NHQ Today

Civil Air Patrol
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    The National Cellular Forensics Team's efforts early this morning resulted in the U.S. Coast Guard rescue of a missing boater on Coconut Island, Florida, located south of Naples in the mouth of Marco

    Maj. Justin Ogden, center, is the founder of CAP's cellular forensics team. He’s pictured here with two other members of the team, Col. Brian Ready (right) and Maj. Jerad Hoff.

    MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Alabama – Civil Air Patrol’s National Cellular Forensics Team participated in its 1,000th mission earlier today. The mission ended, like hundreds before it, in a “save.”

    “The 1000th cell phone mission has been conducted and it was a success,” said Col. Brian Ready, one of the members of the cellular forensics team, which the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center has credited with helping save more than 300 lives over the past 11 years.

    The AFRCC alerted CAP early this morning to assist the U.S. Coast Guard, which was searching for a missing boater who had gone kite surfing south of Naples, Florida.

    “Upon review of the boater’s cell phone data, it was clear the phone became stationary around Coconut Island, Florida, which is about 15 miles from where the USCG was originally looking,” said Ready. “We directed USCG to Coconut Island, and they quickly found the missing boater there in about 20 minutes after the info was relayed.”

    The boater became stranded on the island, located at the mouth of Marco Bay, when the tide went out. Even though his phone had lost power, members of the cellular forensics team were able to pinpoint his location. He was found around 3 a.m. Eastern Time in good condition.

    “It’s pretty nice to have that be our 1,000th mission,” said Maj. Justin Ogden, who founded the cellular forensics team of citizen volunteers, each longtime members of CAP. “It’s obvious the info provided by Brian and (Maj.) Jerad (Hoff) made a direct impact on the outcome of this mission. I’m pretty proud of those guys.”

    Today’s “save” is the 310th credited to the team since Ogden began his work in 2006 — first using analysis techniques to manually search through cellular phone data and later developing customized software to automate the effort.

    In addition to the 310 saves, the team also has been credited with nearly 400 finds since 2006.

    At the request of the AFRCC, the team searches for anyone who is missing and has a cell phone, including boaters, hikers, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions and pilots. The team often works in conjunction with Civil Air Patrol’s National Radar Analysis Team, which has enjoyed similar success while using customized software developed by CAP members to analyze radar data from overdue aircraft.

    CAP’s director of operations, John Desmarais, says the cellular forensics team has made a difference in the field of search and rescue. “Through their efforts, the face of SAR has changed,” he said. 

    Civil Air Patrol was credited with saving 92 lives during fiscal year 2016, with the cellular forensics team playing a role in nearly all of the rescues.

    “CAP is saving more lives annually, providing regular support across the country and reducing the time until survivors are located while also reducing the resources needed to accomplish searches — all great results,” said Desmarais.

  2. The Colorado Springs Cadet Squadron has reached the All-Service Division national finals of the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot national cyber security competition for an unprecedented seventh straight year, joined this year for the first time by the Illinois Wing’s Fox Valley Composite Squadron.

    The Colorado Springs squadron’s CyberPatriot team finished first nationally in 2012 and third last year. 

    The CyberPatriot IX finals are set for April 3-5 in Baltimore. Along with the CAP teams from Colorado and Illinois, the final round of competition in the All Service Division includes three Navy Junior ROTC teams and two teams each from Army, Air Force and Marine Corps Junior ROTC and the Naval Sea Cadets. Another 12 teams from high schools across the U.S. are competing in the Open Division finals, as are three teams in the Middle School Division. 

    This year’s Colorado Springs cadet team: 

    • Cadet Capts. Taylor Coffee, team captain, and Zach Cramer
    • Cadet 1st Lt. Isaac Stone
    • Cadet 2nd Lt. Noah Bowe
    • Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Garrett Jackson

    Coffee and Bowe will be competing on the national stage for the third straight year. Cramer and Stone are second-time finalists, while Jackson is a first-year national finals competitor.

    Assisting the team members in their preparations are 1st Lt. Amy Griswold and Cadet 2nd Lt. Victor Griswold. The team’s coach is Maj. Bill Blatchley, the squadron’s aerospace education officer.

    The Fox Valley Composite Squadron team:

    • Cadet 2nd Lts. Andrew Stutesman, team captain, and Felix Zheng
    • Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Jessica Melone 
    • Cadet Master Sgts. Dominic Lorenzo and John Lorenzo

    Coaching the team is 1st Lt. Michael Cittadino, emergency services officer for the squadron.

    For CyberPatriot IX, CAP once more sent a record number of teams to the All Service Division – 528, six more than the previous year. That accounted for 33 percent of  the All Service Division field and 12 percent of a record total field of 4,404 teams, including 2,217 in the Open Division, 1,589 in the All Services Division and 598 in the Middle School Division. 

    CAP teams have recorded two first-place, two second-place and two third-place finishes over the last seven CyperPatriot competitions, along with first place in the inaugural Middle School Competition in CyberPatriot VI.

    The Air Force Association launched CyberPatriot, the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, in 2009 as part of its emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. 

    The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired information technology professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. Competing teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems, then tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services in a six-hour period.  

    Qualifying teams reach the national finals after competing within their state and region. The top finishers receive all-expense-paid trips to Gaylord, Maryland for the finals, scheduled this time for April 2-6, 2017.

    Northrop Grumman Foundation is CyberPatriot's presenting sponsor. Other program sponsors include AT&T Federal and the AT&T Foundation, Cisco, Microsoft, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Facebook, Riverside Research, Splunk, Symantec, the Air Force Reserve, American Military University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Leidos and University of Maryland University College.



  3. The CAP Cadet Program's 75th anniversary emblem.

    Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, Civil Air Patrol’s national commander, this morning launched CAP’s observation of the 75th anniversary of its Cadet Program in speaking to the Command Council in Arlington, Virginia.

    The program traces its beginnings to a memo that CAP national leadership issued Oct. 1, 1942, declaring that any existing squadron could form a counterpart cadet unit for high school juniors and seniors, male and female, aged 15-18. CAP itself was founded Dec. 1, 1941, six days before Pearl Harbor.

    “It was initially established to prepare teenagers for military service,” Vazquez said. Accordingly, cadet training included preflight skills, military law, drill and ceremonies, first aid, Morse code and signals. 

    After the war, the program expanded its focus to focus on leadership and a wide variety of programs that evolved to reflect advances in technology, societal developments and other aspects of a changing world – a process that continues today, Vazquez said. “CAP’s leadership, recognizing that the cadets are our future, has remained forward-thinking in regard to the needs and interests of our youngest members, and has responded by emphasizing flight training, leadership development, aerospace education, character education, physical fitness and more than 30 specialized training activities, which even include international air cadet exchanges,” he said.

    Today’s cadets range in age from 12 and 21 and number nearly 24,000.

    “The success stories associated with the more than a million youth who have participated in CAP’s Cadet Program are endless and have touched literally every aspect of America society,” the national commander said. He cited such former cadets as:

    • Olympic medalist Clifton Cushman.
    • Former astronauts Eric Boe, Frank Borman and Dr. John Phillips.
    • U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Nichole Malachowski, Samantha Weeks and Kevin Walsh.
    •  F-16 pilot Maj. Shawna Kimbrell.
    •  Air Force Lt. Gen. Lee Levy, commander, Air Force Sustainment Center.
    • Rear Adm. Deborah A. Loewer, one of the first women assigned to shipboard duty in the U.S. Navy.
    • Tuskegee Airmen George Boyd and Wallace Higgins.
    • Retired Army Gen. and former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Julius Becton.
    • U.S. Sens. Tom Carper of Delaware and Mike Rounds of South Dakota.
    • Retired Air Force four-star Gen. Mike Ryan, former Air Force chief of staff.
    • Neurologist Tara Mach Cook.
    • Sean Fuller, director of the NASA Human Space Flight Programs in Russia.
    • Noted aviation artist Rick Broome.
    • Brig. Gen. Rich Anderson, a delegate in the Virginia General Assembly and the first former cadet to serve as CAP national commander.

    Vazquez joined CAP as a Georgia Wing cadet in 1975, rising to the rank of cadet major before transitioning to the senior member program in 1978.

    “I am proud of my cadet roots and to be associated with this prestigious group of outstanding Americans whose journey through life has been guided by their time in Civil Air Patrol,” he said. “To every cadet and former cadet here and to all of them across the nation, I congratulate you as we kick off the yearlong celebration of the Cadet Program’s 75th anniversary.

    “I also congratulate all of the members of CAP who have worked over the past 7½ decades to ensure the Cadet Program’s success.  Together, we have generated and continue to produce the nation’s finest American citizens and aerospace leaders,” he added.  

     “I encourage every region, wing and squadron to make celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Cadet Program the theme for all conferences and other key events throughout the rest of this year,” Vazquez said. 



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    (From left) U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, poses for a photo with Col. Sean Crandall, commander of the Texas Wing, and Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, CAP national commander.

    U.S. Rep. Stacey Plaskett, who represents the Virgin Islands' at-large congressional district, shares a laugh with Col. Barry Melton, Southeast Region commander, after being presented with her CAP Congressional Squadron membership certificate.

    Photos by Maj. Robert Bowden, Michigan Wing


    Civil Air Patrol members gathered today in Washington, D.C., for their annual Legislative Day visit to Capitol Hill to thank members of Congress for their support and share information about their respective wings’ service to local communities.

    The CAP delegations used their meetings with members of Congress to brief them on the U.S. Air Force auxiliary’s primary missions of emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. 

    During 2016, CAP members: 

    • Contributed $167 million in volunteer services to the 1,437 communities CAP supports nationwide.
    • Completed 1,265 search and rescue missions in the continental United States, resulting in 92 lives saved.
    • Flew 1,168 hours on 30 Surrogate Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) missions in Louisiana and Nevada to train U.S. and coalition forces from around the world.
    • Escorted remote piloted aircraft missions in support of MQ-9 Reaper training in Syracuse, New York; 251 hours were flown to prepare for and support this operation in fiscal 2016.
    • Flew impact assessment and aerial imagery sorties before and after Hurricane Matthew, involving aircrews from the Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia wings.
    • Provided storm and flooding assessment support to Texas and Louisiana after multiple storms.
    • Supported the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after flooding in Arkansas.
    • Performed damage reconnaissance to West Virginia for flooding operations.
    • Provided severe weather support in Illinois and Indiana.
    • Flew wildfire support flights for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    • Totaled 1,390 flight hours participating in air defense intercept training missions for the U.S. Department of Defense, helping prepare fighter units across the country for homeland security threats.
    • Flew 9,693 hours in conducting 27,316 cadet orientation flights, allowing America’s youth to experience the thrill of flight.
    • Taught leadership, physical fitness, character development and aerospace education to 24,000 cadets throughout the U.S.
    • Helped promote aerospace history, principles of flight, lessons in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects and aviation-related careers to not only the organization’s cadets but also to over 200,000 K-12 students nationwide.

    Friday and Saturday, CAP’s Command Council will convene in the nation’s capital for its annual winter meeting. The council consists of CAP’s national commander, national vice commander, chief of staff,  CAP’s eight region commanders and its 52 wing commanders representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its members serve as advisers to the national commander. CAP’s chief operating officer and the CAP-U.S. Air Force commander serve as advisers to the Command Council. 

    The council’s agenda features reports on such topics as finance, safety, aircraft, operations, CAP’s development program, media relations, Wreaths Across America, the inspector general’s program and the organization’s Strategic Plan and government relations.

  5. Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Judith Fedder receives the Board of Governors gavel from her predecessor as the panel's chair, Col. Jayson Altieri, symbolizing the change in leadership.

    Photo by Susan Schneider, National Headquarters

    Former U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Judith Fedder is the new chair of Civil Air Patrol’s Board of Governors, succeeding Col. Jayson Altieri, who becomes vice chair.

    Fedder joined the BoG, CAP’s governing body, in July 2015, shortly after retiring as deputy chief of staff for logistics, installations and mission support with the Air Force. Before that she handled numerous Air Force assignments both stateside and overseas.

    She served as the officer in charge for several aircraft maintenance units and as the chief of logistics management for operations out of Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. She later commanded units at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, as well as in Italy, Portugal and Oklahoma.  

    In Washington, D.C., she served as director of legislative liaison in the office of the secretary of the Air Force and then as the director of logistics at the Pentagon.

    Altieri, the Chief of Staff of the Army's Chair at the National War College, became BoG chair in February  2015. An active-duty U.S. Army colonel, he previously commanded the 110th Aviation Brigade at Fort Rucker, Alabama. 

    The 11-member BoG consists of four Air Force appointees, three members appointed  jointly by the secretary of the Air Force and CAP’s national commander, and four members-at-large selected by CAP’s Senior Advisory Group.

    The BoG moves CAP forward through collective decision-making to generate strategic policies, plans and programs designed to guide it both today and tomorrow. It is assisted by CAP’s national commander and chief executive officer, the organization’s chief operating officer and the CAP-U.S. Air Force commander, who act as advisers.


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