Southeast Region Prepares for Hurricane Irma
Filed under Region Hq, Alabama Wing, Florida Wing, Georgia Wing, Mississippi Wing, Tennessee Wing, Puerto Rico Wing, Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 by Author: Lt. Col. Judy Steele.

Civil Air Patrol Southeast Region commanders, operations directors and U.S. Air Force personnel met Tuesday night to discuss Hurricane Irma preparedness plans as the Category 5 storm bore down on the Caribbean.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hurricane Irma could cause catastrophic damage as it passes the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and potentially heads toward southern Florida.

A state of emergency has been declared by President Donald Trump in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Florida. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands were under a hurricane warning Tuesday night, with a potential landfall taking place on Wednesday.

Puerto Rico Wing has taken steps to secure CAP aircraft at Muniz Air National Guard Base located near the city of San Juan on the northeast side of the island.  The wing commander, Col. Carlos Fernandez, instructed all personnel to await further instructions from himself or the incident commander, Lt. Col. Marie Rivera, which is expected to come following improved weather conditions.

The governors of Florida, the U.S. Virgin Island and Puerto Rico declared states of emergency before President Trump's declaration.  In Florida, areas from the southern tip to the panhandle were seeing increasing lines at gas stations, grocery stores and home centers as citizens stock up on supplies.

Hurricane Irma was moving west at 14 miles per hour with a wind speed of 185 miles per hour. The storm was expected to arrive in the general area of the Florida Straits late Saturday.

Hurricane Irma Preparations
Photo: Civil Air Patrol personnel move aircraft into hangar alongside an Air National Guard's C-130.

Hurricane Irma Preparations
Photo: Civil Air Patrol Aircraft parked in hangar as personnel prepare for Hurricane Irma

Photos courtesy of Puerto Rico Wing, Civil Air Patrol. For more images, go to

Members Complete Over Water Survival Course at U.S. Coast Guard Station Clearwater
Filed under Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 5, Group 6, Group 7, Florida Feature on Thursday, August 31, 2017 by Author: Florida Wing Public Affairs.

On Saturday, August 19, Group 3 held an Extended Over Water Survival (WS) pool session. Eight participants completed the requirements to earn this certification, which include classroom training, an aircraft egress exercise, on online test, and a practical exercise in a pool. U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater provided the pool and a rescue swimmer, also known as an Aviation Safety Technician (AST).

All aircrew personnel (mission pilots, observers, and scanners) who will be operating outside of gliding distance from shore are required to complete this training every three years. This is particularly useful in the Tampa area as crossing Tampa Bay while staying below Tampa International’s Class B airspace means you are outside of gliding distance to land much of the trip.

Safety is one of CAP’s top priorities, so this training is critical because using the techniques included in this training offers an expected 88% survival rate in the event of a ditching (water landing). Practicing the skills in a pool, wearing a flight suit, boots, and a personal flotation device (PFD) helps reinforce esprit de corps as aircrews work together to demonstrate treading water, swimming (together) 50+ feet, and climbing into a raft, which is harder than it looks. Most importantly, participants are able to experience the power of a PFD, particularly when their boots fill with water and feel more like lead than leather.

Group 3 hosted participants from the Legislative Squadron and Group 5 in addition to our local, Group 3, members. All participants completed the program successfully and demonstrated that we are proficient and ready for over water missions. This is just one of the many training programs Civil Air Patrol uses to stay proficient and to mitigate the risks inherent in flying our missions for America.

Filed under Group 7 on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by Author: Maj. Dennis Maloney.

During its regular weekly meeting on Saturday, 26 August 2017, at the Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, the Opa-Locka Cadet Squadron extended a warm welcome to visiting USAF-CAP representative, TSgt Lionel Naraidu, a USAF Reservist.

Following his introduction by Unit Commander, 1st Lt Miguel de la Fuente, TSgt Naraidu began by explaining the role of USAF-CAP in the support it provides to local CAP units, especially those with assets issued by the US Air Force. He went on to share his experiences as a NYPD officer and a USAF flight engineer.

During the ensuing open discussion, he fielded questions from the cadets on the requirements to qualify for careers in the Air Force, and stressed the importance of attention to detail and the quality of being loyal. He also thanked the members of the group for their dedication to voluntary service as exhibited by their attendance at the meeting on a very rainy Saturday morning.

In their response, the members of the unit expressed their appreciation to him for the visit and for the valuable information he shared.

Aircrews Keep a Vigilant Eye Open to Increase Boater Safety
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Group 5 on Thursday, August 24, 2017 by Author: Lt. Col. Jeff P. Carlson.

For more than 75 years, Civil Air Patrol squadrons stationed along Florida’s Gulf Coast have been conducting safety patrols of coastal waterways. The aircrews are well-trained in search techniques and keep a watchful eye on the waters below providing boaters an extra margin of safety.

CAP officers from the Charlotte County Composite Squadron had the opportunity speak with radio hosts, Captain Tom Healey and his wife Heidi, about CAP’s role in boater safety in Charlotte Harbor and the Intercostal waterway. Maj. Earle Bretz, Public Affairs Officer, joined the hosts of WENG’s Saturday morning boating show on August 19th to explain the long history of local volunteer aviators serving the local boating community.

“Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force, dates back to WWII days and was originally formed to provide civilian air support to aid the war effort through border and coastal patrols, military training assistance, courier services and other activities,” said Maj. Bretz. Civil Air Patrol officially began Dec. 1 1941 and we are now celebrating our 76th year. Our connection to boaters and marine safety continues.”

Major Bretz went on to described CAP’s partnership with other agencies, the importance of the weekly harbor patrols and how most boaters are accustomed to the marine advisory broadcast that CAP aircrews provide using the Coast Guard Channel 16.

Joining the broadcast was a member of the squadron’s communications team, Captain Kevin Kelly. “Radio communications are critical to CAP search and rescue missions as well as the importance of marine communications with the Coast Guard.” Kelly explained that Civil Air Patrol maintains a robust nation-wide radio communications network and provided an overview of the various types of communication equipment and methods used.

As usual, Maj. Bretz took advantage of the opportunity to highlight the cadet program. Bretz is a longtime champion for the youth program as key to fostering CAP core values of respect, integrity, excellence and volunteer service. True to form, he steered the conversation during the radio show to explain how the CAP program is designed to develop leadership and good citizenship in America's youth, using aerospace education, Air Force role models and emphasis on public service.

Color Guard team from Charlotte County squadron presents colors at local airshow. (CAP photo)

Venice Cadets Benefit From Funding Provided by VFW Post
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 5 on Thursday, August 17, 2017 by Author: Lt. Col. Rita Cucchiara.

On 15 August 2017, the Venice Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8118 presented a sponsorship check to Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Venice Cadet Squadron. Lt. Col. Thomas Trammell, CAP, accepted the donation from VFW Post Commander Dennis Rotenberry.

“The VFW is proud to support the Venice Cadet Squadron,” said Rotenberry. “We are looking forward to our partnership growing in the future.”    

“The VFW has a long history of supporting CAP programs. Through Post 8118’s generosity, our squadron will be able to financially assist several cadets to attend winter and summer encampments,” announced Trammell who serves as the Venice squadron's commander, 

Trammell explained that the two organizations have a shared commitment toward today’s youth. A priority for the VFW organization is working alongside America’s youth and instilling a sense of patriotism. The combat veterans can play an important role by providing young people with rare insight into the sacrifices our service members make. At the same time, the CAP cadet program challenges cadets to live the ethic of integrity and to embrace timeless values including service to community. The partnership with VFW helps to instill the value of respect through the opportunity to interact with those who have served their country.

Lt. Col. Trammell credits Venice squadron member Major Ted Dodds for his continued efforts to keep the local VFW post up to date on the squadron’s activities. “The experience at encampment provides cadets an opportunity for building a foundation of both teamwork and self-reliance. Many cadets would not be able to attend without the financial support of sponsors like the VFW. We are extremely grateful for their support.”

Lt. Col. Tom Trammell served as Commander of the Advanced Training Squadron for the 2017 Florida Wing Summer Encampment held in June at Camp Blanding, Fla. (Photo: FLWG Public Affairs)

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