On Saturday, 24
February 2018, over 60 Civil AIr Patrol cadet and senior members from the Miami Senior One, Homestead
ARB Cadet, Opa Locka Cadet, Key West Cadet, and Tamiami Composite squadrons gathered at the meeting site of the Homestead Air Reserve Base
Cadet Squadron for the 2018 Group 7 Rocketry Day. The Tamiami contingent included C/1st Lt Mathew
Conroy, visiting from the 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron
of the North Carolina Wing.
Group 7 Aerospace
Education Officer, Major Bonnie Hinck-Baldatti,
launched the activity by welcoming the participants and leading the group in the
Pledge of Allegiance. Major Emilio
Martinez of the Tamiami unit then gave the safety briefing and was followed by
a short welcome address by the Group 7
Commander, Lt Col Luis Negron.
accompanied by their adult aerospace education
advisors, then took their assigned seating
positions by unit and began the process of building their Redstone, Titan, and Saturn rockets for launch
later that afternoon.
After the lunch
break, Major Hinck-Baldatti introduced
guest presenter, FLWG Director of Aerospace Education, Lt Col Gary Dahlke, who explained
Advanced Rocketry Program and emphasized the benefits
of cadets completing the Colombia and Challenger
phases of the program.
The group then traveled off-base to the launch site at
the Home Air Reserve Park, where with the
cooperation of the Homestead Public Rocketry Club, the cadets spent the next
three and a half hours launching their rockets.
Members of the Key West
Cadet Squadron, who had earlier traveled for three and a half hours to the activity,
were very complimentary in their comments on the event with C/Amn Joseph
Guertin stating, “We got to launch a lot of rockets today. I found the
experience enjoyable and educational.” He was supported by C/CMSgt Harrison
Simmons, who added, “This activity was more than worth the long drive from Key
West. I learned things about rocketry that I did not how to do before today.”