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.
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!
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.
Mt Airy Composite Squadron was asked to asset in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk held in Mt Airy on 16 October 2016. More than 1000 people participated in the annual event that helps to raise funds and awareness. Linganore High School organizations and Girl Scout Brownie Troop were highly visible. Mt Airy Composite Squadron provided a much needed task of controlling traffic at key intersections; providing safe crossing for the walk participants.
The walk began at Watkins Park, Mt Airy, around the elementary school, up W. Watersville Road, down Main Street and turned back toward the park at the Train Depot. Thank you, Deb Pacheco, from Deb’s Studio for taking photos of participating groups, the event and most of the photos on this post. Maybe next year the Maryland Wing can sponsor a team to participate in the walk as well as support the safety and welfare of the participants.
Overcast, drizzly to moderate downpour . . . Octoberfest was celebrated with real German weather and Mt Airy Composite Squadron was there to assist again! This October 1, 2016, Maryland residents turned out to experience a little bit of German food, music and a sundry at the Agricultural Center in Westminster Maryland. Mt Airy Composite Squadron, seniors, cadets and volunteers turned out to establish parking lanes, keep the traffic flowing, assist with the mobility impaired, give directions and collect donations for the Rotary. The cadets and volunteers were amazing. This was a very successful confidence building exercise. The weather did not deter participation, the event was held indoor and was a huge success.
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 the 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.
The 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.
Cadet Master Sergeant Jason Lohoefer did a great job sharing his volunteer firefighter knowledge with Mt Airy Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, on 8 September 2016. His pride and dedication were evident in his enthusiasm and demeanor.
Cadets were presented with an opportunity to handle the fire fighting personal equipment and ask questions. As a bonus, the cadets timed Cadet Master Sergeant Lohoefer as he hustled to put on his gear within the ninety seconds allowed when responding to a typical emergency call. He described each piece of equipment, how it was used and the purpose it was designed to serve. The apparel and equipment approximately weigh a cumulative fifty pounds and represent roughly eight to ten thousand dollars worth of gear.
Culminating the presentation with a bit of light reading, Lohoefer presented his text manual and study workbook. The text manual was about two inches thick and titled: Fundamentals of Fire Fighter Skills. Cadet Master Sergeant Lohoefer has obviously found it very rewarding to serve his community in this way. He dedicates his time and effort toward achieving the required certifications that will help keep himself and his brothers-in arms safe while performing his duties as a first responder and firefighter.
“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another.” John C. Maxwell
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.