Apollo 1 squadron flies AFJROTC cadets from Eleanor Roosevelt High School
5/27/2017 — Fort Meade, MD — Keeping in line with Civil Air Patrol’s aerospace education mission, on May 7, 2017, members of Maryland Wing’s Apollo 1 Senior Squadron, based at Tipton Airfield conducted a second iteration of cadet orientation flights for eight cadets from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md. The cadet orientation flight program affords ROTC and JROTC cadets the opportunity to experience flight from the front seat of a CAP aircraft. In addition to experiencing flight, the cadets receive briefings, including a brief history of Civil Air Patrol, recent missions and accomplishments. In addition, cadets receive brief instruction on airports, charts, weather and aeronautical decision making with an emphasis on safety.
Retired Col. George Ryan, the senior aerospace instructor for Eleanor Roosevelt High School, served as both the liaison with the squadron and the AFJROTC point of contact for the event that consisted of 14 flights with four CAP aircraft from around the Maryland Wing. The CAP pilots supporting the flying event were Majors Pat Hemphen, John Ralph, and Bob Nelson and 1st Lt. David Isaacs. Base support and communications for the event was coordinated by Maj. Derek Rustvold, Apollo 1 commander, and 1st Lts. Mike Heuss and Michelle Bell.
The event began early for CAP staff who conducted weather checks and final coordination prior to the cadets’ arrival. The cadets arrived at the squadron and were introduced to the support staff and pilots. They then received briefings on CAP history, the mission for the day and safety which were conducted by Rustvold. Following the briefings the cadets and pilots headed to the flight line to conduct pre-flight inspections and receive a second safety briefing prior to taking to the skies.
Following the flights, Col. Ryan presented each cadet with First Flight certificates.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com for more information.
SM Timothy Mitchell, Public Affairs Officer, Apollo 1 Senior Squadron