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Squadron 156 Parent Newsletter - February 2021

February 1, 2021

Message from the Deputy Commander

Dear Parents and Cadets,

Our squadron continues to grow, and both the senior member and cadet staff continue to provide meaningful training opportunities and activities to our members. Please expect to hear more news on our weekly training schedule and many upcoming activities.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter how our meetings and activities are done, Civil Air Patrol is dedicated to ensuring the safety of our members and communities so that we can confidently return to normal when possible.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Tri-Valley Composite Squadron 156.

Awards and Promotions

Please join us during our meeting on Wednesday, February 3rd at 6:30PM for a visit by Lt Col Gene Alfaro, the Vice President of the Brig Gen Robert Cardenas Chapter of the Air Force Association, who will be presenting the Air Force Association Outstanding CAP Squadron Cadet Award to this year’s recipient, C/MSgt Samantha Wang.

We also invite you to help honor cadets who have earned awards and promotions in the past month:

• Cadet Damita George completed Achievement 1 – earning the Curry Ribbon and is promoted to C/Amn

• Cadet Sanjay Srivatsan completed Achievement 1 – earning the Curry Ribbon and is promoted to C/Amn

• C/Amn Joshua Gohres completed Achievement 2 – earning the Hap Arnold Ribbon and is promoted to C/A1C

• C/SrA Samhita Srivatsan completed the Wright Brothers Award and is promoted to C/SSgt

• C/SSgt Aryahi Nittur completed Achievement 4 – earning the Rickenbacker Ribbon and is promoted to C/TSgt

• C/MSgt Samuel Krechetov completed Achievement 6 – earning the Doolittle Ribbon and is promoted to C/SMSgt

• C/SMSgt Giulia Telli has earned the Cadet Recruiter Ribbon

• C/SrA Samhita Srivatsan has earned the Community Service Ribbon

CyberPatriot Team Finishes in top 15% Nationally

On January 23rd, the Squadron 156 CyberPatriot team finished the CyberPatriot Competition XIII competition round by finishing first among all San Francisco Bay Area Group 2 Civil Air Patrol teams in the final, Round 3 event. Unlike previous rounds, the final round involved 4 virtual machine images and the Cisco Challenge which was designed to fully occupy all five members of our team.

At the conclusion of the competitive year, Squadron 156’s team participated in two exhibition rounds, two practice rounds, a training round, and 3 scored rounds for a total of 48 hours of team training and challenges. Even before receiving the final point total for the Cisco Networking Challenge, Squadron 156’s team placed in the top 15% of all teams competing nationally in the All Service Division.

This is Squadron 156’s second year fielding a CyberPatriot team. Last year, our team finished in the top 300 teams nationwide, ranking 14th place of their competitive class, the “Gold” tier. Progressing to the “Platinum” tier represents a significant improvement from their standing last yearl


Drill and Ceremony School – 20-21 March

San Francisco Bay Area Group 2 is planning a Virtual Drill and Ceremony School for March, so please keep your calendar open.

DCS consists of two courses – the basic Drill & Ceremonies School (DCS), and the Advanced Drill & Ceremonies School (ADCS). We have offered Senior DCS (SDCS) in the past, and will do so again here – if we have enough interest from senior members.

In general, airmen should plan to attend DCS, non-commissioned officers may attend ADCS. If NCOs don’t have drill experience due to lack of drill over the past year, you may choose to attend DCS. Officers should attend ADCS or serve on staff.

The cost is free.

For many of our cadets, this will be their first CAP activity outside of the squadron. This school will be an opportunity for cadets to connect with each other from squadrons across the Bay Area.


Cadet Programs Conference Registration Extended!

The Cadet Programs Conference registration deadline has been extended to Friday, February 7th, 2021. There are currently nearly 400 cadets registered to attend this first-ever virtual-world event.


What is Cadet Programs Conference?

Registration for this event gives our cadets exclusive access to a fully interactive virtual world where they can attend nearly 60 different events from topics as diverse as Aerospace to Yoga. Other opportunities include the ability to socialize with other cadets, join the CPC Gala, and explore the STEM Pavilion.

The CPC VR-edition also features the ACE Expo (Activities, Career and Education) on Saturday afternoon where exhibitors from different corporations, non-profits, government agencies, colleges, universities, trade schools and STEM/Aviation industry leaders are available in virtual booths to meet with cadets.

The Cadet Programs Conference has 7 independent meeting areas for scheduled events hosting 50 different activities. The Awards Gala features keynote speaker Major General Jeannie M Leavitt – the first-ever female fighter pilot and first female to command a combat fighter wing.

A small sample of noteworthy sessions

Beginner Yoga

How to get your Private Pilot’s License

Motivational Leadership

Artificial Intelligence – Machine Learning

Stock Market Basics

1st Assignment SAC ICBM Trajectory Center

Ethical Decision Making

Telescopes Decoded

How to become a physician in the Navy

Aviation Career Paths

Emergency Medicine in the Streets

Engineering Career Exploration

Language of Excellence

The Future of Human Exploration of Mars

Power of Young People in Times of Crisis


Ongoing Emergency Services Activities

Second Harvest Food Bank Humanitarian Aid (20-1-4035)

CalOES has asked California Wing of Civil Air Patrol to help support food banks throughout the state.

Members who have been providing Emergency Services support during the Pandemic have been provided a COVID-19 letter by California Wing for qualifying them for Tier 1 Phase 1b vaccine access. For more information, please contact the commander.

San Jose: Group 2 has committed to providing two or three members per day for three days per week until 31 March. Cadets as young as 14-years old will be able to help. All members will require their General Emergency Services (GES) rating on their 101 card in order to participate.  Disaster Service Worker (DSW) status is not required but is highly recommended and preferred. Sign up here to help

Manteca: Volunteers will be distributing food boxes, sorting dry goods and produce.  Making food pallets and fulfilling orders to put together on pallets. Making food bags for the mobile program and handing out the food (contactless). Sanitizing and cleaning warehouse, offices, and light maintenance around the food bank. Crew members might also be asked to answer the phone and assisting with sending out "Thank You" letters for food bank donations. Hours requested are from 8:00AM to 11:00AM. Sign up here to help

Group 2 Remote Search and Rescue Exercise (20-T-4020)

Group 2 is continuing a Search and Rescue Exercise through Feb 23. The purpose of this exercise is to train and certify our aircrews and base staff personnel, including cadets that participate in the Cadet Emergency Services Academy.

If you are able to participate, please contact Capt Spears. We are seeking members with the following ratings (including trainees):

  • Mission Staff Assistant
  • Mission Radio Operator
  • Aircrew (Mission Scanner, Observer and Pilot)

Group 2 Cadet Emergency Services Academy Summary

On January 16-17th, 9 members of Squadron 156 attended the Group 2 Emergency Services Academy to learn about participation in one of 3 parallel tracks of Emergency Services roles. Please join us in congratulating our members.

The Base & Ground track covered training topics for Mission Staff Assistant, Mission Radio Operator, Urban Direction Finding, and Ground Team. Members who completed this training were:

  • C/A1C Joshua Gohres
  • C/SMSgt Giulia Telli

The sUAS track covered training topics for sUAS Technician and sUAS Mission Pilot ratings. Members who completed this training were:

  • C/Amn Akaash Babu
  • C/A1C Scott Paterson
  • C/SrA Samhita Srivatsan
  • C/MSgt Yuhui Wang
  • 2dLt Michael Ward

The Aircrew track covered training topics for the Mission Scanner Emergency Services Rating. Members who completed this training were:

  • 1st Lt Alexander Arnoldy
  • Capt John Randazzo

National Cadet Competition

Civil Air Patrol's National Cadet Competition showcases the full range of challenges in cadet life experienced at the squadron-level and new areas of learning that are important to America. Teams of six cadets demonstrate their excellence in a wide range of activities in the arenas of leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character.

California Wing is expected to decide on whether the wing will be holding a wing-level competition by February 1st. Assuming the wing proceeds with a competition this year, we will learn the date of the competition, contact information and receive an announcement letter.

Squadron 156 will begin training a national cadet competition team in February with the expectation that California Wing will hold a competition in mid-March as it has in previous years.

More information about the National Cadet Competition can be found here. The new draft of CAPP 60-75, the Cadet Competition Curriculum Guide, can be found here.

Cadet of the Month

Units are encouraged to use the Cadet of the Month Award to motivate cadets (especially Phase I “in-ranks” cadets) to excel in CAP.

Cadets are awarded points based on activities that they perform in furtherance of their development as Dynamic Americans and Aerospace Leaders. One cadet will be selected by each flight for recognition as Cadet of the Month based on this score.

Incentives for earning the Cadet of the Month are continuing to be developed but include squadron recognition and consideration for other awards in the future.



Attend a meeting


Attend an outside event


Attend an outside event for multiple days


Talk at least once during a meeting


Turn on your camera during PT


Teach a class (5-10 minutes)


Teach a class (10-30 minutes)


Teach a class (30+ minutes)


Bring a guest


Recruit a new member


Earn a cadet recruiter ribbon


Earn a community service ribbon


Help a fellow cadet


Apply for staff


Earn a staff position


Earn a "very good" on a PRB


Earn an "excellent" on a PRB


Earn honor roll at school


Earn a Model Rocketry/STEM/Cyber badge




Earn a 90% or more on a leadership test


Earn a 90% or more on an aerospace test


Earn a 90% or more on a drill test


Pass the CPFT



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