Another busy squadron meeting

Last Thursday night, MVCS gathered for its first meeting with its new commanding officer, Lt. Col. Brian “Irish” Porter.  Porter delivered opening remarks and then the senior members immediately split up into groups for emergency services training.  Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky worked with a group on Mission Observer training while Lt. Col. Adam Booth took another group aside to cover Mission Scanner training.  Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Tom McGrath used a G-1000 simulator on his tablet to train a third group of pilots on the flight planning features of the Garmin software installed in the National Capital Wing’s Cessna 182 aircraft.

Many of the training materials for CAP emergency services missions can be found at the web site of CAP’s National Emergency Services Academy.

Lt. Col. Tom McGrath discusses the G-1000 software with other senior members. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. Tom McGrath discusses the G-1000 software with other senior members. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

If you’ve never flown in one of our Cessnas, you might enjoy a video by a member of CAP’s Missouri Wing.  The member was on his first flight as a Mission Scanner.  The crew is flying a Cessna 172 on a training mission in their normal area of operations.  Although not conducting traditional search and rescue maneuvers, the view from the backseat, radio chatter, and a couple of takeoffs and landings gives one a feel for flight operations in CAP aircraft.  Filmed in the fall of 2013, the video is just under 17 minutes in length.  Check it out.

Following emergency services training, Mount Vernon cadets joined the senior members for safety training.  Lt. Col. Terry Pricer discussed hurricanes, heat, and humidity, insuring that squadron members are prepared for some of the risks common to the summer season in our area of operations.  Pricer also provided an update to a previous lecture topic, the Zika Virus, advising members that the latest and greatest information could be found on the Center for Disease Control’s website.  Cadets asked questions about heat injuries as they prepare to participate in many of CAP’s summer training opportunities which occur when the weather is the warmest.

With safety training complete, the cadets stood in formation in front of their families for an awards ceremony.  Lt. Col. Porter presided over the ceremony assisted by C/Capt Clare Porter.  C/Amn Dien Dewever was awarded the Curry Achievement.  C/SSgts Nathan McHale and Ryan Porter were presented the Wright Brothers Award.  C/SSgt Porter also received the Basic Ground Team Badge.  C/2d Lt Michael Brokate was presented with the Billy Mitchel Award, which accompanies the transition from cadet senior non-commissioned officer to officer rank. Finally, Lieutenant Colonel Brokate, U.S. Army, presented certificates of appreciation to two cadets for their assistance with a Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) dining in.  A dining in is a formal military ceremony for members of a company or other unit, which includes a dinner, drinking, and other events to foster camaraderie and esprit de corps.  Brokate also presented DLA “challenge coins” to the cadets.  He informed the assembled squadron members and their families of the significance of the challenge coin, the history of which can be traced back to the time of the Roman Empire.

C/Amn Dien Dewever is promoted to his current rank. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/Amn Dien Dewever is promoted to his current rank.
Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SSgt Nathan McHale is promoted to his current rank. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SSgt Nathan McHale is promoted to his current rank.
Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SSgt Ryan Porter is promoted to his current rank. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
C/SSgt Ryan Porter is promoted to his current rank.
Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. and Mrs. Brokate pose with newly promoted C/2d Lt Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
Lt. Col. and Mrs. Brokate pose with newly promoted C/2d Lt Michael Brokate.
Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
MVCS family members watch the squadron's awards ceremony. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.
MVCS family members watch the squadron’s awards ceremony.
Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Additional photos can be found at the squadron’s Flickr site.