Arundel squadron explores aviation history at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
2/10/2018 — CHANTILLY, Va. — The Arundel Composite Squadron, a unit of Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol, recently visited the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Located in Chantilly, Va., the companion facility to the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
The center is home to thousands of aviation and space artifacts including the Space Shuttle Discovery, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and a Concorde. Historical exhibits include examples of early flight from pre-1920 through today’s rocketry and space exploration. Also noted, was that the center has a permanent exhibit of the nation’s highest civilian award, the Congressional Gold Medal, that was awarded in 2014 to Civil Air Patrol to recognize the volunteer service of more than 120,000 men, women and teenagers who joined CAP immediately before and during World War II.
While at the museum, Arundel squadron members had the honor of meeting with retired USAF Col. Charles McGee. Col. McGee is one of approximately 200 surviving Tuskegee Airmen, a rated fighter pilot holding a USAF record of 409 combat missions flown during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. McGee is also a National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee. In 2007, President George W. Bush awarded Col McGee and his fellow Tuskegee Airmen the Congressional Gold Medal. There was a total of 932 Tuskegee Airmen (pilots), and of these, only 355 served on active duty as fighter pilots.
Lt. Col. Michael Starr, Maryland Wing’s director of communications, joined Capt. Kevin Harris, Arundel commander, and other Arundel squadron members: Maj. Scott Wacker, 2nd Lt. C. Marshall, Senior Mbr. J. Robertson, Senior Mbr. V. Brown, Cadet 1st Lt. H. Boyd, Cadet 1st Lt. M. Fangio, Cadet Master Sgt. C. Brandon, Cadet Staff Sgt. M. Larsen, Cadet Technical Sgt. K. Amaya-Oliva, Cadet Staff Sgt. E. Gonzalez, Cadet Sr. Airman N. Novak, Cadet Airman 1st Class R. Marshall, Cadet Sr. Airman El Haddad, Cadet Airman 1st Class C. Dearborn, and Cadet Airman A. Robertson.
The Arundel Composite Squadron cadet program continues to grow and evolves as cadets progress through the Civil Air Patrol 16-step cadet program and participate in squadron activities such as the Udvar-Hazy Center squadron field trip. Members appreciate the support of its cadet staff officers that assist our senior members with teaching and assisting with basic administrative duties.
Arundel squadron consists of both senior and youth programs with members from Anne Arundel and surrounding counties. The squadron meets Monday nights, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at Rejoice Fellowship Church located at 7606 Quarterfield Road in Glen Burnie, Md. We welcome new members who may have a passion for aviation, dream of flight or are considering a career in the military. CAP is a great way to serve your community and enhance your leadership skills. Join us. Youths, ages 12 to 18, parents and adults interested in the cadet or senior program are always welcome to drop by our meetings. Contact the Arundel Composite squadron at https://arundel.mdwg.cap.gov/ .
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 mdwg.cap.gov 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.gocivilairpatrol.com for more information.
By SM Jeffrey Robertson, CAP
Public Affairs Officer, Arundel Composite Squadron
Left: Col Charles McGee, USAF (Ret) and a WWII Tuskegee Airman, provides C/A1C Marshall and C/SrA El Haddad a personal perspective on piloting aircraft. -(Photo Credit: SM Jeffrey Robertson, CAP)
Right: Arundel Squadron visits the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center located in Chantilly, Virginia. Pictured from L-R: C/1st Lt M. Fangio, C/SSgt M. Larsen, C/1st Lt H. Boyd, SM V. Brown, C/MSgt C. Brandon, C/SrA El Haddad, C/TSgt K. Amaya-Oliva, C/A1C R. Marshall, C/A1C C. Dearborn, C/SSgt E. Gonzalez, C/Amn A. Robertson, 2d Lt C. Marshall, SM J. Robertson, Lt Col M. Star, Maj Scott Wacker, C/SrA N. Novak.