Change of Command: Maj Cuarta moves to Florida Wing and Lt Klemm becomes Commander
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

By Lt Col Joyce Nader, Pinellas Senior Squadron

St Petersburg, FL -

Group 3 Commander, Maj Steve Lampasona, presided over an impressive Change of Command (“COC”) ceremony at the Pinellas Senior Squardon, FL 182, Civil Air Patrol (“CAP”), on February 1, 2017.   Maj Adrian Cuarta, who has been the squadron commander for 3 years, and who has served in various roles for 10 years, turned over the reins to Lt Ron Klemm.   

Maj Cuarta is moving to Florida Wing (“FLWG”) to serve as the Director of Professional Development. As Director, he will be responsible for managing and directing all functions related to the implementation of the CAP Professional Development Program in subordinate units. Additionally, the Director’s role will be to create a positive unit training environment, where CAP’s seniors can develop their required skills in a comfortable and professional atmosphere.

Serving as the flag bearer was Lt Klemm’s son, Sean, who is a cadet in FL 066, St. Petersburg Cadet Squadron, the cadet squadron that shares the same building with FL 182.  The new Commander has also served as the liaison to FL 066, coordinating functions between the seniors and cadets.

The COC began with the invocation, conducted by Lt Col Larry McConnell, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.  Then the ceremony began, in accordance with CAP protocols.

Along with 25 seniors from FL 182 in attendance, there were other squadron commanders from Group 3, including, Lt Ronalee Klase (St Petersburg Cadet), Maj Sam Chiodo (Hillsborough One Senior), and Maj Joe Mora (MacDill Cadet).

Following the COC ceremony, Maj Cuarta gave some parting remarks, thanking everyone for their hard work and service as “volunteers to our great nation.”   He received a well deserved ovation.

Lt Klemm then took over the podium, and gave opening remarks. He praised Cuarta for his “dedication, hard work, service to CAP, and mentorship to me, preparing me for this challenging job.”

The remarks were followed by a promotion, with SM Ben Brooks reading the order, and Klemm presenting Lt Keith Lukat, with his 1st Lt  epaulets.  Lukat is FL 182’s Emergency Services Officer.

A social hour concluded the COC, with food and refreshments provided by the newly minted Commander, Lt Ron Klemm.


L-R, Group 3 Commander Maj Lampasona, Lt KLemm, Cadet Klemm, Maj Cuarta
Photo Caption:  L-R, Group 3 Commander Maj Lampasona, Lt KLemm, Cadet Klemm, Maj Cuarta
Article Information
Reviewed by: Lt. Col. Joyce Nader
Syndicated to: Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 5, Group 6, Group 7, Group 800
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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit for more information.
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