2019 January Aerospace Night

January 9, 2019 – Mt Airy Composite Squadron met at the Izaak Walton League of America, Mt Airy Chapter. The regularly scheduled meeting for the second Wednesday of the month focused on aerospace education.  The International Space Station discussion continues from last month. NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond was also a topic of conversation. The thrust of the aerospace topic was in the international cooperation, modular design and, most importantly, the proximity of creative work done here in Maryland. Thinking outside the box is not a new concept. The fact that people are actually pursuing their interests and getting results is a reason to celebrate and emulate.  The evening was concluded with the completion of an International Space Station model.

photo by 1st Lt Elizabeth Linares

2019 January Physical Fitness

January 2, 2019 – Mt Airy Composite Squadron met at the Izaak Walton League of America, Mt Airy Chapter. The regularly scheduled meeting for the first Wednesday of the month focused physical fitness training, safety and character development.

Physical fitness training (PT) began with a safety pre-check. Cadets were encouraged to check the vicinity for vehicles, obstacles and surface conditions. Warm-up exercises and stretches were conducted with a focus on form. A mile run and relays finished off the PT segment of the night’s events.

The safety focus was vehicle preparedness. The AAA Guide to Personal Safety was used as a model for discussion. The problem prevention checklist was especially helpful; safety equipment and supplies will be assembled for the Civil Air Patrol vehicle. Be prepared.

Senior member Lee Milliner prepared a lesson plan on the topic of integrity. Using Civil Air Patrol’s new Values for Living 2.0 character curriculum, he facilitated the lesson that is designed to instill the virtues of ethical leadership in cadets. Each lesson comes with a video resource. The video was followed with interactive questions and answers.

Cadets led flight-time, a review on customs/courtesies and emergency services checklist. These concluded the evening activities. So much to do . . . so little time!

2018 Wreaths Across America at U.S. Soldiers and Airmen’s National Cemetery

15 December 2018, Mt Airy Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, transported seven cadets and three senior members to the U.S. Soldiers and Airmen’s National Cemetery and participated in the National Wreaths Across America Day. Volunteers were undaunted by persistent rainfall. Cadet First Lieutenant Raegan Buzzard instructed new cadets in the customs and courtesies observed when laying a wreath. Cadets Dylan Marty, Alex Rolfe, Jacob Spence, Micah Mulhern and Dimitry Madsen were first time attendees and performed their honor guard duties admirably. 

Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, volunteers gather for a coordinated wreath-laying event that occurs at more than 1,400 locations; across this country, at sea and abroad. The mission is to REMEMBER the fallen, HONOR those who served and TEACH the value of freedom. These are concepts Civil Air Patrol embraces in their core values of respect, integrity and volunteer service. Civil Air Patrol has been a supporter of Wreaths Across America since its inception in 1992.

The U.S. Soldiers and Airmen’s National Cemetery, Washington D.C., is one of the original national cemeteries established by Congress in 1862. In addition to Arlington National Cemetery, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army as an Army National Military Cemetery. The total size is nearly sixteen acres.  The initial six acres were quickly filled to capacity between 1861-1864 and it is the final resting place for residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, located on the south end of the property. Only 53 percent of total 14,000 plus graves received wreath sponsors. With an obvious shortage of wreaths, special attention was paid to the headstone of unknown soldiers. Join us as we begin the process all over again for December 14, 2019. Sponsor a wreath through our group, Mt Airy Composite Squadron, search by location, Mt Airy, Maryland. 

December 2018 Aerospace

December 11, 2018 – Mt Airy Composite Squadron met at the Izaak Walton League of America, Mt Airy Chapter. The regularly scheduled meeting for the second Wednesday of the month guarantees aerospace enthusiasm. Commander Smith-Velazquez taught a lesson on space systems.  The power point presentation stepped the class through the concepts of terrestrial systems to international space stations. Included in the interactive discussions were closed systems, propulsion systems, heat exchangers, solar arrays and modules. The evening’s lesson was reinforced with a hands-on model building exercise that will be completed at next month’s aerospace meeting.

Maryland Wing Civil Air Patrol hosts NCO Academy

December 08, 2018 – Mt Airy Composite Squadron members attended the first Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) Academy held at Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol, headquarters. Cadets, in excess of thirty, from diverse Maryland squadrons converged to get additional training and mentoring in leadership. Major Rachel Knowles, Director of Cadet Programs, Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol, continues to seek innovative learning opportunities to offer cadets at wing level. Wing based training has the advantage of appealing to a wider range of talent and experience brought together for the benefit of its membership. Cadets Dimitry Madsen, Conner Snyder, Micah Mulhern and Conner McGarrah from Mt Airy Composite Squadron attended the event. They found the experience invigorating. The squadron’s benefit is the new energy and focus these cadets bring back as they continue to seek personal growth and advancement.

photographs were made available courtesy of www.facebook.com/MarylandWingCivilAirPatrol

December 2018 Physical Training

December 05, 2018 – Mt Airy Composite Squadron met at the Izaak Walton League of America, Mt Airy Chapter. The regularly scheduled meeting for the first Wednesday of the month focus was on physical fitness. This evenings activities occurred entirely on site. Captain Nathan Rolfe conducted the training program and implementation. This is one of the most popular Civil Air Patrol activities at our squadron. Cadets get active and engage in interactive lessons.

“Unless restricted by a physician, cadets participate in a variety of calisthenics, sports, and other exercises. Periodically, in their quest to earn awards, cadets attempt a physical fitness test.”

There are four categories within the Cadet Physical Fitness Test: Sit and Reach, curl-ups (sit-ups), push-ups and a mile run.

photographs by 1st Lt Elizabeth Linares


November 2018 Promotion Night

November 28, 2018 –Mt Airy Composite Squadron met at the Izaak Walton League of America, Mt Airy Chapter. The regularly scheduled meeting for the fourth Wednesday of the month was a celebration of promotions and awards. The evening’s proceedings were augmented with guest speaker Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Gillis. He tackled the topics of leadership, regulations, and procedures. Interspersed within the lesson were historic references and examples. 

Cadet Staff Sergeant Snyder conducted uniform inspections, pointing out infractions and more importantly, giving instruction on corrections.  The advent of two potential cadet members visiting the squadron provided Cadet Staff Sergeant Snyder an opportunity to teach and review basic drill. Technical Sergeant Madsen conducted flight time drill maneuvers.

The promotion ceremony began with the elevation of grade for cadets. Parents are encouraged to attend and participate:

  • Dylan Marty became Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Marty
  • Dimitry Madsen became Cadet Master Sergeant Madsen
  • Conner Snyder became Cadet Technical Sergeant Snyder

Guest presenter, Lieutenant Colonel Bob Midkiff, Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol, Emergency Services Officer, attended Mt Airy Composite Squadron’s promotion night. Captain Laura Smith Velazquez, Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Dylan Marty and Cadet Technical Sergeant Conner Snyder were awarded the Disaster Relief Ribbon and Silver “V” device.  These squadron members participated in a disaster relief effort deployed in response to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina.  As a Presidential declared disaster, they earned the Silver “V” devise and may wear it on the ribbon. During the presentation, Lt Col Midkiff regaled the audience with a description of the events that led to the mission and the magnitude of effort involved. Before leaving, Lt Col Midkiff made an additional presentation. Cadet Technical Sergeant Conner Snyder completed his emergency services ground team-level three training and has achieved his ground team badge.

Last, but not least, was the recognition of five cadets that completed the written and performance requirements for three progressively challenging stages of model rocketry. TheCivil Air Patrol Official Model Rocketry Badge was awarded to:

  • Cadet Airman First Class Micah Mulhern
  • Cadet Second Lieutenant Aurora Albertson
  • Cadet Technical Sergeant Conner Snyder
  • Cadet Master Sergeant Madsen
  • Cadet Airman First Class Conner McGarrah

November 2018 Emergency Services Training

November 21, 2018 –Mt Airy Composite Squadron met at the Izaak Walton League of America, Mt Airy Chapter. The regularly scheduled meeting for the third Wednesday of the month focused emergency services training. Commander Smith-Velazuez conducted an interactive power point presentation on introductory communications user training (ICUT).  ICUT is one of the building blocks for emergency services training. With in this training program, members learn all the elements of radio operation and etiquette. Special terminology, phonetic alphabet and military-style number terms are used for clarity.

In addition to this training, there are on-line tests (to be conducted at home). A qualified ICUT Skill Evaluator will conduct a hands-on evaluation for those who have completed their training. Effort is being made to have an evaluator available at next month’s emergency services meeting.

Flight time sees some changes as cadets grow in grade and responsibilities. Senior Master Sergeant Marty steps to lead the flight. Technical Sergeant Madsen calls commands and is mentored by Second Lieutenant Albertson. Airman First Class McGarrah takes on guide-on duty. Deputy Commander Rolfe looks on and gives guidance over the entire operation.