AFA Outstanding Cadet of the Year for 2016

Mt Airy Composite Squadron is proud to present the recipient of the Air Force Association’s Outstanding Cadet of the Year, Cadet Second Lieutenant Daniel Flanick, Cadet Commander, Mt Airy Composite Squadron. Squadron Commander, Lt Col Ray Buzzard awarded the AFA Cadet of the Year Award for 2016, on March 02, 2017, at the Mt Airy Senior and Community Center, in the presence of family and friends. The Flanick family has a long history with Civil Air Patrol and has lent the program several iconic examples of outstanding leadership. Daniel is the youngest in this line of exemplary cadets and the last of this generation. The family has been a staunch pillar within the Mt Airy Composite Squadron for many years and the squadron has benefitted immensely by their participation and example.

The Squadron Commander may nominate any candidate in the CAP Cadet Program who has displayed superior performance during the year. The AFA is very supportive of cadet accomplishments and provides an award package that includes a silver medal, a sky-blue ribbon and a certificate.

Cadet Flanick ‘s memorable service includes holding the position of flight leader in charge of training new cadets, honor guard and drill team; he has hosted aerospace rocket launching events, assisted in teaching and has earned his rocketry badge. On February 12, 2016, then Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Flanick became Cadet Commander, Mt Airy Composite Squadron. The squadron ushered in a squadron change of command in April of the same year with Lt Col Ray Buzzard accepting the reigns of command. Cadet Commander Flanick has done an impressive job of bridging the differences between the old guard and the new. He earned his Mitchell Award and was presented the award with ceremony on July 28, 2016. Fort Detrick requested an honor guard for a Veteran’s Day ceremony in November 2016 and Cadet Commander Flanick dedicated extra time to train new cadets to accommodate the request.

Cadet Commander Daniel Flanick is a stellar embodiment of the Civil Air Patrol core values; integrity, volunteer service, excellence and respect. He has demonstrated his ability to command with professionalism that far exceeds his youth. He is capable of embracing change, working toward greater goals and he has the ability to treat all people equally, without prejudice, and bring out the best in everyone.

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 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

photos courtesy of 2nd Lt Patti Messick

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!

Mt Airy Squadron Parent Appreciation Night

Mt Airy Composite Squadron invited its parents and family members to attend on January 26, 2017. Fourth week is the squadrons scheduled night for ceremony and advancement. Parents and family mingled companionably while leadership training, counseling, review boards and other promotion qualifications were accomplished.

Parents, family members and Senior leadership all contribute toward a cadet’s success. The squadron wanted to acknowledge their commitment and support as well as give them a more tangible form of appreciation. The meeting was concluded with pastries after the certificates, rank advancements and rocketry pins were awarded.

Summer Tri-Wing Encampment 2017

Now is the time to start thinking about Summer Encampment!

Maryland Wing Civil Air Patrol provides the following descriptive overview:

“Encampment is the most significant, worthwhile training experience in a CAP cadet’s career. It is a week long basic training-like program and is required for the General Billy Mitchell Award. Encampment is designed to develop a greater understanding of CAP and Air Force missions and capabilities, personal and team leadership, and teamwork. ”


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.

Welcome the New Year 2017

Mt Airy Composite Squadron welcomed the new year with physical training and plans for the year. Weather not withholding, the cadets came out for exercise, drill and camaraderie. Short daylight hours and cold weather are not unknown, opening formation was greeted with a winter wonderland.

Plans for a year’s worth of activities were handed out. The calendar is arranged in three categories; cadet activities, senior activities and fund-raising events. Stay tuned for any changes due to weather or conflict.

“Semper vigilance”

Presidential Election 2016

Where were you on Election Day, November 8, 2016? Mt Airy Composite Squadron provided manpower to help set up and take down the election booths and tables at Parr’s Ridge Elementary School, Mt Airy, MD. This election had a bigger turn out in volunteers from the community. The evening was concluded in front of the Trump-Clinton signs. Lines were drawn. History was documented!



Nov 2016 Phase 3 Rocket Launch

Phase three rocket launch was hosted by the Flanick family on Nov 5, 2016. Mt Airy composite squadron cadets and senior members brought their dual stage and payload rockets to launch and enjoy the camaraderie of friends. Four cadets completed the three phase program. Cadet Nathaniel Messick was on hand to video from the air. Using a quadcopter and hand held phone, cadet Messick documented each launch, giving us a different perspective.

The Rocketry program has been a wonderful addition to the squadron activities. Several cadets are one stage and test away from earning their rocketry badge. The program will continue throughout the year providing the cadets the opportunity to earn their “pocket rocket”. Mr and Mrs Flanick were presented with a 75th Anniversary Civil Air Patrol coin and patch. Their assistance in this endeavor has been priceless.