Civil Air Patrol Supports Homeschool Convention
Filed under Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 5, Group 6, Group 7 on Thursday, June 1, 2017 by Author: Florida Wing Public Affairs.

As homeschoolers from around the state and region gathered over Memorial Day weekend at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando for the annual Florida Parent Educator Association Convention (FPEA), Civil Air Patrol (CAP) members from around the Wing joined forces to provide support.

With over 17,000 people attending, the FPEA Convention ranks as the largest homeschool conference in the nation. While parents and students browsed the latest in curriculum offerings and attended instructional workshops, CAP cadet and senior members were involved in a range of important activities. Civil Air Patrol members assisted event security by checking participant badges for entry into the vendor area. Civil Air Patrol members also manned a bustling recruiting table, sharing information about CAP with prospective members from every corner of the state.

As a highlight of CAP participation, a Civil Air Patrol cadet color guard opened each day’s morning general session with a presentation of the colors. The multi-squadron color guard on Saturday, May 27th proved extra special. Of the four members - Cadet Captain Michael Bohn of Seminole Composite Squadron, Cadet 2nd Lieutenant David Lyon of the Orlando Cadet Squadron, Cadet Airman Corban Dolan of Marion County Composite Squadron, and Cadet Airman Miranda Schultz of South Lakeland Composite Squadron - all but Bohn participated in their very first color guard. Several veterans commented on the pride they felt in seeing the Civil Air Patrol cadets present the flag.

Major Christina English served as project officer for Civil Air Patrol, assisted by cadets and senior members from around the Wing.


Escambia County Commissioners recognizes Emerald Coast Senior Squadron
Filed under Florida Wing on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 by Author: 1st Lt. Chuck McCollim.

On Thursday, May 25, 2017 The Escambia County Board of Commissioners recognized the Emerald Coast Senior Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol for their accomplishments in 2016 and commended them for their service to Escambia County. District one Board of Commissioner, Vice Chair, Jeff Bergosh read a proclamation highlighting the squadron’s accomplishments in 2016 including, low-level surveys and fire patrols over Eglin Air Force Base, assisting Escambia County Sheriff’s office with search and rescue efforts resulting in two finds, supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew by providing over 4,200 geo-tagged images critical to the assessment and allocation of scarce federal resources, and assisting local youth by providing fixed-wing and glider orientation flights and sponsoring American Red Cross first aid courses which enabled the youth to assist with search and rescue missions.

Hurricane Season 2017 -- What Should I Do To Prepare?
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 Tuesday, May 30, 2017 by Author: Lt. Col. Judy Steele.

The 2017 season starts on June 1st and if you are still wondering what to do to prepare you are at least a few weeks late. Some of the most important issues that you should have thought about months ago were:

--Do I have copies of all important documents put away for safe keeping?

--Do I have a complete list of friends and family and their plans in case of a major storm or evacuation?

--Do I have any medicines that may need to be refilled that I am getting low on and may need a new prescription to get it?

--Do I have a PLAN?

In asking a number of friends I found that, out of the four major issues above, only three out of 17 have made any attempt to even consider these issues and only one has every one covered, stating that he has used a number of my previous notices on the hurricane season to put together a full plan. On reading it, he hit some areas which I have not, so here we go.

You have a plan that if the storm is a Cat 3 or better you will evacuate to a friend or relative. Do you have a current telephone list of all your friends living in the area that may be able to assist you with after storm information if they stay?

If you stay do you have enough food, water, medications, cash (ATMs may not work for a few or more days) and fuel for your vehicle and generator? Does the generator work properly? When did you change the oil, fill the gas tank, or run it with an electrical load on it to make sure that everything is working properly? Is it properly grounded so that if something does happen you are partially protected. Do you have enough batteries, flashlights, portable radio, and a stocked first aid kit. This friend just bought six - eight packs of an electrolyte sports type drink and three – 24 packs of bottled water so that everybody can stay hydrated properly. In addition he has a number of full cases (12 cans to the case) of corn, string beans, lima beans and 24 tins of sardines (his wife and two kids love sardines and they are healthier than the chunk tuna in cans.) and other items that can be eaten without preparation.

How are your extension cords if you are running an outdoor portable generator? Any cuts, insulation missing, or ground pin on the plug missing? If the cord starts cracking if you bend it, it is time to throw it out and get new cords. It is better to get at least 14/3 for small loads and 12/3 for large electrical loads. Do not buy two wire cords or anything with a number higher than 14 gauge as they are trouble waiting to happen.

And how about that generator - have you checked it lately (they should be run at least once a month according to most manufacturers.) How old is the fuel in the tank? What about those extra gas containers, have you checked them lately? Could a pinhole or crack make it unusable? Is there any residual gasoline in the bottom of those containers that turned to a jelly mass that can clog the fuel lines if it gets into the generator? Is the generator properly grounded? Do you have a 110 Volt tester to make sure you have the proper output power before plugging in any device?

As Communicators we must be prepared and knowledgeable about a number of other issues. Are the antennas properly secured? Are the lightning protectors working properly, do the cables on the ground rods outside need tightening? Do you had spare antennas, VHF and HF, if needed along with all of the hardware to get it up, even if it is only 8-10 feet above the ground. Or have you considered insulated wire with the ends capped running just a foot or two above the fence but where the general public can’t get to it.

Have you considered a dual cycle marine battery with a small solar panel to maintain its charge so you can operate the radios if you lose commercial power?

Are your neighbors and public safety personnel aware of the fact that you are a CAP communicator and are trained in Emergency situations and can handle traffic for them in the event of an actual emergency. There is nothing in the regulations that says you can’t use the radio to call a station who has phone service to relay messages of emergency support being requested by any agency. You can’t be activated, but you can help with emergency radio traffic if there is no other option. Personal radio traffic is prohibited, so radio traffic regarding work and other non-emergency issues are not to be considered.

During a past CI, an issue came up at a squadron where one of the members walked in with a CAP hand-held radio issued to the unit. The records show it is in a locker, but more important is the fact that this member had the radio at his home, uncharged and the battery charger was in the locker. What good is a radio with a dead battery? Spare batteries for your hand held radios may be the best investment you can make. There is nothing in the system that says you are not allowed to buy one for the radio issued to you.

What about at home? Do you have enough flashlights and a portable AM/FM with weather channel radio? How are those batteries? Do you have spares? Consider new batteries at least once a year for your Carbon Monoxide and smoke/fire detectors in your home and office. If you have a dedicated meeting area, does it have safety sensors and if not, WHY? I have visited meeting rooms at various locations, including airports, where no fire extinguisher or smoke detector was present. This is not a safe environment at any time.

In Puerto Rico, the communications classes teach how to solder antenna connectors onto coax and then strip the opposite end of the coax to make an antenna that can be hung outside from a tree or post. How many can handle that task? Do you have a small soldering iron and approved (lead free) solder. Do you know how long you need the center wire to be exposed for proper operation on our radio frequencies?

This was just a food for thought message to get you thinking and to help you get ready for the storm season, from the Southeast Region Communications team members.

Memorial Day Ceremony On Marco Island
Filed under Florida Wing, Group 5 on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 by Author: Maj. Marian Motyl-Szary.

Memorial Day is about remembering, and many Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Marco Island Squadron seniors remembered our fallen comrades and living veterans at a solemn ceremony at the Marco Island Veterans' Community Park. The Marco Island VFW Post 6370 hosted the ceremony. Also attending and partaking in the ceremony were CAP, Marco Island Senior Squadron, FL-376, the American Legion Post 404, US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 95, as well as local Police and Fire Departments, besides a crowd of the members of the public. 

Squadron Commander Maj Bob Corriveau, just back from the CAP National Staff College, complimented the Squadron members for their good turnout: "A great job on today's Memorial Day celebration. Thanks to all who participated. "

Mission Pilots Capt Bob Dohm (PIC) and Maj Lyle Odland (Co-Pilot) performed the fly-over salute. The Mission Radio Operator and Ground Observer was 1st Lt Dave Dumas all from CAP, Marco Island Senior Squadron.

The commander added "This fly-over was awesome - on time, on comm and on station!"

The Color Guard members were: Doug Bartlett and Mitchell Schlitt from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary; Marco Police Sgt Mathew Gietz; from the VFW Natalia Armstrong; Civil Air Patrol's Maj Jesse Baker, and from the American Legion, Harry Weathers. 

Fruit Cove Cadet Squadron Has Another Successful Open House
Filed under Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 5, Group 6, Group 7 on Thursday, May 25, 2017 by Author: Florida Wing Public Affairs.

Fruit Cove Cadet Squadron recently conducted another one of its popular open houses at their home base at Fruit Cove Baptist Church in Julington Creek, FL.

Guests were shown stations that were manned by cadets that helped to tell the story of the Civil Air Patrol program. In addition, squadron parents provided a variety of refreshments that added a warm welcome to the visitors.

The program was organized by Squadron Recruitment and Retention Officer, 1st Lt James Kersten who also addressed those present with some brief remarks.

“Our open house is a great recruiting opportunity for us,” said Squadron Commander Capt. Al Uy. “We have two each year and our public affairs team manages to get the word out to the community. In addition, our cadets bring their friends and classmates.”

This event was the biggest open house for the one of the youngest squadrons in FLWG. “I was just overwhelmed,” explained Capt. Uy “Because we got ten parents to sign our visitor information list.”

Fruit Cove Cadet Squadron’s successful open house makes it one of the fastest growing squadrons in Florida Wing.

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