More than 80 Maryland Wing members support Wings of Freedom tour
12/6/2017 — WESTMINSTER, Md. — Civil Air Patrol’s Carroll Composite Squadron, a unit in Maryland Wing, continued its tradition of providing support for the Collins Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour held at the Carroll County Regional airport on Octobert 13 -15, 2017. Included in an exceptional turnout, over 80 CAP members of Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Harford, Carroll, Mt. Airy and Towson squadrons joined and met the high demand for personnel to cover the duties related to this event. CAP staff welcomed hundreds of visitors, monitored airport gate access and provided secure flight line perimeters, crowd assistance and controlled visitor parking. Carroll squadron also took the opportunity to set up a recruitment and information area to showcase CAP programs and activities.
First Lt. Carol Scanlan, Carroll squadron commander, expressed her appreciation to everyone who participated in the annual event. Commenting that the group of over 80 dedicated MDWG volunteers, cadets and officers, challenged and inspired her by their actions and commitment to teamwork and professionalism, Scanlan proudly acknowledged the success of the event. She identified three individuals within the Carroll squadron for their special contributions: 1st Lt. Michael Swam for his planning, facilitating and recruitment efforts also, 2nd Lt. Eric Scanlan and Senior Member Bambi Midkiff for their extensive hours of commitment and coordination before, during and following the event. Scanlan extended her appreciation to the support provided by the other MDWG squadrons that joined with Carroll this year in supporting this event and indicated that working together encouraged a stronger team for future projects.
Swam, Carroll squadron’s deputy commander for cadets and event facilitator, addressed efforts made to secure personnel to support this event, “Although in past, Carroll squadron had covered this event unaided, it was decided this year to share the event and experience with other squadrons. Invitations were extended to Harford, Towson, Mt. Airy and Bethesda-Chevy Chase squadrons seeking personnel to support the event.”
Swam and Cadet 1st Lt. Landon Thorpe took the lead and provided a presentation to each squadron focused on WWII history and the important role airplanes played during the war highlighting those that would be on display at the event. Cadets expressed excitement upon learning about the upcoming event and were anxious to participate. All squadrons eagerly accepted and expressed enthusiasm at the opportunity to collaborate and to view the exhibits.
Everyone, senior officers and cadets, who participated in this event helped make it a great experience for CAP members and a success for the public. Swam specifically noted that all cadets performed their assignments professionally and with attention to detail and assurance of safety. Duties included, parking, crowd control, traffic coordination and safety, administrative and duty assignments, security, radio control, equipment protection and more.
The following cadets were recognized for their exceptional commitment and support during the 2017 Wings of Freedom Tour: from Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron, Cadet 1st Lt. Ronald Ramsaran; and from Carroll Composite Squadron, Cadet 2nd Lt. Laura Midkiff, Cadet Master Sgt. Benjamin Swam, and Cadet Staff Sgt. Collin Carhart. Also, Carroll squadron’s Cadet 1st Lt. Landon Thorpe, the event cadet officer-in-charge, is commended for his exceptional duty performance and the many man-hours dedicated to this event both before and during. He played an important role in the pre-planning, organization and in the staff recruitment process.
The Wings of Freedom event provided the opportunity to have an up close experience viewing two historical airplanes. Many were impressed with the P-51 Mustang “Betty Jane.” One of these famous modified two seat fighters that was used by Dwight Eisenhower who rode in the back seat over the beaches of Normandy to direct the invasion during D-Day. The “Betty Jane” is the only one of its type in existence today that features a full set of dual controls.
The Wings of Freedom nationwide tour is a living history display of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American B-25 Mitchell…America’s backbone bomber aircraft of World War II. Over 60 years after their use over the skies of enemy territory, they embark on a new mission over the skies of America to honor our veterans of World War II, promote education of our future generations about the role of the aircraft and the flight crews of World War II, and to preserve these treasures of American aviation history where they belong: the sky. People tour the planes, talk to the veterans who come to visit the aircraft, and participate in a “flight experience.” Celebrating 26 years, the tour has made more than 3,000 visits to airports across the United States and Alaska. While the exact number of visitors is difficult to gauge, it is estimated that over 3.5 million people see these fully restored historic aircraft annually.
The Carroll Composite Squadron meets at 6:45 p.m. every Tuesday evening at the Hilltop Assembly of God Church Hall at 30 North Cranberry Road in Westminster, Maryland. Prospective cadets, ages 12-18, and their parents are always welcome. Adults seeking mentoring opportunities are invited as well. For more information, visit www.carrollcap.org. You can also follow the squadron on Facebook at www.facebook.com/capcarrollcomposite.
Nearly 1,500 CAP members serve in Maryland. Last year wing members flew 13 search and rescue missions. The wing was credited with four finds. Maryland Wing flew 32 missions for the State of Maryland. Members flew 2,245 hours in all mission categories. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.6 million. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at www.mdcap.org or follow the wing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarylandWingCivilAirPatrol.
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.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
(left) Cadet Master Sgt. Chris Hudicka of Carroll squadron sets up the public access/information table which provided handouts and information about CAP programs and service at the Wings of Freedom event.
(center) Cadet 2nd Lt. Laura Midkiff (right) of Carroll squadron and Cadet 2nd Lt. Ashley Pitt (left) of Mt. Airy squadron work the traffic/parking area at the Wings of Freedom event at Carroll County Airport.
(right) 1st Lt Carol Scanlan, Carroll squadron commander, and 2nd Lt Michael Swam, Carroll squadron deputy commander for cadets, coordinated and supervised the Wings of Freedom support from Carrol squadron and other MDWG squadrons.
by Capt. Alice Raatjes, CAP
Assistant Public Affairs Officer, Maryland Wing