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Busy Summer for OCS

by C/Capt Sara Pineda

NEWG Encampment Participants from OCS

The summer of 2017 will be a yet another busy one for the members of the Omaha Composite Squadron, jam-packed with excellent opportunities to perform community service and gain valuable experience. Cadets and senior members alike will be able to participate in many activities that will both serve the community and provide valuable training. Some of those activities have already been completed, and some are are currently underway!

Cadets passing out Poppies in Support of American Veterans

Poppies for American Legion

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for the activities that have previously taken place this summer, the first was Omaha Composite Squadron’s opportunity to help the American Legion raise funds for disabled veterans. On the cold, humid day of May 20, Armed Forces Day, OCS cadets and seniors gathered outside a Baker’s grocery store to distribute small paper poppies, handmade by veterans of the American Legion. OCS members requested that all who accepted a poppy would wear it proudly in honor of American veterans who have sacrificed their own health, peace, freedom, or lives for the sake of preserving America’s peace and freedom. OCS members also made donation jars available to those willing to donate to the American Legion’s efforts to provide rehabilitation and therapy to veterans in need.

OCS members manning the CAP tent at ‘Sand in the City’ 2017

From June 7 through 12, OCS members provided security presence for the Nebraska Children’s Home Society’s Sand in the City fundraising event. On each day of the event, cadets and senior members were present around the clock to ensure that the impressive sand sculptures remained undisturbed and safe from crowd interference.

NEWG SAREX training

OCS members participated in each Nebraska Wing Search and Rescue Exercise held from April through June, and may participate in further SAREX’s later this summer. The April 22, May 13, and June 10 SAREX’s provided invaluable preparation and training to the attendees, including damage assessment, ELT search, basic first aid, and aircrew training. SAREX attendance will count toward the attending members’ search and rescue qualifications and certifications. Recently, C/Capt Michael Pineda became Omaha Composite Squadron’s newest Ground Team Member 3 certified member.

NCR National Flight Academy graduating class included C/Capts Wichman and Pineda

Five OCS cadets will be attending various National Cadet Special Activities this summer. Two cadets are currently attending the North Central Region National Powered Flight Academy, which began on June 15 and will see each of its cadet students complete approximately ten hours of flight time and a solo flight before the end of the Academy on June 29. From July 8 through 16, one cadet will attend the Hawk Mountain Search and Rescue school, where cadets will be provided with exceptional search and rescue and emergency services training. Beginning July 10 and ending July 22, another cadet will attend Cadet Officer School, where cadet students will study an in-depth Air Force approach to the skills of leadership. Finally, one more cadet will attend the Engineering Technologies Academy of Robotics from July 22 through 30, where cadets will learn to design, engineer, construct, program, and operate robots.

C/2dLt Matya attended Hawk Mountain Ranger School in PA.

C/Capt S. Pineda attended Cadet Officer School at Maxwell AFB, Alabama with nearly 100 other cadets.

C/SMSgt Hayward attended the E-Tech Robotics National Cadet Activity in Camp Pendleton, CA.

C/Capt Nelson staffed the Joint Dakotas Encampment

As for upcoming events this summer, Omaha Composite Squadron’s CyberPatriot Team, still growing, with a current number of seven cadet members, will begin training this summer for upcoming state, regional, and, hopefully, national competitions. “CyberPatriot aims to introduce middle school and high school students to several different computer operating systems, and to teach them how to secure those systems,” said Maj John Pineda, OCS’s CyberPatriot coach. “In six-hour competitions, teams of students are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems, then they must find cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and strengthen the system while maintaining critical services. Teams who find the most vulnerabilities will move on to the next round.” Teams first compete for the top placement within their state, then that of the region, and finally, the top teams in the nation earn all-expenses paid trips to Baltimore, Maryland for the National Finals Competition, where teams can earn national recognition and scholarship funds.

C/SrA Rodriquez at NEWG Encampment

Rappelling tower at Wing Encampment…

… and the Firing range.

In July, fifteen Omaha Composite Squadron cadets will attend encampments in three Wings within the North Central Region. June 24 through July 1 will see two OCS cadets attend the Missouri Wing Encampment. One cadet will have the experience of staffing the Joint Dakota Encampment from July 7 through 16. Finally, from July 9 through 15, twelve OCS cadets will participate in the Nebraska Wing Encampment, with two of those cadets serving on encampment staff. “I’m looking forward to the great activities my first encampment will provide,” said Omaha Composite Squadron’s C/SSgt Andrew Pineda, speaking about the upcoming Nebraska Wing Encampment. “I think I’m going to have a lot of fun during the marksmanship and rappelling lessons!”

Wingnuts flying circus Color Guard at Tarkio, MO

OCS Color Guard at the College World Series

For many of OCS’s cadets and seniors alike, the Wingnuts Flying Circus Airshow in Tarkio, Missouri will be the highlight of the summer. According to C/Col Christopher Pineda, the Tarkio airshow is the squadron’s “favorite aviation event of the year,” and OCS members will agree! Members will arrive on July 6, two days prior to the airshow itself, to assist airport personnel in preparing the small airport for the show. On day 1, many unique and impressive aircraft will begin arriving for their upcoming show performances. The next day, members will be able to help direct arriving aircraft toward airport personnel for parking, and will provide a presence for the spectacular night airshow of July 7. On July 8, members will yet again provide assistance and cleanup, this time for the much longer main airshow. Following the show, members will help airport personnel by directing departing aircraft toward the runway, and tidying up the airport. Before departing for Omaha on the morning of July 9, cadets will have an incredible opportunity to tour many of the World-War-II-era trainer aircraft.

OCS present at the NE State Fly-In in Norfolk, NE

Members also participated or are currently scheduled to participate in other activities, including: Nebraska State Fly-In, Unit Commander’s Course, Region Staff College, Squadron Leadership School, NE Wing Pathfinder Ground Team Academy, and Minnesota Ground Team Academy in Camp Ripley, MN.  One Cadet, who is currently an ROTC student at the University of Nebraska also attended Marine Corps Officer training school, in Quantico, VA.

Squadron Leadership School participants

Finally, at the end of July, cadets had the opportunity to wind down by having a kayak outing at the squadron lake and try their skills on one of our member-provided Segways.

Cadets heading out in groups of kayaks on the lake

A cadet tries to master the Segway challenge.

With so many activities and opportunities taking place in 2017, there will be some form of training or community service for every member of OCS. Whatever the activity, any member who participates will gain invaluable experience for future use in further Civil Air Patrol, and possibly civilian, events.

C/2dLt Sarvis attends Officer Training School in Quantico VA.

 

 

Happy 40th Anniversary OCS!

On May 2nd, 1977, the Omaha Composite Squadron was given its official charter by Civil Air Patrol.

The squadron began as the Omaha Cadet  Squadron, and eventually grew into a Composite squadron as Senior members began fulfilling the many missions of the Civil Air Patrol.

40 years later, the Omaha Composite Squadron has 64 volunteer members (31 Cadets and 33 Seniors) and has custody of two modern G-1000 Cessna aircraft.  Our members volunteer in support of local, state and national activities such as Cadet Flight Training, Orientation flights, Aerospace Education, Search and Rescue operations, Emergency Services training, Senior Professional Development and recurring training, Cadet CyberPatriot competitions, support of Federal and State Emergency agencies, and a variety of Community Support activities.

Congratulations to all our members on this special occasion!

OCS Charter - 1977

Nebraska Civil Air Patrol – Report to Congress

The 2016 Nebraska Civil Air Patrol Report to Congress is available.

Click on the image to download the document. (Large download)

Click on the image to download the report

Drones, Quadcopters, RC Planes & Gliders part of Aerospace education at OCS.

One of the various quadcopters that took part in the presentation.

A Cessna RC airplane used to demonstrate RC control surfaces and channels / servos

The Omaha Composite Squadron held its monthly Aerospace Education evening on March 13.   OCS Aerospace Education Officer, 2dLt Kirk Rasmussen, led the evening by demonstrating the basics of RC aircraft operation, required equipment, and the theory of flight behind each type of craft that was being demonstrated to the cadets.

Some of the RC equipment brought in for the demonstration

Cadets get a better view of the Servo mechanism via the bottom of the aircraft.

The cadets were able to see first-hand, the new technologies that are being introduced into the RC world, such as the new FPV (First Person View) miniature cameras which allow the user (pilot) to fly the aircraft, while wearing a set of goggles that display the path of the aircraft across the air as transmitted by the FPV camera mounted on the aircraft itself.

Cadets take turns at looking through the FPV goggles from one of the aircraft.

The Omaha Composite squadron plans to expand the Aerospace Education program over the next few months to include some exciting, never before seen activities at the squadron level.  More details will be forthcoming as we work on securing the equipment and manage the logistics of these activities.  Stay tuned!

A Captive Audience listens attentively as two OCS cadets brief them on RC aircraft operations.

OCS Cadet and Senior Change of Command

C/2dLt receives his Mitchell Achievement award

On March 6th, 2017, the Omaha Composite squadron held its monthly promotions ceremony and a combined Cadet and Senior member change of command ceremony.

C/Capt. Elizabeth Nelson led her final promotion ceremony as Cadet Commander.  The ceremony culminated with her own promotion to the rank of C/Capt and reaching the Amelia Earhart achievement milestone.  The following cadets were recognized before a large audience of squadron and Wing representatives, as well as family members:

  • C/A1C Nathan Ireland – Promoted to C/SrA
  • C/SSgt Noach Hayward – Promoted to C/TSgt
  • C/2dLt Meredith Wichman – Promoted to C/1stLt
  • C/CMSgt Bryce Moran – Billy Mitchell Milestone
  • C/1stLt Elizabeth Nelson – Amelia Earhart Milestone
  • Cadet of the Month: C/TSgt Noach Hayward

Congratulations to all the cadets who promoted for their hard work and dedication!

C/SrA Ireland gets some advice and recognition from LtCol McCartney

C/TSgt Hayward is congratulated for his achievement

C/1stLt Wichman continues her unprecedented 58 day promotion record.

C/2dLt Moran receives his epaulettes from his parents.

C/Capt Nelson was accompanied by family and friends as she receives the rank of Cadet Captain, and the culmination of the Earhart achievement award.

Following the Promotion Ceremony, C/Capt Nelson relinquished her command and was transferred immediately to C/2dLt Bryce Moran.  C/2dLt Moran, who will lead the Cadet corps for the next half year, was selected as the new Cadet Commander based on his exceptional resumé of CAP achievements, participation, community service, qualifications and vision for the cadet program.

Both the outgoing and incoming cadet commanders addressed the audience and wished each other well as they assume their next role.

C/Capt Nelson addresses the squadron as outgoing Cadet Commander.

Incoming Cadet Commander, C/2dLt Moran and C/Capt Nelson exchange a congratulatory handshake.

The Senior change of Command took place immediately afterward.  Outgoing OCS Commander, LtCol Robert McCartney handed the squadron flag to LtCol Darrell McMillan, Wing Vice Commander, and relinquished his command.  Maj. John Pineda accepted command of the squadron by receiving the OCS flag.  The Squadron owes a HUGE debt of gratitude to Lt. Col McCartney for his exceptional leadership in leading the squadron for nearly 5 years.  Maj. Pineda plans to continue this trend, and will strive to continue expanding both Senior and Cadet programs to realize the goal of making every volunteer member of the squadron feel that they are an integral part of the entire Civil Air Patrol organization.

LtCol. McMillan, Wing Vice Commander, LtCol McCartney (Outgoing CC) and Maj. John Pineda (incoming CC)

Semper Vigilans!

Civil Air Patrol – Flight’s Best Kept Secret

 

Civil Air Patrol – Developing Cadets into Leaders

 

NCR/Nebraska Wing Conference – March 24-26, 2017

 

 

Click on the image to go directly to the Conference registration page.

OCS Dining Out 2016

By C/1stLt Michael Pineda

OCS Color Guard presenting the colors at the 2016 Dining Out

On December 5th, Omaha Composite Squadron held their 7th annual Dining Out at Arbor Hall. Every year, cadets, seniors, families and friends are invited to the Dining Out: a formal military style dinner in place of the night’s meeting. A special guest is always invited to the dinner to give a speech; this year’s guest being the Senior Enlisted Leader of U.S. Strategic Command, Chief Master Sergeant Patrick McMahon. Among the other honored guests was the NE wing commander, Colonel Darrell Nelson.

Before dinner, various ceremonies took place. First was the presentation of the colors by the cadet color guard team. The color guard processed through the room in formation with the American flag and the squadron flag, setting the flags on either side of the honored guest’s table. Following the presentation of the colors were the national anthem and toasts. Afterwards came the POW-MIA Table Ceremony, which honors the United States’ prisoners of war and servicemen missing in action.

Squadron Commander “tests” the quality of the beef before it is served for dinner

Finally came the presentation of Le Beouf, where the beef to be eaten that night was presented to Colonel Robert McCartney, President of the Mess, to confirm that it was fit for human consumption.
During the dinner, cadets were expected to follow the “Rules of the Mess,” found in their Dining Out Handbook. Many of the rules are old traditions; for example, males were required to rise from their seats when a female departed from or arrived at their table; no clapping was allowed; glasses must be kept half-full; and the Queen’s English was required to be strictly abided by. In the event that a rule was broken, any cadet could bring the rule-breaking to the attention of the Vice President of the Mess (also known as “Mr./Ms. Vice”), C/1stLt Nelson. If Ms. Vice found that the rule-breaking cadet had no excuse for breaking the rule, the cadet would be sent to “Mr. Grog” as “punishment.”

A cadet is sent to The Grog for violating “the rules of the mess”

The Grog was located in the middle of the floor, resting on a table before the honored guests, and filled with an assortment of juices, sodas, and breakfast cereal. Also, Mr. Grog is a toilet. When sent to The Grog, cadets had to fill their cup to a designated fill line, raise the cup while toasting “to the mess,” and drink the whole contents without lifting the cup from their lips. Once finished, they would turn the cup upside-down over their head, and, if a drop fell on their head, would repeat the process again.

CMSgt Patrick McMahon addresses the squadron after dinner

After dinner, the special guest, Chief Master Sergeant Patrick McMahon, gave a leadership-focused speech. After his speech, the awards ceremony began.

C/CMSgt Moran receives the cadet of the year award for the Omaha Composite Squadron

Various cadets and seniors were called up to the front of the room to receive awards. As always, there were some less serious awards, including an award to a cadet for running away as a model rocket flew toward his head, as well as an award for the cadet who launched the rocket. Afterwards, the squadron color guard retired the colors. Shortly after, the annual squadron video was premiered, showcasing all of the Squadron’s activities in 2016. The 75th anniversary Civil Air Patrol video was also played, since 2016 was also the 75th year of CAP’s operation. Finally, the cadets, seniors, families and friends were free to go, as the last meeting of the year came to a close.

This article was written and published by C/1stLt M. Pineda
as part of the Staff Duty service requirement for his 
current achievement.

Civil Air Patrol Cadet testimonies