30 March 2010

CTWG: All Pilots Meeting

27 March, 2010: The Connecticut Wing recently held an "All Pilots Meeting". Twenty five active pilots attended briefings on topics including Safety, Operations Procedures, WMIRS changes, Stan/Eval up-coming changes, the joint CAP/US Coast Guard Long Island Sound Patrol plan for 2010 and general discussion topics.

Also included were presentations from Jim Adams of the FAA district office at Windsor Locks, CAP Wing Communications (Major Chris Kelling), CAP Operations (Colonel Lloyd Sturges and Lt Mark Capen), CAP Safety (Lt Col Sandy Sanderson) and Standards/Eval (Lt Col and Wing Chief of Staff, Tony Vallillo).

Of special note, Major Keith Neilson (top), Lt Col Sandy Sanderson (top) and Major Bob Dodenhof (bottom) received certificates of appreciation from Jim Adams of the FAA for their longstanding support of the FAA Safety Program in Connecticut.

Special thanks to Lt Col Vallillo for the on site photography.

CTWG: Colonels and Generals

A keeper shot of our new Connecticut Wing Commander, Col Cassandra Huchko and Civil Air Patrol's National Commander, Major General Amy Courter at the 2010 Massachusetts Wing Conference.

CTWG: Royal Charters Flag Retirement

Some great photos of the OLD Hartford, CT Royal Charter Squadrons flag retirement and the raising of the NEW Royal Charter Composite Squadrons flag. Thanks to CT Wing APAO Donna Yount for the photos.

28 March 2010

CTWG: Open Cockpit

28 March, WVIT Ch 30 aired footage of a recent open Cockpit day at the New England Air Museum. CAP officers and cadets were in much of the footage. We'll see if we can get it...

Here is their summer schedule:

The Museum will provide 7 weeks of themed activities beginning in July.
July 5-9 discover Blimps and Balloons
July 12-16 fun Racing to the Finish Line
July 19-23 meet Heroes of Aviation
July 26-30 fly Rockets
August 2-6 learn about Helicopters and Rescue
August 9-13 uncover the secrets of Space
August 16-20 understand Airplane and Gliders
Everyday there will be activities and/or craft projects and on Friday of each week there will be a special 1 hour workshop to support the theme.

26 March 2010

USAF: Above All

Cadet: One for the guys and gals

NER: Springfield Civil Air Patrol Glider Academy

Spend the week soaring over the beautiful Vermont and New Hampshire countryside. Begin flight and ground school instruction for your glider pilot license. Make new friends! Enjoy cook-outs, volleyball, and computer games after a day of soaring.

DATE: July 12 to 16 or August 2 to 6.

COST: Preregistration by CAPF 31 is required at a minimum two weeks before the event. The cost for five nights, fourteen meals, instruction, and soaring fees is only $350.00. Transportation will be provided from Manchester, NH airport

For more information Contact Lt Col David Mikelson, Springfield Composite Squadron Commander

USAF: Jump

As seen through a night-vision device, a U.S. Air Force airman prepares students during a jump mission as part of exercise Emerald Warrior near Fort Walton Beach, Fla., March 16, 2010. U.S. Special Operations Command personnel are conducting the 19-day training exercise, which provides troops with an opportunity to participate in realistic urban-warfare training scenarios at multiple sites along Florida's Gulf Coast. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clay Lancaster. Hat tip Blackfive.net.

25 March 2010

NER: Air Crew School

To all CT Wing pilots (and please pass along to your squadron commanders for dissemination to potential scanners and observers as well)

PA has been tasked to host an aircrew school for the Region. They have a wonderful base NAS Willow Grove, NXX, billeting, and some of the best instructors east of the Ohio R.

All of our instructors are graduates of PAMAS or NESA MAS, a few have instructed or have been staff at NESA for over 7years.

What usually takes years to complete, can be done in one week, including check rides. Your Wing gets quality-qualified aircrewman. The cost is $100.00 per student, out of pocket.

For questions contact CTWG Chief of Staff, Lt Col Tony Vallillo

23 March 2010

Astro: Mars like never seen before

It looks like a filmmaker's apocalyptic vision of Earth following a devastating natural disaster. But this colossal ice formation is actually a portion of the wall terraces of a huge crater on Mars.

Approximately 37 miles in diameter, a section of the Mojave Crater in the planet's Xanthe Terra region has been digitally mapped by Nasa scientists.
The result is this digital terrain model that was generated from a stereo pair of images and offers a synthesized, oblique view of a 2.5-mile portion of the crater's wall terraces. More here...

21 March 2010

DoD: Sec Gates notes contributions of military women

From AF.mil

3/20/2010 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The nation depends upon women, both military and civilian, at all levels of the Defense Department, from the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan to the upper echelons of military command, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here March 19.

Secretary Gates traced the evolving role of women in the Defense Department, from the Revolutionary War through today, during remarks at the Pentagon's Women's History Month observance.

"For over 230 years, American women have served with distinction on the battlefield," he said, "even when they have had to do so in secret."

Secretary Gates cited the example of Deborah Sampson, who disguised herself as a man to enlist in the Revolutionary War and was wounded twice during battles with British forces. After the war, Miss Sampson was given a $4 annual pension, he said, noting that "a dollar went further in those days."

In World War II, more than 300,000 women volunteered for service, and about 1,000 Women Airforce Service Pilots, known as WASP, flew more than 60 million miles in nearly every type of aircraft and role, he said. These women, however, were denied benefits until 1977.

Earlier this month, the WASP were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their wartime service, a "belated recognition of the debt that we owe these and many other patriotic women," Secretary Gates said.

Moving to the present, Secretary Gates noted the importance of women to the nation's current conflicts.

"Since 9/11, women have served everywhere and are critical to our war effort," he said.

Secretary Gates described the heroism of Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown. In 2007, Specialist Brown was serving as a medic in Afghanistan's Paktia province when her convoy was ambushed by insurgents. She braved mortar and small-arms fire to aid soldiers wounded by a homemade bomb. She is credited with saving the lives of five soldiers, he said, and was awarded the Silver Star for her selfless actions.

Secretary Gates also noted the contributions of women at the highest levels of military command.

"They are quietly leading large, diverse institutions with honor, integrity and skill," he said.

Secretary Gates said he had the privilege of promoting the U.S. military's first female four-star general, Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, two years ago.

"General Dunwoody now leads the 66,000 men and women of Army Materiel Command, providing critical supplies and support to our military forces around the world," he said.

Secretary Gates praised the nation's civilian leaders as well. He noted that Michele Flournoy serves as undersecretary of defense for policy, and that Christine Fox is director of the Pentagon's cost assessment and program evaluation office.

"All of these women, and many here in this audience, have volunteered to serve our nation during times of great peril both past and present," the secretary said. "Their example teaches us to persevere in the face of adversity and also to realize that all Americans willing to serve can make magnificent contributions."

Following the secretary's remarks, Lt. Col. Nicole Malachowski, the first female member of the Air Force Thunderbirds, expressed her admiration for her predecessors in military aviation. She credits the WASP as the inspiration for her own career.

"These World War II vanguards moved everybody forward, unknowingly shaping the environment that I would inherit and generations of other women military aviators," she said.

"Countless military women like me are part of this vanguard, advancing, changing and shaping our environment," she continued. "We are the greatest military in the world because we combine our unique gifts, women and men alike."

She thanked her predecessors for teaching modern military women the valuable lesson that "women can love their country too and that many of us choose to show it by wearing our nation's uniform."

19 March 2010

Morale: HALO with a bite

The special forces of 14 countries conducted the big joint military exercise "Cold response" in minus 30 degrees in Narvik, Norway. The picture shows an Austrian special forces trooper training parachuting with dogs. Land, air and sea special forces participated in the exercise. More here...

Aero: Not the best of times if you want to go to the moon

The Financial Times (FT.com), which often has outstanding intellegence is following the back to the moon story closely.

Three elderly American heroes have been touring US military bases in Europe and Asia this month, telling inspiring tales of space adventures that took place before most people in the audience were born.

But the Apollo astronauts – Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan and Jim Lovell – were not just living on past glories. They looked at the future of manned space flight and lamented President Barack Obama’s decision last month to cancel the Constellation programme under which Nasa would have taken Americans back to the moon by 2020.

The astronauts’ intervention is part of a growing backlash against the plans of Mr Obama, who argues that the US cannot afford to build the Ares rockets and Orion crew vehicle that make up Constellation and needs a nimbler development programme led by private companies. His opponents, from both political parties, say the decision jeopardises national security, prestige and commercial interests at a time when other countries are boosting their own space programmes. More here...

16 March 2010

CTWG: The 169ths C/Capt Choleva receives the Earhart

Manchester CT: The Civil Air Patrol’s Earhart Award is one of the most prestigious awards a CAP cadet can achieve in the cadet program. Naturally, any award referring to a great American hero such as Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean is a landmark award for any aerospace education program.

The Earhart Award is attained by less than five percent of all CAP cadets. On the 9th of March, newly promoted Cadet Captain, Jeremy Choleva joined the ranks of those few.

Cadet Captain Choleva, a four year member of Manchester’s 169th Composite Squadron, earned his high school diploma through the home schooling program. He began his college education at the early age of sixteen. He is now a junior at Eastern Connecticut State University and is majoring in biology. According to his father, Jeremy’s goal oriented character is clear to see based upon his academic achievement and his rapid advancement in the CAP cadet program.

Also honoring Choleva, Connecticut State Representative and CAP member, Major Ted C. Graziani Chairman of the Select Committee on Veterans' Affairs presented him with a Citation from the State of Connecticut recounting his many accomplishments as a cadet. Additionally, Representative Graziani expressed his support for the Civil Air Patrol and spoke highly of its quality cadet and search and rescue programs as well as the dedicated service of all of its members.

14 March 2010

Aero: Poland AF

A news source got to visit this Polish airfiled recently. Here is a shot of the aircraft they saw at Bydgoszcz. No cameras allowed inside the base.

From top to bottom
PZL TS-11 Iskra Trainer (PZL Mielec)
AN-2 Biplane transport (PZL Mielec)
MIG-17 (PZL Mielec)


Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz greets Betty Hall Stohfus of Faribault, Minn., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 10, 2010, before she and other members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke) (Lauren Victoria Burke, AP / March 10, 2010)

WASHINGTON (AP) — They flew planes during World War II but weren't considered real military pilots. No flags were draped over their coffins when they died on duty. And when their service ended, they had to pay their own bus fare home.

These aviators — all women — got long-overdue recognition on Wednesday. They received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor given by Congress, in a ceremony on Capitol Hill.

About 200 women who served as Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, were on hand to receive the award. Now mostly in their late 80s and early 90s, some came in wheelchairs, many sported dark blue uniforms, and one, June Bent of Westboro, Mass., clutched a framed photograph of a comrade who had died.

As a military band played "The Star-Spangled Banner," one of the women who had been sitting in a wheelchair stood up and saluted through the entire song as a relative gently supported her back.

"Women Airforce Service Pilots, we are all your daughters; you taught us how to fly," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to serve as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. She said the pilots went unrecognized for too long, even though their service blazed a trail for other women in the U.S. military.

More here....

11 March 2010

Aero: Connie and more, much more...


CTWG: Spanning the Generations at Connecticut Wing Headquarters

11 March, 2010 - Pictured above on the left is Kyle Johnson, CT Wing's sole Cadet presently transitioning into its newest, youngest Senior Member. He presently serves as an assistant on the Public Affairs Staff. To the right is Col Lloyd Sturges, Director of Wing Operations. Both share the same commitment of service to others, as well as the exact same birthday - TODAY!

Kyle turning 18, is a Senior at Bolton High School and will be attending Central Connecticut State University as an anthropology major in the fall. He will be following the PA specialty path and working on his Mission Scanner rating. Col Sturges is well.., simply the beating heart of the CT Operations Division. A past CT Wing Commander, he also serves as a guiding moral compass for our Seniors and can pull off one heck of a simulated heart attack at the annual Wing SAR EVAL. His other life hobbies include a strong interest in the study of genealogy. He is clearly known for his sincere dislike of the word "can't". Around the Col there is only one way to approach a new challenge, "Can do, Sir!".

Together, they embody the beginning of learning to serve as well as the richness of almost a half century of life yet to be experienced. CAP is a calling that truly spans the generations.

10 March 2010

Current Events: This week in Military History

Hat tip to Blackfive.net. The last one is related to the cactus on the 169th Composite Squadrons unit patch.

Mar. 8, 1965: The lead elements of 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines begin coming ashore at Da Nang, South Vietnam. Within hours, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines will arrive aboard transport aircraft at the nearby airbase. The Marines of 3/9 and 1/3 – both part of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade – are the first of America’s ground-combat forces destined for offensive operations against the enemy in Southeast Asia, once again putting teeth in the Marine Corps’ claim that it is “first to fight.”

Mar. 9, 1847: Thousands of American soldiers and a company-sized force of Marines (though referred to as a battalion) under the overall command of U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott and “Home Squadron” Commodore David E. Conner begin landing at Collado Beach, Mexico, just south of Vera Cruz.

In what will prove to be “a model” for future amphibious operations, the landings are unprecedented: The largest American amphibious operation to date, conducted in less than five hours without a single loss of life.

A portion of Conner’s dispatch to the Secretary of the Navy reads:

“Gen. Scott has now with him upwards of 11,000 men. At his request, I permitted the Marines of the squadron, under Capt. [Alvin] Edson, to join him, as a part of the 3rd Regiment of artillery. The general-in-chief landed this morning, and the army put itself in motion at an early hour, to form its lines around the city. There has been some distant firing of shot and shells from the town and castle upon the troops as they advanced, but without result.”

Though the landings are bloodless, grim fighting will continue in the Mexican-American War.

09 March 2010

Aero: A little nose wheel photography

Hat tip Neptunus Lex. Spectacular footage captured on a Contour HD helmet cam, secured to the the nose gear.

07 March 2010

Current Events: American Al-Qaida Arrested

UPDATE: And then again maybe not...more to come.

KARACHI, Pakistan – The American-born spokesman for al-Qaida has been arrested by Pakistani intelligence officers in the southern city of Karachi, two officers and a government official said Sunday as video emerged of him urging U.S. Muslims to attack their own country. More here....

06 March 2010

Aero: ISS Interactive

Hat tip to the AFA Blog. Here is a link to an interactive on the construction of the International Space Station.


CTWG: Groton SARX Report

The Thames River Composite Squadron held a major Search and Rescue Training Exercise 23 January. Crews participated in a wide range of activities designed to test the capabilities of the Squadron's Air Operations Team while simultaneously providing valuable aircrew training.

A total of six sorties were successively launched with no sortie start time deviating by more than three minutes from the planned time during the entire eight hour session.

The search missions were based upon two scenarios. The first postulated a missing aircraft on a Brainard Airport to Groton Airport flight and called for a Route Search. The second scenario involved was based upon a citizen's report of an aircraft crashing in the vicinity of an Old Lyme golf course.

A wide range of skills were practiced including Mission Planning, Communications, Flight Line Marshaling, Safety Assessments, and Operations Documentation.

The weather was most cooperative with light winds and unlimited visibility and ceiling..

Of special note, Lt Miller, ably assisted by Senior Member Scott Owens did a great job dealing with communications challenges.

Capt Paul Noniewicz and Lt Scott Farley were responsible for much of the pre-mission planning while Maj Keith Neilson served as "Air Boss" and directed the day's activities. Neilson, Farley, and Lt Col Wisehart served as Mission Pilots. Lt Cols Kinch and Doucette and Lts Miller and Manner flew as Mission Observers. Lts Charles Dickinson and Owens trained as Observers, and Lt Col Leif Bergey and SMs Robert Looney and Giancarlo Dell'Orco filled the Mission Scanner training slots.

Maj Rocketto, the Squadron Public Affairs Officer escorted New London Day reporter Megan Bard and photographer Sean Elliot. Both Day journalists flew on one of the missions. Interviews were conducted and a story appeared in The Day on Sunday, January 31st, accompanied by an on-line video story on The Day website.

Submitted by Maj Stephen Rocketto
Thames River PAO

04 March 2010

Aero: Drones

More here...

Safety: General Aviation Watch

NOTF reports; Airport Watch program offers safety tips for general aviation airports

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have teamed up to provide safety tips as part of a joint Airport Watch program.

The program recommends pilots keep an eye out for suspicious behavior - including people forcing their way into aircraft or misusing aviation lingo - at all general aviation airports.

03 March 2010

Morale: Gripe List Favorites

Hat tip to Neptunus lex,

P = Pilot, S = Maintenance

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200-feet-per-minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level..

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick..
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF is always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search..

P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from the midget.