Four Cadets Promoted at Awards Ceremony

On Thursday evening at Davison Army Airfield, four MVCS cadets were recognized and promoted at a squadron ceremony.

Cadets Stephen Gordon and Dien Dewever earned the Wright Brothers Award which is accompanied by promotion to Cadet Staff Sergeant.  This award is part of what Civil Air Patrol calls the “Learning Phase,” or Phase I.  Cadet Zachary Namiotka completed the Charles Lindbergh Achievement, accompanied by promotion to Cadet Master Sergeant.  This is the second achievement in Phase II, the “Leadership Phase.”  Finally, Cadet Leilani Kavanagh earned the Earhart Award, accompanied by the final promotion in Phase III, the “Command Phase,” to Cadet Captain. 

Parents, family members and MVCS senior members were present for the ceremony.  As each awardee marched front and center to be recognized and have new collar devices pinned on by parents, Cadet Major Clare Porter, who served as master of ceremonies, explained the significance of each award.  Civil Air Patrol cadet awards are named after individuals who have accomplished great things in the field of aviation.  More details can be found online via CAP’s “Stripes to Diamonds” page.

C/SSgt Stephen Gordon has new collar devices affixed by his parents. Photo by Lt. Col Mark Patrick.

Capt. James Kavanagh and the mother of C/SSgt Dien Dewever replace S/SSgt Dewever’s collar devices. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Capt. James Kavanagh assists C/MSgt Zachary Namiotka’s parents as they pin on his new collar devices. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Capt. James Kavanagh assisted by MVCS commander, Lt. Col. Brian “Irish” Porter (out of frame on left) pin on C/Capt Leilani Kavanagh’s new devices. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

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Mount Vernon Receives Subordinate Unit Inspection

Maj Claude Salch, MVCS Administrative Officer and Professional Development Officer (second from right), reviews programs with wing inspectors. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

On Thursday evening the wing aircrew meeting occurred as usual at Davison Army Airfield.  At the same time, a cadre of wing inspectors arrived to go through the Mount Vernon Composite Squadron’s key programs.

Subordinate Unit Inspections (SUIs) are conducted by region, wing or group headquarters on units subordinate to their headquarters. A wing may conduct an SUI on a group, squadron or flight within the wing. Likewise, a group headquarters may conduct an SUI on a squadron or flight within the group.  Specific details about scheduling and conducting Inspector General inspections, Staff Assistance Visits, SUIs and Self-Assessments are described in CAPR 123-3.

The program exists to protect the CAP organization by ensuring the various laws, rules, policies and agreements governing CAP programs are complied with. The program also helps its members meet the demands of CAP’s many rules, regulations and policies.

CAP personnel are volunteers, most of whom lead very busy professional and personal lives. These inspections insure that assets ultimately provided by the U.S. tax payer, as well as the many volunteers that make up the organization’s workforce, are handled consistently in the best possible way.  To ease the administrative burden of inspection programs, the wing has gradually moved most record keeping online, “to the cloud,” so that members can access information remotely, from home or office, or even on their smartphones and tablets.

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MVCS Starts New Year with Cadet Change of Command and Awards Ceremony

Last night Mount Vernon Composite Squadron met for a busy evening of training followed by a traditional change of command and awards ceremony for cadets.

Prior to the ceremony, the seniors met for aircrew training and were joined by the cadets for a series of safety presentations covered by Lt. Col. Terry Pricer, the squadron’s safety officer, who addressed winter weather, jumping your car’s battery, safety mishap reporting, operational risk management and more.

Following training, the seniors joined the cadets and a large group of friends and family to witness the cadet change of command during which C/Maj. Clare Porter passed the guidon to C/1st Lt. Harrison Cox.  For her service as cadet commander, Porter received the Commander’s Commendation Award for Outstanding Performance.  Porter made remarks to the cadets and assembled guests, expressing her thanks for the support and mentoring she received during her tenure as commander.  Vice Commander of the National Capital Wing, Lt. Col. J. D. Ellis was on hand to make the award presentation.  Deputy Commander for Cadets, Capt. Travis Owens, presided over the entire ceremony.

Lt. Col. J. D. Ellis, Vice Commander of the National Capital Wing presented C/Maj. Clare Porter with the Commander’s Commendation Award for service as MVCS cadet commander. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Deputy Commander for Cadets Capt. Travis Owens passes the guidon to C/1st Lt. Nathan Cox. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Following the change of command, three cadets were presented with the cadet recruiter ribbon which is earned for bringing two or more new cadets or senior members to the squadron.  Additionally, three cadets were promoted to C/Amn (Maj. Gen. John F. Curry Achievement), two to C/A1C (H. H. “Hap” Arnold Achievement), and two to C/SrA (Mary Feik Achievement).  C/MSgt Nathan McCale traded his chevrons for those with the C/1st Sgt’s silver diamond.  Following the ceremony, the cadets and senior members enjoyed a reception to celebrate their accomplishments and the health and camaraderie of the squadron.

C/MSgt Andrew Cameron, C/MSgt Nathan McHale and S/SrA Stephen Gordon earned the recruiter ribbon. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the squadron commander, Lt. Col. Brian Porter, expressed his thanks for the wonderful turnout of parents, friends, and family who came to support the cadet’s ceremony.

A family member affixes C/Amn Bluestein's collar device. New C/Amn Bevel, in the foreground, awaits promotion as his brother is also being promoted to C/Amn. Photo by Lt. Col. Patrick.

A family member affixes C/Amn Bluestein’s collar device. New C/Amn Bevel, in the foreground, awaits promotion while his brother is also being promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Patrick.

C/A1C Christopher Hamilton is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

C/A1C Christopher Hamilton is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

C/A1C Christopher Pease is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

C/A1C Christopher Pease is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

C/SrA Jon Rosa has collar devices pinned on by his father. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

C/SrA Jon Rosa is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

C/SrA Ryan Kilby is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

C/SrA Ryan Kilby is promoted. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

New cadet commander, C/1st Lt. Harrison Cox, pins 1st Sgt device on C/MSgt Nathan McHale while Capt. Travis Owens (foreground) explains the significance of the position to those assembled. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

The insignia pinned on the collar of C/MSgt Nathan McHale.

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NORAD Santa Tracker

image3911512The public will be able to eavesdrop Dec. 24 as Civil Air Patrol helps the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) track Santa Claus. The NORAD Santa Tracker website will provide a link allowing parents and children worldwide to listen to audio from CAP’s national radio nets as they support Santa’s epic journey.

Listeners will hear CAP radio operators across the country report local weather conditions and other factors that could affect Santa’s flight operations and navigation. The radio messages will be addressed to North Pole Mission Base.

At least seven CAP national net control stations will be managing net operations and providing periodic updates on Santa’s location. The CAP stations will begin Santa reports at 7 p.m. Eastern and 4 p.m. Pacific time. The stations will remain on the air until at least midnight.

“The HF radio systems CAP is using for the Santa Track net are an important resource,” said Malcolm Kyser, CAP’s chief of communications. “During emergency service and disaster relief operations when telephones and Internet may not be working, CAP’s volunteers routinely use radio to report damage assessment, conduct aerial photography and perform other essential missions.”

Sincerely,

CAP National Staff

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No meeting for Seniors 22 December 2016

Just a reminder that Mount Vernon Composite Squadron’s seniors won’t meet tonight, but will pick up on the second Thursday in January (the 12th.)

Happy Holidays everyone!

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New “Friends of CAP” Program

Greetings,

Civil Air Patrol members and their families are encouraged to spread the word about the new Friends of CAP program among their family, friends, co-workers, emergency service provider partners and anyone else who may have an interest in supporting CAP. Annual dues for Friends of unclesam-223x300CAP are only $35, which is tax-deductible, and they can sign up quickly online. Friends of CAP support the organization without any of the commitments involved with membership. This program does not replace CAP’s Patron members and is an easy way for people to support the organization. CAP Friends receive two printed issues of CAP’s magazine, Civil Air Patrol Volunteer, annually along with emails from national staff about all the great things CAP is doing. Additionally, CAP Friends can take advantage of selected benefits and discounts.

The two major benefits of Friends of CAP are: 1. Increased public awareness about the organization and the great things our members do to help their communities, states and nation. 2. Some of these Friends of CAP (to include CAP alumni) may want to become regular members in the future when their life circumstances permit them time to participate.

Proceeds earned from Friends of CAP will be used to help support cadet programs and AE/STEM. For more information, please check out frequently asked questions or email giving@capnhq.gov.

Thank you. We hope you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

CAP National Staff

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Mount Vernon Superlatives

Lt. Col. Brian Porter welcomes squadron members and guests. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Lt. Col. Brian Porter welcomes squadron members and guests. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Last Thursday night following both wing aircrew and squadron meetings, senior members gathered with cadets and family members at Davison Army Airfield for an awards ceremony.  We were honored to have National Capital Wing’s Vice Commander, Lt. Col. J. D. Ellis, with us as a member of the official party to present awards.

Following the arrival of the official party, Mount Vernon’s commander, Lt. Col. Brian Porter, opened the ceremony.  C/2d Lt. Michael Brokate was presented with his Billy Mitchel Award certificate for which he had been recognized in a previous meeting.  Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky was presented with CAP’s Meritorious Service Award for his time as the squadron’s commander.  C/TSgt Ryan Porter was recognized for promotion to his current rank.  C/2d Lt. Brokate took a moment to call a departing cadet, C/SSgt Adam Nazar, front and center to be recognized, and thanked him for his service to the squadron.

Prior to the ceremony, the squadron’s safety officer, Lt. Col. Terry Pricer, reminded squadron members that school is back in session and to take extra care traveling during this busy time in our area.  Following what’s been one of the hottest summers in many years, avoiding heat injury gives way to the elevated risks of distracted driving, pedestrians in school zones, and loads of school work and after school activities for our cadets.  Lt. Col. Porter closed the ceremony by thanking family members for supporting their cadets.

Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis arriving as a member of the official party. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis arriving as a member of the official party. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

C/2d Lt. Michael receives his Billy Mitchel award certificate from Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

C/2d Lt. Michael receives his Billy Mitchel award certificate from Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

C/SSgt Adam Nazar is recognized prior to his departure from the squadron by C/2d Lt. Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

C/SSgt Adam Nazar is recognized prior to his departure from the squadron by C/2d Lt. Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky is presented the Meritorious Service Award by Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky is presented the Meritorious Service Award by Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Lt. Col. Brian Porter recognizes C/TSgt Ryan Porter for his recent promotion. Photo by Lt. Col Mark Patrick.

Lt. Col. Brian Porter recognizes C/TSgt Ryan Porter for his recent promotion. Photo by Lt. Col Mark Patrick.

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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.

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Tonight’s Seniors’ Meeting is Cancelled

cancelledWith the cancellation of the aircrew meeting, tonight’s squadron CAP meeting (9 Jun 16) is cancelled. The cadets will still meet. The safety brief will be rolled into the Thursday, 23 Jun 16 meeting.

Thank you for all you do to support CAP’s many missions!

Semper vigilans,

Irish

BRIAN H. PORTER, Lt Col, CAP
Commander
MER-DC-045 Mount Vernon Composite Squadron

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Squadron Change of Command

Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky passes the guidon to Col. Bruce Heinlein. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky passes the guidon to Col. Bruce Heinlein. Photo by Lt. Col. Mark Patrick.

This evening at Fort Belvoir, the commander of the National Capital Wing, Col. Bruce Heinlein, presided over a change of command ceremony. In front of a cadet formation and assembled senior members, Col. Heinlein extolled Mount Vernon Composite Squadron’s performance, and the outstanding work of Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky who has had command for 25 months. Volchansky was presented the CAP Commander’s Commendation Award prior to the traditional passing of the squadron guidon.

The departing squadron commander and the new commander, Lt. Col. Brian “Irish” Porter, both delivered remarks during the ceremony.

Lt. Col. Volchansky is an instructor pilot with CAP, and a retired U. S. Air Force officer.  Lt. Col. Porter is an active duty officer in the U. S. Air Force and prior to taking command of Mount Vernon Composite Squadron had held the position of Deputy Commander for Cadets.

A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding officer to another. The passing of colors, standards, or ensigns from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the unit and its members is never without official leadership, a continuation of trust, and also signifies an allegiance of members to their unit’s commander. Great symbolism is attached to the ceremonial aspects of a change of command.

Col. Heinlein passes the guidon to Lt. Col. Porter. Photo by Lt. Col Mark Patrick.

Col. Heinlein passes the guidon to Lt. Col. Porter. Photo by Lt. Col Mark Patrick.

If you move your cursor over the certificate below, you’ll have access to additional pictures of the evening’s ceremony.

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome. Navigate to our home page via the tabs above for contact information.

Change of Command 26 May 2016

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