SRQ Cadets Attend Bivouac at MacDill Air Force Base
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 5 on Monday, November 6, 2017 by Author: 1st Lt. Christopher Carroll.

From October 13-15, cadets from the SRQ Composite Squadron of Civil Air Patrol (CAP), joined by cadets from Florida Wing Groups 3 and 5, participated in a search and rescue training bivouac at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.

While the bivouac served as an introduction to emergency services for first-time cadets to work on the Ground Team Member, Level 3 qualification, several more experienced cadets attended the bivouac to gain additional experience in emergency services.

Cadet/Technical Sargent Adrian Ryan Taylor said, "I really enjoyed instructing the younger generation of cadet's who will soon take my place. I also enjoyed helping the cadet's work towards their ground team qualifications."

After welcome speeches and a safety briefing, cadets learned about preventing and treating hot and cold weather injuries and how to conduct field sanitation.

On Saturday, cadets divided into two flights. One flight learned how to search for a missing person by using a wedge formation in a wooded area. The other flight headed for an open field to learn how to conduct a standard search line and a delayed start search line. The two groups switched places to become fully trained in the different types of search lines. Next, cadets learned how to locate a distress signal from a practice beacon and how to work with soft litter and standard medical grade hard litter carriers.

On Sunday, cadets put their training to work with two search and rescue practice missions. One mission had the cadets searching for a missing person in the woods. The other focused on locating a distress beacon and attending to crash scene victims, ultimately moving them to safety.

"I thought the most useful portion of the training that weekend was when the cadets had to extract a victim from a location with harsh terrain, when they got to put their training to use," Taylor said.

In addition to providing training for actual emergency situations, cadet events such as this build strong friendships and create unforgettable memories for cadets.

Through CAP's cadet program, cadets have the opportunity to experience survival training, flight training, photography, astronomy, model rocketry and more.  Each year, cadets participate in special activities at the local, state, regional or national level. Many cadets have the opportunity to fly an airplane for the first time through a flight encampment or academy. Others enjoy traveling abroad through the International Air Cadet Exchange Program. Still others assist at major air shows throughout the nation.

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 96 members: 59 senior members and 37 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

Cadets prepare for search and rescue mission. (Photo Credit: Capt. Ann Marie Kozloski, CAP)

FLWG Group 7 Cadets First In Southeast Region to Particpate In Veterans Day Parade
Filed under Region Hq, Alabama Wing, Florida Wing, Georgia Wing, Mississippi Wing, Tennessee Wing, Puerto Rico Wing on Sunday, November 5, 2017 by Author: Florida Wing Public Affairs.

During the 75th Anniversary of the Cadet Program, Florida Wing Group 7 cadets took time out of their busy schedules to recognize the contribution of our nation's veterans by participating in the Town of Miami Lakes parade, on Sunday, November 5, 2017. Miami-Dade County was some of the hardest hit by the hurricanes that were experienced by Florida. 

The parade commenced at 10:00 AM and proceeded south on NW67th Avenue between the north and south intersections of Bull Run Road. Following the event emcee's announcement about the flight of cadets, when it passed the reviewing stand, there was loud applause from the crowd of enthusiastic spectators.

Proudly representing the Civil Air Patrol was a flight of cadets commanded by Cadet 2nd Lt. Christopher Starnes of the Tamiami Composite Squadron. The flight was comprised of twenty cadets from three FLWG Group 7 squadrons. The squadrons represented were Miami Springs Optimist Cadet Squadron, Opa-Locka Cadet Squadron and the Tamiami Composite Squadron. The cadets were accompanied by five senior members.

Knocked Down, but Not Out, MICAP Back on Patrol and Operational
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Group 5, Florida Feature on Saturday, October 28, 2017 by Author: Maj. Marian Motyl-Szary.

On October 7th, just short of a month after Irma struck and dealt a devastating blow to the Marco Island Senior Squadron (MICAP) hangar, the Squadron was operating from “temporary” facilities and launching its weekly Wilderness Waterway Coastal Patrol.  

But that is not the total story, because now the real work begins - work that requires all the community help the squadron can get. Within the next few weeks, the destroyed hangar section of the Civil Air Patrol building at Marco Executive Airport will be cut away and removed.  Once that has been accomplished, bids will be solicited for rebuilding the hangar.  

Fourteen years ago, it was through the generosity of our community and CAP members that the building and hangar were successfully funded and erected. The resulting MICAP facility was the pride of the Florida Wing and envied by CAP Squadrons all over America. 

"At the time of construction, the gold star standard was to build for a Cat 2 storm. Obviously, we’ll need to rebuild to current code specifications," said Marco Squadron Commander, Bob Corriveau.

Immediately after Irma left Florida, CAP aircraft were brought back into Florida and stationed at the Punta Gorda Airport performing aerial reconnaissance missions for FEMA in response to the Irma disaster. MICAP mission pilots and mission radio operators volunteered for these missions.

Meanwhile, back at the Marco Airport, arrangements were made for a temporary hangar was for the aircraft through the the generosity of squadron member 1st Lt. Bill Rodgers.

The CAP plane returned to MICAP on Sunday, October 1st. All hands were on deck during that first week of October to perform the following: wash and polish the plane to prepare it for further assignment and secure the plane in the temporary hangar.

The members also installed a temporary radio station and antenna at the south end of the airport terminal building. Under the direction of assistant communication officer, Major Jim Carrender, the communications system was tested and approved. This put the squadron on schedule and ready for the first coastal patrol mission scheduled for Saturday, the 7th. 

“Communications are vital to our missions. Our aircraft needs to report its activity to mission base every 15 minutes, so without a radio station, missions cannot be performed,” explained Corriveau.

"Bringing the Squadron back to operational readiness would not have been accomplished without the untiring help and assistance of Collier County Airport Authority Manager Justin Lobb," said Corriveau. 

Lobb commented, “we have a long and friendly relationship with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and will do whatever we can to facilitate their getting back to normal operations.” 

Bob Boone - Dave Dumas - Bob Corriveau back on the job at temporary hangar 

Jim Carrender puts up the temporary antenna

Dave Dumas - Justin Lobb - Bob Corriveau at the temporary communications room 

Charlotte County Cadets earn Distinguished Honors and Promotions
Filed under Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 5 on Friday, September 22, 2017 by Author: SM Donna Jablonski.

The cadets of the Charlotte County Composite Squadron continue their hard work of achievement, taking on additional responsibilities and participation in a variety of activities. The Civil Air Patrol cadet program is designed to foster leadership and good citizenship in America’s youth with an emphasis on public service.

“As they earn recognition and gain rank, they are challenged to learn and grow in ways that only the CAP cadet program offers,” said Major Earle Bretz.

Recently, Mikehla Hick received one of CAP’s highest-ranking awards -- the General Ira C. Eaker Award-- and earned her the rank of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, an accomplishment that less than 1% of the approximate 25,000 active cadets will achieve.

The 17 year-old Hicks has been with the Charlotte County Squadron for five years.  Last year, she entered Florida Southwestern Collegiate High School and is currently dual-enrolled at Florida Southwestern College.

Bretz added, "She is an excellent role model for what these young adults can achieved through hard work and dedication."

In 2016, Hicks began working towards earning her private pilot certificate. She has already soloed and plans to have her pilot license before turning 18. Her goal is to attend the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, or other university with a Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Her areas of interest for academic studies include linguistics and political science.

Major Gerald Lewis, Commander of the Charlotte County Squadron, presented Hicks with the prestigious award during a recent meeting. “We’re extremely proud of her,” said Lewis.

Six other cadets were recognized by advancement in grade at the recent cadet meeting.

Pictured from Left to Right: C/CMSgt Tyler Ezzi II, C/1stLt Samuel Greisiger, C/A1C Ian James Wilcox, C/SrAmn Chase Pedigo, C/LtCol Mikehla Hicks, C/SrAmn Autumn Rhodes, C/Amn Elizabeth Gregory. (CAP photo)

Rescuers Affected by Hurricane Irma Damage
Filed under Region Hq, Alabama Wing, Florida Wing, Georgia Wing, Mississippi Wing, Tennessee Wing, Puerto Rico Wing, Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters on Thursday, September 14, 2017 by Author: Lt. Col. Jeff P. Carlson.

Civil Air Patrol squadrons located near Hurricane Irma's landfall plan to resume operations after receiving significant damage from the storm’s northward track up the center of Florida’s peninsula that affected CAP members and operations from coast to coast.

The storm blasted the Florida Keys with 130 mph winds before traveling north to make a second strike on Marco Island as a Category 2 storm. Squadrons located in the Marco Island/Naples area of Florida Wing’s Group 5 sustain the worst damage.

"Most members evacuated prior to the storm with only four deciding to hunker down and stay in the area,” said Maj. Robert Corriveau, commander of Florida Wing's Marco Island Senior Squadron.

Many of the Marco Island squadron’s 55 members are Florida “snowbirds” that live in the area only during the winter months. During the summer months, the number shrinks to 15-18 members. 

Since the storm, Corriveau has heard from about 10 members typically here during the off-season. The rest of the members are still away where they "left for higher ground".

According to Corriveau, most of the damage sustained to member’s homes were missing shingles, broken rain gutters, shredded landscaping and damage to pool screens. Some areas were not expected to have electrical services restored for several weeks. 

The damage to the squadron’s facility was more severe. The squadron’s base is located at the north end of Marco Island Executive Airport in a 60 x 60 ft. building that includes a hanger for the CAP airplane, offices and a squad room. 

Corriveau said a microburst or small tornado made a direct hit on the hangar door wall and shoved it into the squad room and office area. Damage estimates are not yet known but the plan is to rebuild, "just maybe not to this extent". 

Luckily, he said, the airplane was not in the hangar during the storm. The plane had recently been relocated to Daytona, Fla. for its 100-hour inspection and maintenance.

While the squadron rebuilds, the CAP airplane will be housed in a general aviation t-hangar at the Marco Island airport. Corriveau said these hangars were not damaged during the storm. The local pilots who came to move their airplanes left their cars here and not a single-one was damaged. 

A covered walkway only 10 feet away from the squadron’s building was still intact with “not a single piece of metal was displaced”.

"The community helped the squadron raise the finances for the building about seven years ago when their meeting place was about to be condemned," said Corriveau, "and we have a reserve built up to cover expenses." 

The building will be closed until it is rebuilt even though the offices and squad room were not damaged. The local Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit, of which also includes some CAP members offered to lend their squad room until squadron building is repaired.

It will be another week or two before we can become operational again due to antenna damage to our communications equipment. In spite of the personal impact from the storm, our members want to serve their community through CAP. One of our members, who has returned from "moving to higher ground" is unable to travel up to Punta Gorda, Fla. where the response operations are being launched because there is a lack of gas here in Marco Island.

Group 5 public affairs has reported an outpouring of emotion from CAP members on social media after viewing images of the damage to the Marco Island hangar. More than 13,000 have reacted to the social media posts by the squadron, with many expressing concerns about their fellow CAP members and asking how to help. Asked what message he would like to share from the squadron, "It is only a building," replied Corriveau, "and will be repaired and things will be back to normal eventually. Also, our people are okay."

Corriveau added, "we want to get back up and operational, as soon as possible. We are part of the coastal patrol,” 

Coastal Patrols, a service to Florida communities that Civil Air Patrol has provided since the early 1940's, are performed on the weekends looking for hazards to navigation and boaters in distress.

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