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Alan Ferguson, Col, CAP

Commander's Welcome

The last few months were very productive for California Wing members. With three major Wing activities over the summer, California Wing worked to fulfill its missions within Civil Air Patrol.

 The 41st Cadet Training Group Encampment occurred 24 June-1 July at Camp SLO in San Luis Obispo, California. It takes a tremendous amount of time, effort and teamwork to make this week-long cadet programs activity a success. There were a total of 357 people at this year’s encampment, with one of the largest student groups of 199 students. There was 63 cadet cadre, 22 Advance Training Squadron members and 73 senior members working together to produce the newest group of cadet training group members. It was a coordinated effort among all of these individuals to accomplish the many activities that took place throughout the week. During encampment, cadets received a variety of instruction, some of which included drill, PT, and lessons in followership and teamwork. As part of the joint effort between the Army National Guard and the Civil Air Patrol, cadets received the amazing opportunity to ride on CH-47 Chinook helicopters, as well as orientation rides in corporate airplanes.

 We are very lucky to have a large percentage of returning senior members each year to encampment as they support and mentor our new senior members joining encampment for the first time. With all these members taking time away from their family and work, we are very grateful for their support and want to acknowledge how much we appreciate these outstanding individuals. This level of activity could not be the success it was without the support and planning of a core group of special individuals. A special thanks to the executive staff of encampment: Lt Col Grace Edinboro, Encampment Commander; Lt Col George Ishikata, Deputy Commander of Support; Maj Rene McCoy, Commandant of Cadets; Maj Christa Cabrera, Chief Training Officer; and C/Lt Col Lydia Philp, Cadet Commander.

 California Wing produced another week long activity this summer. For the first time, CAWG held an Aerospace Education Camp for cadets. It was held in Bakersfield hosted by the local Squadron 121. Through a full schedule of activities, cadets learned about the sciences incorporated in the aerospace mission of CAP. The cadets participated in educational classes, as well as building and launching model rockets, flying quadcopters, and were able to spend a day at Edwards Air Force base. The week was devoted to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education for the 57 cadets attending. If not for the dedicated senior staff, motivated cadets and supportive parents, the camp could not have happened. Lt Ken Richter and Maj Roger Dunn deserve a special thanks for their outstanding efforts in making this camp successful for the cadets. Cooking and meal preparations were headed by an amazing pair of people, Lt Col Marc Cohen and Lt Col Denise Van Loo who along with their crew, stepped in at the last minute to handle all meals for the week.

Annually hosted by the California Wing Operations, Aircrew School was held during the weekend of 23 July. The Wing’s Aircrew school was held in Fresno, California at the Fresno International Airport. During the school, participants practiced aircrew coordination on search and rescue techniques, a valuable skill set for our search and rescue operations and emergency services mission. Out of this school, we were able to produce new search pilots, observers and scanners, all mission ready. Attending, there were 12 mission pilot trainees, 11 observer trainees, 12 pilot mentors and 16 planes.

With more events on the schedule we look forward to a busy and productive fall and winter. I hope to see you at the Wing Conference in November.

 

Semper Vigilans!    

Alan Ferguson, Colonel, CAP
Commander, California Wing
Civil Air Patrol

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