On Thursday night, C/2d Lt Harrison Cox and C/Amn Peyton Burns were promoted to their current ranks. The promotion to C/2d Lt accompanies the Billy Mitchell Award, while the promotion to C/Amn comes with earning the Curry Achievement. Congratulations to our squadronmates on a job extremely well done.
The National Headquarters Operations Directorate has begun hosting a variety of webinars to provide training to our members in need. These webinars can be found by clicking here.
In this post, we would like to highlight the webinar and materials associated with the Garmin VIRB Camera Kit and FEMA Uploader Training available at the link. As CAP is called upon to do this post-disaster photography mission at an increasing rate, this online training is very important for aircrews. Lt. Col. Eric Templeton, CAP, National Emergency Services Academy Mission Aircrew School Commandant presents a webinar hosted by Mr. John Desmarais, Director of Operations, covering this important material. Here is the webinar, it is an hour and fifteen minutes long so carve out some time to watch and absorb this very important information. Click here for the slides used during the presentation. Here are the FEMA Image Upload Instructions.
Almost 70% of CAP aircraft will receive these units. If you’ll be flying with CAP, you’ll soon come into contact with this technology so we recommend spending some time with this material.
Last Thursday’s aerospace education segment, presented by Lt. Col. Ray Greene, covered a Vietnam War era operation in southeast Asia called Igloo White. His presentation was delivered not simply from the perspective of a military aviation history buff, but through that of a participant. Lt. Col. Greene flew in this operation personally. A highly decorated F-4 pilot, Greene’s take on the operation was delivered with his usual wry wit and commentary, possible only from someone who has “been there.”
The National Museum of the Air Force fact sheet describes Igloo White:
Using the cover of darkness, dense jungle and bad weather, North Vietnamese trucks carried critical supplies down the Ho Chi Minh Trail nearly undetected. Since large numbers of American ground troops were not permitted into neutral Laos to stop the trucks, the U.S. Air Force deployed a system of electronic equipment to thwart the enemy’s cover and alert U.S. commanders. This highly-classified electronic system was known as Igloo White.
The system became operational in late 1967, and it consisted of three elements: sensors dropped by aircraft along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, an orbiting EC-121B “Batcat” or the QU-22B aircraft that picked up and relayed signals from the sensors, and the Infiltration Surveillance Center (ISC), which received the data. Operated by Task Force Alpha at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base (NKP RTAFB), the ISC interpreted the sensor data and passed target information to combat commanders, who sent attack aircraft to the target.
Using a maps, photos and video, Greene described the formations used to drop sensors, aerial refueling, and how follow-on missions were flown using the gathered acoustic data. His description of night air-to-air refueling during inclement weather was hair raising.
Decades later, in April of 2012, this seasoned aviator became a qualified CAP pilot as a senior member of our squadron. As an Aerospace Education officer, Greene brings a robust background of experiences and lessons learned to his fellow senior members and the squadron’s cadets. One of many unsung heroes among our membership, Greene continues a tradition of service to his community and country.
For more information on Igloo White, view the following period videos, approximately two minutes long and 15 minutes long, respectively. For more from Lt. Col. Greene, join us in Mount Vernon Composite Squadron!
Cadet Major Thomas Murphy has been in CAP for three years. It will be four this October. He decided that he wanted to pursue his airman’s certificate after returning home from Northeast Region (NER) flight academy and soloing. He achieved his goal last month, on June 12th to be exact: FAA Private Pilot Certificate.
According to Murphy, “It took around 8 months to finish up my [certificate.] It took a total of around 55-60 flight hours which is about 30-40 flights.” He finished up with a total of 64 flight hours according to his Flight Instructor, and also completed his CAP Form 5. The requirements for the CAP Form 5 can be found in CAPR 60-1.
When asked what challenged him most as he attempted to accomplish this significant personal milestone, he replied, “The most difficult part of getting my certificate was finding time to dedicate toward studying for my flying and preparing ahead. Also balancing my flight training with my school work I found difficult.”
Murphy trained with two different instructors at the NER flight academy. Upon returning home, he received the rest of his flight instruction from Lieutenant Colonel Peter Hantelman of the National Capital Wing. “The easiest part was once I was up in the air with Lt. Col. Hantelman, manipulating the controls and physically getting more acquainted with how the plane feels and learning how to actually take control of the plane.” His father pinned his CAP Pilot wings on him. Although the original plan was for Murphy to take his dad for a short flight as his first passenger, the weather and Form 5 requirements kept this from happening. Of course all pilots know that no matter how much planning goes into any flight evolution, flexibility is key! His father is 1st Lt. Joe Murphy, a senior MVCS member, and the leader of the squadron’s cadets.
Murphy advises those considering pursuit of an airman’s certificate, sometimes referred to incorrectly as a “pilot’s license”, that, “if you are really interested in pursuing your certificate, realize it will require time, a dedicated flight instructor (senior member), money, and lastly parental support. If it really is your dream to obtain your [certificate] then go for it,” but Murphy went on to say that what you get out of your training is directly proportional to the effort you put into it.
He reemphasized the level of effort it took to achieve this goal, “When people who are non-pilots hear you got your certificate, I really don’t think the average person understands the amount of training and preparation that is required… After receiving all of my training for my [certificate], I realized…that I understand little of aviation [relative] to some of the pilots who have been flying for many years. I also truly respect the experience and knowledge of a regular commercial pilot, and what it took to bring them to where they are, after going through my own training just for my [private pilot certificate.]”
Murphy was recognized at a squadron awards ceremony on June 25th.
At this past Thursday’s squadron meeting, seven cadets were recognized with various awards, achievements and promotions.
C/SrA Lee Gysen earned the Mary Feik Achievement; C/TSgt Gabriel Ramiscal earned the Eddie Rickenbacker Achievement; C/CMSgts Harrison Cox and Josh Pavek earned the Neil Armstrong Achievement; C/2Lt Leilani Kavanagh was promoted to cadet officer rank by earning the Billy Mitchell Award; C/2Lt Sean Callis earned the Flight Commander achievement; and C/Maj Thomas Murphy was recognized for earning his FAA VFR Pilot Airman’s Certificate. The latest information on the requirements for Airman Testing can be found on the FAA web site.
The squadron commander, Lt Col Lou Volchansky, presided over the award ceremony and commended this superb group of Mount Vernon Composite Squadron cadets for a job well done.
Four MVCS cadets were recognized last Thursday evening at our squadron meeting. Promoted to their current rank were C/A1C Nathan McHale (Hap Arnold Achievement), C/MSgt Matthew Cox (Lindbergh Achievement), C/1 Lt Anith Muthalaly (Mitchell Award). C/1 Lt Clare Porter achieved Flight Commander and was also awarded the Ground Team Badge.
MVCS continued with it’s annual Safety Blitz on Thursday evening with presentations on aircraft ground handling among others. You can watch the new and improved video below by clicking on this link.
We post the slides for these presentations on our Safety page, which you can reach via the Members tab on our home page. Look for it in the drop down menu.
As the weather gets warmer, flying and other activities will increase. Be safe out there!
Tonight’s cadet meeting was cancelled due to weather, but last week five MVCS cadets were recognized with awards, achievements and promotions.
C/2d Lt. Callis received the Billy Mitchell Award; C/CMSgt Muthalaly received the Neil Armstrong Achievement; C/MSgt Aardema received the Charles Lindbergh Achievement; C/SrA Smith received the Mary Feik Achievement; and C/Amn Nathan McHale received the Maj. Gen. John F. Curry Achievement. These awards and achievements are all accompanied by promotions in CAP rank.
Prior to the award ceremony, the squadron began its Safety Blitz and had a special presentation from a former Iraqi Air Force F-1 pilot. Following is a slide show from the award ceremony. Parents, siblings, and other friends and family are always invited to participate in these ceremonies (bring your cameras!)
[Updated March 5, 2015] At MVCS’s meeting last Thursday night, in addition to an action-packed evening of safety training, awards and promotions, squadron cadets and senior members were treated to a special presentation.
Samer Al Rawi flew the Mirage F-1 as a pilot with the Iraqi Air Force. Mr. Al Rawi presented a simulated briefing for an air combat maneuvers training flight. His son Mustafa served as a “simulated wing man” as he used training aids to explain the maneuvers that would be conducted on the mission.
Using pictures from his career as a pilot, he exposed the cadets and senior members not only to a small slice of life as a Mirage pilot, but to how he was sent to France for training. It was not lost on the audience that Mr. Al Rawi was speaking a third language from his native tongue, having to study to fly the Mirage in French, and now giving a presentation in English.
As part of his presentation, Al Rawi discussed an in-flight mishap that occurred which led to the jettison of his aircraft’s canopy during an air combat maneuvers training flight. Sustaining an injury which left him flying with one eye, he was also challenged with hydraulic failure to the aircraft’s braking system. Normally, with brake failure, procedures called for the use of a net barrier to arrest the jet’s landing. However, with no canopy, this would endanger the pilot and recovery would be limited to parking brake use. As if these challenges were not enough, following an “uneventful landing,” when ground personnel attempted to insert the safety pin into the ejection seat to permit pilot egress from the cockpit with no risk of activating the lower ejection seat handle, the seat had moved causing a misalignment in the holes and preventing safety pin insertion. Clearing ground personnel from the area, Al Rawi was able to carefully and safely egress without incident.
The MVCS commander, Lt. Col. Lou Volchansky, presented a NATCAP wing patch as thank you memento to Mr. Al Rawi for sharing his presentation with the squadron.
Lt. Col. Terry Pricer kicked off the Safety Blitz at MVCS last Thursday evening with a number of presentations.
As Pricer began his presentation, he explained that CAP is improving safety instruction and awareness across the board.
Pricer’s words were substantiated in a memorandum to all CAP members published by the National Commander on February 27th. In the memo, Maj. Gen. Joseph Vazquez explains that, “The CAP Safety Program won’t be about rules and requirements meant only to fill a square. It will be about tools to make us safer and processes to mitigate risk.”
You can also learn much more about safety in the Civil Air Patrol by reviewing materials posted to the CAP Safety page.