Tri-Wing Encampment concludes successful week
July 16, 2021 – Reisterstown, MD – After being delayed in 2020, the 2021 Tri-Wing Encampment successfully concluded 8 days of training at Camp Fretterd Military Reservation on June 27, 2021.Planning for encampment starts shortly after the previous year’s encampment ends. The selection of the staff happens nine months before encampment starts to give all staff time to conduct training. As 2020 started, staff begun extensive training. As the year moved into spring, restrictions on overnight activities required encampment to be canceled. It was not known at that time if or when another encampment would be held.
In early 2021, all the staff that had been selected for 2020 started planning as usual, hoping that encampment would be held. In early spring, CAP National Headquarters lifted some restrictions, allowing encampment to proceed.
Twenty-eight cadet staff and seventeen senior officer staff started the week on June 20 when eighty-one students arrived to begin the weeklong activity. Space limitations and certain on-going COVID restrictions limited space available this year. This restricted attendance for students from only three wings: Maryland, Delaware and National Capital Wings. While restrictions on numbers were in place, all activities from previous years were planned.
The first three days had the new students get comfortable in the barracks. Leadership and aerospace classes were held throughout the days along with other important topics. Young Marines Gunnery Sergeant Cody Aerford spoke about the importance of drug demand reduction and the negative affects drugs can have on a person. Brigadier General John Walker, United States Airforce, spoke about Civil Air Patrol’s core values and how they will impact cadets daily.
By day three, the students begun a few days of fun outside of the normal encampment routine. Each flight and squadron rotated to each activity on separate days. At Martin State Airport in Middle River, MD, cadets took flight in a U.S. Air Force UH-1 Huey helicopter based out of Joint Base Andrews, MD. Cadets at Martin’s airport also had the opportunity to tour a C-17 Globemaster heavy transport aircraft, courtesy of the 167th Airlift Wing based in Martinsburg, WVa.
At the Gunpowder Military Reservation in Glen Arm, MD, cadets used their teamwork skills on the leadership reaction course. They then moved over to the obstacle course, where they tested their strengths and determination to complete specific tasks on their own.
At Camp Fretterd, a U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter loaded up cadets and senior officers for a flight around Westminster, MD. Cadets at Martin’s airport had the opportunity to tour a C-17 Globemaster heavy transport aircraft, courtesy of the 167th Airlift Wing based in Martinsburg, WVa.
At Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, all eligible cadet students were given a CAP powered orientation flight. Eight CAP Cessna aircraft along with volunteer pilots gave some cadets their first flight in a small airplane.
Each day ended with a fun game of volleyball. Each flight and squadron competed against each other. The flight that won the final championship game also had the chance to play against the cadet staff.
The final full day at encampment ended with a Dining Out, a traditional military style banquet that signifies the completion of encampment. Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) Edco Bailey opened the banquet with a invocation.
Major General James Jacobson, U.S. Air Force, spoke to the entire encampment. He spoke about motivation, leadership, teamwork, and dedication. He also emphasized the importance of learning from mistakes and using those mistakes to improve yourself.
Additional guests that spoke included Colonel Wes LaPre, Maryland Wing Commander, Chief Master Sergeant Todd Parsons, Mid-Atlantic Region Command Chief, Colonel Gene Egry, Mid-Atlantic Region Vice Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Bob Hotchkiss, Delaware Wing Vice Commander and Colonel Dave Sterling, National Capital Wing Commander.
Four members of the cadet staff had earned their next promotion just before encampment started. Cadet Matthew Gray completed phase 3 of the CAP Cadet Program, earning the Amelia Earhart Award and promotion to Cadet Captain. Gray was part of the public affairs staff. Cadets Alaina Shields and Ethan Brown completed achievement 14 and earned the promotion to Cadet Major. Shields served as Deputy Cadet for Operations. She did most of the pre-encampment training remotely from Madrid, Spain and was integral to this year’s encampment being a success. Brown served as Cadet Executive Officer and Cadet Deputy for Support. Encampment Cadet Commander Greggor Hines earned a CAP cadets highest honor, the General Carl A. Spaatz Award. Hines was promoted to the grade of Cadet Colonel.
Flight, squadron, and individual awards were presented at the end of the banquet. Flight and squadron awards signify exceptional scores on testing, drill, room inspections, and the volleyball championship. Individual awards were presented to the students and staff that exceeded expectations in several areas.
Cadet Major Ethan Brown begun the awards presentation for cadet students and staff.
- Volleyball champions: Delta flight
- Drill Champions: Delta flight
- Academic Champions: Delta flight
- Inspection Champions: Charlie flight
- Warrior flight: Bravo flight
- Most improved student: Cadet TSgt. Kaylin Raynor, Delta flight
- Warrior cadet: Cadet SrA. Andrew Goldman
- Honor Line NCO: Cadet CMSgt. Grace Hersch
- Honor Line Officer: Cadet Captain Moriah Hersch
- Honor Support NCO: Cadet SMSgt. De’Onna Battle
- Honor Support Officer: Cadet Captain Ariana Moretz
- Honor flight: Delta flight
- Honor squadron: 202nd training squadron
- Honor cadet: Cadet MSgt. Jonah Richmond
Colonel John Knowles, Encampment Commander, presented the following awards to the senior staff.
- Honor training officer: 1st. Lt. Amber Cranford
- Honor Senior Staff: Major David Trick
- Colonel Mary S. Feik Mentorship Award: Captain Brett Cole
Cadet Colonel Hines closed out the awards presentations with some parting words. “What a week it’s been.”, he started. He urged all the students to take away something from the experience of encampment. “You’re all warriors”, he concluded.
Col. Knowles concluded the banquet. “This encampment was 18 months in the making.”, he started. Noting some of the “leadership opportunities to overcome challenges” and commending the finest and most dedicated staff for stepping up to get the job done. “They demonstrated what true servant leadership looks like.”, adding that some of the staff took on multiple roles and gave up space to allow for more students to attend. Knowles ended his speech by presenting the cadet executive leadership a challenge coin from his time as Middle East Region Commander and a member from the National HQ staff.
Encampment ended with a traditional Pass In Review ceremony. A pass in review allows the commanding officer a final review of the cadets. Cadets were then dismissed from encampment to take the skills they learned back to their home squadrons.
CAP Basic encampment is a requirement to earn the Gen. Bill Mitchell Award and promotion to Cadet Second Lieutenant. Encampment also gives cadets the opportunity to apply for National Cadet Special Activities that held every summer.
Tri-Wing Encampment is a joint venture with Maryland, Delaware, and National Capital Wings and has been held at Camp Fretterd Military Reservation in Reisterstown, MD. since 2002. Follow Tri-Wing Encampment at www.triwingcap.org and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TriWingEncampment.
Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine Cessna aircraft and more than 2,000 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90% of all search and rescue operations within the contiguous United States as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often using innovative cellphone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 130 lives during the past fiscal year. CAP’s 54,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies. As a nonprofit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. Members also serve as mentors to over 20,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit http://www.CAP.News or http://www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.
Lt. Col. Christopher Roche
Public Affairs mentor