Archive for April 30, 2014

OCS Cadets Volunteer at Council Bluffs Fly-In

The Omaha Composite Squadron received an invitation from FAA Safety Team (FAAST) Representative, Arlene Steier, to help marshal aircraft during the annual Chili Feed fundraiser for the UNO chapter of Women in Aviation.  OCS Cadets arrived an hour early to receive safety briefings and training regarding airport operations and local operating procedures.  Experienced cadets were teamed up to mentor and train those cadets who had not experienced operations in a live airport environment.  Many of the arriving pilots were also there to attend an FAA Safety Briefing following the Chili Feed.

OCS Cadets wore distinctive Reflective vests and two way radios in order to stay in constant communication and coordinate the flow of traffic at the airport.

“Gunfighter”, the P-51D Mustang from the Commemorative Air Force made several impressive flybys.

New Cadets received live supervised training in marshaling live aircraft.

An OCS Cadet directs arriving aircraft from the taxiway to the apron for parking.

Cadets were trained in common hand signals used to direct pilots and their aircraft around the airport.

Following a successful day of marshaling aircraft, the cadets were invited to partake of a free meal, courtesy of the UNO chapter Women in Aviation.  We would like to extend our thanks an appreciation to Arlene Steier for inviting the Omaha Composite Squadron to participate in the Fly-in, which also gave us an opportunity to train cadets for the various activities and air shows which will take place throughout the summer.

Well-fed OCS cadets prepare to depart after a successful fly-in.


OCS Visits Omaha’s Eppley Airfield ATC Tower

On April 21st, 2014, the Omaha Composite Squadron paid a visit to Omaha’s Eppley Airfield Air Traffic Control Tower.  Mr. Perry Grell, KOMA ATC Manager,  graciously accommodated a contingent of thirty members from the squadron who made the trip across town.  Mr. Grell gave a presentation on safe operations in Omaha’s airport and controlled airspace, as well as the many details involved in dispatching aircraft to and from the terminal and coordinating between clearance Delivery, Ground Control, Tower and Departure/Arrival.  He also gave details to the cadets on pursuing a career as an Air Traffic Controller and the various options for pursuing such a career, and the amount of supervised on the job training required after arriving at the Omaha ATC facility due to the complexity of the operations conducted in the area.

Mr. Perry Grell, KOMA ATC Manager, speaks to members of the Omaha Composite Squadron regarding Airport Operations in the Omaha area.

Following the presentation, Mr. Grell escorted small groups of cadets and seniors to the Tower so they could view the live operations in person.  A couple of members of the ATC staff fielded questions from the other Cadets as members awaited the return of the previous group from the Control Tower.

Cadets listen attentively during the ATC presentation.

Cadets and Seniors (several of them pilots) gained valuable information regarding ATC operations during the tour.

The Omaha Composite Squadron would like to express our appreciation to Mr. Perry Grell and his staff for taking time from their valuable schedule in order to provide cadets with valuable insight into one of the aspects of aviation which few individuals get to fully comprehend and appreciate.  The information that was presented will give them a greater understanding of the many tasks involved in flight as they progress in their aerospace education with Civil Air Patrol.

OCS – Squadron of Merit and Top Composite Squadron in the Nebraska Wing for 2013

Members of the Omaha Composite Squadron at the 2014 NE Wing Conference

The Omaha Composite Squadron (OCS) – Squadron of Merit for 2013

This photo shows the Omaha Composite squadron being acknowledged by the Nebraska Wing Commander as the Nebraska Wing Squadron of Merit.  This means that the Omaha Composite Squadron’s Cadet Program was best in its category in the Nebraska Wing for Calendar Year 2013.  The OCS Commander, LtCol Robert McCartney acknowledged and thanked the OCS Deputy Commander for Cadets, Major John Pineda, outgoing Cadet Commander C/LtCol Matt Haijsman, incoming Cadet Commander C/Capt Austin Henry, Cadets Jacob Carter, Matthew Norrie, James Norrie, the remaining cadet staff, and the parents who valiantly supported their sons and daughters in this unit.  He also stated that it was “a team effort” which started with Cadet Christopher Haijsman who now is a cadet at the United States Air Force academy.


The Omaha Composite Squadron (OCS) – Top Composite Squadron for 2013

The Arthur Storz Victory Award for CY 2013 was claimed at the Nebraska Wing Conference by the Omaha Composite Squadron.  This award acknowledges the top composite squadron in the Nebraska Wing, which in itself, covers all of Nebraska plus one unit in Sioux City, Iowa.

Arthur Storz Victory Award for CY 2013 was claimed at the Nebraska Wing Conference by the Omaha Composite Squadron.

 Considerations were: being the Squadron of Merit, the growth of the unit, promotions per capita, and the manner in which the unit supports the three goals of the Civil Air Patrol: Aerospace Education, a one-of-a-kind Cadet Program, and Emergency Services.  In 2013, the OCS supported the community by working with a Science teacher at Burke High School to build a stronger Aviation Education Program, supported community air shows/fly-ins from Council Bluffs to Tarkio, Missouri, and presented the colors at Werner Park and the College World Series.  The squadron strength grew from 17 to 36 active cadets, and from 5 to 9 active pilots in CY 2013. 

   It takes dedication and a great deal of personal hard work, both by youth, and by adult volunteers to garner an award like the Storz Award.

   When interviewed, the OCS Commander stated that the main goal of the squadron is to “grow” youth so they have a goal for when they graduate from High School, by attending college, finding a good and productive job, and/or by entering one of the military services.  He said: “All a young boy or girl (12 to 18 years old)has to do  to take advantage of this program is to visit a unit like ours to see if it “fits” properly”.

2014 Nebraska Wing Conference Events

  Members of the Omaha Composite squadron attended the 2014 Nebraska Wing Conference during March 21-23.  The three day conference was hosted in Omaha at the Comfort Inn and Suites.  The conference was called to order on Saturday at 8am on March 21st, and following the opening ceremonies and formal briefings, North Central Region (NCR) Commander, Col. Robert Todd, provided the State of the Corporation address, followed by Col. David Plum and the State of the Wing address.  This was followed by several breakout sessions for both Seniors and Cadets.  Among the sessions offered  to cadets were the following: FBI Drug Demand Reduction presentation, Aerospace Presentation by the Boeing Company, National Cadet Special Activity briefing, cadet-led Leadership exercises and Emergency Services presentations.

FBI Special Agent Gregory Beninato addresses cadets in a special breakout session on Drug Demand Reduction (DDR)

The Saturday conference schedule culminated with the Banquet, Awards and Change of Command Ceremony for the Nebraska Wing Commander.  Awards were presented to several Senior and Cadet members, and various units recognized for their excellence and accomplishments.  The banquet ended with the Change of Command ceremony, in which Col. David Plum gave a heartfelt farewell, and an introduction to the incoming Wing Commander, Col. Darrell Nelson.

Col. Robert Todd (left), Col. David Plum (Right), introduce the new Commander for the Nebraska Wing, Col. Darrell Nelson (Center) following the Change of Command Ceremony.

The Omaha Composite Squadron would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to outgoing Wing Commander Col. David Plum for his many years of leadership and success, and congratulations to our incoming Wing Commander Col. Darrell Nelson.  We look forward to growing our talents,  leadership and excellence under his command.

Incoming Nebraska Wing Commander, Col. Darrell Nelson takes the Oath of Office from NCR Commander, Col. Robert Todd.