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

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.

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.

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

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

Cadet Award Ceremony

Col. Bruce Heinlein was our squadron’s guest of honor at Thursday’s cadet meeting during which three awardees were recognized.

Cadet Capt. Clare Porter received the Earhart Award which marks the transition of the cadet from the command phase to the executive phase of the cadet officer corps.  Porter’s promotion to cadet captain accompanies this award.  Perhaps no name is as symbolic of aerospace achievement as Amelia Earhart. In 1928, she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic by air.  She disappeared in 1937 near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean while trying to circumnavigate the world in a twin engine Lockheed Electra. Her disappearance is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the 20th century.

C/Capt Clare Porter is promoted for earning the Earhart Award. Col Bruce Heinlein and CMSgt Denny Orcutt pin on new shoulder insignia. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
C/Capt Clare Porter is promoted for earning the Earhart Award. Col Bruce Heinlein and CMSgt Denny Orcutt pin on new shoulder insignia. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

Cadet Sr. Airman Ryan Porter was awarded the Mary Feik Achievement, CAP’s third achievement, which is accompanied by promotion to cadet senior airman.  Mary Feik is an amazing aviator whose contributions to CAP are legendary.  More on her background was covered in a recent post on our site, which includes an informative video produced by another CAP unit.

Col Heinlein presents C/SrA Ryan Porter with a ribbon for the Mary Feik Achievement. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
Col Heinlein presents C/SrA Ryan Porter with a ribbon for the Mary Feik Achievement. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Michael Brokate received the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) NCO of the Year Award.  We were honored to have the Command Chief of the National Capital Wing, Chief Master Sergeant Denny Orcutt, make this presentation.  In 1961, four men established AFSA to become a beacon for advocating quality of life concerns affecting the Air Force Enlisted Corps. AFSA now has seven divisions and 130 chapters across the globe.

CMSgt Denny Orcutt presents the AFSA NCO of the Year Award to C/CMSgt Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.
CMSgt Denny Orcutt presents the AFSA NCO of the Year Award to C/CMSgt Michael Brokate. Photo by Lt Col Mark Patrick.

Following the presentation of awards, Col. Heinlein, the NATCAP Wing commander and a former commander of Mount Vernon Composite Squadron, made remarks to the cadet formation and their guests in attendance.  Afterward, the cadets were dismissed to enjoy refreshments with one another and their families.  Finally, Col. Heinlein and CMSgt. Orcutt held separate meetings with cadet officers and NCOs to field questions and discuss current CAP issues.

 

Civil Air Patrol Mary Feik “Aviation Legend” Movie

[UPDATE: Mary Feik passed away on June 10, 2016.]

If you’re new to CAP, or if you’re just watching from the sidelines, and you’ve never heard of Col. Mary Feik, watch this and be inspired.

Mary Feik as a young woman in the cockpit of a P-80 fighter jet. Undated courtesy photo.
Mary Feik as a young woman in the cockpit of a P-80 fighter jet. Undated courtesy photo.

This video is provided by Lt. Col. Mike Cramer, Civil Air Patrol, Colorado Springs Cadet Squadron, Group 3, Colorado Wing, Rocky Mountain Region.  Many thanks to the Colorado Wing for putting this video in the public domain.  From its YouTube location, the following text is provided:

“Mary S. Feik is an aviation engineer, master mechanic, pilot, instructor and aircraft restorer. She has received many awards and honors in her storied career and is a colonel in the Civil Air Patrol.

Col. Mary Feik is a national treasure who has the biggest heart we know. She is 100 percent devoted to CAP and every cadet who has worn and continues to wear the uniform. She has the solid gold Presidential pin to prove it! Every year she tries to visit as many cadets as she can to share her amazing story. For those who have not had the honor and privilege to meet her and receive a personally autographed Feik achievement certificate, this video is the next best thing. She’ll tell you to follow her dad’s advice, ‘Aim high and follow your dreams … because it worked for me!’

Of course, this movie would not have been possible without the hundreds of hours volunteered by our own CAP senior member and movie producer, Ed Flanagan. Ed is the owner and producer of the Manitou Motion Picture Co. in Colorado Springs. He is a first-class guy who delivered a first-class movie!”

Civil Air Patrol marks 74 years of volunteer service

December 1, 2015

Civil Air Patrol turns 74 today, with its 58,000 members poised to celebrate their rich heritage of volunteer service.

“What a year it has been!” exclaimed Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, CAP’s national commander and chief executive officer.

“Last December, shortly after our 73rd anniversary, Civil Air Patrol was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of our World War II veterans from America’s Greatest Generation,” Vazquez said. “The Capitol Hill celebration of the extraordinary contributions of these founding members of CAP showcased our proud legacy of sacrifice and service.”

CAP was founded Dec. 1, 1941, less than a week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor led to America’s involvement in World War II. Its members quickly proved their worth by conducting aerial patrols on their own, heroism that discouraged and eventually stopped deadly German U-boat attacks along U.S. coastlines and waterways. The wartime service of CAP’s “subchasers” helped stop the loss of American and Allied merchant vessels, saving the lives of untold thousands of sailors and countless millions of dollars of war materiel destined for the battlefields in Europe and the Pacific.

In addition to coastal patrols, CAP aircrews assisted with other essential wartime missions on the home front, such as search and rescue, disaster relief, border patrol, forest fire patrol, target towing for military practice and transporting critical supplies. Members also managed hundreds of airports and trained aviators – many of them cadets – for future service in CAP and the military.

That legacy lives on in today’s all-volunteer force, which still contributes greatly to America’s defense by providing aerial reconnaissance for homeland security, giving Air Force fighter pilots practice in protecting America’s airspace and helping train U.S. military troops for service overseas.

CAP members also make a profound difference in more than 1,500 communities across the nation, saving lives through search and rescue and other emergency services and conducting aerospace education and youth programs that help develop the nation’s next generation of leaders.

Civil Air Patrol’s contributions to national defense were recognized in August when the U.S. Air Force added the longtime Air Force Auxiliary to its Total Force team. Changes to Air Force doctrine officially made Civil Air Patrol a strategic partner of the Air Force and CAP members “Airmen” when conducting Air Force-assigned missions.

The 74th anniversary observance includes an annual “CAP Sunday” activity in which chaplains, character development officers and other members are encouraged to wear their uniforms to their place of worship. The activity is scheduled for the upcoming weekend, Dec. 4-6.

Wing SAREX, great training and lots of fun

For those of you who couldn’t attend the SAREX on Saturday, you can click to read the press release on the wing Facebook page.  There’s also an album of photographs highlighting the day posted there.  If you’re not following the wing’s page already, join over 6,000 people around the world who’ve learned that the National Capital Wing is worth watching.

All who attended had a training-filled, fun day.  Training in standard search and rescue, as well as with some of our new photographic equipment made for a quality, hands-on experience and lots of camaraderie to boot.

Here’s a video filmed during the SAREX courtesy of Lt. Col. Adam Booth showing a nice centerline landing back at DAA.  Stall warning horn just prior to touchdown…nice.