1000 Wreaths – Mt Airy Composite Squadron’s Goal

This year Mt Airy Composite Squadron has set a goal of 1000 wreath sponsorship and has begun its efforts early this year. The cadets manned a booth at Walter Reed Hospital on April 17 and were greeted with support and encouragement. While there the cadets were privileged to meet Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, 19th United States Surgeon General. He stopped to speak with the cadets and added his support in their endeavor.

Mt Airy Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol is proud to support the efforts of Wreaths Across America whose mission is to “Remember the fallen, Honor those that serve and their families and Teach our children the value of freedom.” Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, wreath-laying ceremonies are conducted at over 1,200 national cemeteries in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad. Last year, Arlington National Cemetery was short over 100,000 graves.

The squadron will continue to seek sponsorship on an individual basis, at event booths and on-line. You can donate on-line at wreathacrossamerica.org. Select the “Sponsor a wreath with a local fundraising group” donate button and search for Mt Airy Composite Squadron. You can donate to the squadron or scroll through the individual pages and select a cadet. The current wreath sponsorship is one hundred and thirty eight out of one thousand. The squadron may be small, but it continues to prove its “Can Do” motto.

2017 April Aerospace

Second week of the month of April and the squadron gathers again for safety, aerospace, drill and flight time at the Mt Airy Senior and Community Center. The safety lesson demonstrated the use of rubber gloves and how to remove them when contaminated. Avoiding the use of ketchup, too realistic, the use of mustard was employed to test the practice.

The cadets continue on the path to Rocketry Badge achievement.   Last month, the rubber band powered rocket was assembled and launched. This week, the pop-bottle rocket was assembled, no time for launch.

Flight time and drill were observed. The meeting was concluded with the presentation of two Wright Brothers Awards. Staff Sergeant Mitch Walker recently achieved his rank in March and Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Ashley Pitt achieved her rank in October 2016.

photographs taken by Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Buzzard

2017 Frederick Municipal Airport

Carroll Composite Squadron, 1st Lt Randy Budge, Commander, and 2nd Lt Michael Swam, Deputy Commander of Cadets, invited Mt Airy Composite Squadron to join them in a field trip to Frederick Municipal Airport on 18 March 2017. This was a cadet inspired and planned activity. Three cadets from and three senior members from Mt Airy Composite Squadron joined the Carroll Composite Squadron cohort at the AOPA (Airplane Owners and Pilots Association) National Aviation Community Center.

The cadets were treated to an hour of flight simulation. Three different simulators were available along with instruction by Mike Woods, manager of the AOPA National Aviation Community Center. Another hour was dedicated for a tour of the air traffic control tower. Air traffic controllers, Jeremy, Steve and Gayle fielded question about the airfield, their work, personal histories and the different educational avenues available.

Frank Watson, CFI, pilot and instructor completed the morning with a preflight demonstration and lesson. Mr. Watson is a member of the Frederick Composite Squadron and is familiar with the Frederick Municipal Airport community. The cadets were encouraged to inspect the airplane with sight and touch.

Following lunch, the group traveled to the Maryland State Police Hanger where they were greeting by Paramedic Melissa Haut, pilots Tim Fulk and Craig Renier. Paramedic Haut and pilot Fulk presented the Maryland State Police Aviation Command’s history and mission. They shared statistics, personal histories, educational challenges and various routes available for training. The cadets were treated with a hand-on opportunity to explore the helicopter and to ask additional questions on a one-on-one basis.

Additional assistance came in the form of 2nd Lt David Cox, Carroll Composite Squadron, and 2nd Lt Jim Buchheit, Mt Airy Composite Squadron. They were instrumental in generating relevant questions as well as in answering cadet queries.

2017 March Aerospace

Mt Airy Composite Squadron met on 09 March 2017 for the regularly scheduled inspection, aerospace and drill at the Mt Airy Senior and Community Center. This week was unique because the aerospace lesson was taught by Cadet Commander Second Lieutenant Daniel Flanick, recipient of the AFA Outstanding Cadet of the Year Award for 2016. The lesson summary was provided by one of our newest and highly motivated members, Cadet Airman A. Franklin. Her summary is as follows:

On the second Thursday of March, 2nd/Lt Flanick taught aerospace to the cadets. 2nd/Lt. Flanick discussed the three laws of Newton and the four different forces for flying an airplane. Cadets got to do a hands-on experiment with balloons to analyze how thrust was created to help move the balloon forward and test how Newton’s third law “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, mass times  acceleration equals force” applies.  Afterwards, cadets went over the main components and the four steps of how engines work and we observed the different parts of a carburetor, where air and gas mix, and magneto spark, igniting an explosion inside the engine to get the airplane to start-up.

Mt Airy has been extremely fortunate in its wealth of quality youth and seniors. The cadets are motivated to learn and develop their potential. The seniors are motivated to help the cadets excel in their endeavors, open up a world of opportunities and to set goals that inspire them to greater achievements. Special thanks to C/ 2nd Lt Flanick, C/Amn Franklin, 2nd Lt Buchheit (aerospace technical advisor) and Maj T. Trombley for photos.

2017 February Aerospace and Promotions

Mt Airy Composite Squadron met on February 24, 2017, at the Mt Airy Senior and Community Center for it’s fourth week meeting.  The squadron began with the usual opening ceremony, inspections and drill. Senior members stepped up to cover aerospace, leadership and cadet promotions.

Aerospace was taught and orchestrated by senior member Buchheit. This week’s lesson covered the physics and mathematical principles behind energy transference. The cadets were given tissue, paper and tape. Their challenge was to drop an egg from six feet and have it remain intact. Following a short time of brainstorming and presentation, they performed the egg drop experiment outside. The elevation for the egg drop was increased until there was only one winner. Mr. Buchheit pointed out how this science applies to the aerodynamics of an airplane wing. Thank you Mr. Buchheit for providing another interactive experience that made science fun to learn.

Leadership training was coordinated by Major Trombley, Mt Airy Composite Squadron Deputy Commander. The lesson plan was handed out, the cadets split up into groups and the senior cadet staff mentored the lesson. When everyone regathered, Major Trombley facilitated the question and answer portion of the lesson; challenging the cadets to a deeper understanding.

Lieutenant Colonel Buzzard, Mt Airy Composite Squadron Commander, encourages cadets to promote early and command often. There are several stellar examples of this mantra at the Mt Airy squadron. This months latest rising stars are as follow: Cadet Airman Walker, our newest cadet; Cadet Senior Airman Messick, one of the most active volunteers; and Cadet Master Sergeant Pitt, a fast riser and staunch cadet.  Congratulations everyone, for your hard work and participation!

2017 January Aerospace

Mt Airy Squadron gathered on the second Thursday of January, 2017 for the usual inspections, drill, flight time, and aerospace. Senior member Buchheit presented engineering and aerospace principles in a lesson that kept everyone engaged while learning .

The cadets participated in a class where they performed hands on experiments. The topics for the class included the physics and principals of velocity, speed, acceleration, and air resistance. Cadets encounter all these principals when they fly CAP aircraft during orientation flights. By learning these principals before the cadets take the controls of an aircraft, they become better pilots.

The squadron is at 70% participation on O Flights (orientation flights); we are currently leading within the Maryland Wing. Plenty of flights are available, contact Lt Col Buzzard if you are interested. Thank you Mr. Buchheit for providing a very positive experience for everyone involved and C/SMSgt R. Buzzard for taking photos of the event.

ANG Cook Team – September 2016

Sometimes selfless service can lead to some surprisingly exciting opportunities and learning experiences. Thomas Edison was quoted in saying “Opportunity is missed by most people, because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” On 18 September 2016, Mt Airy Composite Squadron participated in the Maryland Wing, Group 1 Air National Guard Cook Team. They joined forces with Bethesda Chevy Chase, Parkland and Upper Montgomery squadrons to serve the noon meal and assist in cleanup duties as needed.

Master Sergeant Pettigrew arranged a tour of the Maryland Air National Guard’s 175th Fire and Emergency Services and Martin State Airport Crash Fire Rescue Station’s state-of-the-art facility while the meal preparations were being finalized. The cadets marched over and were introduced to Technical Sergeant Weglein, who welcomed everyone and gave a brief overview. Senior Airman Cherry then took over and provided a hand-on approach to the training equipment, response vehicles and office quarters at the facility. The highlight of the tour was the A10 training cockpit. The firemen were patient and encouraging. They assisted the cadets in trying out the equipment, answered firestationthe plethora of questions and enjoyed the overabundant enthusiasm exhibited. Lieutenant Brandenberg joined the cadets to thank them for choosing to volunteer their time to serve the Air National Guard; he offered encouragement in their pursuits and graciously joined in a group photo.

Back at the Dining Hall, the staff was better prepared to put the cadets to work. Ice bins filled, plates served and dishes washed. Service was done with a smile and eagerness to do a job well. The reservists responded to the zeal displayed. Brigadier General Randolph J. Staudenaraus, casually dressed in a flight suit, walked over to the senior members table (Lt Col Buzzard, Maj Trombley, Senior Member Trombley and 2nd Lt Alvarado) and thanked them for the Civil Air Patrol cadet involvement. Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Baker, as the cadet with highest rank, was asked to meet the General and represent the cadet group. The General made arrangements for the Cook Team to get a tour of the Maintenance Hanger after interest and enthusiasm for the A10 was clearly exhibited by both cadets and senior members. Senior member Lt Donahoe, from Bethesda Chevy Chase squadron, missed the introduction and chose to continue working in the kitchen; he was elbow deep in pots and pans, taking the most thankless jobs and providing an inspirational example of selfless service.

a10_fullThe Cook Team marched over to the Maintenance Hanger where they met with Chief Master Sergeant Queen. If ever there was a man who loved his work, it was Chief Queen. He began the cadets with the A-10 Attack Aircraft, affectionately called the “Warthog”. “Miss Revenge” and “Sure Thing” were introduced along with a short history of their service. Training incendiary devices were prominently on display; their names and statistics were explained. Chief Queen then demonstrated his passion for teaching as he encouraged any cadet interested to participate in a hands-on approach to learning about the aircraft; he patiently answered questions, demonstrated how the consoles worked, supervised cadet interaction and introduced new and varied career choices. Thank you, 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard.


September SAREX Training

Mt Airy Composite Squadron joined Bethesda Chevy Chase Composite Squadron on a Maryland Wing, Group 1, SAREX training mission on 10 September 2016. They gathered at Little Bennett Regional Park, Montgomery County, Maryland. Cadet Second Lieutenant Santos completed some of the familiarization and preparatory training with the assembled five cadets and two seniors while Major Knowles staged the mission scenario. The cadets practiced moving as part of a search line, employed scanning techniques while on foot, practiced communicating to other members of a search line and learned how to use whistle signals.

After establishing clues Major Knowles, Deputy Commander for Cadets at Bethesda Chevy Chase Composite Squadron, returned and passed out maps of Little Bennett Regional Park and provided the mission search scenario. The cadets suited up with their 24-hour packs, radios were passed out and tasks were assigned. Given the map and briefing, the team leader chose a hasty search pattern. The team began at a known trailhead and proceeded through a variety of terrain and trail switches. Radio contact with mission central was executed every hour and when a clue or major event occurred. Mission central also contacted mission ground when additional information became available.

     Roughly one and a half hours into the search, the missing subject was found. The sortie then discussed proper procedure and protocols. Mission base was contacted; safety and first aid measures were discussed. Second Lieutenant Santos then led the sortie back to the trailhead where a debriefing took place. Everyone contributed something to the learning experience and the event was a success.