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Squadron 156 Parent Newsletter - November 2020

November 4, 2020

Message from the Deputy Commander 

Dear Parents and Cadets,

Our first newsletter last month seems like a success. Thank you for all the feedback.

COVID-19 is undoubtedly impacting how you approach the holiday season. This year more than most is creating economic challenges. Please reach out to me, Captain Carter, or any of the other members of the chain of command if you need help finding resources in your community. We stand ready to assist.

California Wing and our local units continue to brainstorm on activities that can be conducted for our members. Many of these activities will be done virtually but where we have opportunities to do activities safely in-person, we will make those available. At the moment, two of the in-person training activities that we are able to conduct are FAA flight training and SUAS (drone) training. As more opportunities become available, we will share that information.

Our squadron continues to grow and our virtual meetings, while not ideal, are well attended. We now have 24 cadets. In addition, our cadet and senior member meetings will be integrated starting in December. Even with the additional support, we could use parent help in supporting the cadet program. Contact me if you would like to learn how you can join either as a senior member or as a cadet sponsor.


Capt. Joe Spears

Tri-Valley Composite Squadron 156

Deputy Commander for Cadets

Promotions and Awards

Please join us during our meeting on Wednesday, November 4th at 6:30 PM to honor cadets who earned promotions since our last promotion ceremony:

  • Cadets Akaash Babu and Joshua Gohres completed Achievement 1 – earning the John Curry Ribbon – and are promoted to C/Amn
  • C/Amn Samhita Srivatsan, who recently joined our squadron from Squadron 10 in Palo Alto, completed Achievement 2 – earning the Hap Arnold Ribbon – and is promoted to C/A1C
  • C/SrA Aryahi Nittur and Petr Selskiy completed The Wright Brothers Award, have transitioned to Phase 2 of the cadet program, and are promoted to C/SSgt
  • C/SSgt Yuhui “Samantha” Wang completed Achievement 4 – earning the Capt Eddie Rickenbacker Ribbon – and is promoted to C/TSgt
    • C/CMSgt Arsh Muhib completed Achievement 8 – earning the Neil Armstrong Ribbon.

Also, please join us in congratulating C/MSgt Giulia Telli for her acceptance into the NorCal Cadet Flight Training Program. We look forward to announcing the award of her first solo flight!


Staff Selection Process Continues

Attention moves now to selection of the Cadet Support Staff for the December 2020 – May 2021 term. This will be the final cadet selection activity for the term.

This month’s activity, which will run through the end of this month, will be to select support staff for roles such as Aerospace Education, Emergency Services and Operations NCO, element leaders and representatives for our Cadet Advisory Council.

Cadets are encouraged to apply for as many positions as they are interested in pursuing. For many cadets, this will be their first opportunity to apply the leadership lessons that they have been learning.


CadetInvest applications remain open through 31 December 2020. This program offers financial assistance to pay for flight training, career exploration and undergraduate education.

For more information on CadetInvest:

Apply Now!

California Wing Conference

Our annual wing conference will be held virtually this year from November 12-15 and is free for all California Wing Members. This event allows members from all over the state to share ideas on how to optimize our organization and will include many courses aimed at enhancing our cadet program as well as our Aerospace Education and Emergency Services missions. In addition, there is an awards and recognition ceremony scheduled for Saturday morning from 10:00AM – 11:00AM.

The following current and former Squadron 156 members have been invited to present during the conference:

  • Lt Col Brett Dolnick
    • Senior Member Education and Training
    • CAP’s Cyber mission
  • Maj Kathy Brown
    • Emergency Service Mission
    • Airborne Photography
  • Capt Keith Breton
    • Aircrew Safety
  • Capt Joe Spears
    • Cadet Event Management
    • Cyber Education and Outreach

CyberPatriots Update

Our CyberPatriots team is fully formed. We are pleased to announce the Squadron 156 CyberPatriot XIII Team:

  • C/TSgt Yuhui “Samantha” Wang
  • C/CMSgt Lena Amato
  • C/MSgt Giulia Telli
  • C/TSgt Samuel Krechetov
  • C/SSgt Aryahi Nittur
  • C/A1C Sriya Katreddi

Our CyberPatriots team can conduct practices through November 9th and has opted to do so on Sunday mornings. The first competition round is the weekend November 13-15.

Let us wish them luck!

Group 2 Model Rocketry Challenge

The Group 2 Model Rocketry Challenge finishes the final Saturn Phase next week. We are hoping to schedule a launch day on the first week of December or January but is not yet officially scheduled.

If your cadet wants to earn the cadet model rocketry badge but did not participate in the Group 2 Model Rocketry Challenge, please let me know so that I can make sure they are invited to any future launch days.


To support these expenses as well as other cadet program costs, squadron dues were set at the following levels:

  • Senor Members - $50 per year
  • Cadets - $20 per year

If you are having a financial hardship, please reach out to the Deputy Commander or the Squadron Commander to have dues waived.

Winter Encampment Update

In the next few days after this newsletter goes out, California Wing will announce whether the Winter Encampment will be allowed to proceed based on the latest guidance and additional safety precautions. Among the safety precautions that were in place were a reduction in the number of available registrations. If encampment is not held, California Wing Cadet Programs expects to offer a virtual leadership activity. Please stay tuned.

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