2017 Civil Air Patrol Hot Air Balloon Academy

2017 June 14-22, Hot air balloon flight and training is alive and well within the Civil Air Patrol community at the Johnson Flight Academy in Mattoon, Illinois. Eight cadets, ages fourteen years and older with encampment experience, are accepted into this program, offered once a year. Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Raegan Buzzard from the Mt Airy Composite Squadron, Maryland Wing, was fortunate to be one of the cadets chosen for this 2017 National Cadet Activity.

Chief Buzzard was housed at the Eastern Illinois University dormitories in Charleston, IL and flight operations were conducted at Coles County Memorial Airport in Mattoon, IL. Hands-on flight training encompassed layout to launch procedures, navigation, landing, recovery, post-flight procedures and emergency operations. Flight instruction included weather theory and reports, the national airspace system and airport operations. The hot air balloons launched at sunrise and sunset, weather permitting, and cadets learned about the effects of weather on flight in a very tangible way. Written and hands-on testing concluded the program; cadets earned pre-solo wings upon successful completion.

The hot-air balloon ten-day program overlaps the glider and powered flight activities; cadets enjoyed the additional camaraderie of both schools and engaged in trading information, traditions, excitement and fun. Activity Director, Major Robert Bowden, stated, “JFA draws cadets from across the country. It is a unique activity because it brings together cadets all with a love of flying. Only at JFA can you receive hands-on flight training in powered aircraft, gliders or hot air balloons.  Many cadets attend for three years to attend all three programs.”

2017 June Isaac Walton League Visit

This week’s meeting was held on Wednesday, 14 June at the Izaak Walton League, future meeting site of the Mt. Airy Squadron (MD-091). After opening formation, the Vice President of the Izaak Walton League provided an orientation and safety briefing to all the seniors, cadets, and parents that were present.   He spoke about what the league could offer, the land, and the safety boundaries; where cadets are off limits. After the orientation/safety briefing, everyone was taken on a tour of the league property.  Cadets were shown the boundary lines for safety and interesting features of the league, such as inside the mechanism that shoots target disks in the air for disk shooting. In addition, instructors for IWLA archery program were present and discussed their program and available classes – additional information about the archery program can be found at www.mtairyiwla.org/archery.

After the tour, Lt Col Trombley spoke to the cadets about tests, first aid and CPR training that need to be completed to participate in CAP events. After that, Cadet 1st Lt Flanick talked to cadets about encampment, what to expect, his experience at encampment and how he enjoyed the learning environment on becoming a better leader. He then answered questions that cadets had about encampment.

Article by: Cadet Senior Airman Amy Franklin

Photos by: 2nd Lt Patti Messick

2017 June Aerospace Meeting

The meeting began with C/CMSgt Scott and C/CMSgt Buzzard conducting an inspection of Cadets Battle Dress Uniform (BDUs). Uniform inspections are opportunities for leaders to identify and provide instruction to help cadets meet CAP standards. Cadets then practiced stationary drill and marching.

After inspection and drill, 1st Lt Laura Smith-Velazquez talked to cadets about meteorology.
Lt Smith-Velazquez explained that meteorology is the study of weather and the atmosphere. She also went over the differences of weather and climate, what matter is, how Earth receives energy, and many more interesting facts. She also told us how she uses meteorology in her work in designing flight desks.

Colonel Buzzard made announcements and went over upcoming events that included next week’s meeting being held at the Izaak Walton League of America, flying rockets at C/1st Lt Flanick’s farm, parking and crowd control at the Mt Airy July 3rd Fireworks Celebration, and cadets going to the Encampment. Cadet Seth Moses, the squadron’s newest cadet, achieved and was awarded the rank of Airman.

Article by: Cadet Senior Airman Amy Franklin

Photos by: 2nd Lt Patti Messick

June Rocket Launch

The rain held off as Mt Airy Composite Squadron enjoyed another rocket launch Saturday. Civil Air Patrol family, Bruce and Karyn Flanick, hosted the scheduled informal rocketry event on June 17, 2017. The aerospace program continues to soar. New cadets and families joined in to achieve the on-hands portion of the Civil Air Patrol Rocketry program. Aerospace Officer, Cadet Lieutenant Daniel Flanick and Aerospace Non-commissioned Officer Cadet Technical Sergeant James Buchheit stepped up and engaged the new cadets and their siblings.

The goal is to achieve the rocketry badge. The Civil Air Patrol model rocketry program features three levels of achievement, painting and finishing techniques, advanced models, alternative sources of power. In addition, the history of four rocket pioneers, the science of Newton’s laws of motion and more are explored in classroom and hands-on applications. The program provides opportunities for camaraderie, science, technology, engineering, math and leadership.

Senior mentoring was plentiful with the attendance of Aerospace Officer Jim Buchheit, Commander Ray Buzzard, Deputy Commander Dean Trombley and Lieutenant Brian Winters, Drug Demand Reduction Officer. Lieutenant Winters gave a briefing on the drug reduction program within CAP and a rocket sporting the text logo “DDRexcellence” was launched.

Isaac Walton League Sharpshooter Team Competition

The Mt. Airy Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America, founded in 1947,  hosted the Mt. Airy Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Composite Squadron’s Honor Guard for the opening ceremonies. The event, Maryland Scholastic State Shooting competition, was held on Saturday, June 3rd. The Mt. Airy Sharpshooters team competed in this state-wide trap shooting competition.

The Mt. Airy Sharpshooters is a youth trap shooting program that participates in the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP).  The SCTP is a youth development program, providing school-aged youth with a positive experience in shooting sports. The program is focused on instilling in young athletes a set of personal values and character traits for fair play, compassionate understanding, teamwork, individual responsibility, sportsmanship, self-discipline, and personal commitment; qualities that will serve them well in sports, but more importantly, serve them throughout their lives. SCTP participants learn the safe and responsible handling and use of firearms.

The Mt. Airy CAP squadron has three cadets that are a part of the Mt. Airy Sharpshooter team: Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Ashley Pitt, Cadet Technical Sergeant James Buchheit and Cadet Airman Basic Jackson Curtis. During the state-wide shoot, 12 squads competed with 4-5 shooters per squad and of those squads, Cadet Technical Sergeant Buchheit’s squad ranked first place in the Junior Varsity (JV) division and Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Pitt’s Squad came in second place in the JV division. Of note, Cadet Airman Basic Curtis was not available to compete in this competition.

Congratulations to all Mt. Airy Sharpshooter CAP cadets for a job well done! Mt Airy Composite Squadron was delighted to provide the colors and kindle future cooperation  with the Mt Airy Chapter of the Isaac Walton League of America. Additional thanks go to Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Pitt for her fact finding and writing contributions.

2017 Cadet Change of Command

On the evening of May 25, 2017, the Mount Airy Composite Squadron (MD-091) held a Change of Cadet Command and Awards Ceremony at the Mt Airy Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) banquet room, downtown Mt Airy. Lieutenant Colonel Ray Buzzard, Commander Mt Airy Composite Squadron, presided over the event.

The Change of Command is a time-honored ceremony designed to mark the occasion when the responsibility of command is passed from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander. On this night, Cadet First Lieutenant Flanick stepped down as the squadron’s Cadet Commander and Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Scott assumed the duties and responsibilities. The ceremony began with the posting of the colors; Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Buzzard and Cadet Staff Sergeant Messick carried rifles, while Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Lohoefer and Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Pitt carried the American flag and the Maryland flag, respectively.

The following medals were earned and recognized during the awards portion of the ceremony: VFW Cadet Officer of the Year, C/1st Lt Daniel Flanick; VFW Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year, C/Chief Master Sgt. Raegan Buzzard; and Air Force Sergeants Association Mt Airy Composite Squadron Sergeant of the Year, C/Senior Master Sgt. Jason Lohoefer. Promotions acknowledged Cadet Technical Sergeant Buchheit and some of the squadron’s newest cadets – Sarah Panah, Ryan and Daniel Larocca all promoted to Airmen Basic.

Along with the Change of Command, new leadership positions were assigned to current staff members and new staff members were given their first leadership role, as follows:

  • Deputy Cadet Commander: Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Buzzard
  • Cadet Executive Officer: Cadet First Lieutenant Flanick
  • Cadet Flight Commander: Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Lohoefer
  • Cadet First Sergeant: Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Pitt
  • Cadet Flight Sergeant: Cadet Technical Sergeant Buchheit
  • Element Leader #1: Cadet Staff Sergeant Walker
  • Element Leader #2: Cadet Staff Sergeant Messick

After a few announcements about upcoming events and pictures, the cadets and their families enjoyed cake, refreshments, and fellowship. New NCO Public Affairs Officer, Cadet Airman First Class Amy Franklin was instrumental in writing this article. Second Lieutenant Patti Messick was in attendance to document the event in photos.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and 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 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.

The Mount Airy Composite Squadron meets at 7pm Thursdays at the Mt. Airy Senior and Community Center, 703 Ridge Avenue, Mt Airy MD. If esprit de corps, camaraderie, and leadership are part of your vocabulary, we welcome you to join us. If you have a passion for aviation, are considering a career in the military, or want to serve your community and enhance your leadership skills, this is for you. Youths, ages 12 to 18, and parents are always welcome to drop in. For more information about Mt Airy Composite Squadron, contact Commander Ray Buzzard at cap12ram@gmail.com.

May 2017 Graduation Commencement

First Lieutenant Daniel Flanick, Cadet Commander Mt Airy Composite Squadron, celebrated his graduation commencement at Mountain View Community Church on 2017 May 20; Mt Airy Composite Squadron was there to provide Color Guard Ceremony. Command of the Color Guard was held by Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Jason Lohoefer, the rest of the guard team consisted of Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Raegan Buzzard, Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Ashley Pitt and Cadet Staff Sergeant Nathaniel Messick.

Daniel joined Mt Airy Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, October 2011. His accomplishments include Maryland Wing and Squadron Color Guard, Encampment, Flight Sergeant, Flight Commander and Cadet Squadron Commander. He was the 2016 Air Force Association Cadet of the Year and the 2016 VFW Officer of the Year. The Civil Air Patrol cadet program provides opportunities for the learning, maturing and nurturing of leadership for young Americans ages 12-20; Daniel has taken full advantage of what Civil Air Patrol has to offer and has excelled in all capacities. Mt Airy Composite Squadron has benefitted from his membership and was honored to participate in his graduation commencement.

2017 Celtic Festival

The Mid Maryland Celtic Festival was held on 13 May 2017 at the Mt Airy Fire Department Carnival Grounds. Mt Airy Composite Squadron was there to provide parking and crowd control. The festival was accompanied by Highland weather; cold and rainy. Cadet Commander Daniel Flanick, Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Raegan Buzzard, Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Ashley Pitt and Cadet Airman First Class Amy Franklin dedicated the entire day to help at the event. Support and reinforcements came in the form of Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Blake Scott, Cadet Airman Jackson Curtis, Cadet Airman Aurora Albertson and Cadet Airman Raymond Buzzard.

Squadron Commander Raymond Buzzard, Deputy Commander Dean Trombley and the squadron public affairs officer were on site to provide adult supervision and guidance for youth volunteers. Rain, misty weather, food tents, bagpipes, kilts, the hills of Mt Airy rang with the sounds of fun.