “Awesome, incredible. The respect and honor was amazing for the retiring pilot.”

At sunrise, members loaded onto a bus that delivered them to a briefing room at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, where cadets listened to a flight plan brief of the two crews. After going through a TSA checkpoint, members received assignments for one of two planes that would participate in the exercise.

Once on the plane, it became clear why everyone received earplugs. The sound of the engines was deafening.

Shortly after takeoff, the plane entered the clouds and the ground disappeared from view. The boom operator walked around and explained we would be refueling a C-17 cargo plane and that it would look even bigger through the boom operator’s window, stationed at the aft of the airplane.

The cadets received permission to walk around the plane and everyone got a chance to lie down next to the boom operator while she maneuvered the boom.

This was one of the pilot’s final flights so he received a traditional ceremony: a fountain under the plane, called a bird bath, and fire trucks making an arc over the plane as the pilot taxied. The pilot’s wife was the last person to marshal him while commissioned.

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 101 members: 58 senior members and 43 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

Mississippi Wing Cadet Banks Is Chosen to Serve on FEMA Council
Filed under Region Hq, Mississippi Wing, Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 by Author: Lt. Col. Judy Steele.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) welcomes Ruben M. Banks from Jackson, Miss. as one of the 15 national selectees for the 2017–2019 Youth Preparedness Council (YPC).The FEMA YPC was formed in 2012 to bring together high school-age youth leaders from across the country who are interested and engaged in emergency preparedness. The 15 council members are attending the YPC Summit in Washington, D.C., from July 18-19, to meet with FEMA leaders and prepare for the year ahead. “This is a great opportunity to hear new ideas and harness the talent and enthusiasm of these young leaders to better prepare their peers, their community and the nation for disasters,” said Region IV Administrator Gracia Szczech.

Ruben M. Banks was selected based on his demonstrated leadership as a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) member. At his local squadron, Banks is a cadet commander, squadron noncommissioned officer, communications officer, medic, and assistant ground team leader. 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, requiring each member to become emergency-certified or ground team members for the Mississippi Wing. Banks attends Jim Hill High School, home of the Tigers, in Jackson, Miiss.

“Cadet Banks is very committed to mission accomplishments,” said Raymond C. Leonard Jr., U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and Senior Army Instructor. “I can always count on him to complete every assigned task on time with flawless results. He is bright, energetic and genuinely well-rounded with unlimited potential.

”During his time on the council, Banks would like to develop teams of area high school students certified in disaster relief as well as Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). He plans to have these small teams work closely, and even train with, local search and rescue, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, Civil Air Patrol and the American Red Cross in aiding before, during and after a disaster in their local community.

To learn more about the FEMA Youth Preparedness Council, please visit:

Naples Cadets Show 4th of July Patriotic Pride
Filed under Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 5 on Monday, July 17, 2017 by Author: 1st Lt. Donald Binner.

Naples Civil Air Patrol cadets turned out in a display of patriotic pride for annual 4th of July parade in downtown Naples. Sunny and warm weather greeted the seven cadets and one Senior Member as they assembled early Tuesday morning to prepare for the parade filled with festive floats for thousands of spectators.

The uniformed cadets arrived in BDU’s or Blues and quickly located the parade assembly area. They interacted with the crowd and answered questions as they waited. Several former cadets stopped by to speak with the cadets and to revisit their past CAP experience. The former cadets were encouraged to attend a CAP meeting. As parade officials made final arrangements, the cadets organized themselves with some chosen to walk and others to ride on the Naples Airport Authority truck.

The jubilant crowd greeted the cadets as Naples Cadet Commander C/CMSgt Sean Phillips led his cadre along the three and one half mile parade route. The cadets distributed candy and CAP flyers to those that lined the parade route. The crowd greeted the cadets with “Happy 4th” with hands and flags waving along the entire parade route.

“All the cadets received hearty thanks from the parade attendees including local community emergency services providers,” said Squadron Commander, Maj. Kevin Dinger. “It that the community recognizes the cadet’s valuable contributions.”

The Naples Airport Authority employees also thanked the cadets for participating in the parade. The Naples Cadet Squadron is based from the Civil Air Patrol hangar on airport property, and the two organizations work in partnership for community events.

Pictured with Naples Airport Fire truck are Cadet Suarez, Cadet Stiehl, C/SrA Gonzalez,C/MSgt Phillips, C/SSgt Drake, C/CMSgt McIntire C/A1C Katz and 1st Lt Donald Binner.

C/SrA Gonzalez distributes candy to children along parade route.

Civil Air Patrol's 75th Anniversary Gala
Filed under Mississippi Wing on Sunday, December 11, 2016 by Author: Lt. Col. Robert Sims.

Washington D.C. - Civil Air Patrol celebrated the 75th Anniversary in grand style on December 1, 2016 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Washington, DC.  Over the past seventy five years, Civil Air Patrol volunteers have performed a variety of services to the nation starting with war support in 1941.  Today’s volunteers continue to support the United States Air Force in training activities, the Cadet Program and Aerospace Education.

The Gala celebration included the presentation of two Gold Medal awards to Lt Gen Julius Becton, Jr, USA, Retired, and to Mrs. Barbara Suelzer O’Malley.  General Becton joined as a teenager in Philadelphia in 1942 and later entered the US Army to serve in WWII.  Mrs. O’Malley joined in Fort Wayne, Indianan while learning to fly.  CAP provided American women the first opportunity to serve their nation’s military forces in uniform. 

The Honorable Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the United States Air Force presented the keynote address.  She applauded the service of the CAP volunteers and the new relationship between the USAF and CAP especially in funding new opportunities for today’s youth.

Henderson Honored For CAP Service
Filed under Florida Wing, Mississippi Wing, Group 5, Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, Florida Feature on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 by Author: Maj. Marian Motyl-Szary.

The Marco Island Senior Squadron (FL-376) held a formal social event to honor Lt. Col. Lee Henderson for his many years of service to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), Florida Wing, Group 5 and our Black Sheep Squadron. Henderson and his wife, Dottie, are moving to Mississippi to be closer to family and he will be transferring to the Mississippi Wing later this month.

“We had a great turnout for Col. Henderson's send-off,” remarked Public Affairs officer Major Marian Motyl-Szary.

The squadron's meeting room was almost full and several members who could not attend sent messages with anecdotes and poems describing Henderson's service to CAP and humorous events of his long career.

Henderson's wife, Dottie, was recognized at the event for her many years of dedicated support to her husband’s volunteer career. The event also included a review of the Colonel's long and rich biography along with messages, humorous anecdotes and his impressive resume of citations and commendations. Both Lt. Col. Henderson and Dottie received the Squadron Commander's Appreciation Certificate and Squadron Commander’s Coin.

Colonel Henderson took the podium to thank the squadron members and the CAP organization for his successful career. As always, his speech was punctuated with his well-known booming laughter.

Henderson served as the FL-376 Squadron Commander from 17 April 2006 to 23 March 2010. He return to position of Commander for a second time, from 27 March 2012 to 15 July 2014 when the then current commander squadron stepped down for personal reasons.

Under Col Henderson’s leadership, the squadron received highly-successful grade for the subordinate-unit inspection and was recognized with the Florida Wing Senior Squadron of the Year Award for 2012.

Following his successful command at FL376, Henderson was invited to join Group 5 Headquarters staff. He to transfer to Group 5 Headquarters FL-370 on 18 January 2015 and served as Group 5 Deputy Commander and Operations Officer.

Henderson was born in Detroit, Michigan. He is a 20-year veteran of the US Navy and has been a CAP member for 13 years. His penchant for travel has taken him to six of the seven continents (does not include Antarctica!), He has piloted and navigated aircraft and yachts across all of the major oceans and seas of the world. The couple have three children and are long time Marco Island residents.

To conclude the formal event, the squadron commander, Major Robert Corriveau said, "The final thought from all of us is that Lee will be missed. We all wish him and Dottie well on their new adventures in Mississippi." The social event then continued with an informal reception at the famous Sand Bar.

Lt. Col. Henderson's citation and interesting biography can be seen on the squadron website at   

Click on the link above to view.

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