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Squadron 156 Parent Newsletter - March 2021

February 28, 2021

Message from the Deputy Commander

Things are starting to move rapidly from a mobilization standpoint and that means that we can plan many activities that we have been deferring. In this month’s newsletter and in the coming weeks, I will be sharing many activities including some that can be done in-person. Please know that if your family is not yet ready to begin attending these events that your cadet can opt-out of the activities.

The priority that our squadron has set for in-person activities is to create opportunities for cadets to fly. During the next month, scheduling will be a little irregular as we try to organize pilots, planes, and cadets to take orientation flights.

Other upcoming activities are the Integrated Leadership Program Courses described in page 3. These courses will be conducted virtually but will be tremendously useful to prepare our cadets to resume in-person meetings and to understand how CAP works in the in-person world.

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

Awards and Promotions

Please join us during our meeting on Wednesday, March 3rd at 6:30PM to honor cadets who have earned awards and promotions in the past month:

  • Cadet Yusuf Choudhry completed Achievement 1 – earning the Curry Ribbon and is promoted to C/Amn
  • C/Amn Akaash Babu completed Achievement 2 – earning the Hap Arnold Ribbon and is promoted to C/A1C
  • C/A1C Scott Paterson completed Achievement 3 – earning the Mary Feik Ribbon and is promoted to C/SrA
  • Cadet Will Hodges – Alpha Flight Cadet of the Month
  • C/A1C Joshua Gohres – Bravo Flight Cadet of the Month
  • C/SrA Katreddi - Achievement Award
  • C/TSgt Nittur - Achievement Award
  • C/SMSgt Krechetov - Achievement Award
  • C/SMSgt Telli - Achievement Award
  • C/2dLt Amato - Achievement Award

Please welcome Cadet Giovanni Sierra who joined our squadron during the month of February.

San Francisco Bay Area Group 2 Enters Phase 1

On February 20th, Squadron 156 and the rest of San Francisco Bay Area Group 2 was authorized to enter Phase 1 of our remobilization plan. Although this does not take us back to normal operations, it allows us to do many outdoor and training activities. These include:

  • Approved real-world and training missions
  • Aircrew training (for senior members and cadets over 18 years old)
  • Flight Training (including cadet student pilots)
  • Cadet Orientation Rides (with restrictions)
  • Emergency Services Training (with 10 or less members) outdoors:
    • Ground Team
    • sUAS (drone)
    • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Any member having any of the following symptoms will abstain from attending any in-person activity:

  1. Fever (100.4 degrees F or higher)
  2. Cough (non-productive) of an unknown origin
  3. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  4. Chills or repeated shaking chills
  5. Muscle pains
  6. Headache
  7. Sore throat
  8. New loss of taste or smell

Because we have entered Phase 1, our squadron has already begun scheduling cadet orientation rides with pilots.

For more details about COVID-19 remobilization, including the activities that are allowed in each phase and expected dates for reaching those phases, please see the Civil Air Patrol remobilization page here.

Cadet Orientation Rides Resume

CAP gives cadets the opportunity to experience the wonder of flight. Orientation flights are among the most exciting aspects of cadet life.

Cadet orientation flights are safe, fun, and educational. Oftentimes, Moms and Dads are more nervous about the flights than the cadets. We hope this FAQ has reassured you about our commitment to your child’s safety.

Orientation Flight Fact Sheet for Parents

Our squadron is in the process of scheduling weekly Cadet Orientation Rides for our cadets and will be sharing more information via email as it becomes available. Spots on the Orientation Ride calendar will be first-come, first-served for cadets so please watch closely for updates.

Spring 2021 Integrated Leadership Program Courses

Drill and Ceremonies School - March 20 - 21

California Wing is hosting a Virtual Drill and Ceremonies School (and Advanced Drill and Ceremonies School) from March 20 – 21. The goal of the Drill & Ceremonies School is to provide the participant a good foundation in the proper conduct of drill and ceremonies per AFMAN 36-2203. Cadets will focus on D&C at the basic and advanced levels to improve their ability to lead within the leadership laboratory of the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program. Seniors will learn basic drill and focus on what they need to mentor cadets concerning D&C.

Comparing DCS to Encampment, you get as much drill in a weekend of DCS as in a week of Encampment. The difference is that at DCS the instructors teach drill absolutely to standard – a standard we haven’t yet reached in every flight at Encampment. DCS is an excellent school to both develop your leadership skills and prepare to excel in CAP and as an Encampment Cadre member. Cadets taking virtual DCS will have their drill test waived for 90 days.

Cadets and senior members can sign-up for DCS here.

Basic Cadet School – April 9 - 11

Central Coast Group 4 is hosting a Virtual Basic Cadet School from April 9 - 11. This event will be offered online and a registration link is forthcoming.

The goal of the Basic Cadet School (BCS) is to provide the new cadet with an entry-level understanding of the Civil Air Patrol program, teach a solid foundation of drill and memory work and, imbue an understanding of their responsibilities upon which the individual may build his or her Civil Air Patrol experience. Many cadets taking virtual BCS will have their PRBs waived for 90 days.

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 airmen can sign-up for BCS here.

Non-Commissioned Officer School - April 30 – May 2

California Wing is hosting a virtual Non-Commissioned Officer School April 30th – May 2nd. This event will be offered online and a registration link is forthcoming. Prerequisite: Encampment or DCS.

The goal of the Noncommissioned Officers School (NCOS) is to provide the cadet with a foundation for the intermediate phases of the cadet training in Civil Air Patrol. NCOS stresses the fundamental aspects of instructional techniques, evaluation methods and intermediate leadership laboratory skills.

Civil Air Patrol is a national organization. As such, it is necessary that the cadet broaden his scope within the organization as his career develops. It is important that the cadet encounter qualified, competent leaders and instructors, and that he is allowed to interact with cadets from other units at their own peer group level.

The Noncommissioned Officers School supplements and reinforces the Phase II training offered at the local unit. Through actual experience each cadet learns instructional techniques, evaluation methods and intermediate leadership laboratory skills.

The cadet NCO in Civil Air Patrol is responsible for much of the instruction that takes place within the local unit, both on the drill field and in the classroom. With this in mind, each cadet makes at least one instructional outline and presents a class which could be used at his local unit. Specific instructional methods are covered prior to the assignment and resource material is made available.

Cadet Non-Commissioned Officers registration link coming soon.

Training Courses for Senior Member Leaders

Training Leaders of Cadets

San Francisco Bay Area Group 2 has tentatively scheduled both the Basic and Advanced Training Leaders of Cadets for Cadet Programs Officers to learn how to become better mentors of cadets and more effective managers of cadet squadrons.

TLC Basic Course – April 24

Format:  7 hours of discussion-based learning in-residence, with two short web module – Register here

Outcome:  Adult leaders prepared to contribute as Cadet Programs Officers on a squadron staff

Learning Goals: 

1.       Articulate the Cadet Programs vision, to include referencing the key traits of cadet life, the program elements and the outcomes each produces, and an explanation of the promotion process.

2.       Explain the roles and responsibilities of cadet programs officers serving at the squadron level, with special regard to leadership dynamics, as the adult’s role changes when the cadet staff’s readiness changes.

3.       Describe operating principles for squadron-level cadet programs, including Cadet Great Start, weekly meetings and activities, and using the Quality Cadet Unit Award as a self-assessment and managerial tool.

TLC Intermediate Course - May 8

Format:  8 hours of discussion-based learning in-residence, with three short web modules – Register here

Outcome:  Cadet Programs Officers prepared to lead a squadron’s Cadet Program

Learning Goals:  

1.       Explain basic principles of youth development.

2.       Describe methods for positive, indirect leadership.

3.       Describe resources for each program element.

4.       Describe major national and wing activity programs

Aerospace Education Officer School - April 3

The Aerospace Officer 101 Course is a six-hour training program for Aerospace Education Officers, Cadet Programs Officers and Commanders to learn about the role of the squadron AEO as well as the program elements available to members executing the Aerospace Education Mission. – Register here

This six-hour training program includes hands-on activities and covers the 10 critical areas of the AE Notebook:

  1. Appointment as AEO
  2. AE Specialty Track
  3. AE Products and Programs
  4. AEX
  5. AEMs, ACE and TOP Flight
  6. AE Awards
  7. Budget, Grants and Funding
  8. AE Plan of Action
  9. AE Annual Activity Report
  10. Inspection Preparation

Senior members completing this program will earn credit for the Aerospace Education Technician Rating.

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 or contact 1st Lt Richard West.

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 or contact 1st Ramon Velez.

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

Group 2 has extended its Search and Rescue Exercise through the end of March. 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 can 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)

National Cadet Competition Update

During last month’s cadet programs conference, the California Wing Director of Cadet Programs announced a goal of offering this year’s Cadet Competition. Although logistics are still being worked out, Squadron 156 is proceeding on-schedule.

Eight of our cadets met for their first NCC activity on February 21 where they did kahoots on aerospace, went over physical training strategies, uniform inspections, extemporaneous and impromptu public speaking, and learned about geocaching.

Our team will continue to train on National Cadet Competition topics until the team is finalized on March 21st. Practices will continue until the day of the competition, always on Sundays.

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. If you are interested in training with our squadron’s National Cadet Competition team, please reach out to C/2dLt Amato.

National Cyber Scholarship Competition

Since our team qualified at the Platinum tier this year, our team is automatically qualified for the National Cyber Scholarship Competition. This puts our team members in a position to win a $2,500 college scholarship. Members of our team can register here by March 8th for a spot in the competition.  Up to 600 scholarships will be awarded in this competition!

Cadet Encampment Assistance Program (CEAP)

Thanks to Air Force support, CAP has special funding available to cover encampment fees and uniforms with an emphasis on serving economically disadvantaged cadets through the Cadet Encampment Assistance Program or CEAP (say, "seep"). An inability to afford encampment should not hold back cadets who want to participate in encampment.

How do I apply?

Visit eServices, open the "Cadet Encampment Assistance Program" module, and follow the on-screen instructions to apply for CEAP. Applications close May 28

Click here for more information.

RAHS AIAA Fighter Design Challenge

The Raisbeck Aviation High School AIAA chapter is hosting a Fighter Design Challenge where teams of up to 5 competitors (and independent competitors) will design a next-generation fighter aircraft to replace the F-22, F-35, SU-57, J-20. You’ll design and test the software using X-Plane 9 and the accompanying Plane-Maker software. A free license can be requested for education use here.

Aircraft will be designed according to the FDC criteria and scored according to this scoring sheet.

Competitors will have from March 8th to April 5th to familiarize themselves with Plane-Maker and X-Plane. There will also be an optional course provided by RAHS AIAA members. This training is highly encouraged. Starting on April 5th, competitors will 1 month for each design iteration. Teams are expected to meet at least twice per week and are required to meet at least once per month with the contest sponsor

Please sign up using the google form linked below by March 5th.

This form is for individual sign ups and team sign ups - be sure to select the correct one. Sign up here

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