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Vol. 7, No.



1 • Wheels Up!

In the Left Seat


Ah...Summer is here! From the sweltering heat and evening

Wheels Up! cultural events in the cities, to the ocean breezes at the best
SUMMER 2009 beaches, to cool nights in the lush, forested mountain villages in
New York Wing the wilderness parks…..nothing beats it.
Civil Air Patrol Summer always means an intense increase in activity going
U.S. Air Force Auxiliary back to the origin of the species. Which, of course, translates
Commander into increased opportunities for things to go wrong.
Col. Kenneth Andreu We have multiple NY Wing encampments happening in paral-
lel, and activities in fast succession throughout the Region and
Vice Commander
nationally. One incident can create a domino effect that has an
Lt. Col. Mark Caiello
impact on the resources available for the next activity.
Chief of Staff Hopefully and with good presence of mind you have success-
Lt. Col. Tom Carello fully negotiated all the activities on your Summer 2009 wish list
Editor/PAO without mishap. And…you have assisted others in smoothly ac-
1st Lt. Robert Stronach complishing their tasks without incident, as well. Mishaps are an entropic force, as air creates drag on an airfoil,
acting to diminish efficiency and ultimately negate the achieve-
Wing PA Director
ment of your objective.
Capt. James A. Ridley Sr.
Watch your airspeed and don’t let the wing stall. Use
Wing Headquarters safety briefings and follow your checklists. Be aware of the
Westchester County Airport hazards you may face in the field before you get to them and
24 Loop Road, Bldg 1 have a plan to surmount them.
White Plains, NY 10604-1218 The five P’s are a good mantra….Prior Planning Prevents
Phone: 914-683-1000 Poor Performance. That should include listing obstacles, limi-
Fax: 914-683-10056 tations (emotional, mental, physical and mechanical), and the as-
sessment of unique variables of the specific activity. That would
include in summer flying, altitude, humidity, temperature and
runway length, and at an encampment, properly tying your com-
fortable boots before a run and flexing your knees in formation.
Pack your summer with a plethora of activities and new chal-
lenges. Remember the “Summer of 2009” as the time you incor-
porated heightened awareness into your tasking skills, overcame
complacency and sidestepped entropic mishaps.

Wheels Up! • 2
4 Wing Gets Outstanding Evaluation

5 Color Guard Team Grabs National Title

6 LI CAP & Thunderbirds at NY Air Show

9 Sussey Squadrons Picks Up for Earth Week

10 Central NY Group at Ft. Drum Air Show

12 Teachers Take to the Air in NY Wing

14 Emotional 3 Weeks for CNY Squadrons

16 Busy Holiday for LIG Squadron

Air Shows and CAP
17 WWII Member Catches Up on CAP
Where there’s an air show,
chances are Civil Air Patrol
cadets and senior mem-
18 Canadian Cadets Join in ELT Search bers are there providing
support, and getting an

19 Squadron Gets 1st Woman Commander

upclose view of a myriad
of aircraft -- such as these

three cadets standing in
Marine Aviators Host CAP the mouth of the nose
doors of a C-5 Galaxy at
21 CAP Important to His Career, AF Pilot Says the Fort Drum Mountain-
fest Air Show. The cadets

23 NY Places 3rd in Northeast SARCOMP

are, from left, Joseph Maier
of Syracuse Cadet Squad-

ron, Cayla Askew of Rome
Special Honors for Cadet & Commander City School District Cadet
Squadron, and Schuyler
26 Wing Conference Theme: NY Has Heart
Strough of Utica Cadet
Squadron. See Pages 6 &

28 Cadet Heads to Air Force Academy

10 for more on air shows.
Photo by
1st Lt Robert Stronach

3 • Wheels Up!
By Capt. JAMES RIDLEY, SR. c/SSgt Matthew
Merlino, c/2d
HOLBROOK, NY -- The U.S. Lt Kory Gatley,
c/SSgt Raymond
Air Force conducted a week-
MacQuill and
long evaulation of New York c/SMSgt Ryan
Wing’s mission capabilities Calviello man
in June, and rated the wing as the communica-
“outstanding.” tions center.
The evaluation exercise
simulated homeland security,
search-and-rescue and disaster
relief missions that are critical
for proper response to natural or
man-made disasters. Practice
searches were conducted from
the air and on the ground all
across the wing. The exercise
included air-to-ground com-
munications, ground-to-ground Capt Joe Pizzo
communications, and flight (second from left)
and members
planning and ground team op- of his flight line
erations. crew meet be-
Mission base for the exercise fore marshalling
was Long Island Group Head- aircraft at the
quarters at Long Island Islip evaluation.
MacArthur Airport, with Group When the evaluation ended, received an “Outstanding” score
Commander Lt Col Jack Ozer the staff at the Long Island base, for the entire evaluation and was
serving as the incident com- along with New York Wing described as a “benchmark” for
mander. The South East Group Commander Col Ken Andreu, other wings to emulate.
was designated as the secondary awaited the Air Force evalua- Colonel Andreu and Lt Colo-
mission base; and, at one point, tors’ findings and they weren’t nel Ozer said they were “very
when the AF evaluators “shut disappointed with the results. proud of the results.”
down” communications at LIG, The wing received an “Out- “The staff worked very hard
SEG seamlessly took over com- standing” score in every cat- to achieve this success and it
munications, which impressed egory with the exception of two shows the level of training that
the evaluators along with the areas which received an “excel- we are accomplishing in the
wing’s other efforts. lent” rating. Overall the wing New York Wing,” said Ozer.

Wheels Up! • 4
By Capt. JAMES

OR – They came close
the last two years,
but the third time’s a
charm as the NorthEast
Region’s Color Guard
team took first place
overall at the Civil Air
Patrol’s National Cadet
Competition held at
Linfield College and
the Evergreen Aviation
& Space Museum in
McMinnville, OR.
The 2009 NER color
guard champions, who NY Wing’s Color Guard Team from Academy Cadet Squadron in New
hail from New York York City Group, during the outdoor practical event at the national com-
Wing’s Academy Cadet petition in July. The team represented the NorthEast Region and took
Squadron (NY-147) in the national title as well.
New York City Group, nounced. to compete nationally. least, the NER Color
competed against teams “The team took first Some even begin the Guard team can lay
from seven other re- in many categories,” journey by competing claim to being the very
gions. Events included said Colonel Diduch, in a group-level com- best.
an inspection, mile run “and number one over- petition. The team includes:
and both indoor and all in the competition. The day showcased • Junior Rifleman:
outdoor events such as We’re very proud of some of the best teams C/SSgt Albaro Pillco.
posting and retrieving them.” in both the color guard • Senior Flag Bearer:
of the colors. The NER The national cadet and drill team catego- C/SMSgt Thomas Ma-
region commander, Col competition is held ries from around the crini.
Robert Diduch, was annually after teams nation. Every team • Junior Flag Bearer:
present at the awards compete at both the worked and practiced C/A1C Jason Chan.
banquet July 12 when wing and region levels hard to get this far and • Senior Rifleman:
the winners were an- before earning the right for the next year, at C/MSgt Zin Han.

5 • Wheels Up!

For so many members of the

Civil Air Patrol, the desire to
serve often starts with a young
person’s desire to fly. It turns
out this is as true for some of
the very best fighter pilots in
the country as it is for CAP
This past Memorial Day
weekend, nearly half a million
visitors attended the 2009 Beth-
page Federal Credit Union New Thunderbirds on the tarmac.
York Air Show at Jones Beach
on Long Island. The performers — members of the Long Island members of the Long Island
this year included the New York Senior Squadron (NY-207) Senior Squadron reported for
Air National Guard Search and were unobtrusively providing duty, including 1st. Lt. Bill Dre-
Rescue Team, the U.S. Army security and logistical assis- schler, who has been serving his
Golden Knights parachute tance behind the scenes. country since he enlisted during
team, and the Canadian Forces World War II and spent several
Snowbirds. But there’s no Quiet But Critical Support years with the 78th Fighter
question the highlight was the Since 2004, both the Thun- Group in Europe. Members of
Thunderbirds, known officially derbirds and the U.S. Navy other squadrons in Long Island
as the U.S. Air Force Air Dem- Blue Angels have participated Group joined them, swelling
onstration Squadron. on an alternating basis in the the ranks to 48 seniors and 21
As the crowds scanned the New York Air Show. And for cadets.
skies, the Thunderbirds’ red- the fourth consecutive year, the For the CAP personnel, this
white-and-blue Lockheed Mar- Long Island Senior Squadron mission was comprised of a
tin F-16 fighter jets engaged participated as well, by provid- variety of tasks, ranging from
in such acrobatic displays as ing quiet but critical security flightline support to crowd
the Delta Roll, the Arrowhead and support for aircraft and control, as well as security both
Loop, the Opposing Knife personnel staging at nearby Re- inside and outside the terminal
Edge, and their signature public Airport, the facility that and hangar facilities and along
Bomb Burst. But what very serves as the squadron’s home the airport’s perimeter. In fact,
few of those air show attendees base in Farmingdale. CAP assisted with directing vis-
knew was that — once again This year, more than 20 itors, escorting VIPs, briefing
Wheels Up! • 6
journalists on media tours, and
even providing bottled water for
the Thunderbirds. In total, CAP
provided 552 hours of service.
Laying the groundwork for
such an operation requires
months of interaction with a
host of federal, state, local, and
airport authorities, including
representatives from the Air
Force and FEMA. Over time,
however, the role of the Long
Island Senior Squadron became
clearly defined.
“This is one of the highlights
of our year,” said Capt. Joseph Capt. Joseph Pizzo and Capt. Chuck Montague on flightline.
Pizzo, Squadron Commander.
“We’re a busy squadron and we this year, the team welcomed its Lake Ronkonkoma, just a few
perform a lot of missions, but first pilots from the Air Force aerial Diamond Rolls from
working with the Thunderbirds Reserve and the Air National the air show site. Among the
and the Blue Angels is some- Guard. The schedule for 2009 distinctive achievements in his
thing pretty special. I’m really calls for performances at more 14-year service career are serv-
proud of how our members than 73 shows: They launched ing as an F-16 instructor at the
always step up and do such a back in February with Super USAF Weapons School, logging
good job. The proof is in how Bowl XLIII in Tampa, and after more than 1,750 hours as an Air
we keep getting invited back, a Far East Tour in September and Force pilot, and compiling 265
year after year.” October, will finish the follow- hours of combat experience.
ing month with a finale at their Before the first air show per-
Home Is the Fighter Pilot home at Nellis Air Force Base in formance on Saturday morning,
The Thunderbirds refer to Nevada. Baum hosted more than 30 local
themselves as “America’s Am- A key member of the team relatives and friends, and in a
bassadors in Blue,” and like is Maj. John Baum, who has touching but private ceremony,
most diplomats, they spend flown the No. 2 jet as the Left the other Thunderbirds lined up
much of their time away from Wing of the Thunderbirds since on the flightline for greetings,
home. Currently in its 56th year, January. For those attending photos, and autographs with all
the Air Demonstration Squadron the Memorial Day show, seeing those in Baum’s party. “Every
is an Air Combat Command unit him perform in the skies over show is a thrill,” said Baum,
composed of 12 officers and 120 Jones Beach signified a reunion whose call sign is Slick. “But to
enlisted personnel performing in of sorts: Baum is a Long Island have everyone come out here at
more than 30 career specialties; native who grew up in nearby home is very special.”
7 • Wheels Up!
Thunderbird smiled when he re-
called going up in a Cessna 152
at Long Island’s MacArthur Air-
port, where CAP’s Long Island
Group is headquartered. For
someone who always wanted to
be a pilot, it’s clear that Baum
relishes serving in the Thunder-
birds. “It’s just neat,” he said.
“One of our missions is to rep-
resent all the men and women
of the United States Air Force.
Many of these people who
come to see us have children or
grandchildren serving overseas
Capt. Paul Zuckerberg, guarding Maj. John Baum’s F-16 Fighter Jet. and they never get to see them
do their jobs. So we give them
Chief among the visitors was cer to have served in the enlisted some sense of what they do.”
John Baum Sr., the pilot’s fa- ranks: “I took advantage of the
ther, who said, “How do you put benefits of the G.I. Bill. I started Thunderbirds Tip Caps
it into words? He grew up here at Embry-Riddle on active duty Like other members of the
and went to school here and and then took a 16-month break Thunderbirds, Baum expressed
learned to fly here...I couldn’t from service in the inactive re- thankfulness to CAP: “We ap-
be prouder. I’m blessed to serves.” preciate all your assistance.”
have him.” That pride has been Those four and a half years Baum was not alone.
evident all year, as the elder Baum spent as an enlisted man Throughout the extended week-
Baum has traveled to various are not lost on the Thunderbirds end, personnel from the Air
air shows—”as many as I can team, which is comprised of Force, Republic Airport, and the
afford”—to cheer on his son. He ten enlisted members for every New York State Department of
laughed and said, “I am THE one officer. When asked about Parks (which sponsors the air
Thunderbirds groupie. They call Baum’s service record, one non- show) praised CAP. Members
me ‘Papa Slick’ now.” commissioned officer working even received kudos from the
Interestingly, the 33-year-old the flightline at Republic Airport bystanders who came to watch
pilot entered the Air Force as an smiled and said, “He was one of the Thunderbirds depart from
enlisted member in 1993 at age us first.” Farmingdale for test runs, media
17, before earning his commis- However, his rapid career flights, and the show itself.
sion from Embry-Riddle Aero- ascent began quite literally back Upon the conclusion of the
nautical University in 1999. on Long Island, when his father mission, Pizzo reflected on how
Baum acknowledged that it’s provided his first flight lesson well the Long Island Senior
rare these days for a senior offi- on the boy’s 16th birthday. The Squadron performed. He noted,
Wheels Up! • 8
“Several of the Thunderbirds SUSSEY CADETS
thanked me personally for our DO THEIR PART
efforts. By the fourth day, the FOR EARTH WEEK
NCOs were palling around with
our guys like they were in the By Capt. MICHAEL KIELOCH
same squadron. Maj. Baum said
it really would not be possible FULTON – Cadets with F.
without us. I know they sincere- R. Sussey Composite Squadron
ly appreciated our presence.” did their part for Earth Week at
The air show itself took place Oswego County Airport on Sat-
on Saturday and Sunday, but urday, April 18.
Thunderbirds personnel were Cadets participated in a
at Republic Airport for nearly a clean-up of the airport grounds
week, and CAP members were and the surrounding areas,
on hand for several days as well. picking up litter and debris that
For 1st. Lt. Linda Law of the 1st Lt. Linda Law on the flightline.
could potentially harm aircraft.
Long Island Senior Squadron, The unit’s efforts were a part of
the mission involved several the unexpected display of appre- a campaign run by the Oswego
consecutive days of performing ciation: “It just felt great to have County Environmental Manage-
the critical—yet tedious and them recognize us.” ment Council, encouraging the
sometimes downright boring— After the Thunderbirds de- community to pitch in during
task of providing a security parted, Pizzo offered thanks to Earth Week 2009.
detail outside the Thunderbirds’ his troops as well: “I don’t take “Oswego County celebrates
briefing room and lounge in this lightly, because I know Earth Week every year. It is a
the airport’s main terminal. But what a sacrifice this is on a holi- time to acknowledge our ap-
that job was made much easier day weekend. The most valu- preciation for our earth and the
for her just prior to the first air able thing you can give anyone environmental successes that
show performance, when the is your time, because you only sustain our healthy living,” said
departing officers went out of have just so much of it.” Richard Drosse, Earth Week
their way to personally offer Then he added, “One cannot coordinator.
expressions of gratitude. even fully determine the fruit C/SMSgt Austin Zappala,
Lt. Col. Derek Routt, the that will be borne from a suc- cadet public affairs NCO, coor-
No. 7 pilot, introduced himself cessful performance like this. dinated the efforts.
and told Law to contact him Perhaps this will help our re- “It’s important that we take
if she needed anything. Then cruiting, or maybe someone in care of our part of the com-
Baum came over and thanked the crowd will secure us a larger munity,” said Cadet Sergeant
her profusely for volunteering, role in the Emergency Services Zappala. “Supporting Oswego
to which she responded, “No, world. I don’t think I’ve ever County and local aviation is
thank YOU for joining.” Later, been more proud of this squad- simply a part of what we al-
Law recounted her reaction to ron than I am now.” ready do.”
9 • Wheels Up!


Wing’s Central New York
Group turned out in force for
Fort Drum’s Mountainfest Air
Show June 27-28, setting up a
mission base and bivouac area,
providing traffic control, and
staffing a recruiting booth.
The air show served as an
official welcome home cer-
emony for 1,000 solders in the
10th Mountain Division, and C/Airman Cody Rupert of Syracuse Cadet Squadron was curi-
featured New York Gov. David ous about the ski-mounted LC-130 Hercules.
Paterson who said he was keep-
ing a promise he made while
visiting the troops in Iraq at
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP)
members got to watch the mili-
tary flyovers and aerobatic acts,
and saw up close the various
aircraft in the static display ar-

Photos by 1st Lt ROBERT STRONACH

eas -- from a World War II-era
B-17 that was restored to fly
as the Memphis Belle in the
movie of the same name, to a
KC10A tanker/cargo plane from
Maguire Air Force Base, to the
ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules,
which the New York Air Na-
tional Guard flies to the North
and South Poles.
“We had 48 cadets and 11
C/MSgt Scott Wolff and C/SA Faith Schreiber, both of Syra-
senior members,” represent- cuse Cadet Squadron, were intrigued by the Predator B, an
ing all of the Group’s six unmanned surveillance aircraft operated by U.S. Customs and
squadrons, including the newly Border Protection.

Wheels Up! • 10
formed Fort Drum-Watertown
Composite Squadron, Group
Commander Maj. Carl Anthony
said. The other participating
squadrons were: Rome City
School District Squadron, Utica
Cadet Squadron, Rome’s Mo-
hawk-Griffiss Senior Squadron,
Syracuse Cadet Squadron, and
F.R. Sussey Composite Squad-
ron from Fulton.
“This was a very well-orga-
nized and executed exercise,”
said Major Anthony, who
served as incident commander
with Maj. Robert Flynn as op-
erations officer. “Our tasking
Capt. Jeff Crippen and several of his Rome City School District
was to provide traffic direction
Cadet Squadron cadets watched an aerial act from the recruit-
in both the North and South ing booth at Fort Drum’s Mountainfest Air Show. The cadets are
parking areas, provide commu- (from left): C/A1C Alexander Makley, C/A1C Emmanuel Ander-
nications for all our members, son, and C/MSgt Wyatt Frazier.
provide a gate guard for the
Rapid Deployment Facility, and ficer; Maj. Gerald Marketos, were stationed, were: the CF-18
provide a recruiting booth in the communications officer; 2nd Hornet flown by the Canadian
static display area.” Lt. Robert Ormsbee, Fort Drum Air Force; two A-10 Thunder-
CAP “operated as a com- liaison officer; 2nd Lt. Penny bolt “Warthogs” flown by the Air
pletely self-contained unit,” Schreiber, director of support Combat Command’s A-10 East
Major Anthony said. “We set services, and 2nd Lt. Joanne Demonstration Team; the Lima
up our own kitchen, feeding Parisi-Haugen, medical officer. Lima Flight Team flying six yel-
all members three meals a day. As evening approached on the low T-34 Mentors from the 1950s
We brought the Wing Com- first day, the cadets got to play and 1960s; the Trojan Horsemen
munications Van and Generator, some football, and surprised flying six T-28 Trojans, also
providing our own power and Major Anthony’s son, Marshal, from the 1950s and ‘60s; the Iron
communications.” with a birthday cake to show Eagles bi-plane aerobatic team;
He noted: “Civil Air Patrol their appreciation for the fact and the Gary Rower Vintage Air
has the most dedicated cadets that he was spending the week- Show in a 1942 Army Air Corps
and senior members of any or- end cooking their meals instead Stearman PT-17.
ganization currently out there.” of going out with friends. “We had a great time,” Major
Other key staffers included: Among the air acts they got Anthony said, “and the cadets
Maj. Mark Cashin, safety of- to view, no matter where they loved it.”
11 • Wheels Up!

a picture -perfect April day for
flying, and five teachers from
three different schools took
to the air as part of Civil Air
Patrol’s Fly-A-Teacher Pro-
gram for Aerospace Education
Members. The teachers were
associated with the Long Island
and Middle Eastern Groups.
The program got a kick-start
when Maj Lou Fenech of the
Long Island Group contacted
teacher Sue Ohlinger who re-
cently joined CAP as an Aero-
space Education Member. Oh-
linger learned of the program
while attending NASA’s Educa-
tor Conference at the Johnson Capt. John Corcacas goes through a pre-flight inspection with
Space Center in Houston. teachers Sue Ohlinger (left) and Cynthia Falco.
“I was so excited to get Maj
Fenech’s call,” said Ohlinger, also coordinated a flight for the Emmanuel Lutheran School
“and in being invited to present three teachers from the Albany in Patchogue. They spent the
to his squadron and learn about area on the same day. next two-plus hours aloft with
the Fly-A-Teacher program.” Capt John Corcacas, pilot for one quick stop at Block Island
Shortly after speaking with Ms. the Long Island contingent, be- so that the two teachers could
Ohlinger, he contacted the New gan the day with a safety brief- switch seats. In the air Corcacas
York Wing project officer for ing; a ground school covering continued their aerospace edu-
the program, Maj Tom Vree- such topics as flight procedures cation while at the same time
land, to set things in motion. and take-off preparation, and providing some sight-seeing
The date was selected and the a detailed aircraft inspection. opportunities.
ground school and flights were He then took off in a Cessna “One of the best things about
scheduled for Ohlinger and an- 206 with teacher Ohlinger of this experience,” said Cynthia
other Long Island-based teach- the Burr Intermediate School in Falco, “was that John (Corca-
er, Cynthia Falco. Maj Vreeland Commack and teacher Falco of cas) answered every question

Wheels Up! • 12
Teachers Chris Thompson, Paul O’Brien and Glenn Devoti listen as Capt Bob Ellwood explains
facts about the aircraft they are going to fly in.

we asked to the fullest, and we were given a quick briefing by me more interested in learning
asked a lot of questions.” Maj Vreeland and expressed about the opportunities that
The flight path took the their interest in sharing the CAP has to offer, especially the
teachers east along Long knowledge they gained with emergency services aspect.”
Island’s South shore past Mon- their students. Both Ohlinger and Falco
tauk Point, then after the brief “This was awesome!” com- expressed interest in changing
stop-over, west along the North mented Mr. O’Brien. “I am im- their membership to Senior
Shore before landing back pressed with the quality of the Member status to be able to
at Islip. While in the air they CAP Aerospace Education ma- pursue mission scanner qualifi-
experienced the thrill of steep terials we received and believe cations.
turns and of gaining altitudes of that they will add significant “The Fly-a-Teacher program
up to 3,000 feet. value to our science, technol- is an excellent vehicle to get
Similarly teachers from the ogy, engineering and math the word out about CAP,” said
Mount Everett Regional School (STEM) programs.” Major Fenech.“I was happy for
in Massachusetts took off from Principal Devoti added: “I the opportunity to provide two
the Albany Airport in a Cessna am hoping that we can look enthusiastic teachers the chance
182 with Captain Bob Ellwood at whether the school-based to experience the thrill of flight.
at the controls. Principal Glenn programs of CAP might be I also appreciate the support
Devoti along with the school appropriate for some of our the program received from
district’s Director of Technol- students.” Major Vreeland, the NY Wing
ogy Paul O’Brien and teacher Sue Ohlinger was also very Project Officer, and our pilots,
Chris Thompson were Ell- excited and impressed with Captain Corcacas and Captain
wood’s passengers for the day. CAP. “This trip has enthused Ellwood.”
Upon the groups’ return they me more and more and made
13 • Wheels Up!
By 1st Lt. BOB STRONACH in Afghanistan. Both were 22. stan,” she said. “He was pretty
Because Geary’s brother, much in the middle of combat,
ROME, NY -- It was an Dillan, is one of her cadets, and had very little time on the
emotional three weeks for 1st Lieutenant Crippen found phone. I could hear gunfire in
Lt. Michelle Crippen and her herself practically camped out the background. He wasn’t con-
Rome City School District Ca- at the Geary home in Rome, cerned about himself. He want-
det Squadron, as well as for the helping to coordinate the wel- ed to know how the Geary fam-
members of Utica Cadet Squad- come-home military honors and ily was doing. I found out later
ron. They helped welcome the funeral. She also fielded that he had asked his mother to
home the body of fallen Marine numerous news media calls on attend the funeral.”
Lance Cpl. Daniel Geary on behalf of the family. Then, on April 8, Oleski was
March 26. Then on April 14, Another call she took was killed.
they returned to Griffiss Inter- from Lance Cpl. Oleski, who It wasn’t long before Rome
national Airport to welcome knew Geary and who had Mayor James Brown called
home the body of Marine grown up only ten miles away Crippen on her cell phone, ask-
Lance Cpl. Blaise Oleski, who, in the Town of Floyd. ing if she would work with the
like Geary, was killed in action “He called from Afghani- family and help coordinate the


(From left) Airmen 1st Class William Goodwin (partially obscured) and Rob Cohlbrenner, Cadet Sr.
Airman Joshua Goodwin (rear), Cadet Airman 1st Class Kayla Elmer and Cadet Staff Sgt. Dennis
Drake, all members of the Rome City School District Cadet Squadron, salute the casket of Marine
Lance Cpl. Blaise Oleski as it is carried into church for his funeral.
Wheels Up! • 14
First Lt. Michelle Crippen wipes a tear near the casket of Marine Lance Cpl. Blaise Oleski.

arrangements again. Monument, adjacent to the casket was carried in.

That meant that a contingent church in the heart of down- “We are very proud of these
of Marines would escort the town Rome -- with Marines cadets,” said Lieutenant Crip-
body from the chartered plane and Revolutionary War re-enac- pen, advisor to the squadron
to the hearse, followed by a tors lining the fort’s parapet. commander. “These cadets
procession through lines of Some 20 of her cadets took never cease to amaze me with
military personnel, 45 CAP ca- turns working traffic con- what they are capable of.”
dets, veterans, police, firefight- trol and escorting over 2,000 The second funeral had an
ers and the public. Then calling mourners at Barry Funeral overflowing crowd of 1,500 at
hours at the same funeral home Home, Lieutenant Crippen the church and at Fort Stanwix,
and services at the same church noted, and then some 15 of she noted.
where Lance Cpl. Geary was them showed up at St. Peter’s “Lance Corporal Oleski was
mourned. And finally a com- Church the next day, on their a phenomenal kid,” she said.
mittal service and military own, standing at attention at Tears welled.
honors at Ft. Stanwix National the entrance and saluting as the “This one hit me hard.”
15 • Wheels Up!

25, 2009. While Memo-
rial Day traditionally means a
weekend off for most people,
the members of the Col Francis
S. Gabreski Squadron do their
part to honor those who gave
their lives in service to their
On Saturday, the weekend
began with over 20 cadets and
officers, led by Maj Cheryl NY Wing Ground Team (including Gabreski cadets) poses in front
Dorfman, attending to their an- of a C-5 Galaxy at Westover Air Reserve Base during NorthEast
Region’s Search-and-Rescue Competition (SARCOMP).
nual tradition of decorating the
graves of veterans in section Maj Lou Fenech was in Chi- the colors at an event led by
14 of the Calverton National copee, Mass. participating Capt Paul Ryan at the First
Cemetery. This tradition be- in the Northeast Region’s Baptist Church in Patchogue.
gan many years ago when Search and Rescue Competi- On Monday, Memorial Day,
Col Gabreski made a light- tion being held at Westover Air the squadron members from
hearted deal and requested the Reserve Base. This team of all three activities gathered for
squadron’s care of his grave 9 members included Capt. the Patchogue Memorial Day
on Memorial Day in exchange Nate Hillard and 2Lt. Dennis Parade and were led by their
for the use of his name as the Woytowitz who commanded Long Island Group champion
squadron’s namesake. After the ground teams which in- color guard. When the parade
a flag folding ceremony at his cluded six Gabreski cadets. was over they were told that
gravesite, the squadron as- They were joined by members the squadron had won the tro-
sembled with other members of the Southeast Group and phy for the most patriotic unit
of the Long Island Group as formed the team that took 3rd in the parade.
the Squadron Color Guard led place in the Region. Two other “I am very proud of the offi-
the procession of flags in a me- Gabreski cadets worked on the cers and cadet members of my
morial ceremony. PAO staff which was tasked squadron,” commented Maj
At the same time, some 200 with covering the competition Fenech. “To do so much over
miles away, another contingent On Sunday the Gabres- a three-day holiday period is
from the Gabreski Squadron ki squadron color guard was remarkable and a testament to
led by Squadron Commander again called to duty to present our ability to get the job done.”

Wheels Up! • 16
By Capt. CAROLYN FILLGROVE a master’s degree. We-
hhrung-Schmidt noted that
AKRON, NY – Alice We- women training as pilots
hhrung-Schmidt never expected during World War II were
to be reacquainted to her past somewhat of a novelty.
when she attended the annual She found the flight train-
Akron Memorial Day Fly-In ing exhilarating, but was
Breakfast recently. ever mindful that she had
The 91-year-old World War II to prove herself better than
Civil Air Patrol member spent men. When she went to
most of the day reacquaint- Rochester to take the writ-
ing herself with CAP’s current ten exam, others quickly
activities, its modern-day mem- completed the test and
bers, and even got one more left while she spent six
chance behind the yoke of a hours taking the exam and
Cessna. re-checking her answers.
“It was just a wonderful, The extra attention paid
wonderful day,” remarked We- off; she scored a 97. Then,
hhrung-Schmidt, one of the last Capt. Tom Baldwin and Capt. when she finally got her pilot’s
to leave the airport that day. Diane Rothberg, both retired Air license at the age of 25, she told
Wehhrung-Schmidt served as Canada captains. “She was just her mother. Her mother hugged
a CAP observer flying and train- amazing...She still thinks like a her tight and told her how proud
ing with a squadron in Tonawa- pilot...She is very sharp, “ Capt. of her she was. She was sur-
nda, NY from 1942 to 1946. Rothberg said. prised by this, but happy, too.
Squadron meetings were filled Born and raised in Buffalo, Wehhrung-Schmidt’s love of
with drill and subjects such as Alice, at a young age, told her flying rubbed off on her hus-
radio procedures. Her war time family that she wanted to fly band, Carl. While she studied
experience was what motivated airplanes. But the dream to fly in New York City, he earned a
her to pursue the flying les- took a back seat to formal edu- private pilot’s license as well.
sons she had always wanted, cation. She graduated from Buf- Then he surprised her upon
enabling her to earn a private falo State College with a degree graduation by saying that he
pilot’s license at the age of 25. in education in 1941 and began would come to New York and
Akron’s Memorial Day Fly- a long career as a teacher and fly her home. Married for 40
in Breakfast marked one more administrator for the Kenmore years, the couple mixed aviation
time for her to fly when she School District. Her service in with his automotive business.
was given an orientation flight the CAP ended when she left The couple owned ten different
in a private Cessna owned by for New York City to pursue airplanes through the years, to
17 • Wheels Up!

though it isn’t a meaningful oc-
currence in their own country,
Alice Wehhrung-Schmidt poses with her late husband, Carl which observes its own Re-
Wehhrung, in front of their Piper Cherokee at Akron, NY Airport, membrance Day every Nov. 11,
sometime in the 1960s. The photo was found at the airport ear- May’s Memorial Day weekends
lier this year, shoved in between some old newspapers. Nobody in the U.S. have become special
at the airport knew who the couple was until Mrs. Wehhrung-
for the Royal Canadian Air
Smith identified the photo for airport management.
Cadets of Kitchener-Waterloo,
include Piper Cubs, Pacers, Tri- on her own, taking care of her Ontario.
Pacers, and a Cherokee 180. Mr. home and mowing the lawn. For the last 10 years, the ca-
Wehhrung did his own mainte- These days Alice owns a dets have traveled south to New
nance. They even built a hangar home in Florida, but comes York to march in the Lakewood
at the Akron Airport themselves. home to Cheektowaga every Memorial Day Parade. This
Alice and Carl personally year before hurricane season year, though, the visit proved
knew Bill Piper, Sr., owner of starts. “The hurricanes dance even more significant.
Piper Aircraft Co., Lock Haven, around down there,” she noted, Maj. Ellen Maternowski,
PA. They attended a celebration indicating she didn’t like the commander of Jamestown
at Piper Aircraft when the com- storms one bit! Composite
pany had built 320,000 planes. Alice is a musician and plays Squadron,
Alice has flown twice to Mex- seven instruments. She speaks was asked to
ico in a Piper Cherokee (made English and French. Ever the host an elec-
in Florida). She has flown to educator, she continues to work tronic loca-
Alaska and many other places. in a child day care center, com- tor transmit-
She stopped flying in 1986 bining her love of music with ter (ELT)
when Carl had to have open humor in a little band with chil-
search for
heart surgery. Alice has 3,000 dren and “old people.”
the visi-
hours in her log book. She laughed when noting
tors. Such
Carl Wehhring passed away the “old people” think she’s
in the mid-1980s. That hasn’t younger than they are because
are routine
stopped Alice. She loves life she knows so many old people
and lives it to the fullest; living jokes. for Civil Air Maj. Maternowski,
Wheels Up! • 18
Patrol members, but not for their Canadian
Maternowski asked 1st Lt. Tom Joneson, TO COMMAND SQUADRON
communications officer, and Capt. Marvin IN CENTRAL NY GROUP
Hillicker, emergency services officer and
FULTON -- 1st Lt. Jennifer T. Holdren became
ground team leader, if they would be will-
the first woman commander of F.R. Sussey Com-
ing to arrange an ELT search with a com-
posite Squadron following
bined team of Canadian and CAP cadets.
a change-of-command cer-
Jumping at the chance, Joneson conducted
emony May 27 at Oswego
a one-hour training session on the reasons
County Airport.
and methods for an ELT search.
“Lieutenant Holdren also
Following the preliminary training ses- is the first woman to com-
sion, about 30 Canadian Air Cadets and mand a squadron in Central
their senior mentors headed out on the New York Group,” noted
search, along with 10 Jamestown cadets Group Commander Maj.
and senior members. The practice ELT was Carl Anthony, who offici-
located within 90 minutes and silenced, as ated at the ceremony.
required. Sussey Squadron operates
The squadron’s public affairs officer programs for both senior
and safety officer, 1st Lt. Doug Justham, members and cadets, and
helped with field-training the cadets on the trains for air and ground search and rescue, emer-
types of equipment used to track ELTs. gency services and disaster relief.
“We use a wide variety of tracking units, Holdren succeeds Capt. Dale Masters as com-
from very expensive Doppler mini-trackers mander. She joined the squadron in 2005, has
to homemade Yagi antenna units attached served as administrative officer and public affairs
to scanners and amateur radio handheld officer, and has participated in aircraft orientations
units,” Justham said. for youth, cadet bivouacs, a missing person search
The squadron “has close to a 100 percent mission.
success rate within 60 minutes of begin- “I plan to focus on three main goals,” the new
ning the search,” he added. “But today is commander said. “First, I will work to retain the
more education than it is practice, so we cadet members and their interests, while building
are not worried about the amount of time it on the strengths of the program. Secondly, I want
takes as long as the cadets get a good feel to see more recognition of the squadron and Civil
for what we do.” Air Patrol by getting us involved in outreach activi-
Afterward, Maternowski pronounced the ties in the community. Lastly, I intend to boost our
weekend “a great international success, as recruiting efforts for senior members as well as
the two groups got along well and enjoyed cadets.”
She resides in Fulton with her husband, Earl
searching, marching and just getting to
Holdren III, a Civil Air Patrol pilot.
know each other.”
19 • Wheels Up!


US Marine Corps’ 2nd Battalion/
25th Regiment earlier this year
hosted Suffolk Cadet Squadron
10 cadets, seniors and fam-
ily members at their Nassau
County base.
“You [once] welcomed me
in your house…welcome to
ours,” said Col. James Rooney,
Col. Jim Rooney, USMCR, addresses Squadron 10.
USMCR. After brief opening
remarks, the colonel introduced cadets “a leg up on other candi- tion..,” Capt. Martinez said. “It
two Marines who would lead dates…Familiarity with air and is up to them to know how to
question-and-answer sessions flight operations and communi- get to an X on the map without
on Marine Aviation training, cations is a plus.” being told how to get there.”
experiences and careers. Capt. Luis E. Martinez, Ad- A martial arts demonstra-
Capt. Daniel M. Nolan, a vertising Officer for 1st Marine tion was led by Sgt. Richard D.
12-year Marine veteran, served District, is a graduate of the US Vergara, a Garden City native,
in Iraq and also in Indonesia Naval Academy at Annapolis, a Martial Arts Instructor Trainer
(Tsunami Relief) as a “Sea and served in Afghanistan as a (MAIT) and black belt instruc-
Knight” (HMM165) flying twin VMAQ-3 “Moondog” -- flying tor for the 25th Regiment. The
rotor CH46 helicopters. Nolan Prowler aircraft in a Marine sergeant stressed how training is
discussed the Marine aviation Tactical Electronic Warfare part of continuous improvement
pipeline and its advanced pro- Squadron. After describing the no matter what a Marine’s spe-
grams. He stressed the competi- role of Forward Air Control- cialty might be. “Everyone has
tive academics and the physical ler (FAC) -- which requires a role and a part to play when
and psychological demands of ground-to-air communications, fulfilling the mission,” Vergara
the training each aviator must map reading and navigation said. “[We] work in teams and
complete, and noted how a skills – Martinez was asked partner on tasks.”
candidate must be a self-starter to comment about the train- Colonel Rooney closed
and self-motivated. Captain ing CAP members receive and the open house by present-
Nolan acknowledged that execute during SAREX mis- ing Squadron 10 commander
CAP activities [e.g. orientation sions. “It is expected that every Capt. Benjamin Nodar with
flights, flight-line training, and [Marine] 2nd Lieutenant can plot two framed posters of Marine
aerospace education] will give a course and get to a destina- aircraft.
Wheels Up! • 20
By 1st Lt. BOB STRONACH for the Air Force and Air Guard,
to participating in search and
WHITESBORO, NY -- Air rescue operations, to assisting in
Force Maj. Richard Lubey disaster relief in hurricanes and
grew up in the Civil Air Patrol floods, “it’s pretty amazing.”
ranks, in love with aviation. He “On behalf of my bosses”
attained the rank of Cadet Lt. at NEADS, one of two North
Colonel and learned how to fly American Aerospace Defense
a Cessna 172 before going off (NORAD) sectors, “thank you.”
to the U.S. Air Force Academy “Thank you for your passion
to fulfill his dream of becoming for leadership, for your passion
a fighter pilot, eventually flying for aviation... for your passion
an F-16 in combat in Iraq. AF Major Richard Lubey for excellence.”
Guest speaker at Central New Recalling his time as a CAP
York Group’s Awards and Rec- join Utica Cadet Squadron at cadet, Major Lubey said: “We
ognition Banquet at Hart’s Hill the age of 12, the Civil Air Pa- didn’t go on camp-outs and sing
Inn on April 21, Major Lubey trol (CAP) not only fueled his campfire songs. We went on
related how he was only 8 years dream, but gave him an advan- bivouacs, stayed in tents, and
old when he fell in love. It hap- tage, made him better prepared, learned survival skills.” Like
pened when his parents brought in his future Air Force career, today’s cadets, he also got to fly
him to the open house and air Major Lubey told the crowd of in airplanes and was immersed
show at the former Griffiss Air 115 senior members, cadets and in aerospace education.
Force Base, and he got to climb family members representing “The spectrum of experience
up the ladder to the cockpit of the Group’s five squadrons. you get in CAP, you’re not go-
an F-106 Delta Dart fighter Now, in his position as chief ing to find anywhere else.”
interceptor. He looked inside of Current Operations at the Recognizing he was a former
and smiling back at him was the Northeast Air Defense Sector member of Utica Cadet Squad-
pilot. (NEADS) at Griffiss Interna- ron, the current squadron com-
“Do you believe they pay tional Airport in Rome, NY, mander, Capt Chuck Hereth,
me to fly this thing!” the pilot site of the former Air Force presented Lubey with a squad-
beamed. Base, Lubey said he “has been ron challenge coin. Prior to the
The young Lubey scrambled enlightened as to what CAP talk, Captain Hereth, who was
down the ladder and announced does for national defense and in master of ceremonies, received
to his parents, that’s what he disaster relief.” a surprise himself when Group
wanted to do. Fly fighter jets. From providing reliable, cost- Commander Maj. Carl Anthony
When he was able to finally effective training alternatives presented him with two Group
21 • Wheels Up!
awards, Senior Member of the
Year and Cadet Orientation Pi-
lot of the Year.
Squadron of the Year honors
went to Rome City School
District Cadet Squadron, com-
manded by Capt Jeff Crippen,
who also was named Cadet
Program Officer of the Year.
Captain Crippen took the op-
portunity to present an award
himself -- a special certificate
of recognition for Rome City
School District, which he gave
to School Superintendent Jef- Capt Chuck Hereth, receiving Senior Member of Year Award from
frey Simons, for the district’s Central New York Group Commander Maj Carl Anthony (right)
and New York Wing Vice Commander Lt Col Mark Caiello (left).
outstanding support of the CAP
cadet program. Pray of the school district’s “They were with these fami-
Another special guest, Rome JROTC program. Noting that lies from day one.”
Mayor James Brown, who re- the Rome area lost two of its Members of the Geary fam-
marked that “the world would own in the past month -- Lance ily were at the banquet, and the
be a better place” if “all kids Cpl. Daniel Geary and Lance mayor, on behalf of a grateful
could experience CAP,” got into Cpl. Blaise Oleski, both killed community, thanked them for
the act, too, awarding city me- in action in Afghanistan -- the their sacrifice, prompting a
dallions to Captain Crippen, his mayor lauded the trio for help- standing ovation for the fallen
wife, First Lt Michelle Crippen, ing the families of the fallen Marine’s mother, grandmother
and Air Force Master Sgt. Della Marines. and brother (a CAP cadet).

Photos by 1st Lt ROBERT STRONACH

FROM LEFT: Air Force Master Sgt Della Pray, CAP Capt Jeff Crippen, and CAP 1st Lt Michelle
Crippen received accolades from Rome Mayor James Brown (right).

Wheels Up! • 22
C-5 Galaxy towers above CAP aircraft at Westover Air Reserve Base


By Capt. JAMES RIDLEY, SR. competition from wings such as the Civil Air Patrol has to offer,
New Jersey, New Hampshire, and this competition couldn’t
CHICOPEE, MA – New Pennsylvania and composite have come at a better time.”
York Wing senior members teams made up from other Indeed, the New York Wing
and cadets competed against wings. In addition, seven of the was preparing for an official Air
some of the best Emergency nine-member Public Affairs Force evaluation of its Emer-
Service teams the Northeast team covering the exercise were gency Services capabilities and
Region (NER) has to offer at from New York Wing. the SARCOMP was an excel-
the region’s Search And Rescue While the air crews searched lent primer for that evaluation,
Competition (SARCOMP) held for targets, ground teams where the wing received high
at Westover Air Reserve Base searched for ELTs and per- grades.
on Memorial Day Weekend, formed line search tasks while Seven cadets participated
taking third place overall. the incident command staff in the competition as part of
The 20-member New York organized, communicated and the ground team and two other
Wing contingent was led by tracked all team activity. The cadets were part of the SAR-
Maj Darren Cioffi, incident competition took place over the COMP’s Public Affairs team.
commander, and comprised a entire Memorial Day weekend The wing supplied numerous
complete Incident Command but the actual events began and staff officers and cadets that
staff, two air crews and aircraft, ended on Saturday the 23rd of were involved in the planning
and a 9-person ground team May. and execution of the event such
with two vehicles. They were “This was a great exercise as c/Col Natasha Cohen, who
tasked with many events, each for the New York Wing,” said was Aid-de-Camp to the SAR-
team had its own specific chal- Major Cioffi. Members went COMP architect and incident
lenges and was judged against up “against some of the best commander, Lt Col Joe Abegg.
23 • Wheels Up!
On Sunday the team learned how they fared fantastic and will only serve to make us better the
and was very happy with the outcome. Maj Alan next time.”
Gibbs, Operations Section chief, commented that The next time might come sooner than anyone
while the team would have liked to have come on the team expected as the wing is tentatively
in first or second, “getting third place the first planning to hold a SARCOMP of its own in May
time we competed in this type of competition is 2010.


Gibbs, Alan Maj NER-NY-251
Cioffi, Darren Maj NER-NY-118
Brana, Sharon Capt NER-NY-118
Fenech, Lou Maj NER-NY-117
Wuestman, Michele 1st Lt NER-NY-251


Gatley, Kory CDT NER-NY-117
Grosshandler, Kevin CDT NER-NY-117
Hillard, Nathan Capt NER-NY-117
Woytowitz, Alexander CDT NER-NY-117
Ozyilmaz, Zeki CDT NER-NY-117
Woytowitz, Dennis 2nd Lt NER-NY-117
Becerra, Annie CDT NER-NY-147
Pan, Willie CDT NER-NY-147
Derr, Joshua CDT NER- NY-189

Falcon, Ron Capt NER-NY-219
NY Wing Cadets Tatyana Lopez and Lydia
Silverman, Jill Capt NER-NY-219
Fairchild, shown prior to takeoff in the cockpit
Stern, Peter 1st Lt NER-NY-219 of a CAP aircraft, got to view the SARCOMP
Cipriano, Rocky 2nd Lt NER-NY-219 from the air as part of the PAO Team.
Smith, Steve 2nd Lt NER-NY-219
Levy, Roger 1st Lt NER-NY-379 Lopez, Tatyana CDT NER-NY-117
Fairchild, Lydia CDT NER-NY-414
Ridley, James Capt NER-NY-001 OTHER NY MEMBERS helping on SAR-
Barry, Kevin Maj NER-NY-035 COMP staff: Lt. Col. Steve Perta, Lt. Col.
Fairchild, Rick 1st Lt NER-NY-414 Andy Liddle, Lt. Col. Joe Goldman, Maj. Judy
Lee, Michael 1st Lt NER-NY-147 Hewett, C/Col. Natasha Cohen, C/Lt. Col.
Ridley, James CDT NER-NY-117 Bethany Hewett.
Wheels Up! • 24
By Sr. Mbr. MADELEINE COHEN observer before finding
her niche as squadron
WHITE PLAINS, NY – Over commander. Her legions
130 area members of Civil Air of cadets have provided
Patrol gathered to congratulate outstanding service to
New York State’s first Spaatz America; they now hold
Award recipient since 2005, positions of influence in
Cadet Col. Natasha Cohen of both civilian and mili-
Dobbs Ferry, NY, in a ceremony tary careers, counting
at Wing Headquarters at the among them graduates
Westchester County Airport of the finest universities,
in White Plains on Friday, as well as the various
C/Col. Cohen Lt. Col. Pantanelli
May 29. Named for a former military academies.
Air Force general, the Carl A. State Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer Lt Col Richard Debany, US
Spaatz award is CAP’s highest and retired US Air Force Brig. Army, who flew in from Ft
cadet honor. In a surprise an- Gen. John F. Flanagan, a noted Bragg in North Carolina, took
nouncement, the evening also author, aviator, and business the podium and said: “There
celebrated the lengthy career of executive, who presented the is no finer developer of young
Lt Col Johnnie Pantanelli and Spaatz Award to Cadet Cohen. adults than Lt Col Pantanelli. I
culminated in the renaming of Lt Colonel Pantanelli, com- believe that I speak for all the
North Castle Composite Squad- mander of the squadron since cadets when I say that every ca-
ron in her honor. 1963, is a pioneer herself. She det who’s ever walked through
Wing Commander Col. Ken- served in the Marine Corps in the doors of North Castle
neth Andreu hosted the cer- WWII, and joined CAP in 1944, Squadron is better because of
emony, featuring special guests flying aircraft as a scanner and it.”


By 2nd Lt. JESSICA ANDREU east Group, New York Wing, mander under Lt. Colonel
the Northeast Region, and per- Pantanelli, back in the 1990s.
Current and former cadets haps one of the most important Capt. Richard Johns assisted
and officers of the North Castle people of all, Lt Col. Johnnie in reading a roll call of former
Composite Squadron, NY-238, Pantanelli, the North Castle cadets and friends of North
came together May 29 to cel- Composite Squadron’s com- Castle who came from near
ebrate not only a new Spaatz mander since 1963. and far to join in the festivities.
cadet, C/Col. Natasha Cohen, The ceremony was led by Guest speakers included New
but also to witness a unique CAP 1st Lt and Air National York State Sen. Susan Oppen-
honor ceremony. Attendees Guard TSgt Noah Stebbins, heimer and Brig. Gen. John F.
included members from South- himself a former cadet com- Flanagan, USAF Ret., author of
25 • Wheels Up!
Vietnam Above the Treetops, who came to congratulate
C/Col. Cohen on her achievements. It seemed to be an
event that was completely dedicated to celebrating Ca-
det Cohen and first Spaatz Award earned by a NY Wing
cadet since 2005.
It was during Cadet Cohen’s Thank You speech that
the ceremony began to shift in focus from her accom-
plishments to that of Lieutenant Colonel Pantanelli and
her decades of leadership.
Wing Commander Col. Kenneth J. Andreu, himself
a former cadet in Colonel Pantanelli’s old White Plains
squadron, stood and announced: “Cadet Colonel Cohen
will be the first and last Spaatz cadet to come out of
North Castle Composite Squadron.”
He went on to explain: “This morning, North Castle
Composite Squadron ceased to exist with a key stroke.
From now on, Charter unit NY-238 will be known as
the Lieutenant Colonel Johnnie Pantanelli Squadron.”
The assembled crowd gasped and broke into ap- Wing Commander Col. Ken Andreu
plause. and Lt. Col. Johnnie Pantanelli


Acknowledging the nation’s • being credited with saving alone are valued at $6.8 million
economic slump, Wing Com- three lives. to New York State (not count-
mander Col. Kenneth Andreu • starting six new squadrons ing the counter drug eradication
told attendees at April’s Wing in four different Groups. results).
Conference in Lake George that • developing and executing • offering a value to the
“tough times demand heart,” new leadership training, the citizenry of New York that is
and if there’s one thing New New York Wing Group Com- “priceless”!
York Wing has, it’s heart. manders’ Course. Colonel Andreu announced
He encouraged units “to • flying more hours than ever incentive awards for flying and
make a difference in 2009” by before -- 3,340 hours, ranking membership growth:
partnering with local relief mis- New York Wing as sixth in the • Aviation Excellence Award
sions, finding “a mission that nation. to Long Island Group.
needs us,” and recruiting “mem- • flying 490 counter drug • Most Cadet Orientation
bers to help us help.” hours and locating 65 sites with Flights Award to Finger Lakes
He went on to list the wing’s $30 million in plants eradicated. Group.
2008 successes, such as: • flying volunteer hours that • Overall Membership

Wheels Up! • 26
Photo by Maj. KEVIN BARRY
Group commanders and other attendees at the Wing Conference.
Growth Award to Broome- nowski, Western NY Group. Catskill Mountain Group.
Tioga Composite Squadron • Check Pilot of the Year: • Logistics Officer of the
(NY-292). Maj. Brian Benedict, Mid- Year: Lt. Col. Anita Martin,
• Cadet Membership Growth Eastern Group. Mid-Eastern Group.
Award to Brooklyn Technical • Outstanding Emergency • Communicator of the Year:
Cadet Squadron 1 (NY-384). Service Program: Finger Lakes 1st Lt. Dwight Smith, Wing
• Group Membership Growth Group. staff.
Award to Mid-Eastern Group • Aerospace Education Of- • Incident Staff Member
(NY-043). ficer of the Year: Capt. Thomas of the Year: Lt. Col. William
• Membership Retention Baldwin, Western NY Group. Hughes, Wing staff.
Award to Nassau Cadet • Sr. Chaplain of the Year: • Legislative Officer of the
Squadron 8 (NY-288). Chaplain (Capt) Douglas A. Year: Lt. Col. Diane Wojtow-
The wing commander and his Brock, Wing staff. icz, Finger Lakes Group.
staff then honored outstanding • Squadron Chaplain of the • NorthEast Region Govern-
members and units. including: Year: Chaplain (Capt) John ment Relations Officer of the
• Senior Member of the Year: E. Capen, Catskill Mountain Year: Lt. Col. Andy Liddle,
Lt. Col. Charles Miller, Finger Group. Wing staff.
Lakes Group. • Character Development • Public Affairs Officer (PAO)
• Cadet of the Year: C/Maj. Instructor of the Year: Maj. An- of the Year: Maj. Kevin Barry,
Heather Nelson, Mid-Eastern drew S. Berry. New York City Catskill Mountain Group.
Group. Group. • NorthEast Region PAO of
• Cadet NCO of the Year: • Inspector of the Year: Maj. the Year: Maj. Kevin Barry,
C/SMSgt Joseph L.T. Smith, Daniel Brodsky, Central New Catskill Mountain Group.
Rochester Composite Squadron. York Group. • Squadron of Merit: Condor
• Cadet Programs Officer of • Safety Officcer of the Composite Squadron, Finger
the Year: Capt. Ellen J. Mater- Year: 1st Lt. Lawrence Wenz, Lakes Group.
27 • Wheels Up!
By Capt. JAMES A. she was promoted to
RIDLEY, SR. cadet commander of By 2nd Lt. ROBERT
her squadron, and more CALVIELLO
CLIFTON PARK recently at the New
– Since she was a York Wing Conference FARMINGVILLE
young girl, Cadet Maj. held in Lake George in – Suffolk Cadet Squad-
Heather Nelson, the April, she was named ron 10 honored the
outgoing cadet com- the New York Wing courage and sacrifice of
mander for Mid-East- Cadet of the Year. veterans by participat-
ern Group’s Vedder “It’s been awe- ing in four Long Island
Composite Squadron, Memorial Day events.
some,” she said. “I’ve
On Saturday May 23,
has wanted to earn an loved every minute
cadets and senior mem-
appointment to the U.S. I’ve spent in CAP. My
bers met at Calverton
Air Force Academy in seniors have been great
National Cemetery
Colorado Springs, CO. role models and have
and rendered honors
In June Cadet Nelson helped me out a lot.” by placing graveside
saw her dream turn into “Everyone who American flags.
reality when she report- knows Heather, knows Later that day Squad-
ed to the academy as a how much this meant ron 10 cadets were at
member of the class of to her,” said her squad- Republic Airport, join-
2013. ron commander, Maj. ing other CAP units to
The appointment Adam Candib. “We are provide gate and flight
highlighted what has all excited for her” -- a line security for the Air
been a short and suc- sentiment shared by her Force Thunderbirds
cessful CAP cadet group commander, Lt. and Royal Canadian
career so far. Last sum- Col. Anita Martin. Snowbirds.
mer Nelson saw anoth- While at the academy Squadron 10 attended
er goal accomplished Heather will join the its first Centereach
when she was assigned fencing team. She is an Memorial Day parade
as the Group First Ser- accomplished fencer on Sunday. On Monday,
geant at the 2008 New who has traveled all Squadron 10 joined
York Wing Leadership over the world earning the Lake Ronkonkoma
Encampment, then medals. C/Maj. Heather Nelson Memorial Day parade.

Wheels Up! • 28